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Date:      Fri, 19 Oct 2012 13:57:37 +0200
From:      Polytropon <freebsd@edvax.de>
To:        mexas@bristol.ac.uk
Cc:        freebsd-questions@freebsd.org
Subject:   Re: laptop with no BIOS? or BIOS reflash pain
Message-ID:  <20121019135737.bf3ada15.freebsd@edvax.de>
In-Reply-To: <201210191038.q9JAcmq7073341@mech-cluster241.men.bris.ac.uk>
References:  <201210191038.q9JAcmq7073341@mech-cluster241.men.bris.ac.uk>

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On Fri, 19 Oct 2012 11:38:48 +0100 (BST), Anton Shterenlikht wrote:
> There is an updated BIOS version, but
> so far I failed to get it installed.
> HP only provide MS and freedos executables.
> I tried BartPE - doesn't work.

Maybe you can utilize the approach to create the "typical"
DOS boot diskette and access it via attached USB floppy
disk drive?



> I tried plugging in a MS disk - doesn't work.
> The only think I haven't tried is getting
> a spare disk, installing freedos on it
> and then running the freedos executable
> from USB - what a fucking pain...

The idea with a disk could work, but seems a bit over-
complicated for such a "simple" (yes, haha) task like
updating the BIOS.



> For proper hardware (servers) HP provide
> images which are executed from management
> console, but not for laptops.
> I guess the idea that one might
> use their laptops for anything other than MS
> is so wild, that it never crossed their maid.

That's because it doesn't exist. :-)



> Anyway, I think I've heard there are some laptops
> with no BIOS, is this true?

Per termini technici, yes.

Some systems use EFI (or UEFI) instead of a BIOS. It's
comparable to a much more advanced (than BIOS) micro-OS
that initializes the hardware, connectes to the Internet,
tells the manufacturer what you're doing and keeps limiting
you in what you are allowed to install. :-)



> Or perhaps there are brands where BIOS
> reflash is not such a great pain?

Yes, mainframes with loadable microprogram. :-)



> I remember on Compaq Armada the BIOS was
> stored on disk and Compaq provided a floppy
> image to boot from and reflash BIOS.
> That was easy.

I remember that idea, but having to rely on a working
hard disk in order to have _basic_ (that's what the 'B'
in BIOS means) input and output functionality looks a
bit ridiculous.



> Anything like this exist these days?

For sure, but not very common in home consumer hardware (yet).



> Are there any EFI laptops?

As far as I know, Apple only makes such. Newer netbooks
intended to run MICROS~1 products are also known, both
for i386/amd64 and ARM architecture (with the idea that
on ARM, you cannot run anything else than what the hardware
vendor allows, which is "Windows").



> Any model people would recommend?

IBM Thinkpad. :-)



-- 
Polytropon
Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...



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