How do make a USB bootable DOS drive to update a PC BIOS using Linux

About PC BIOS Updates

PC computers have their BIOS’ updated every once in a while. Sometimes a BIOS update can bring new functionality, and at other times it might fix some bugs. If you’re busy isolating tricky problems with a computer, it’s incredibly useful to update the BIOS.

Traditionally and to this day most BIOS updates rely on a DOS disk and some .EXE program that has to be run. The way to load the new BIOS is to create a DOS bootable disk, copy the .EXE program across, boot the PC, and then run the executable. To do this using Linux might not be that obvious but here we explain how to go about it.

Step 1 – Format USB Disk

Linux has built in utilities to format a USB disk. Either right click the disk after insertion, or look for a utility named USB Stick Formatter or similar. Choose FAT32 as the file system.

Step 2 – Download UNetbootin

To install UNetbootin on Ubuntu or Linux Mint, do the following:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gezakovacs/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install unetbootin

Step 3 – Choose FreeDOS and Save to USB Drive

Once you have UNetbootin running, choose FreeDOS from the dropdown menu, as per the image below:

UNetbootin options screenshot

Step 4 – Download BIOS File and Copy to USB Drive

Go to your manufacturer’s website and look for the download file. A typical google search might be something like:

gigabyte ga b75m d3h bios update download

Make sure you end up in the latest BIOS  download section. Download the file and copy to root of the USB drive.

Step 5 – Boot from USB disk and change to drive C:

The key after booting from the drive is to change to drive C:
Here you will find your .EXE file which you can run.


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1 thought on “How do make a USB bootable DOS drive to update a PC BIOS using Linux”

  1. Don’t need the bios upgrade,just a bootable usb with a dos os on it,fdisk and hopefully my acer spin1 will boot off it so u can start an install of windows 10!

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