Upgrading the BIOS on an GNU/Linux-powered ASUS Eee PC 900A

I recently started thinking about upgrading the stock Solid State Drive with a faster and higher capacity model. It runs fairly fast already since I use light-weight applications, but extra speed is always a plus.

The prerequisite on the manufacturer's website for the faster drive was that the Eee PC needed to have a newer BIOS installed. It did not surprise me to discover that my version was so old that it wasn't even listed on ASUS' download page anymore.

I figured that even if I don't ever get a new SSD, at least I'll have a newer BIOS with all the latest fixes and after doing some quick reading I discovered that upgrading the BIOS was pretty straightforward.

  1. Download the latest BIOS file from ASUS. (version 1102 from 2009/06/16 as of this writing)
  2. Format a USB flash drive to FAT16.
  3. Extract the BIOS ROM from the archive, rename it to 900A.ROM, and copy it to your flash drive.
  4. Place the USB flash drive into the left USB port.
  5. Plug your AC adapter into the system and reboot.
  6. Hold down ALT+F2 at POST to launch the built-in BIOS updater.
  7. Always remember: Do NOT turn off the system until it finishes.

I was forced to use an SD card with a USB card reader because for some reason my 900A could not detect the BIOS when it was on a normal flash drive.


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