Recently my bios vendor has updated some custom features for my OEM motherboard

i have started updating in the sites. with a bootable USB device - AFUDOS

OS : Debian 6

Since , I have sites located in different areas. what is the feasibility of performing BIOS update from remote location from LINUX OS

Was just reading some alternatives:


migrated from stackoverflow.com Feb 3 '14 at 22:14

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To update the BIOS, you need to use the AMI Update Utility (AFUDOS or AFUWIN). These utilities are for DOS and Windows. You have to boot into one of these OSes somehow ("real" DOS, not emulated). Some ways you can get to DOS:

  • You could create a DOS partition on the HDDs of the target systems, boot to it, run AFUDOS, and reboot.

  • You could setup something with PXE to download a DOS floppy image and run AFUDOS from there.

Both of these may require changing your Grub or BIOS boot order, which may require a physical visit to the PCs. (At that point you might as well just use a USB key.)

Some other options for remote management (if you have them setup):

  • If these are server motherboards (e.g. Supermicro), you might be able to use the remote management port to get into the system.

  • If these systems are Intel-based, you might be able to use Intel AMT to get into the systems.

If you are really feeling bold, you can try using flashrom under Linux to flash the BIOS. Note that by using an unsupported utility you increase the risk of bricking your motherboard.

  • Very true..FLASHROM worked .But,Now worried about bricking possibilities. – Ragav Jan 30 '14 at 6:57

Prefered methods would be to use some out of band management possibilities for this. For example Intel AMT or DRAC(this kind goes by many names, e.g kvm, lom,ilo)

If you dont have any out of band management possibilities, then the linux flashrom utility might be the easiest option, but as mentioned by myron-semack flashrom is certanly a risk since its unsupported by your bios provider. Also, upgrading with flashrom might not even be possible. For example if your cpu has Intel ME running(More info here). In this case you need to use the bios maintainers utility, this is often only available under dos.

If your only fallback is to use the bios maintainers dos-tool then this method might be an option:

Create a (free)dos image with an autoexec.bat containing a call to the AMI update utility(there are no need to create a partition on the HDD)

I see two ways to booting into the dos image without physical access:

  1. Pxe boot into the image. If pxe is not enabled and you dont have physical access this might not be possible though.

  2. Change the bootloader to have a bootentry for the (free)dos image. See example of grub configuration for this here. After modifying grub.cfg with the new entry, execute "grub-reboot X" where X is the grub id of your freedos bootoption.

I've recently upgraded a couple of machines by booting into dos with method "2" , without having physical access. I used the grub-memdisk packages to boot an image file under "/boot/images/" as described in the link provided above.
I highly encourage to try this locally before running this on a remote machine though, this is a very risky maneuver! (I certanly did)

Dont forget to add "reboot" after the call to the flash-upgrade utility in autoexec.bat. Also make sure the grub-default is your linux-partition offcourse.

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