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I just got off the phone with an ACER support technician and he says I should make sure I have the latest BIOS driver (the installation of which could solve my overheating problems...) He helped me find the driver and I have it downloaded as a .zip file.

My question is, how do I install it? And another question would be: How do I make sure it will work with Ubuntu 9.10 and not cause any troubles? The technician I spoke says that taking about anything other than Windows is out of his scope..

edit: Full computer name: Acer Aspire 5536-5519 Model number: MS2265

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Aug 1 '10 at 19:26

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You might try asking this on superuser.com –  nnyby Aug 1 '10 at 18:03
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!programming_related ?? Response.Redirect("http://superuser.com"); –  Chase Florell Aug 1 '10 at 18:12
    
Doesn't look programming related to me. –  tdammers Aug 1 '10 at 19:00
    
Right, thanks for migrating guys –  Shawn Aug 4 '10 at 15:36
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For the record, there is no such thing as a "BIOS driver". It's just firmware. –  CarlF Oct 11 '10 at 19:28
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3 Answers

You can not install them under Linux. There IS a utility which lets you do it with a given type of BIOS, but I wouldn't trust it. The best way is to download a bootable disc ISO (usually you can get this from the ACER website). Burn it, boot it, that's it.

If you tell us/me the entire model number, name of your laptop, we/I can check if there is an ISO avaliable or not.

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Wow, thank you very much! The complete name of the computer is Acer Aspire 5536-5519 Model number: MS2265 –  Shawn Aug 1 '10 at 20:22
    
@Shawn - Checked it. You can't do what I wrote. Only a bootable floppy is avaliable (floppy for a machine without floppy ..rite? Irony? Anyone?). You can download a live Windows disc which would boot into a totally working system and update it from there. I can't guarantee it'll work, it's totally legal, but the easiest if you dont have a Windows installed. –  Shiki Aug 1 '10 at 20:55
    
What if I have Windows 7 in a virtual machine? I could modify the actual BIOS through a virtual machine could I? –  Shawn Aug 1 '10 at 21:35
    
@Shawn: BIOS update tool requires direct access to real BIOS chip, not emulated in a VM, so no. –  whitequark Aug 1 '10 at 22:24
    
@Shawn - Check Andrejako's answer. Basically its the same livecd thingie what I said but with FreeDOS. It should work. Put the zip file content to the ISO and that's it. HOWEVER: The application might be a total win32 bios updater which I just saw on an ACER machine. That means you can ONLY run it on a native Windows. Live disc or real OS, both works. –  Shiki Aug 2 '10 at 7:48
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Using a WinPE cd will often work if you have the installer on USB or something. Boot in to BartPE, VistaPE, or a Windows Vista or 7 install dvd and access the CLI using Shift+F10 and run the update. This doesn't always work but it works most of the time.

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Chinese to me. Could you put that in simpler terms? Terms I don't understand are: WinPE cd, BartPE, VistaPE and CLI. –  Shawn Aug 3 '10 at 16:45
    
Reading on BartPE: "64-Bit - Bart's builder does not support Windows 64-bit editions". I have a AMD Athlon 64X2 processor. Will this be a problem or can I still install a 32bit version of window on a 64bit machine? –  Shawn Aug 3 '10 at 17:04
    
Do you know where I could download a live windows CD? I've tried building one myself but I only have 64-bit versions of Windows so I can't do anything with PEBuilder... –  Shawn Aug 20 '10 at 17:12
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How about a DOS live CD? Once I used FreeDOS in a situation similar to this. I booted the live CD and after that I used a CD on which I burned DOS version of BIOS utilities. This was on Acer Aspire 7720.

You should burn the contents of the zip file and in DOS run JV50.bat It should flash the BIOS.

EDIT Here are step by step instructions how to flash BIOS. I'll add CD-RW erasing and burning instructions later today when I have ubuntu 9.10 available.

FIRST READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS COMPLETELY SEVERAL TIMES BEFORE STARTING THE PROCEDURE!
Sorry for screaming, but otherwise bad stuff can happen.
This was made in a virtual machine, so don't pay attention to any strange menus on the top of the screen!

First download the big "fdfullcd.iso". Here's a link.

Next burn it to a CD. After that download the BIOS files. The ones used in example I got from here. Just use menus on the site to select your laptop and download BIOS version 1.11.

Unzip the file somewhere. Open the BIOS_ACER_1.11_Windows_AS5236 AS5536 AS5536G directory and copy its contents to another CD. After that boot FreeDOS as instructed in images.

Image 1

Press 1 then enter.

Select five and press enter.

Image 2

Wait until you get A:> prompt. Then type X: after that eject the live CD and insert the BIOS cd.

Image 3

X is the letter of your CD-ROM drive. So now that you have BIOS CD in, type DIR. It will display contents of CD. I accidentally made wrong ISO so I have one directory layer more than you will. When typing commands, remember that Tab button can be used to automatically complete long file or directory names. If there are several options, it will complete up to a point where the difference in names appears. After that press one letter to select one of the options and press Tab again. Repeat until you get whole file name.

Image 4

Image 5

Now this part is kind of important. Some filenames are incorrect, so flash utility will not automatically detect you BIOS image. Instead, you'll have to insert name by hand. Type ph and press Tab then space then jv and pressTab then Shift + - and press Tab then w and press Tab. The last command in the picture is what you should get. After that press enter. It should flash your BIOS.

Image 6

This is how the running program looks:

Image 7

I know this may be boring, but here are some warnings: Make sure your battery is full before you start BIOS flash. Make sure that power supply is connected to your computer while you are flashing BIOS. If computer loses power while phlash16 is running, you'll have problems restoring BIOS! Fortunately, it's a bit safer with laptops because of the battery!

At the end your computer may shutdown or restart. That's normal. After that it may happen that any custom settings in BIOS are lost, so before flashing, make sure you write them down.

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On the FreeDos website, the first thing I read was : "You are downloading an entire operating system, and in most cases, you are then going to install the operating system on your computer. If you already have another operating system on your computer, it may be overwritten during the installation process. If this is not what you intend, stop now." I don't want to lose everything I have, so what do I do? Is there a way to use this FreeDos to install the bios driver without having to install DOS? –  Shawn Aug 3 '10 at 16:43
    
@Shawn Well, don't install it! When you start the Live CD you'll get menus and one of the options will be to install it. One of the other options will be ti run it from live cd. Don't worry though, there is no way you will be able to accidentally install FreeDOS. Also one thing I noticed: It's not bios driver. It's BIOS or Basic Input/Output System, there's no driver in its name. There also a high chance that you are in fact using Unified Extensible Firmware Interface, but from your point of view there's no difference between them. –  AndrejaKo Aug 3 '10 at 20:45
    
@Shawn Also if you want to be sure that I will read the comment, please place @ immediately followed by my username somewhere in body of the comment. This way I'll get notified when you post it. Also if you can't figure out your way in FreeDOS, say it and I'll write a step by step guide what to do. –  AndrejaKo Aug 3 '10 at 20:48
    
@AndrejaKo Well, I'm just failing miserably at everything here, so since you propose it, I would take that step by step guide.. I have a CD-RW with a live Ubuntu on it. I'll need to clear that disc before I can use it but I can't make it work.. (tried using wodim..). Any chance you could help me with that too? –  Shawn Aug 4 '10 at 21:05
    
@Shawn Just tell me which OS you are using now and I'll try to find info about erasing the CD-RW. I'll edit in info about step by step once it's done. I don't promise anything but there's good chance it'll be done by this time tomorrow. –  AndrejaKo Aug 4 '10 at 21:09
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