Update BIOS on HP Pavilion dv6000 Laptop with BartPE

The machine, running Windows XP, was infected by “Windows Internet Guard” malware.  It also entered blue screen of death at startup.  If it weren’t for the BSOD, removing the malware first and then running the Windows-dependent, BIOS executable from HP might have been an option.

Here are some things I learned about updating BIOS firmware (outside of Windows):

  • Using FreeDOS to create a bootable disk is a popular method.  However, the HP BIOS software did not want to run in DOS.
  • Re-installing Windows was suggested in several HP forums.  Considering the machine was to have Linux installed, this method seemed like a waste of time.
  • Flashrom for Linux looked like a promising utility, but its documentation specifically advised against using it on laptops.
  • A virtual machine guest has limited access to hardware functions compared to the host, so this was not an option.
  • BartPE, a live Windows CD, was able to run the BIOS update and successfully install (with a minor tweak).
  • Despite the risks, there are methods available to the end user for recovering from a failed BIOS patch.

 

Sagar Behere wrote about a similar issue in “Upgrading the BIOS“:

In the root folder, I see a file called 30B7F3D.WPH. I copy it to the SWinFlash folder, rename it to BIOS.WPH and start the .exe in it again…I go ahead and several progress bars later, the process is done.

 

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