Well if you have two optical drives, it's easy. You can simply download the FreeDOS LiveCD (base image) from http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/micro/pc-...0/fdbasecd.iso
and burn that to a CD. You can then burn the BIOS flashing utility and
the BIOS image from your motherboard website to another disc, boot up
your box, change to the second drive, and run the utility
But what if you don't have two optical drives? Or what if you don't
have ANY optical drives? I found myself in this situation recently. I
was working on an appliance that had only a compact flash (CF) boot
slot, and a few USB ports. It lacked not only an optical drive but also
a hard drive, and I needed to flash the BIOS to current.
I did the usual Googling and found lots of outdated articles, none of
which adequately explained how to make a USB key boot DOS, although I
did piece together enough clues to figure it out with some
You'll need a few things to make a DOS bootable USB thumbdrive with these instructions:
The HP Flash Drive Format Utility (via the PC World Website):
The FreeDOS 1.0 base image ISO:
The WinImage Utility:
Steps to make your fancy, schmancy DOS booting USB drive:
1.Download and install the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool and WinImage
2.Make a directory on your desktop called “DOSBootDisk”
3.Start WinImage and open the fdbasecd.iso file, you will see a directory structure
a.Select Image > Extract and browse to your DOSBootDisk directory
b.Check the “Extract all files into the same folder” and click “OK”
c.When it prompts you if you want to overwrite duplicates, say Yes
d.You can now exit WinImage, you won't need it again
4.Connect your USB flash drive to your machine and backup any files you
want to keep (as it will be completely erased in this process)
5.Start the HP Flash Format utility
a.In the first dropdown box, select your flash drive (mine displays as
a Corsair 2GB flash drive). Be careful that you have the correct drive
as this process will erase your device.
b.Set the File System to FAT
c.If you want, give your system a volume label, for example “BOOTDISK”
d.Check the “Create a DOS startup disk” box
e.Select “Using DOS system files located at:” and browse to your desktop and select your DOSBootDisk you created in step 2.
f.Click Start and say Yes when it warns you about formatting your device
g.Watch the pretty status bar progress
h.Click “Close” when it is done
6.Now open your formatted USB key in Windows Explorer and copy your
BIOS flash utility and your BIOS image to your key so they are
available once you reboot. Feel free to throw in any other DOS
utilities you want... I can't think of any but since you're here you
obviously know something about DOS...
7.Shut down Windows XP, reboot your machine, ensure your BIOS is set to
support booting from a USB device (this varies by BIOS, ensure both the
option is enabled and your USB device is in your boot order about your
hard drive and optical drive). Save your changes and exit.
8.You should see your machine boot FreeDOS 1.0 from your USB key.
9.Run the BIOS upgrade utilities you copied to the disk earlier.