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Compaq Presario CQ56-150SR Notebook PC support

Updating the BIOS

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This document includes the steps for finding, downloading, and installing updates to BIOS (Basic Input Output System) or ROM (ROMPaq) for your HP or Compaq notebook 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, processsor, 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.

Before you begin updating the BIOS

The following tools and information are needed to perform the steps in this document and check for BIOS updates:
  • Product number
    NOTE:The product number is usually located on a sticker on the bottom of the computer. For help finding the product number, refer to the HP support document, How Do I Find My Model Number or Product Number? .
  • An Internet connection
    If 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: Finding the current BIOS version number

To find the current BIOS version for your computer, follow the steps below:
  1. 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.
  2. In the System Information window under the System Summary category, look for the BIOS Version/Date entry. This is your current BIOS version.
    Figure 1: System Information BIOS Version/Date
    BIOS Version/Date entry
  3. Write down the BIOS version and continue with the next section to find the processor type.

Step 2: Finding the processor type

Some computer models have more than one kind of processor over the course of their manufacturing lifetime. A different processor might require a different BIOS. Verify which processor is installed in your computer and compare it to the documentation in your BIOS download before installing the BIOS update.
To determine what your processor type is, follow the steps below.
  1. 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.
  2. In the System Information window under the System Summary category, look for the Processor entry. This is the type of processor in your computer.
    Figure 2: System Information Processor entry
    Processor entry
  3. Write down the processor information. Take the time to ensure that the BIOS you are about to install is one meant to be used with your specific processor. Continue with finding and downloading BIOS updates.

Step 3: Finding and downloading BIOS updates

To find and download the BIOS updates for your computer, find the specific product number on your computer and follow these steps:
  1. If the Software & Driver Downloads page opens, asking for your operating system, proceed to Step 3 below.
    If the HP Customer Care page opens, asking for your product number, follow these steps:
    Figure 3: Enter your product number
    Enter your product number
    Enter the product number, and then click Go.
    For help finding the product number, refer to the HP support document, How Do I Find My Model Number or Product Number?
    If necessary, select your product from the list.
    On the page for your computer model, click Drivers.
    Figure 4: Support links
    Software & Driver Downloads page with Drivers selected
    Proceed to step 3.
  2. 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.
    Figure 5: Select your operating system
    Drivers download page with operating system menu
    The Web page lists the available updates for your computer.
  3. If a BIOS category is listed, select BIOS.
    • 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 the update is newer than your current BIOS version, choose the correct download for your processor and follow the on-screen instructions.
    • 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.
      Figure 6: BIOS category link
      BIOS category link selected
  4. 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 the processor or operating system in your computer could cause the computer to stop working.
    Figure 7: BIOS information and Download link
    BIOS information and Download link
  5. Click Download, and when prompted, click Save to save the file on your desktop. Do not select the option to Run a BIOS update over the network.
    Figure 8: Save the BIOS file
    Save the BIOS file to the computer
The latest version of the BIOS for the computer is now saved to the computer. Continue to the next section to install the BIOS update.

Step 4: Installing the BIOS update

Once you have downloaded and saved the latest version of the BIOS to your computer, you will need to install it. It will take a few minutes to install the BIOS update. It is important to remain patient - do not interrupt the process, and allow the updates to install properly.
To install the BIOS update, be sure that you are running on AC, not battery, power, and follow the steps below.
  1. Connect the AC power supply to the computer.
  2. 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.
  3. Locate the BIOS file (sample name: sp12345.exe) that you downloaded to a convenient location on your computer.
  4. Double-click the file to start the installation and follow the on-screen instructions.
  5. 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.
Compaq Presario CQ56-150SR Notebook PC

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