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Acer Aspire One – How to flash bios

November 2, 2008

Hey guys, Just thought I’d put together a how to on flashing the bios on the Acer Aspire One because I’ve got nothing else to blog about atm and it might help people. Alright, I’ll just do it step by step, and with pictures if needed. Feel free to Digg it.

Requirements: Your Aspire One, a Power point and AC adapter, a flash drive with about 4MB free

  1. Plug in your flash drive
  2. Download your desired bios version here http://www.acerpanam.com/synapse/forms/portal20.cfm?website=AcerPanAm.com/au&siteid=8116&areaid=12&formid=3394#results
  3. Extract the contents of the Bios flash you downloaded in the last step onto your flash drive with a tool such as WinRar
  4. Download UNetbootin here http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/ (make sure you get the version right for your OS)
  5. Run the UNetbootin executable.
  6. In the “Select Distribution” field, select FreeDOS, and don’t worry about the version
  7. At the bottom where it says “Type: USB Drive”, leave it, and next to it, where it says “Drive:” Select the drive letter of your flash drive. MAKE SURE you get the right one, or you might muck up your iPod or anything else plugged in. This is what it looks like for me, my flash drive is drive F:\      
  8. Press OK
  9. Wait
  10. When done press Reboot Now – At this point, you may wish to print this page out, or load it on another computer, as you won’t be able to get to it on your aspire one until you’re finished flashing the bios.
  11. When the computer is booting, keep pressing F12, until the Boot Menu is displayed, Select “USB HDD: (The name of your brand of flash drive)” and press enter
  12. Wait for it to “Automatic boot” then select Number 5 “FreeDOS Live CD only”.
  13. You will get a error about a cdrom, but it doesn’t matter. Type “C:” and press enter
  14. Go to the folder where your update files are (the one with the .bat that you extracted), to do this type “cd <directory name>” without the arrows or inverted commas, so if the folder’s name is update, type “cd update”. Note: Not all flash drives work, if the installation files do not appear, make sure they are actually there, and try another flash drive.
  15. Make sure you’ve got the power plugged in, orelse the update won’t work.
  16. Type “dir”, you will see a great big list of files pop up, one of them will have BAT in the second column and it’s name will be something like 3304, which is in the first column, get back to the C:\ prompt by pressing any key, then type in the files name, so in my case “3304.bat” and press enter.
  17. The flashing will now commence, sit back and relax, although it’s rather fast.
  18. Give yourself a pat on the back.

All done, you’ve just flashed your computers bios, neat hey?

Companies send out bios updates to fix computer issues, with the one I flashed it fixed things like my wireless card not working, and the screen flickering.

Thanks for reading, if you need any extra help or explanation with the how to, email me at 4zzdawg@4zzdawg.com.

Also, leave me a comment if I helped you out =]

~4zzdawg

 

PS. If the update files don’t show up when you boot into FreeDos, it could be that your flash drive is not supported properly in freedos (or some other aspect of booting it).

Unfortunately the only known option is to try a different flash drive.

If you’re looking to buy another flash drive just for the flash, I know that the HP flash drives work fine and so does the Transcend JF v30.

Thanks to Steve for this information on flash drives.

Feel free to post flash drives that are known to work for this or ones that don’t work for other users to refer to when buying a flash drive.

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49 Comments leave one →
  1. Eric permalink
    November 21, 2008 2:04 am

    I’ve been having trouble swapping out the 8Gb SSD on my Aspire One with an 80Gb Samsung model # HS081HA. I can’t get the computer to recognize the new drive. Is this a situation where I need to flash the BIOS? I have the new HDD formatted and active, but there is no operating system on it yet. Any thoughts?

  2. 4zzdawg permalink*
    November 21, 2008 8:44 am

    @Eric:
    What do you mean by it won’t recognize it?
    As in.. It won’t show up on POST or in the bios?
    If so.. I’m not sure, but a bios flash never hurt anyone and is worth a shot I guess.

    If it does show up in POST and bios, and it’s set as the first boot device in the bios, then I’m guessing you just need to install an OS and it should work.

    Good luck,
    Let me know how you go
    ~4zzdawg

  3. November 24, 2008 5:28 pm

    I got to the last step of the bios update where you put in the file name. I hit return and I got a flashing “l”. Nothing happened. The bios is still at the old version. I have a sandisk cruiser 2GB. Could it be my Flash drive?

