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I have a HP Pavilion dv5224ea laptop on which I have Windows 7 installed. I recently decided to go to the drivers page at HP.co.za and saw that under Windows Vista Drivers (There are no Windows 7 drivers as HP does not support Windows 7 on my machine) that there was a BIOS update.

Now, do I need bother to update the BIOS? Is there any way to backup/restore the BIOS if the update fails? The one thing is that the driver page says that it only compatable with Windows XP & Windows Vista, does this matter?

EDIT: What will I gain from upgrading? Could I, for instance, get hardware virtualisation or TPM (Trusted Platform Module)?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 10 down vote accepted

I wouldn't. Meaning, you don't really need to update it, since everything seems to be working fine and as Brian said, there are some risks involved.

So if you're not gaining anything by doing it, why do it at all ?

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Agreed. The risk is bricking the computer to the point of requiring professional assistance. And this is not covered by warranty. –  harrymc Jan 18 '10 at 17:53

I would use caution. Updating the BIOS is a good idea in theory. However, there's risk involved. The new BIOS is probably more stable than the old one, but possibly not. Also, if the computer crashes (or power failure, etc) during the update, it could possibly render the computer useless. Some machines have dual BIOS to help recover from this, some can have chips swapped, others may require going back to the manufacturer for repair/replacement.

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This one's a laptop, so the power issue is somewhat covered. :) –  Vilx- Jan 18 '10 at 16:52
    
My laptop has a battery and is plugged into a UPS... –  Kryten Jan 19 '10 at 5:41

I tend to update the BIOS of machines I'm working on as a matter of practice. More often than not, the update will improve system stability and performance, sometimes even adding new features to the BIOS setup options.

In all my years of messing with computers (since mid 80s), I've only had a single BIOS update degrade a machine's performance and force me to downgrade. I've never had a botched update which "bricked" (for lack of a better word) the PC.

Firstly, I would recommend that you back up the current BIOS version. Most (if not all) flash utilities allow you to save the current version to a file. Second, make sure you have clean, reliable power. I never flash a BIOS unless it's on a UPS. And last, if you don't need to address a specific problem, do not use beta versions of BIOS updates (Asus often has these, though I can't say much about other vendors).

The common wisdom "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" is good advice, and you'll likely be no worse for wear for heeding this advice. However, I tend to be a little more aggressive in making sure machines I own and work on are as up to date in BIOS and hardware drivers as possible.

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I have updated the BIOS of a couple of computer, as everyone here can tell you there are a lot of risks of making this, and (This is just my point of view) I didn't get any real benefits (As far as I know, i just got support for 2 new AMD processor i will never be using, what's the point of updating a 3200+ to a 3400+ for example)

So my answer is, if you don't really need to... Don't

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