Updating the Bios on your Zotac running a Linux
Having just bought a Zotac EI730 to be my home media center and installing KodiBuntu (Linux + Kodi media center software) on it I wanted to see if I could update the bios as there was a later version available on the Zotac site
From Zotac you can easily check and download the latest bios version. Sadly the bios on Zotac doesn’t allow an update by itself, (telling the bios to update itself from a certain file, while in bios), and if you are like me you are only running Linux and like me know next to nothing about linux then updating the bios via Linux OS is just plain impossible.
So I ran a couple of Google checks and found next to nothing on how to update, and many people asking this question, ‘Not running Windows, how do I update my bios. ???????
Funny enough looking at the PDF that is supplied with bios download from Zotac tells you how to get around this problem
It’s as clear as mud and is slightly wrong, but after a second attempt sussed it and updated my bios in less than five minutes.
So I thought I’d try to explain making hopefully things more clear, so here’s how
Firstly you need to create a DOS (my that’s old) bootable USB , you can do this from here http://download.cnet.com/HP-USB-Disk-Storage-Format-Tool/3000-2094_4-10974082.html I already had this in my cupboard.
Here another version http://www.howtogeek.com/136987/how-to-create-a-bootable-dos-usb-drive/ this one is really easy to use.
Once this Boot USB is done, download the correct bios file from Zotac for your PC and just unzip and drop all the files onto the USB, my file contained (at the time of writing)
Reading the PDF from Zotac (the last page) firstly it states ‘Boot up from MS-DOS without autoexec.bat and config.sys’ but there are no files named like this. So except the PDF file which I knew that I didn’t need I just dropped all the other onto the USB, (only two of all these names will be needed to be typed into the following DOS screen when you boot up later)
Once all files are copied onto the USB just boot the Zotac with USB plugged in, keep on pressing on the F11 at boot (this could be different depending on the model) you should then have a screen with a choice of boot options, your HD, USB etc so just choose the USB using you keyboard.
Attention the second time I tried updating my Bios, buggered if I could get it to boot using F11, so hit the ESC button and boot in the Bios setup, change the boot sequence so that it boots in priority from the USB, do a F10 to save this and it will now reboot using the USB, obviously later change the sequence back your hard disk.
All being well after the boot you should tnow have a black screen with some white writing similar to the below PDF and screen shot
After the C:\> you will now need to type the following, please use my screen shot as the example and not the Zotac PDF as it’s not quite right
1 : C:\>afu303.exe (if your yours is not quite the same you type exactly the same name as what you copied onto the USB, probably only the number will change) don’t hit Enter yet.
2 : C:\>afu303.exe B2250723.bin (again exactly the same as the name of the file copied on your USB, again the number can change depending on the version) don’t hit Enter yet.
3: C:\>afu303.exe B2250723.bin /p /n /b /r (note there is a space after each /). Now if your are sure that you have typed that two file names correctly now hit ENTER (and pray …..) (I always pray when updating a bios, because if it goes wrong, power cut for instance you are in the shit …)
You can see in my screen shot how I typed all in, there is a space between the file names and before each slash and you should have the ‘done’ at the end of each line and an empty C:\ you can now turn of the Zotac, unplug your USB and restart.
When you reboot, if you boot into the bios (delete or supp button) you should see that your bios has changed, mine was B225P011 and it went to B225P012.
To make things difficult Zotac don’t use the same names in the bios and on their site. Mine on the site was B2250723.bin and on their bios its B22P012 , making it hard to really know if the bios installed and on their site is the same or newer, Why make things difficult ……
Notice that on the Zotac PDF they explain one way and show you another, most confusing
Hope this all helps. Also living in France for so long I forget my English so forgive any phrases / words that aren’t quite right, so please do or hesitate to leave reply or ask a question.
PS : on the Zotac PDF it suggests that you backup your old rom first, although I didn’t bother doing this, it could be wise.