How to flash your EVGA BIOS via USB

Your PC’s BIOS is its boot firmware. It’s the very first code that the hardware runs, and provides the basic functionality that allows the computer to run the OS. The BIOS is stored in a memory chip on your motherboard and doesn’t change under normal conditions. As with any software, bugs could be found in the BIOS or new features added. When an updated version of your BIOS is released to provide additions or corrections, you can “flash” your motherboard to replace the old BIOS code.

Because the BIOS operates the PC on such a basic level, BIOS flashing is often done from the simplest environment possible. There are some BIOS update programs that work from within Windows, but they are not ubiquitous and people often prefer to use a DOS-based method to avoid any possible issues that could be exacerbated by the complexity of having a full Windows OS running. Historically, this was often done via a DOS boot disk. With many new computers not even having floppy drives, motherboard companies have starting providing ISO files that can be burned to CD and other methods that don’t require a floppy.

The ISO file that EVGA provides for my motherboard (X58 Classified E759) is simply a disk image which emulates a floppy disk. Rather than wasting a whole CD for a couple megabytes of files which will only be used once, it’s much more convenient to create a bootable USB flash drive.

WARNING: Incorrectly flashing your BIOS can render your motherboard (and thus the entire PC) unusable. Do not attempt to flash your BIOS if your PC is not stable. Return overclocks to standard speeds, do not use questionable power sources, etc. If you do not see any fixes or improvements in the changelogs for your BIOS which pertain to you, it is safer to remain on the current BIOS version.

What you need:

  1. Empty USB flash drive large enough to hold the BIOS update files
  2. BootDisk2BootStick
  3. 7-Zip
  4. ISO (CD-R) version of your BIOS update

We will be extracting the relevant files from the downloaded BIOS update using 7-Zip and putting them on the USB flash drive in a bootable format using BootDisk2BootStick.

  1. Download and install BootDisk2BootStick and 7-Zip.
  2. Download the appropriate BIOS update for your motherboard model. Choose the “ISO” or “CD” format.
  3. Right-click on downloaded ISO file and select Open Archive from the 7-Zip menu.
  4. Viewing the ISO file in 7-Zip, you should see a [BOOT] folder. Inside this folder there should be a Bootable_1.44M.img file. Drag this file out of 7-Zip to extract it to a known location (e.g. your Desktop) temporarily.
  5. Insert your empty USB flash drive.
  6. Launch BootDisk2BootStick and select the Write to USBStick/Flash tab.
  7. Select the drive letter of your USB flash drive as the Destination and click the Start button.
  8. Browse to the Bootable_1.44M.img file that you previously extracted with 7-Zip.
  9. Accept the warning that all data on the USB flash drive will be erased and allow BootDisk2BootStick to write your BIOS update files to the USB flash drive.
  10. Reboot your computer and boot off the USB flash drive. You may need to enable USB booting in your BIOS settings and/or press a key such as ESC or F12 to choose the USB flash drive as the boot device.

At this point, your computer should boot off the USB flash drive as if it were the BIOS update CD/floppy disk. Follow the instructions provided with the BIOS update to complete the process. Many are automated and require little or no input at this point.

NOTE: If your computer won’t boot from a USB flash drive, you will not be able to use this process. If your motherboard company does not provide an ISO file for creating a BIOS update CD-R, you will not be able to use this process. If the provided ISO file does not contain a disk image, you will not be able to use this process. If the extracted disk image is not of a type that BootDisk2BootStick understands, you will not be able to use this process. Other companies’ motherboards and BIOS updates may or may not work with this process.