Updating the BIOS
This document includes the steps for finding, downloading, and installing updates to the BIOS (Basic Input Output System) or ROM (ROMPaq) for your HP or Compaq computer.
NOTE:The term "ROMPaq" refers to the BIOS for Compaq Presario computers prior to 2002.
Updating the BIOS, also known as "flashing the BIOS," replaces the BIOS firmware. When completed successfully, a BIOS update can fix or enhance aspects of a computer's performance, or provide support for newly installed hardware. However, if an incorrect update is installed or if the update process is interrupted, the motherboard can be permanently damaged, leaving the computer unable to boot. It is recommended to update your BIOS only if one or more of the following conditions apply:
- The update fixes a problem with your computer.
- The update enhances your computer's performance in a desired way.
- You are planning to change the operating system, processor, or other feature(s), and the current BIOS version will not support the new configuration.
- An HP Support Agent, or an HP support document, recommends that you download and install a specific updated BIOS.
Use the steps below to update the BIOS in your computer.
CAUTION:Only install BIOS updates from HP. Do not install BIOS updates from the motherboard manufacturer's Web site. Doing so might prevent the computer from accepting an HP System Recovery.
View a video on updating the BIOS
Before you begin
The following tools and information are needed to perform the steps in this document:
- Model number (located on the nameplate and/or on a sticker attached to the computer)
- An Internet connectionIf your computer does not have an Internet connection, use another computer with an Internet connection to download the update and save it to removable media (for example, a CD or thumb drive).
- A printout of this document
- Pencil and paper
Step 1: Find the current BIOS version number
To find the current BIOS version, follow the steps below:
- Windows 8 : From the Start screen, type msinfo32 . Click msinfo32 from the list of results.Windows 7 and Vista : Click Start , enter msinfo32 in the search field, and then select msinfo32.exe from the list of results.Windows XP : Click Start , select Run , enter msinfo32.exe in the Open field, and then click OK .
- In the System Information window under the System Summary category, look for the BIOS Version/Date entry. This is your current BIOS version.
- Write down the BIOS version and continue to the next section.
Step 2: Find BIOS updates
To find and download the BIOS updates for your computer, find the specific product number on your computer and do the following steps.
- Go to the HP Software & Driver Downloads page.
- If the Software & Driver Downloads page opens, asking for your operating system, go to step 3 .If the HP Customer Care page opens, asking for your product number, follow these steps:Enter the product number, and then click Next .If necessary, select your product from the list.On the page for your computer model, click Software & Driver Downloads .Proceed to step 3.
- Select the operating system (such as Microsoft Windows 7 (64-bit)) that is being used on your computer, and then click Next .NOTE:If the operating system that you need is not listed, updates for your computer are not available from HP at this time.The Web page lists the available updates for your computer.
- If a BIOS category is listed, click the plus sign (+ ) to expand the category.
- If a BIOS category is not listed on the Web page, the original BIOS version already on the computer might be the latest available.
- If there are several BIOS updates available for different motherboard names, you need to find out which motherboard is installed in your computer. To do this, turn off the power to the computer, remove the side panel, and read the name printed on the motherboard. The name of the motherboard should match or be similar to the name of the download link.
- If the version of the listed BIOS is the same or older than the current BIOS on the computer, you may exit this procedure. The computer does not require a BIOS update at this time.
- Click the name of the BIOS update to go to the Download options and information page.It is important to read the Description and Compatibility sections to verify that the BIOS update applies to your computer. Installing a BIOS that is not designed for your computer could cause the computer to stop working.
Continue to the next section to download and install the BIOS update.
Step 3: Download and install the BIOS update
To download and install the BIOS update for your computer, read and follow instructions on the download page carefully and complete the following steps:
- Before installing the BIOS update, close any open programs and temporarily disable your antivirus software. Remember to re-enable the antivirus software after the installation is complete.
- Click the Download link next to the BIOS update file for your computer.
- When prompted, choose Run or Save depending on how you would like to install the update.The Run button allows you to download and install the BIOS update from this screen.If you want to install the BIOS update later, or if you are downloading the update to install on a different computer, choose Save to download and save the file to your computer or a removable storage device.
- If you chose to Save the BIOS update file, navigate to where the file is stored, and double-click the file to begin installation. If you chose to Run the update, continue to step 5.
- Agree to the terms and then follow the on-screen instructions to install the BIOS update.Do not interrupt the update process.
- Allow the installation to complete all of its actions, and then restart the computer when prompted.
The latest version of the BIOS is now installed on the computer.
If a 251 or CMOS Checksum error occurs after installing the BIOS update, use the steps in the HP support document Error: CMOS Checksum Bad to resolve the error.