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skamarla

Flashing BIOS from WinPE

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Hi, guys, I need some help.

I am trying to resurrect an old PC, an Acer Aspire 5315. It used to run Vista, but that's been wiped out now, and it didn't come with installation disks.

I need to flash the BIOS, so I got it from the Acer site. It's an .EXE file. I tried FreeDOS, but it refused to run "in DOS mode". So I have created a WINPE disk. It boots into a command line, but if I run the .EXE file I got from the Acer site, it fails silently. I just get the prompt back, no windows pop up and the BIOS remains in its old version.

A "VER" in the command line shows "Microsoft Windows [Version 6.2.9200]".

Any ideas? Do I have to install a full-fledged Windows just to run this file? I plan to install Linux in it after flashing the BIOS... Any legal way to run Windows just for a couple minutes?

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> but it refused to run "in DOS mode".

This sounds like it is a 32-bit Windows executable. You can confirm this by checking it in Dependency Walker or another PE file viewer.

A ReactOS Live-CD should be able to boot from disc and run the file. A Linux Live-CD that includes WINE might also be able to run it for you.

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@jumper

It is IMHO NOT a good idea to fiddle with BIOS updates using ReactOS or Linux+Wine, BIOS updating is pretty much "low-level" stuff, you never know what can happen. :dubbio:

@skamarla

Can you post a link to the actual files you are/were using?

I believe that laptop uses an Insyde BIOS, but it can be flashed from FreeDOS on a .iso/CD, see:
https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1043129

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/14099789/FDOS_v1_43.iso.tar.gz

(the above is a bootable .iso containing FreeDOS, the FLAs***.EXE (DOS flashing tool) and the CL50143A.fd BIOS file)

The batch uses these parameters:
flas*** CL50143A.fd /fe /b

so if you have a different (later) BIOS file you can replace that.

jaclaz

P.S. STUPID board word filters, of course the FLAs*** above means FLAmanure ;) we need to use l33t5p34k for that FLASH1T


 

Edited by jaclaz
  • Upvote 1

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The file is here, you have to click on the BIOS tab, of course.

Thanks for the ubuntuforums link, it looks promising. Probably FlaCrud will do the job from Freedos. I'll report back.

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I have unzipped the EXE file, and I can confirm it's an Insyde BIOS:

  inflating: InsydeFlash.exe         
  inflating: iscflash.dll            
  inflating: iscflash.sys            
  inflating: platform.ini            
  inflating: CL50145A.fd             
  inflating: iscflashx64.sys

The file you get from Acer is a Windows executable. This is what a GNU file reports:

BIOS_v1.45.exe: PE32 executable (GUI) Intel 80386, for MS Windows

But I think I'll go for the ISO. It's 1.43 vs 1.45, big deal.

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28 minutes ago, skamarla said:

But I think I'll go for the ISO. It's 1.43 vs 1.45, big deal.

Well, the filesize should be fixed to 1048576 bytes, so you can even hexedit/dd the CL50145A.fd  over the CL50143A.fd extents on the .iso without need to rebuild it.

jaclaz
 

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I'm pleased to report that the FreeDOS iso did its job admirably. Booted, went into DOS mode, found the USB unit (C:), cd'd into the firmware directory, executed the .bat file, BIOS got flashed.

Thanks everyone!

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