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Windows 7: Flash BIOS from operating system?

14 Jun 2012   #11
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jumanji View Post
Why should anyone take this conditional statement when one can safely jettison Windows and flash with DOS?
This is what kills good-natured debates. Have you actually flashed a BIOS using a Windows utility? If so, you'll notice that the actual flashing is NOT done in Windows. The file is downloaded/prepped/pre-loaded, and then the system reboots. I'm not sure how many more times that needs to be repeated. Do yourself a favor and update your experience and thinking. Your points were valid....years ago.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jumanji View Post
In contrast, flashing with DOS provides a drastically much cleaner and therefore much safer memory environment. The user has to just make sure that the process is not interrupted.
Flashing in DOS is still an OS, like it or not. When you flash using a Windows-utility or using the mobo's own BIOS loader, you aren't running any OS at all during the actual time the flashing occurs. So if you want to talk about stability....why flash with an OS running at all??

We can go back and forth on this all day and all night. However, until you actually go through the process to understand how the Windows utilities work, you aren't going to understand why you are missing out on the facts.

If you are TRULY concerned with the stability of a BIOS flash, buy a board that offers two features. First, a built-in BIOS loader, such as a hot key that you press to scan a flash drive for an updated file. No OS loaded. Second, you'd buy a board with a built-in recovery method, such as Gigabyte's Dual BIOS.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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14 Jun 2012   #12
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

That still does not answer many questions raised.

Why does MSI warn the users if you get errors do not to give up and keep trying .....trying ... and trying ?

Why does Gigabyte caution one should have stable Windows? Why at all this requirement if Windows is not responsible for the flashing?

Why at all there are many instances of flash failures when flashing with Windows and none when flashing from DOS - the only way it fails is interruption?

I agree that to keep repeating the same statements without answering these does kill any good natured debate.

In the final analysis both of us are getting tired of each other.

In any case the users and others reading this thread have enough information listening to both of us. They are free to decide which way to go should they need to flash the bios.

I leave it at this. Have a good day.
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14 Jun 2012   #13
windude99

Windows 7 Professional x64 Service Pack 1
 
 

HP and Dell don't let you flash from dos. I know that because I have flashed the bios on an HP and a Dell. They both had a single downloadable .exe file that you run in Windows. Most people have OEM pcs like HP and Dell, so you have to flash in Windows or not flash at all. I have had good experiences flashing bioses in Windows. I have done 2 system bioses and 1 graphics bios and they all went very well. Just do not, ever, use your computer in Windows while it is flashing the bios.
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14 Jun 2012   #14
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jumanji View Post
Why does MSI warn the users to expect errors and not to give up and keep trying .....trying ... and trying ?
I don't have an answer about that because MSI has been considered a lower quality, less than reliable board maker for a while.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jumanji View Post
Why does Gigabyte caution one should have stable Windows? Why at all this requirement if Windows is not responsible for the flashing?
Because if you use a Windows program of any kind, you'll want a stable OS to run it from. Would you want to flash your BIOS from a scratched disc? What about a flash drive that has issues? These warnings are to CYA themselves. It's the same reason you are always told not to flash from an overclocked system, or to flash a laptop while running on battery power.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jumanji View Post
Why at all there are many instances of flash failures when flashing with Windows and none when flashing from DOS - the only way it fails is interruption?
I think in summary, you are still asking these questions because you've closed your mind to focus only on what suits your viewpoint. Take the above point. There are warnings that go along with every method of flashing a BIOS. The warnings vary based on each method, but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with Windows-based utilities.

The bottom line, like it or not, is that Windows-based utilities are just fine to use, and are often either the easiest, or the only, method of updating a BIOS. As myself and others have mentioned, the actual updating isn't done within Windows. You are conveniently skipped that point, regardless of how many times it is stated. That's what kills the debate...because you aren't considering the facts.

If you are I were debating which of two restaurants were better, and I've only eaten at one...I can't enter a valid argument for the debate. I have to have experience to know which is better. As long as you ignore the fact that Windows-based utilities don't flash from within Windows (for very good reasons), you aren't basing your stance on facts.
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14 Jun 2012   #15
alphanumeric

Windows 10 Education 64 bit
 
 

MSI is not telling people to "expect" errors, they are just telling you what to do "if" you get an error. A BIOS flash can fail for may reasons. If I was to use your skewed logic I would "never" flash a BIOS "ever", regardless of the method, because it "could" fail. And as windude99 pointed out, you may not have a choice. Something else to consider is that the rash of failures could have been because of a faulty BIOS update file. It may not have had anything to do with how the BIOS was flashed.
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14 Jun 2012   #16
alphanumeric

Windows 10 Education 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by windude99 View Post
HP and Dell don't let you flash from dos. I know that because I have flashed the bios on an HP and a Dell. They both had a single downloadable .exe file that you run in Windows. Most people have OEM pcs like HP and Dell, so you have to flash in Windows or not flash at all. I have had good experiences flashing bioses in Windows. I have done 2 system bioses and 1 graphics bios and they all went very well. Just do not, ever, use your computer in Windows while it is flashing the bios.
It was the same deal with my Acer laptop. Winflash was the only option for the latest BIOS. I didn't loose any sleep over it. My battery is good so I didn't even have to worry about a power failure happening during the flash.
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15 Jun 2012   #17
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
MSI is not telling people to "expect" errors, they are just telling you what to do "if" you get an error. A BIOS flash can fail for may reasons. If I was to use your skewed logic I would "never" flash a BIOS "ever", regardless of the method, because it "could" fail. And as windude99 pointed out, you may not have a choice. Something else to consider is that the rash of failures could have been because of a faulty BIOS update file. It may not have had anything to do with how the BIOS was flashed.
You are absolutely right.

