Ubuntu – How to upgrade the BIOS in a HP ProBook 6560b via the HP_TOOLS partition


I recently discovered the there is a BIOS Update version F.28 available for my (work) notebook which is a HP ProBook 6560b booting with version F.20. I hope that this might fix the always-running fans in that machine.

The BIOS Update is available as a SoftPaq for download here:

According to the BIOS help I should find a BIN and a SIG file in there with the same name as the BIOS variant (which is 68SCE according to dmidecode). That one should be placed on the HP_TOOLS partition into the directory /Hewlett-Packard/BIOS/New and it can be upgraded through the BIOS (if a HpBiosUpdate.efi module exists in /Hewlett-Packard/BIOSUpdate). It looks like everything is prepared properly:

# mount /dev/disk/by-label/HP_TOOLS /mnt/
# ls -lR /mnt/Hewlett-Packard/BIOS*
total 12
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Dec 21  2011 Current
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Dec 21  2011 New
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Dec 21  2011 Previous

total 2564
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 2621440 Dec 21  2011 68SCE.BIN
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root     256 Dec 21  2011 68SCE.SIG

total 0

total 0

total 2112
-r-xr-xr-x 1 root root 259072 Aug 31  2010 CryptRSA32.efi
-r-xr-xr-x 1 root root 443904 Aug 31  2010 CryptRSA.efi
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 706528 Mar 28  2011 HpBiosUpdate32.efi
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root    256 Mar 28  2011 HpBiosUpdate32.s09
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root    256 Mar 28  2011 HpBiosUpdate32.sig
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 722848 Mar 28  2011 HpBiosUpdate.efi
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root     51 Dec 21 23:59 HpBiosUpdate.log
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root    256 Mar 28  2011 HpBiosUpdate.s09
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root    256 Mar 28  2011 HpBiosUpdate.sig

Unfortunately are there no BIN and SIG files in the SoftPaq, only a CAB file which contains files which might be the correct ones but are just named Rom.*. There is also a ROM.CAB which contains some Rom-files as well:

# curl -O ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp59001-59500/sp59012.exe
  % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                 Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
100 22.0M  100 22.0M    0     0   529k      0  0:00:42  0:00:42 --:--:--  355k
# 7za x -osp59012 sp59012.exe 

7-Zip (A) [64] 9.20  Copyright (c) 1999-2010 Igor Pavlov  2010-11-18
p7zip Version 9.20 (locale=en_US.UTF-8,Utf16=on,HugeFiles=on,4 CPUs)

Processing archive: sp59012.exe

Extracting  /68SCE.CAB
Extracting  /68SCF.CAB
Extracting  /hpqflash/hpqRun.exe
Extracting  /hpqflash/map.ini
Extracting  /hpqflash/SP59012_E.exe
Extracting  /hpqflash/SP59012_F.exe
Extracting  /HPQFlash.exe
Extracting  /hpqRun.exe
Extracting  /map.ini
Extracting  /ROM.CAB
Extracting  /WSSP59012.rtf

Everything is Ok

Files: 11
Size:       25651054
Compressed: 23089672
# find sp59012 -name '*.CAB' | xargs -I_ cabextract -d _.d _
Extracting cabinet: sp59012/ROM.CAB
  extracting sp59012/ROM.CAB.d/Rom.bin
  extracting sp59012/ROM.CAB.d/Rom.sig
  extracting sp59012/ROM.CAB.d/ver.txt
  extracting sp59012/ROM.CAB.d/ver.sig
  extracting sp59012/ROM.CAB.d/efibios.sig

All done, no errors.
Extracting cabinet: sp59012/68SCF.CAB
  extracting sp59012/68SCF.CAB.d/Rom.bin
  extracting sp59012/68SCF.CAB.d/Rom.sig
  extracting sp59012/68SCF.CAB.d/ver.txt
  extracting sp59012/68SCF.CAB.d/ver.sig
  extracting sp59012/68SCF.CAB.d/efibios.sig

All done, no errors.
Extracting cabinet: sp59012/68SCE.CAB
  extracting sp59012/68SCE.CAB.d/Rom.bin
  extracting sp59012/68SCE.CAB.d/Rom.sig
  extracting sp59012/68SCE.CAB.d/ver.txt
  extracting sp59012/68SCE.CAB.d/ver.sig
  extracting sp59012/68SCE.CAB.d/efibios.sig

All done, no errors.
# cat sp59012/map.ini 

1619=hpqflash.exe -s -a -f68SCE.CAB -phpqssm.bin
1618=hpqflash.exe -s -a -f68SCF.CAB -phpqssm.bin 
1621=hpqflash.exe -s -a -f68SCE.CAB -phpqssm.bin
161C=hpqflash.exe -s -a -f68SCF.CAB -phpqssm.bin
161D=hpqflash.exe -s -a -f68SCE.CAB -phpqssm.bin
1620=hpqflash.exe -s -a -f68SCF.CAB -phpqssm.bin
177C=hpqflash.exe -s -a -f68SCE.CAB -phpqssm.bin

The map.ini points to the 68SCE.CAB (1619 is the mainboard's Id according to dmidecode). I could try the files from that file. But I don't want to brick my notebook. Has anybody done this before successfully?

Best Answer

The following method works for me with an HP Probook 6460b. I've used Virtualbox (Windows XP guest) with a USB flash drive connected to perform the steps below.

  1. Extract SP60365_E.exe.
  2. I found two files SP60365_E.exe and SP60365_F.exe (depends of your system) in C:\SWSetup\SP60365\hpqflash.
  3. Exactly these files create bootable flash drive.
  4. I created boot flash drive from Virtualbox

You can see my post in this thread on the HP Forums.

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