FreeBSD Release 11.0 Install Guide
There may be times when your PC BIOS may have a update provided by the vendor.
To physical update the motherboard BOIS chip the PC has to be booted in MSDOS
and then the vendor supplied flash program can be executed to apply the new
bios.bin file to the motherboard BOIS chip. This was all fine and dandy when all
PCs had floppy drives. But in todayís world PCs are not manufactured with floppy
drivers any more and MS/XP and newer Windows systems have no option to create
bootable MSDOS media. That leaves you with two options. Create a MSDOS bootable
USB Stick or create a bootable CDROM. Both procedures are covered here.
Creating a bootable MSDOS USB stick (flash drive) is simple. But it has itís own
set of problems depending on how old the PC is. Itís not un-common for PCís
manufactured before 2008 to have BIOS that lack the option to boot from USB
devices or even fail to recognize USB media as bootable.
First thing is to determine if your current bios have the option to boot from
USB devices. During power on enter BIOS setup menu and check the boot device
order for option to boot from USB. If itís absent a MSDOS bootable USB Stick
wonít work for you.
If your PC BIOS has the option to boot from USB, then configure the first boot
device to be from USB and the second from cdrom and the third from the hard
drive. If at boot time there is no bootable USB device plugged in and no
bootable CD in the CDROM/DVD drive then you will default to booting from the
motherboard cabled hard drive.
The following steps are common to creating both the MSDOS bootable USB Stick and
the bootable CDROM.
There are three files you have to acquire before starting this process.
1. A bootable floppy image. Download the floppy.img from
floppy.img.z Once you have it downloaded, rename it removing the .z suffix.
In this case the floppy image contains the basic programs to fix any fat32
drive, IE. [fdisk, format, scandisk, edit, chkdsk, more, find, command.com, sys.com,
io.sys, msdos.sys] files and was created using Windows 98.
2. The MS/DOS flash.exe utility provided by the BIOS vender used to update the
3. The vender supplied bios.bin file used to write over the old PC BIOS chipís
Warning: Using the wrong flash utility or wrong update bios.bin file can result
in irreversible damage to your motherboard BIOS chip making your motherboard
Make a memory disk of the floppy.img so you can access its contents.
mdconfig -f /path/floppy.img
mount_msdosfs /dev/md0 /mnt
Now you see all the files in the floppy.img. To this you have to add the 2
vendor supplied files used to update your motherboard BIOS chip.
cp /path/flash.exe /mnt/
cp /path/bios.bin /mnt
You see your BIOS update files are added into the floppy image.
Now free the floppy.img.
mdconfig -d -u md0
This is the end of the common stuff.
Only do this if creating MSDOS bootable USB Stick
Write the floppy.img to the USB stick
dd if=/path/floppy.img of=/dev/da0
The creating of your MSDOS bootable USB Stick is now finished.
The following steps are unique to creating the bootable CDROM.
Now your ready to create the cd.iso file. You will need the mkisofs command.
It's not part of the base system so you have to install it from the ports
system or package system.
mkisofs -J -R -b /path/floppy.img -o /path/cd.iso /path/floppy.img
Now your ready to burn the cd.iso file to CDROM. The burncd program is part of
the base system. If youíre using a cd/rw CD and it all ready has data on it then
blank it out.
burncd -v -f /dev/acd0 -s4 -e blank fixate
Ready to burn your bootable cd.iso to cd
burncd -v -f /dev/acd0 -s4 -e data /path/cd.iso fixate
Before powering on the PC thatís to have itís BIOS updated plug in the USB stick
you just created or load the bootable CD you just created in itís drive. The
boot is very quick and displays the MSDOS command line as drive A:
To display the contents of drive A: issue
Then key in the program to update the system BIOS chip and
follow the vendors instructions.
When completed, remove the USB stick or CD and reboot the PC. If your PC doesnít
boot then you know you have a very big problem. The BIOS update you just ran
didnít work or the update bios.bin file was not the correct one for your bios
chip. Your only remaining option is to buy a new motherboard from a know vendor
who provides technical support for their equipment.
This FreeBSD Install Guide is an public domain HOW-TO. This content may be reproduced,
in any form or by any means, and used by all without permission in writing from the author.