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Windows 7: Flash BIOS from operating system?

12 Jun 2012   #1

Windows7 64bit
Flash BIOS from operating system?


Today, we can flash some BIOS from an operating system.
Is this not quite dangerous, nutrient for viruses?
When the OS is active, too many processes are active during this critical step and has a good chance something can go awry.
I try to update always from the external usb floppy drive or from an usb stick.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jun 2012   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

You are absolutely right. I always prefer to flash with DOS from a bootable pendrive putting Windows at rest.

There are proponents who will say " I have done it a hundred times from within Windows and absolutely OK " and they will not change their stance till it happens to them.:)

There is always a possibility of an unknown trigger spoiling the broth when one flashes from within Windows. I have known many people bricking their machines.

With DOS from a pendrive you totally eliminate even a remote possibility. ( Of course one has to take the usual precautions to make sure the flashing is not interrupted. I switch off Mains Power , run my PC on a fully-charged UPS - that can run my PC for half-an-hour- thus avoiding any transients that occur when the Main Supply fails all of a sudden. Similarly there can also be spikes/surge when Mains Power is restored.Often because of inductive loads on the service.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jun 2012   #3

Windows 10 Education 64 bit

Doing a BIOS flash is getting a lot easier and safer these days. My ASUS motherboards have an easyflash function built right into the BIOS. No messing with bootable media at all. All I have to do is put the BIOS file on a thumbdrive and point the BIOS to it. They have dual BIOS with flash recovery too, so if something does go wrong, they can recover with the old version on the next boot. Its not nearly as risky as it used to be.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

13 Jun 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

The people who debate this topic and are against flashing "in Windows" show they've never actually done it.

When you flash the BIOS inside of Windows, all that happens is that the system is prepped for the process....then it restarts to handle the booting and flashing itself, outside of Windows, before rebooting again.

It's a moot debate, because the actually process of upgrading the BIOS is done outside of the OS either way. It always amazes me how many people still say it isn't safe, without any actual experience in doing so. It's been a few years since I've had to actually create any kind of bootable media to flash a BIOS...from OEM systems to my home-built ones.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jun 2012   #5

Windows 10 Education 64 bit

I've done from Windows a couple of times, no runs, no hits, no errors.
I'm not against that method per say, I just find its easier to do it using easyflash.
I though it might save the OP from messing around with a live CD if they also had a similar option.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jun 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

When I bought a Zotac Mini PC and wanted to flash the bios, I ran through the Zotac Forum only to find that many - why many almost all - who tried to flash from within Windows bricked their brand new machines and had to return them.

I chose the safe and time-tested "flash with DOS" and I had done it for decades without even a single failure.

Well, whether it is the flashing utility or Windows or the combination that was responsible for the many Winflash failures reported - and again one can debate endlessly on it- the fact remains that many Winflash failures have been reported.

Here is one post from Lenova Forum.
Safer way to flash BIOS? - Lenovo Community

Here is a user who says he will never again flash from within Windows having learnt a lesson. :)
Tip: never flash a BIOS from within Windows! |

Of course this has been debated many times here and elsewhere and the two opinions for and against will continue to exist. It will be for the user to decide which way he want's to go.:) He is always free to do his own research as I have done.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jun 2012   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Or, a person is free to use common sense, and watch the process going on in front of them. The process is done outside of the OS (not in DOS, either), so there is nothing to debate, really. The process is the same...only the environment differs for loading the BIOS file into the mobo's temp storage memory. The actual flashing process is the same.

What you don't mention or take into consideration, is that BIOS-flashing is inherently risky, and that's why it is only recommended when it is needed to solve an issue or update necessary compatibility. The fact that the file is loaded through Windows before the reboot has nothing to do with the stability or rate of success.

If it did, how else would you explain that some OEMs only use Windows-based tools?

Furthermore, the second link you posted is 4 years old, written by someone who doesn't even understand the process he's complaining about. If that's the kind of person you look to for advice, there is little point left in continuing this discussion.

It all boils down to common sense and a basic understanding of the flash process, and here in 2012, there's no reason to avoid it or fear it. A failure to update opinions or lines of thinking over time can lead someone to miss out on some simplified methods of computer maintenance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jun 2012   #8

Windows7 64bit

Create BIOS Update CD:

Update Your BIOS Using Bootable CD

10 common mistakes you should avoid when flashing your BIOS:

10 common mistakes you should avoid when flashing your BIOS | TechRepublic

Three Good Reasons for Flashing Your BIOS:

Pecos SWW<>Three Good Reasons for Flashing Your BIOS
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jun 2012   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

*sighs*Sometimes I think we aren't being paid enough to deal with this. Oh, wait...we aren't being paid.

My former boss always said common sense isn't so common. I guess he was right.

Let's examine your last link. Those are all common sense. You don't flash your BIOS just for the sake of doing it. You do it when there is a specific reason, such as updated compatibility, fixing an issue, or adding stability. That's ALWAYS been the case with updating a BIOS, and has nothing to do with the topic.

The middle link is full of outdated advice. Most motherboard manufacturers don't frown on Windows-flash utilities, because most motherboard manufacturer's have their own freely available. Intel has for years, and so has Gigabyte. If the mobo makers were against them...why would they make and promote them??? Again, common sense.

Furthermore, as I said above, the flashing isn't done inside of Windows. I'm not sure why this fact seems to be ignored. I don't ever recall a tool or utility that flashed the BIOS within Windows. All you have to do is use one, or read through the instructions of one to see that it is done in the very same method as using a bootable disc or stick. Again, common sense.

I'm still unsure why so many people have this fear of these tools, and a fear of updating their ways of thinking to 2012.

Common sense, guys. You don't need to scour the internet for links. Just use common sense. Check out Intel, Gigabyte, Asus, Dell, etc. They all have those utilities and all promote them. Dell doesn't offer another way. HP has them. Don't spend time worrying about what people thought 5 years ago. Worry about what actually is and how things actually are.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jun 2012   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Discarding the “Common Sense” theory propounded here – inasmuch as it does not explain the many instances of flashing failures from within Windows if it were nothing different than flashing from DOS – let me straight away jump to a few Manufacturers’ bins.

The latest BIOS for a DELL Inspiron 1200 is a DOS version. Of course DELL asks the users to run it from within Windows.
Many recent threads in DELL Community Forum on bricked PCs.
DELL says it will replace motherboards if within 6 months of Warranty period. Out of it, DELL will charge.
Many expert users suggest flashing with DOS only and avoid Windows flashing.

2. MSI:
Windows-based flashing - If you REALLY insist on flashing the BIOS under Windows, if you encounter any error during flashing, whatever you do, DON'T restart your PC! Try again until the flash is successful, otherwise your board will not start!”
The above is dated March 2011 and no further updates on it.
Would anyone want to experiment and keep trying eternally till the error vanishes?

3. Gigabyte:
2 : @ Bios:

A Windows-based BIOS live update utility.

@BIOS helps you search for, download, and then update the latest BIOS in Windows operating system.
Make sure your O.S. environment is stable.

Why should anyone take this conditional statement when one can safely jettison Windows and flash with DOS?

Be it Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME,Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7, the fact remains that Windows loads a lot of drivers and processes and possibly some programs too into the memory which can interfere with the flashing process and can spoil the broth.

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.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Flash BIOS from operating system?

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