DeaconFrost maintains

"The process is done outside of the OS (not in DOS, either), so there is nothing to debate, really."

"the actual updating isn't done within Windows."

"that it is done in the very same method as using a bootable disc or stick"

And then the skewed question Why does MSI warn the users to expect errors and not to give up and keep trying .....trying ... and trying ? Why does Gigabyte caution one should have stable Windows? Why at all this requirement if Windows is not responsible for the flashing? to elicit a reply on the cause and source of any such error/s.

( I do agree that I should have properly worded that sentence by saying Why does MSI warn the users if you get errors do not give up and keep trying .....trying ... and trying ? I am editing it.)

OK, I have had a rub with computers since tha days of Fortran Programming and punched cards and still willing to learn. The technical questions to the learned experts are

1. If, as Decon states, it is neither Windows nor DOS that flashes, what exactly propels the flashing and how exactly is the flashing done (without any OS)?

2. Once you run the flashing utility in Windows, does Windows shut down and withdraw all it loaded into the memory when it booted?

3.Or does Windows shut down only when flashing is completed?

4.If one encounters errors during Windows flashing what can these possibly be? a. a bad file (input alphanuneric ) b. ? c. ? (more if you can enumerate)

Note:

1. I do not dispute that some manufacturers provide the users only Windows Flashing. Majority still provide options with bios embedded utility and/or flashing with DOS. OP's question is which is safer - going the DOS way or the Window's way?

2. I have run through the Technical Reference on Phoenix WinPhlash which Lenovo uses. It is through and through Windows flashing. The GUI is all from Windows. After successful completion of flashing, Windows is restarted.
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15 Jun 2012   #18
alphanumeric

Windows 10 Education 64 bit
 
 

If the BIOS file gets corrupted while being copied to the chip on the motherboard the flash will fail, regardless of what method you used to put it there. That's why they tell you not to reboot if you get an error. You try it again so you get a good file transfer. The OEM's put the warnings on their web sites so they can say "You were warned", when you call tech support. Simple as that. And I'm not going to flash my BIOS and write down everything that happens step by step just because you have OCD. If you don't want to flash your BIOS though Windows, don't. If you want to recommend to the OP not to do it that way that's fine too. I know how it works, what it does, and what the risks are and have no problem doing it that way on my system and I'll leave it at that..
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15 Jun 2012   #19
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

jumanji, I'm going to explain the process, at least on all the many systems I deal with. Take a moment to read through, and if you want to stop deabting it and ask questions, do so and we'll continue.

1. You run the utility in Windows, which loads or downloads the BIOS file. It is loaded into a storage area on the motherboard. This is usually done after a version and compatibility check is done. You are then prompted to reboot.

2. Upon reboot, your motherboard takes over and goes into it's own processes of taking the file and updating the actual BIOS on the board. You see a 'DOS-like" screen, meaning it is plain text on a black background. This is not Windows, not DOS, and not any other OS. It's the board itself. You will see the progress, along with a confirmation message.

3. The system then reboots again, going through the CMOS process as normal, and then on to Windows again and back to normal. Some apps will reappear in Windows to give you a final confirmation and summary.

Once again I'm left with one unanswered question. What part of that makes you think it is more risky? If you had the BIOS on a flash drive and used a board's own internal hot key upon boot...the process of the actual flashing would be identical. If you created a DOS boot disc, well, now you are running another OS, like Windows, that is outside the control of the board, relying on another executable file, to flash the BIOS.

That's the frustrating part about this. You claim to only want answers, but you are skipping right over them. All we're trying to do is explain the process and why there's nothing to fear (nothing extra to fear over any other BIOS flash method).

To address one more of your points, if the Windows utility loaded the new BIOS, flashed the new BIOS, and didn't prompt for a restart...that could be worrisome. However, despite what you contend, that isn't how it's done in reality.

As for your last point...there is no flashing done from within Windows. You ask which is safer, Windows or DOS, yet you fail to see that you aren't even comparing apples to apples. The Windows utilities load the file so the board itself can handle the update. The DOS method still requires an OS and an executable file to handle the process....there very same thing you are so fearful of in Windows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jun 2012   #20
upiter77

Windows7 64bit
 
 

Normally, I update BIOS if I have hardware compatibility issues with larger RAM, new CPUs, larger hard drives or problems with USB devices and I read before on the support websites, what should be fixed exactly with a new update.
I never try to update a BIOS, just to be updated, if I don't need a new fix, why should I do?

In the past I had really problems with BIOS Update using Live Update (version 3 or 4) from MSI:

MSI Global - Live Update 5 Manual

and will never use this MSI Live Update again, to update a BIOS.

And at the company we had a very specific problem with old DELL hardware, we must done a BIOS downgrade, because workststions with a newer BIOS updates won't boot from some 8GB USB sticks. That was very important, we have been working with thin clients booting from a USB stick.
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 Flash BIOS from operating system?




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