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HP 2710p BIOS update without Windows installed

This is step by step manual to install BIOS update on HP 2710p without Windows installed on the 2710p target machine, only using USB drive (at least 5 MB), official HP support website to download the software and any Windows machine, may be even VM on the target PC.

My old but reliable tablet PC HP 2710p could not run 64-bit guest virtual machine and I found out that BIOS update is needed to fix this issue. On official HP website, all BIOS upgrade utilities are run from Windows installed on the target machine, except one package that enables the creation of a bootable diskette, CD, or USB key that can be used to locally restore or upgrade the System BIOS in the supported notebook models with a 68MOU Family ROM.

My HP 2710p is running Ubuntu and I did not want to install Windows on this machine, because it would cost me a lot of time, instead I used a short-cut that made BIOS update possible in minutes.

This text is manual to upgrade from F.07 or higher to F.20, the most recent version of BIOS without installing any Windows on the target machine. It worked for me without one single error or problem, should work for you as well, all you need is any PC or VM with installed windows and your target computer plugged to AC (otherwise upgrade does not work).

If you have BIOS version F.07, you need to first upgrade to F.10, then to F.15 and then to F.20.

Follow these steps on your own risk! These are not official update instructions.

  1. Go to HP download site for BIOS upgrade F.15 (sp47273) and download it on the Windows machine, install, run it and click to create Bootable USB key, as Device select your USB drive that you have prepared and run Start.

    This will format the USB drive using HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool, V2.2.2 and delete all its data, make it bootable and it will copy 5 files to the USB drive, files include 68MOU.bin file, that is the BIOS F.15 image that we are going to flash later on. This USB drive is bootable and we will use pre-prepared utility on this bootable drive to upload all versions of BIOS from F.10 to F.20 in right order.

  2. Second step is to download other .bin files, all done on the Windows machine, because we have only F.15 that is no use to you unless you already have BIOS version F.10 installed.

    • Download version F.10 from HP website click here. (sp38613.exe / 26. Feb 2008), let it install in it's default directory and then open the installation folder for example in my case it was C:\swsetup\sp38613, double click on ROM.CAB and it will open the cabinet file, inside you will find 4 files one of them called Rom.bin, select the file and copy it to the Bootable USB key drive, that you have created in step 1, rename Rom.bin to F10.bin

      You may also use WinRar or 7zip to open or extract .CAB files, but default Windows settings should open it.

    • We already have version F.15 from step 1., so we do not need to download it. It is the 68MOU.bin file.

    • Download version F.20 from HP website click here. (sp55572.exe / 08. Dec 2011), let it install in it's default directory and then open the installation folder for example in my case it was C:\swsetup\sp55572, double click on ROM.CAB and it will open the cabinet file, inside you will find 4 files one of them called Rom.bin, select the file and copy it to the Bootable USB key drive, that you have created in step 1, rename Rom.bint to F20.bin

  3. Third step is to rename 68MOU.bin to F15.bin (on the USB drive). The BIOS upgrade utility installed on USB drive only knows how to use 68MOU.bin, so rename the update with the smallest number to 68MOU.bin, in my case I renamed F10.bin to 68MOU.bin, then safely remove the USB device.

  4. Fourth step is to insert USB drive to target device, HP 2710p and reboot, on start-up keep pressing F9 button to load boot menu, select USB Hard Disk and boot from it, it should boot to DOS like environment with blue background screen and give you option to update, press Enter and it will tell you, if you have the right version of BIOS or not, if yes, accept the upgrade with F10 button and wait. After the upgrade is done power off your machine and wait for few seconds and power off again, ready to upgrade some more ...

  5. Now our BIOS is upgraded to version F.10 from initial F.7, we will rename 68MOU.bin back to F10.bin (on the USB drive) or delete it and prepare F15.bin for use by renaming it to 68MOU.bin. Then repeat step 4.

  6. Now our BIOS is upgraded to version F.15 from F.10, we will rename 68MOU.bin back to F15.bin (on the USB drive) or delete it and prepare F20.bin for use by renaming it to 68MOU.bin. Then repeat step 4.

  7. Done!