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.
Press 1 then enter.
Select five and press enter.
Wait until you get A:> prompt. Then type X: after that eject the live CD and insert the BIOS cd.
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.
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.
This is how the running program looks:
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.