[ale] OT (kind of):Updating a BIOS

Horkan Smith ale at horkan.net
Thu Nov 29 10:42:14 EST 2018

If you haven't found a more linux-y solution yet, Windows 10 will let you install w/out a product key.  (There's a "I don't have a product key" option to click below the product key prompt.)

If the machine was previously authorized for Windows there's a good chance it'll find the digital key once you've fully installed... but even if it doesn't it'll let you run the BIOS installer.  I've even had Windows find an acceptable digital key running in qemu-kvm sessions on physical hardware that was purchased w/ windows on it.  (No, I wouldn't try running the BIOS update in a VM, but you knew that already.  9-))

You should expect anything that's on that hard drive to go away - be sure to back it up first, or physically swap it.  You *might* get away w/ either a partition re-size or installing windows on a USB drive, but I haven't really tried either one.

Generating a Windows 10 install CD or USB is a bit of a pain, but can be done if you have access to an existing windows install.  If you want to pursue this but don't have a CD or USB, let me know.


On Wed, Nov 28, 2018 at 02:04:15PM -0600, Todor Fassl via Ale wrote:
>I am looking for suggestions for running a BIOS program that must be 
>run in Windows on a laptop currently running debian stretch.
>I was trying to update a friend's Acer Aspire 5315 laptop that is 
>running debian. The problem is that linux cannot control the fan so 
>the system overheats and shuts down after about 10 minutes. I have 
>reason to believe that a BIOS upgrade will fix this problem. However, 
>the BIOS upgrade program I downloaded from the Acer web site has to be 
>run in Windows. I tried freeDos and got the message, "This program 
>cannot be run in DOS mode."
>Anybody have experience dealing with a problem like this? Is there a 
>way to install Windows just long enough to upgrade the BIOS? I don't 
>have a Windows license key thingy whatever it is.
>Ale mailing list
>Ale at ale.org
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Horkan Smith
678-777-3263 cell, ale at horkan.net

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