How to update the BIOS of a HP6510b notebook?
I have no clue. Formerly I had to use a floppy drive, etc. But this is a notebook! How can I do it?
First of all you need to find the latest BIOS downloadable file. For the HP 6510b notebook it's only available in the Widnows XP section found here. The latest one at time of writing seems to be version F.16. If you're running Windows (XP, Vista, 7) then just download the Windows based installer and run it with administrator privileges. It will update your BIOS and ask you to reboot. Then you're done. Enter The BIOS setup screen (F10 at startup) to enter BIOS in order to verify that the update was applied correctly.
Alternatively you can download the FreeDOS Bootable media. Unfortunately HP also packs this update into an executable installer. This installer helps you to create a bootable USB stick which boots FreeDOS and lets you update the BIOS too. CAUTION: The installer does warn you but I repeat it again. The USB-stick creation tool will re-format and therefore ERASE all data on the stick you use! So make sure to use either an empty stick or back up your data. On Linux it is possible to extract the installer (sp50198) using 7-zip. It includes an ISO image which can be burned to a CD-R to create a bootable update media too. Now you can reboot your machine and use F9 at the BIOS screen in order to enter the boot menu. Here you should be able to select your memory stick or CD drive on which you have the bootable stick/CD inserted.
Some newer (not the HP 6510b) laptops use EFI firmware. For these Laptops HP also offers an EFI-image which can be placed on an USB stick and applied using EFI-loader. For this you would need to configure EFI-boot in EFI setup (F10). But that does not apply to your HP 6510b)
Most vendors ship BIOS updates in a form that executes in the operating system and then does the update on the next reboot. If you're running Windows you should be fine. Not sure about Linux, etc.