Dec 31, 2008

Adventures in Flashing BIOS - HP DC7700

My company uses HP DC7700 desktop computers for all of the users. These are pretty solid machines if you ask me. I have never really had any problems with them. Some may disagree with me, but I really like HP desktops. We all have our favorites right?

This is the first time I was left rubbing my head wondering to myself, why the hell did they design something this way. I of course am talking about their method for flashing the BIOS.

I downloaded their BIOS update utility that allows users to flash their BIOS directly from Windows XP. I have used their flashing utilities in the past with no problems, but this time after updating the BIOS and rebooting I got the following error at post:

2218-ME Firmware Version should be updated.

ME BIOS Extension module execution has halted. Update BIOS or Management Engine firmware if problem persists.

WTF? After that error, Windows still boots up. I look online and find that prior to updating the BIOS, you also need to run their Management Engine update utility too. Okay, no problem. Their download comes with that. However, before you can run that, you need to install the Intel chipset driver updates!

Can we say convoluted?

So for those of you out there looking for a solution to the error above, here is the order and links to the downloads you need to update your BIOS:

  1. Install Intel Chipset Support for Microsoft Windows (Don't reboot)
  2. Install Intel Host Embedded Controller Interface (HECI) Driver (Reboot)
  3. Download the BIOS update pack here (DC7700 BIOS 3.04 for Intel vPro)
  4. Extract the pack to c:\drivers\BIOS
  5. Browse to c:\drivers\BIOS\ME Flash and copy the 221_1034.bin file to c:\drivers\BIOS\ME Flash\Local-Win
  6. Open a command prompt and change into the c:\drivers\BIOS\ME Flash\Local-Win directory
  7. Run the following: FWUpdtLcl.exe 221_1034.bin -generic
  8. After you get confirmation that the update is complete, browse to c:\drivers\BIOS\HPQFlash and run HPQFlash.exe
  9. Follow the prompts and reboot. You are done.

Now if you did what I did, and ran the HPQFlash.exe utility first, then all you should have to do is install the Intel Chipset drivers, and the HECI drivers mentioned in steps one and two then reboot, and then do the ME Flash mentioned in steps five through seven.

Do you think they could have made this any more complicated? Have a system that is even more of a pain to update the BIOS on? I want to hear your horror stories in the comments!

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