While updating the BIOS on an old PC (which I use for running old Windows XP programs), I ran into the issue where the update program, O740-227.exe, would just crash. It worked at first, giving me a warning about removing all USB devices. So I removed all non-essential USB devices, retried the program… and… crash. Nothing from that point on would convince the thing to run. Not a reboot, not run as administrator, not safe mode. Possible causes: Maybe this program creates some temp file, or puts something in the registry, and somehow it got into an unexpected state.
Anyway, here’s how I solved the problem:
- Download the FreeDOS ISO.
- Open it in PowerISO and drag-drop in the O740-227.exe file.
- Burn that image to a CD.
- Disconnect your hard drive, or disable it in the BIOS (you don’t want to accidentally overwrite your hard drive with FreeDOS do you?)
- Plug in a USB stick so FreeDOS thinks that there’s a valid install target available.
- Start installing FreeDOS to the USB stick, right up until the point where it asks you if you’re sure that you want to overwrite the contents of the drive.
- Choose “return to DOS” to get a DOS prompt, which is what I wanted in the first place. Why FreeDOS doesn’t have a clearly-defined “livecd mode” where it JUST runs DOS from a CD, I don’t understand. But that’s just how open-source goes sometimes.
- Type drive letters like ‘B:’, ‘C:’, ‘D:’, etc. and type ‘dir’ to get a directory listing. You’re looking for your BIOS install file…
- One you find it, just type in it’s name, remember that it starts with an O and not a zero.
- Aaaaand after all that work, you should have an Optiplex updated to the latest and greatest (2011 lol) BIOS.