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HP and Compaq Desktop PCs and Workstations - Updating the BIOS During Startup

This document includes the steps for finding, downloading, and updating the BIOS or ROM (Rompaq) outside the Windows operating system.

NOTE: The term "Rompaq" refers to the BIOS for Compaq Presario computers prior to 2002.

Video overview (in English)

To view a video demonstrating the procedure for updating the BIOS, right-click the BIOS video and select Open link in new window/tab .

Before You Begin

The following tools and information are needed to perform the steps in this document:

  • Model number of the computer (located on the nameplate and/or on a sticker attached to the computer)

  • A computer with an Internet connection

    NOTE: If the computer does not have an Internet connection, use another computer with an Internet connection to download the update and save it to either a USB drive or a CD-ROM.
  • A printout of this document

  • Pencil and paper (to write down the current BIOS revision number)

  • A USB drive or a CD-ROM

Step 1: Find the current BIOS revision number

Perform the following to find the current BIOS revision number:

  1. Restart the computer, and then enter the BIOS screen by repeatedly pressing either the F1 or the F10 key at the first screen.

  2. Write down the BIOS revision number from the Main page.

    Figure 1: BIOS revision number

     BIOS Revision number
  3. To save the BIOS settings and exit the BIOS setup screen, press F10 , select Yes , and then press the Enter key.

Step 2: Download the latest BIOS or ROM version

Perform the following to download the lastest BIOS version:

  1. Establish an Internet connection, and then open the HP Support and Drivers Web site (in English) in a Web browser.

  2. Click Drivers & Software .

  3. Enter the product number, and then click Search . Also select the model in a list of similar products, if required.

  4. Select the operating system.

  5. Navigate to the BIOS heading:

    • If the BIOS heading is not listed, HP does not have a BIOS update posted for the computer at this time.

    • If there are several BIOS updates available for different motherboard names, find out what motherboard is installed in the computer. To do this, turn off the power to the computer, remove the side panel, and read the name printed on the motherboard. The name of the motherboard should match or be similar to the name of the download link.

  6. Compare the BIOS version number listed on the HP Web site with the BIOS revision number currently installed on the computer:

    • If the BIOS version number on the HP Web site is less than or equal to the BIOS revision number currently installed on the computer, the BIOS is up-to-date.

    • If the BIOS version number on the HP Web site is greater than the BIOS revision number currently installed on the computer, click Download , and then save the BIOS update. The default file location is C:\swsetup\spxxxxx .

  7. Navigate to the location of the BIOS update, and then double-click the SPxxxxx.exe file (where SPxxxxx.exe is the name of the SoftPAQ file).

  8. Copy the specified file to either the USB drive or the CD-ROM:

    • USB drive : Navigate to the DOS Flash folder, and then copy the .bin file to the USB drive.

    • CD-ROM : Navigate to the BIOS CD folder, and then burn the .iso file to the CD-ROM.

Step 3: Update the BIOS

Perform the following to update the BIOS:

  1. Turn on the computer, and then perform one of the following:

    • Connect the USB drive to the computer.

    • Insert the CD-ROM into the computer.

  2. Restart the computer, and then enter the BIOS screen by repeatedly pressing either the F1 or the F10 key at the first screen.

  3. Use the arrow keys to navigate to File > Flash System ROM .

  4. Select the BIOS update source and file:

    • USB drive : Select the USB drive, and then select the .bin file.

    • CD-ROM : Select the CD-ROM drive, and then select the .iso file.

  5. Select Agree to begin the BIOS update.

  6. When finished, restart the computer.

NOTE: If a 251 or CMOS Checksum error occurs after installing the BIOS update, perform the following steps:
  1. Restart the computer, and then enter the BIOS screen by repeatedly pressing either the F1 or the F10 key at the first screen.

  2. Press the F5 key to load the default BIOS configuration, select YES by using the arrow keys, and then press Enter .

  3. To save the BIOS settings and exit the BIOS setup screen, press F10 , select Yes , and then press the Enter key.

Step 4: Verify the updated BIOS revision number

Perform the following to verify the updated BIOS revision number:

  1. Restart the computer, and then enter the BIOS screen by repeatedly pressing either the F1 or the F10 key at the first screen.

  2. Verify the BIOS revision number installed on the computer matches the BIOS version number from the HP Web site.

  3. To save the BIOS settings and exit the BIOS setup screen, press F10 , select Yes , and then press the Enter key.

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