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Updating Firmware Through Bootable USB Key

A lot of techs out there do not know how to create a bootable USB key to run firmware updates. That’s ok, it’s not often that you need to do this these days. Sometimes updates are just not working on the OS level and it’s time to try another method.

Prerequisites for this task:
-USB Key
-Program to make it bootable
-Firmware .exe file

Doing a Google search for software that create a DOS bootable USB key will show you hundreds of programs that will get the task done. The problem is – which one should you use that won’t load your system with tones of shovelware!

I personally use a program called Rufus and it can be found here:

This software will create a working bootable key VERY quickly.

Steps for setting up your USB key

-Plug in your USB Key to the desktop
-Download the Rufus software then launch it
-Select your USB from the Device menu
-Choose “MBR partition scheme for BIOS or UEFI computers
-Select FAT32 from the File System items
-Leave the cluster size at the default setting
-Name your volume

Format Options

-Run a Quick Format
-Create bootable disk using FreeDOS
-Create extended label and icon files

Then click Start

This will format your key to FAT32 file system and install FreeDOS.

-Download the .exe file for the firmware and download it to the computer first

Do NOT save the file directly to the USB drive, this can cause issues and it will NOT work.

-Now copy and paste the .exe to the flash drive

Awesome, our bootable key is now ready!

-Plug the key into the server and boot to it using the boot menu during POST

-Once FreeDOS loads you can now issue commands to run the .exe file

-I like to use the command dir to make sure I am in the correct directory with the firmware

-Once you see your files, type: <filename>.exe and press Enter

This will launch the .exe and install the udpate

Once the firmware finishes installing, reboot and verify the firmware is updated.

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