Tutorial: Create Bootable USB to upgrade your BIOS (Linux)

Let’s say that you need to update your BIOS to fix a specific issue or just because you just want to update it or because you want to install a cool mod… In any case, if your machine requires a MS-DOS bootable device to upgrade your BIOS and you are using a Linux distribution, you will be able to create one in just a few steps (tested on Lubutu 14.04):

1. take an USB stick and plug into your PC

2. by typing dmesg you will be able to see which is the device name of your USB (as it will appear at the end of the output:

ie. [ 6801.937032]  sdb: sdb1 <– this means that our device is called /dev/sdb

3. now make sure you have qemu installed on your system:

sudo apt-get install qemu

4. now I guess you have some ms-dos disks around – but no floppy drive right? This means that you’ll have to download a copy of the ms-dos version you own from the internet in img format (any search engine is your friend here)

5. assuming that the file you’ve downloaded is called “msdos622.img” and it’s saved in a folder called /home/username/dosimage/, we can now build a bootable USB:

sudo qemu-system-i386 -boot a -fda /home/username/dosimage/msdos622.img -hda /dev/sdb

6.  MS-DOS should now boot and probably it will just ask you to set a time and date – you can skip this by pressing ENTER when receiving a prompt to update the time/date

7. now at the DOS prompt type: fdisk

8. if your USB is already partitioned (and there is a good chance that already is) please follow the instructions on the screen to remove existing partitions (THIS WILL DELETE ANY DATA ON THE USB) and create a new Primary partition

9. next step is to format the USB:

format /s c:

10. Now you can make the USB bootable:

fdisk /mbr

Now you can close QEMU and copy from Linux any file you need to update you BIOS and restart the computer to boot from the USB .


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