  4. 4zzdawg permalink*
    November 24, 2008 5:58 pm

    Hmm..
    I doubt it would be your flash drives, unless you’ve had problems with it before.
    What version of the bios did you try to flash.

    Normally a flashing “l” (which is the cursor) means that the program is either doing something, or there’s something wrong with it, and it’s not doing much at all.

    Try starting again and if you didn’t the first time, try using version 3304 because I know that one works..

    Good Luck!

  5. November 25, 2008 2:27 am

    I have a scan disk cruiser flash drive. 2 GB. I am going to try a smaller drive tonight when I get home. I was trying the 3304 version so I can upgrade to mac os x. Why do you need the latest version to upgrade to mac os x? Whats in that bios settings that makes mac work with the computer?

  6. 4zzdawg permalink*
    November 25, 2008 8:37 am

    Not sure about that one..
    It’d be good to look into though.
    Let me know how mac goes with it aswell.

  7. tinus permalink
    November 28, 2008 6:09 pm

    my right button stays highlighted, and now when i press the left mouse button does nothing. I was typing and my palm touched the pad and ever sins the right button stays on. The button is not stuck.

  8. Steve permalink
    December 6, 2008 5:57 pm

    Cheers mate for posting this useful ‘how to.’

    For everyone’s info, I ran into the same problem as some people above where the BIOS upgrade files wouldn’t show up after I booted into FreeDos. I kept trying different things like switching to the ‘B:’ drive changing directory in various ways… nothing. I thought maybe it might be a problem with the way the USB disk was formatted e.g. that it had to be Fat32 or Fat16 or vice versa to work with FreeDos or that using the unetbootlin program in Linux somehow didn’t copy files correctly for FreeDos to read them.

    But ultimately I think it must be a bug with certain USB disk controllers because although my 1 GB Laser USB flash disk gave me this error my 8 GB Transcend JF v30 worked perfectly and I have now successfully flashed my Aspire One (Linux version) to 3305. In short, I recommend trying different flash drives if you experience problems reading the unzipped BIOS upgrade files from within FreeDos. HTH.

  9. 4zzdawg permalink*
    December 6, 2008 6:16 pm

    Hey mate,
    Thanks for the info on that, do you mind me putting a little note at the bottom of the post referring to your comment for people who don’t trawl through the comments?

  10. Steve permalink
    December 6, 2008 9:06 pm

    No worries, of course not.

    Whilst I’m at it, I should mention that I ran across your blog because I was Googling for a simple ‘how to’ on Aspire One BIOS flashing because I ran into that bug where the network manager simply disappears and one’s wireless connextion is rendered FUBAR. One of the recommendations for fixing the network manager is to upgrade the BIOS so in I surfed to your blog.

    As it turns out it is possible to fix the wireless issue by typing:

    mv ~/.gconf/system/networking ~/

    which moves the corrupted file (it gets corrupted when the ‘One’ goes into hibernation or something) to your home directory where you can then delete it. But upgrading the BIOS may prevent this from happening all the time and is a good idea anyway for other reasons like more accurate battery charge reporting.

  11. 4zzdawg permalink*
    December 6, 2008 9:14 pm

    Hmm, that fixes the linux one.
    I wonder what it did to the windows version (which I have)
    Strange hey..

  12. CDNinKS permalink
    December 7, 2008 5:10 pm

    Thanks very much. The only comment I have is that the “C” prompt was a bit confusing as I thought that referred to the C drive. Actually when you change dir to C: you are accessing your flash drive.

  13. 4zzdawg permalink*
    December 7, 2008 5:35 pm

    That’s fine mate, glad I could help.

    Yeah it struck me as a bit strange too when I first looked for my files on D, E and F, but yeah, it’s C because the OS (in this case FreeDos) is running off there.

    Thank you

  14. Steve permalink
    December 11, 2008 1:44 pm

    One more thing about wireless. After I flashed my BIOS I ran the live update on the LINUX version and… no wireless Internet! Nothing, nada, total FUBAR :-( Even the magic command:
    mv ~/.gconf/system/networking ~/
    wouldn’t work.

    I have now reinstalled the OS from a flash drive (which is pretty easy to do because the restore DVD does everything for you – you don’t need any utilities to create a bootable USB) but it’s still a pain. So far so good but I am worried that I may wake up one day with no wifi and I’m looking around for an option that will allow me to replace the buggy network manager that comes with ‘the One.’ I will probably try this next:
    http://pl.atyp.us/wordpress/?p=1440
    which involves downloading and recompiling the kernal, copying files and messing around but hopefully will provide me with the peace of mind that comes with a robust network utility. I’d be interested to hear if anyone else has tried this.

