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Windows 7: Flashing BIOS on Acer Extensa from windows 7 64 bit


30 Nov 2009   #1

Ubuntu, Windows 7
 
 
Flashing BIOS on Acer Extensa from windows 7 64 bit

Hello all,

This is a pretty specific question, so I'll be grateful for any info I can get!

I have an Acer Extensa 5620 laptop, which came with an Intel Core 2 Duo Merom T5250 processor (1.5GHz).

I'm upgrading the CPU to a Core 2 Duo Penryn T8300 (2.4GHz).

Did a bit of research beforehand to determine that my mothorboard supports it, and it does, but only if I upgrade my BIOS (PhoenixBIOS) from version 1.16 to 1.23 or later.

So I downloaded the most recent version from Acer's website (Acer Europe - Service & Support, Drivers & Utilities, Downloads, Notebook, Extensa 5620), and got a .zip file containing the following files:


ACERACDC.EXE
CLB-135.bat
CLB-135.ROM
CLB-135.WPH
HFB135US.bld
phlash16.exe
Winflash32, which is a folder, containing:
ABVXD.VXD
CLB-135.EXE
flash.sys
HEADER
Wset.txt

It seems there are several options in this download for flashing ones BIOS. The simplest one, from a bit of googling seems to be to run CLB-135.EXE as administrator from within windows. Before I do this though, I want to know if I've got everything right, since a failed flashing could brick my laptop.

One thing that sets off alarm bells is that doing it this way uses the winflash32 utility. Although my laptop came with 32 bit Vista, I'm currently using 64 bit Windows 7.

My question is: will this work? Or will I need to track down winflash64? Or, is this a terrible way to flash my BIOS and should I do something else completely?

Cheers,
-Chris

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

30 Nov 2009   #2

7600.20510 x86
 
 

You really should update the bios from a dos boot utility and the applicable software that can run in that. Put all the files not in the Winflash folder on a dos floppy disk. Then boot to it. Run the phlash16.exe in dos.

If you want to try in Windows, it should be fine. 32 bit software works well on 64 bit OS. Just close everything not needed for Windows to run first when going to do it. Use the task manager to forcibly close things if needed. Also, close antivirus and firewalls too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2009   #3

Ubuntu, Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by torrentg View Post
You really should update the bios from a dos boot utility and the applicable software that can run in that. Put all the files not in the Winflash folder on a dos floppy disk. Then boot to it. Run the phlash16.exe in dos.

If you want to try in Windows, it should be fine. 32 bit software works well on 64 bit OS. Just close everything not needed for Windows to run first when going to do it. Use the task manager to forcibly close things if needed. Also, close antivirus and firewalls too.
Thanks for your reply. I don't have a floppy drive and if I did, the files would be too large for one. I imagine a USB or CD should work also (correct me if I'm wrong), so I'll try that.

I did think 32 bit programs ran fine on 64 bit OSs but its always good to be second guessing oneself when doing something potentially catastrophic!

I appreciate the advice!

-Chris
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


30 Nov 2009   #4

7600.20510 x86
 
 

If you can make a dos boot cd or usb key, then yes it will work by booting to that.

Or as I said, the Windows update utility should be alright. Old skool users generally don't like to do it like that, but should be fine as long as you follow my previous post.

You're welcome.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Dec 2009   #5

Ubuntu, Windows 7
 
 

Ok, reporting back for anyone else who's trying to do this. Firstly, winflash32 did not work in 64 bit windows 7. When I ran CLB-135.EXE, it gave an error saying it couldn't find flash.sys, although that file is clearly there.

For comparison, I booted up windows XP 32 bit in VirtualBox and ran CLB-135.EXE there. It got further, instead throwing an error about the BIOS being the wrong type (which is of course expected since it sees a virtual, unmodifiable BIOS). So that perhaps indicates that the bit-count of the OS matters, though it could still be something else.

Making a bootable DOS CD wasn't trivial either. A version of DOS without memory drivers is required or else it throws errors about HIMEM. For a floppy image of one such version of DOS, go to bootdisk.com and look for the image file (the .zip download, not the .exe) for bios flashing.

Then unzip and mount the floppy image (DRDFLASH.IMG) using your favourite image mounting tool, and copy phlash16 to the virtual floppy drive (you may need to enable writing in your mounting utility to do this). Also copy CLB-135.WPH (or whatever version you may be upgrading to), except rename it to BIOS.WPH. Now you have a floppy image for flashing your BIOS.

To convert to a bootable CD, there are many ISO creating utilities available. I used ISO master in Ubuntu, but it works as a 15 day trial in Windows too. Basically, you'll need to add all the files (including hidden files!) that are now on the floppy image to a new ISO image.

Then you'll need to set the ISO to be bootable. Your ISO creator should have an option to write the boot sector, do that and select the floppy image as the image to be written to the boot sector.

Then burn to CD, boot from the CD and type phlash16 at the prompt and hit enter. BIOS flashing then begins.

I tested many failed CD images by booting them in VirtualBox before burning them to disc. This will save you many CDs!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Dec 2009   #6

7600.20510 x86
 
 

Awesome. Good job!

Now the million dollar question is:

Does the pc now allow Core 2 Duo Penryn T8300 to work well and it recognizes it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2011   #7

 
 

Hey im trying to do the exact same thing right now.

Did you need to copy the CLB-135.ROM and the HFB135US.bld to the bootable cd aswell ? if so did you need to rename them to bios, like how you renamed the CLB-135.wph to bios.WPH

cheers
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Flashing BIOS on Acer Extensa from windows 7 64 bit




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