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Windows 7: update firmware

08 May 2012   #11
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

I repeat:
If there is a firmware update, then apply the update.

There is a very good reason why a mfg will release a firmware update, DESPITE the high costs associated with development, documentation, release and distribution of a firmware update.


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08 May 2012   #12
wanchoo

Windows 7 Pro with SP1 32bit
 
 

And I agree to the fullest extent. In nearly 99.5% of the time no issue is created and upgrading is quite safe. Same as for BIOS. If an updated version of BIOS is available then the BIOS must be flashed. But if the flashing of BIOS misfires then there could be a major problem.

If updating the firmware does cause some problem on a very rare occasion then restore the immediately previous image and you are again back in business.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by karlsnooks View Post
I repeat:
If there is a firmware update, then apply the update.

There is a very good reason why a mfg will release a firmware update, DESPITE the high costs associated with development, documentation, release and distribution of a firmware update.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2012   #13
stormy13
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by wanchoo View Post
I do just the opposite. I always update as soon as an upgrade appears if my pocket permits. If the upgrade causes problems I get rid of it by reverting back to the immediately previous image.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
I'm conservative. I tend to not update firmware unless there is a known issue. I say why risk potential issues if there are just additional features that I might not use.
wanchoo you're confusing firmware with drivers. Firmware is in the hardware itself and has nothing to do with Windows what so ever. You cannot just reload an image to recover from a bad firmware update like you can from a bad driver update.
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08 May 2012   #14
wanchoo

Windows 7 Pro with SP1 32bit
 
 

May be you are right, stormy. But because the OP originally posted this message in the Software Forum I think it is best that he clarifies what he meant by Firmware.

Incidentally Wikipedia say this, "In electronic systems and computing, firmware is the combination of read-only memory and program code and data stored in it. Typical examples of devices containing firmware are embedded systems, computers, computer peripherals, mobile phones, and digital cameras . The firmware contained in these devices provides the control program for the device."
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08 May 2012   #15
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Wikipedia has it about right.

Firmware refers to code written to a chip on the hardware device in question.

Not to a directory somewhere within C:\
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08 May 2012   #16
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

A firmware update, like a BIOS update, is often perfectly safe and fine. However, anybody who has ever "bricked" a device when doing a firmware upgrade is likely to be "once bitten, twice shy". This is why I only perform them when there is a problem experienced by me, that requires this update. For example, my mobo doesn't recognize my CPU. However, a BIOS update for "floppy drive" performance will be skipped as I haven't owned a floppy drive in years.

On some equipment, if you update the firmware and it doesn't work right, you can reapply another firmware version and get back to where you were. On other equipment though, like a bad mobo flash, you might have a machine that doesn't boot up or power on at all. And you won't have the luxury of simply pushing over an older image as the system doesn't run enough to load a new image.

At work, I often update firmware without a concern...as they aren't my boxes. At home, I'll less likely to apply them as it's my own personal equipment.
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