  15. Chris permalink
    December 16, 2008 3:05 pm

    Bravo my man…. It was a success on my 1.6GHz Aspire one. I feel accomplished :D

  16. Chris permalink
    December 16, 2008 3:07 pm

    One note, it would not work when I typed in C:

    Accessing my flash drive D; would not work either. Solution, I copied the files from my flash drive onto my C: drive. Worked for me, good luck all!!

  17. January 2, 2009 12:12 am

    Hi all!

    Here is a guide how to flash easily your AA1 BIOS.
    http://ezinearticles.com/?Acer-Aspire-One-BIOS-Recovery&id=1815776

    Bye
    HNY!

  18. January 5, 2009 12:46 am

    It sure helped me!

    I jumped the “start from no 5″ and got errors and thought my bios was a brick but nothing happend luckily! *phew*. I then did the no 5 boot option and everything is perfect! Bios version 3308 seems to also include a windows flash utility! /wich is useless for me cus I have linpus linux… :D

  19. Matt Bates permalink
    January 5, 2009 9:28 am

    I have to say i was skeptical at first as the BIOS is a daunting task to some to flash, and i do have more knowledge about PC’s than a lotta people i know, this really simplified it so THANK YOU. Keep up the good work and thanks once again.

  20. January 8, 2009 12:06 am

    Thank you. Kingston Data Traveler 1gb Worked just fine…. Version 3309 now.

  21. dragos permalink
    February 11, 2009 2:22 am

    thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    about the AA1 i tried for quiet some time to find a video player to view ordinary video formats, can you give me a link with such a program, i tried all most everything that i could think of

  22. 4zzdawg permalink*
    February 11, 2009 8:55 am

    No problem!
    As for videos, I’m assuming you’re on linux.. VLC will play anything under the sun, and it comes on windows, linux, or mac.

  23. Tony P permalink
    March 10, 2009 3:05 pm

    fixed my battery issue. Many thanks.

  24. 4zzdawg permalink*
    March 10, 2009 3:09 pm

    No problem mate :)

  25. Gee permalink
    March 31, 2009 12:15 pm

    Hey man thanks for the how to. Helped me solve my issue of the battery not charging. You saved me the trouble of shipping it back to Acer. Thanks again

  26. April 12, 2009 2:00 am

    Thanks for the easy-to-follow update. I tried to update my Acer Aspire One’s BIOS to solve the infamous noisy fan problem.

    However…

    The flash started out okay but as soon as it finished (saying the “Flash Update completed!) or whatever, the computer froze and would not respond to keystrokes or even the force-kill of holding down the power button. Sadly, I was forced to remove the netbook’s battery pack to get it to power down. Now it is bricked. :(

    I haven’t contacted newegg.com (the seller) or Acer, but I’ve followed a few tutorials on trying to boot the computer in safe- or factory-reset mode. No luck.

    Any ideas?

  27. Alfred permalink
    April 12, 2009 10:23 am

    My netbook is the limbo, i can’t to start it up, quickly presents a message tha is impossible to read. Do you know the process to recover it.

  28. Sarah permalink
    April 27, 2009 11:13 am

    Thanks for the unetbootin tip – I just zapped my Aspire One and it worked perfectly. It’s annoying that all flash utilities still come in the form of DOS executables when DOS vanished from PCs a decade ago.

  29. John Wood permalink
    April 29, 2009 4:42 am

    Followed your instructions to the letter – it worked! My AspireOne netbook battery is now charging!!!! You’re a genius!

  30. Kasper permalink
    May 30, 2009 5:20 am

    Hi, I’ve followed the guide and made a usb bootable disk. I boot fine to it, but when I change drive to C: it says the drive doesn’t exist… What to do? I tried d, e,f also, same result…
    My bios is 33.01 if I remember correct… but not 100%
    I’m using ubuntu 9.04 netbook remix, and thought it might help with the multi card reader problem to update the bios. It reads SD cards ok, but not memory sticks. And I just bought a new camera, so need it to be able to read it.

