HP Compaq dx2420 Microtower Computer / MS-7525 Motherboard Bios Flash

This blog post is about how I flashed a HP Compaq dx2420 Microtower computer / MS-7525 motherboard bios. I upgraded my Bios from version 5.18 02/20/2009 to 5.31 06/10/2010.

flashing dx2420 bios

Introduction
I don’t like to flash motherboards, but I’ve got two dx2420 computers and I have a reason for wanting to update the bios. Without that reason, I wouldn’t have bothered going to the hassle and taking a risk.

HP Compaq dx2420 Microtower Computer

Warning: Don’t interrupt the bios flashing process. I’m not vouching for any of the downloads and links that are mentioned in this blog post.I’m not saying my method is the best way to flash the bios. 

2nd Warning: If you plan on resetting the bios password following the steps I used, please take precautions to prevent damage to the computer hardware.

3rd Warning: You use my instructions at your own risk. If you don’t have a reason to flash your bios, perhaps you shouldn’t proceed.

How I flashed the Bios overview
I used plop live cd to boot a USB memory stick, which then automatically flashed the bios. Below are the steps I took.

Update 14th July 2018: I just tested booting to USB again and it worked. I was able to boot to a USB drive by pressed the ESC keyboard button at boot, and then selected my USB memory stick which appears as a hard drive. I tested this again using the 5.31 BIOS, but I don’t think I previously successfully booted to USB with the 5.19 BIOS, but perhaps I’m wrong. 

Instead of using the Plop boot manager, you might want to try and boot to USB only using the Rufus method. If successful, it means you won’t have to create the Plop Live CD or edit the autoexec.bat file and then should be able to manually enter flash commands.

What I downloaded:
• I downloaded Phoenix-Award awflash 8.99.
Plop Boot Manager (a live cd for booting to USB via the DVD drive) 
Rufus (for creating a bootable USB DOS drive)
• 5.31 Rev.A BIOS firmware file sp50593.exe from HP via the Windows XP (64-bit) selection.

I already had 7-Zip installed on my computer, which I used to extract files from an archive.

Create the Live Boot CD/DVD

  1. I extracted the files from the plpbt-5.0.15 archive.
  2. I placed a blank DVD into my DVD writer drive.
  3. I right clicked on the plpbt.img in Windows Explorer and selected ‘Burn disc image’.

Note: I performed the above steps in Windows 10. If you need another method of burning a disc image, you might want to consider the CDBurnerXP software.

Create the bootable USB drive

  1. I ran Rufus 3.1.1320 and created a FreeDos bootable drive using the options shown in the screenshot below.Rufus
  2. Using 7-zip, I right clicked on the sp50593.exe file and extracted the files.
  3. I copied the bos5.31 (bios rom) and awd899.exe files to the USB memory stick.

    Some of the USB memory stick files

    Some of the USB memory stick files. Autoexec.bat and config.sys are hidden.

  4. I opened a command prompt and typed in my USB drive’s destination i.e. H:
  5.  Even though I couldn’t see the file, I typed notepad autoexec.batcommand prompt
  6. Using notepad I then entered the following bios flash commands and saved the file: awd899 bos5.31 /PY /SN /CC /CD /CP /Rautoexec batch file

Note: I didn’t have a PS/2 keyboard and wasn’t able to use a keyboard after selecting the USB drive from the plop menu. That is why I edited the autoexec.bat file to automate the process.

Flashing the Bios

  1. I made sure the plop live cd was in the drive and the USB stick was plugged into the front of the computer.
  2. I turned on the computer and pressed the ESC key at boot to show the boot menus (else you can change the boot priority in the bios). I selected the DVD drive.
  3. Plop Boot Manager ran and using an arrow key, I moved to the USB option and then pressed the Enter key.Plop Live CD boot options
  4. The autoexec.bat (batch file) ran and flashed the motherboard.dx2420 bios flash

Note: After the flash had occurred, the bios was password protected.

Removing the MS-7525 bios password

dx2420 bios password

  1. I turned off the computer, unplugged the power lead and pressed the power button.
  2. I removed the motherboard jumper on JPWD1.
    dx2420 motherboard JPWD1 with no jumper

    dx2420 motherboard JPWD1 with no jumper

    motherboard jumper

    motherboard jumper

  3. I then plugged the power lead back in and rebooted to the bios.
  4. I performed step 1 again.
  5. I put the jumper back on JPWD1.

    dx2420 motherboard JPWD1 with jumper

    dx2420 motherboard JPWD1 with jumper

  6. I performed step 3 again to check the bios settings.

Conclusion
It wasn’t a simple process, but due to my personal requirements, I’m glad I’ve updated the bios.

If you do follow my instructions, a thank you in the comments would be nice.

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