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How to update BIOS without A: floppy drive (can i boot USB or CDRom)?

Hi. I have HP Pavilion ze4200 laptop running Windows XP Home edition.
I want to update BIOS on this machine. HP gives an exe file that will create a bootable floppy, but my machine does not have a floppy drive (A). I only have CD drive and USB 2 ports.
My question: Can i update my BIOS from USB stick or from CD Rom? What are my options!?
Thanks for all the help
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Gvigorus
Asked:
Gvigorus
3 Solutions
 
MarkCommented:
Is there a specific reason to update. Updating the BIOS is not something you do if your laptop is working properly. There are dangers in doing this improperly, to the point where the BIOS can be destroyed and you end up with a non booting laptop.
Thats your warning.
There is a winflash version to upgrade your bios through XP. This is for version KA.M1.60. Which version is on your laptop now.
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareDescription.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&prodTypeId=321957&prodSeriesId=373069&prodNameId=353950&swEnvOID=1098&swLang=8&mode=2&taskId=135&swItem=ob-38119-1
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GvigorusAuthor Commented:
The reason i want to update my BIOS it because it's not the latest version. Also, because i hope updating BIOS will help with my problem: my cooling fan races, sounds like a little electric drill, when you press the button on the drill it races up, then when you let the button off, the drill slows. that's how my cooling fan sounds. I don't know why it races and hoping that BIOS update will help.
I got this link for BIOS update from HP techsupport:
ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp30501-31000/sp30514.exe
So, this exe file is supposed to update my BIOS without my having to boot into any media to update it. What do you think, should i update or not?! Thanks
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MarkCommented:
I wouldn't do the BIOS until you ensure its not a hardware problem with the fan itself.
A racing fan could be anything from a corrupted software control to a gummed up cooling system. Can you access CPU temps for your laptop?
Here are some programs that may show you running temps.
Mobile meter http://www.cs.rit.edu/~rjy2985/mobmeter.html
speedfan http://www.almico.com/speedfan433.exe
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PUNKYCommented:
Configure the boot order:

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c00364979&cc=us&lc=en&dlc=en&product=353949&dlc=en&lang=en

Copy bios file into USB stick, restart system.
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GvigorusAuthor Commented:
Why shouldn't I update BIOS is a newer version of my BIOS is available? Wouldn't newer BIOS be better then the older version that I have on my machine?
I'll try the CPU temperature program and will let you know what it is. Thanks for the link!
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ridCommented:
BIOSs don't go old or bad over time. Later versions are often issued to help with specific problems; if you don't experience the particular problem, don't update!

As said, the update process is critical. If it goes wrong, you have a dead laptop and you need to have it restored by professionals.

If your fan problem has been with you all the time, from the beginning when the laptop was new, it could just possibly have been rectified with a new BIOS version. If the problem has occured during the life of the laptop, it's NOT a BIOS issue and you're advised to look at other causes for the problem. The sound you hear may indicate bad bearings in the fan, as an example.

New BIOS versions come with release notes; if the fan problem is a BIOS problem and it has been addressed in a new BIOS version, you should be able to find some info on that.

/RID
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MarkCommented:
As per what rid has mentioned on release notes.
From the HP BIOS link I posted under the "fixes" tab particular to the new BIOS
" Fixes issue where the HP Battery Optimizer does not work on some batteries."

That doesn't look to be a fix for your fan issue.
Have you had any luck with the temp monitoring software?
You can try blowing some computer canned air through the cooling vents in case you have some dust accumulated in there.
My experience with a heavy breathing fan like yours,(slowing and racing) is that the fan cannot attain its top speed and is cutting out, but not completely. It then starts to speed up again but once again it cuts out at a certain higher speed. This is indicative of a faulty fan or thermal sensor.

Here is a page from HP which shows you how to dismantle your laptop if you need to go that far.
http://h20181.www2.hp.com/plmcontent/NACSC/SML/results.htm?SID=373069&MEID=68236B3B-A8A8-4428-BD6E-895167A8D32D


            
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GvigorusAuthor Commented:
Hi. Thanks for the info. I won't be flashing BIOS then, since there's no benefit in newer version.
I tried the Temp program and found out that the fan starts running audibly, though not too fast, at around 42C. It races around 70C. I don't know if it gets hotter than that. Is this a healthy temperature? I wonder what the max temperature should be...
Anyways, here's an image of the temp program running. I just finished viewing a few youtube videos, so the CPU was running harder, thus temperature was higher.
http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa115/gvigorus/temp.jpg
Thanks again.
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MarkCommented:
Use this software,CPUz, to find what model of CPU and its speed, is in the laptop and we can cross reference the proper temps you should be running at.
http://www.cpuid.com/download/cpu-z-141.zip
unzip it to a file and click on the CPUz icon. The first tab is for the CPU info.
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GvigorusAuthor Commented:
Hi. Regarding BIOS update, from what i've been advised here, I'm going to update it. However, we touched on another issue here, which was the racing CPU cooling fan. I'd like to find out how to fix that, but I think I should ask that as a separate question no?
Thanks.
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MarkCommented:
Well the up and down speed of the fan as explained earlier can be due to dirty heatsink and fan, bad bearings on fan, failing fan motor, or a software fan control issue. I would put money on the failing motor.
If the fan begins to race when the laptop starts to heat up, then the fan is suspect. It can't attain its maximum speed and shuts down then picks up again at a lower RPM hence the racing sound.
If you are ging to replace the fan, here is the video help section for your laptop model from HP. The links on the left will open the video pertaining to replacing components.
http://h20181.www2.hp.com/plmcontent/NACSC/SML/results.htm?SID=373069&MEID=68236B3B-A8A8-4428-BD6E-895167A8D32D
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Computer101Commented:
Forced accept.

Computer101
EE Admin
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