    Hope someone can help…

  31. Kasper permalink
    May 30, 2009 5:22 am

    I might add that I have the SSD version 8 gb…

  32. Kasper permalink
    May 30, 2009 5:35 am

    when I boot up, it’s on the A: drive. I have put the bios files on the usb stick, but cannot access them. they’re on the ssd drive too, but cannot access that either…

  33. 4zzdawg permalink*
    May 30, 2009 2:22 pm

    That’s really strange..
    I’m not super good at freedos, so I can’t help you, but I’ll let you know if I find anything.
    Good Luck

  34. Kasper permalink
    May 30, 2009 9:12 pm

    I know now what the problem is I think. Because I use ubuntu, I don’t have a C: drive… my filesystem is ext2, so of course it wont work…
    But how to get arounbd it… hmmm…

  35. 4zzdawg permalink*
    May 31, 2009 5:17 am

    I don’t think that would be it, because when you use unetbootin (if you select freedos) it formats your drive to use freedos so when you reboot into it, it will see your flash drive as a C: drive.
    The only thing I can think of is that it doesn’t like your flash drive, maybe borrow someones and try using it to see if it works.
    Otherwise I’m not sure mate.

  36. Horace P. Manure permalink
    June 5, 2009 11:12 am

    I saved myself a ton of time and aggrevation – I bought a mac. Worked perfectly right out of the box. No ‘flashing’ of jack shit.

  37. 4zzdawg permalink*
    June 5, 2009 5:28 pm

    Yep, instead, you waste your precious time searching for problems with this computer, then telling everyone about how awesome your mac is, just like every mac owner.
    Also, some people like stuffing around and find it fun learning new things and getting experience outside of their comfort zone.
    But everyone has their own opinion, just go enjoy your mac mmmkay.

  38. June 17, 2009 2:59 am

    hello all
    i have a proplom?
    i went installtion new win xp porf in netbooke ASPIRE ONE but i can’t
    becuase i want new partion HDD Internal i dont understant frist Delete all partion and i make new partion and continue later copy all and reboot system other not load netbook
    thanks
    please help me

  39. Mark permalink
    June 21, 2009 2:44 am

    Thanks a million bro!! Worked flawlessly on a Kingston DataTraveler 1GB! …and fixed my battery not charging problem!

    Acer should actually do a better job of explaining how it’s done, not just providing the flash ZIP and expect everyone to know how to go about.

    What do you think the “P.” in “Horace P. Manure” stands for? Maybe “Horace Piece-of Manure”, or “Horace Packed-his-skull-with Manure”, or could it be “Horace Prefers-to-eat Manure”? :)

    Cheers!

  40. 4zzdawg permalink*
    June 30, 2009 2:49 pm

    Really sorry for the late reply mate.
    As far as I know, there isn’t a way you can get your data back unless you go to a professional data retrieval center.
    To get the netbook working again, you should just start installing XP again, and do not reboot until it tells you to.
    If that doesn’t work, there could be something else wrong with it, report back if you can’t get it working

  41. Mark permalink
    July 18, 2009 7:50 am

    Just wanted to say: THANKS! I had been pulling my hair out over my AA1 refusing to charge the battery. Upgraded the bios to the latest version 3110 and it’s now charging. To others reading this: The flash drive *does* matter. I was using an old 128MB flash drive, thinking if it breaks it’s no big deal. After about half an hour of fighting I tried another one (1GB). The 1GB one worked. The moral: If you follow the above instructions carefully, and it doesn’t work, then the flash drive is almost certainly at fault.

    Thanks again for this tutorial!

  42. stoutfellow permalink
    June 18, 2011 11:49 pm

    Thanks, it worked and my bios is updated. Shame is, it didn’t fix my battery issue which is the reason I was trying it out. Thanks anyway, good tutorial!

  43. stoutfellow permalink
    June 18, 2011 11:51 pm

    Stop the press! It does seem to be charging after all, although ubuntu lists the battery as 100%, it is at 0.6WH , and rising. Maybe it will work out after all. Cheers

  44. September 23, 2012 3:13 am

    Wow that was odd. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked
    submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.
    Anyway, just wanted to say fantastic blog!

  45. December 30, 2012 2:55 am

    It’s awesome in support of me to have a web page, which is useful in support of my know-how. thanks admin

  46. January 3, 2013 2:12 pm

    Thank you, that was really helpful!

  47. Jordan permalink
    April 25, 2013 5:52 am

    I just did this with a “SanDisk Cruzer Glide” 8GB drive and it worked perfectly. Thanks for the help!

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