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HP Notebook PCs - Locate and Install Updated BIOS, Drivers, and Software

HP constantly strives to improve its products, and periodically provides software and firmware updates for them. To keep your HP notebook PC running smoothly, check for and install updated files for Windows, HP, and other software products on a regular basis. You should also periodically check for updated BIOS firmware, which manages the hardware in your notebook.

Keep your notebook up-to-date with the methods described below.

HP provides drivers and updates for the original operating system only. If the operating system was changed, use the Windows Update utility to get updates from Microsoft.

Automatically update Windows 7 and Vista with the HP Support Assistant

The HP Support Assistant provides automatic software and BIOS updates, built-in diagnostics and troubleshooting tools for your computer. It is the preferred method for maintaining and resolving problems on HP notebook PCs that use Windows 7 or Vista.

You should then:

Automatically update Windows XP with HP Help & Support

HP Help & Support provides easy access to software and BIOS updates for HP notebook PCs that use Windows XP. You are strongly encouraged to download and install the latest version of HP Help & Support .

To use HP Help & Support to check for system updates:

  1. Click Start , then click Help and Support .

  2. On the Help and Support page, click Update Software and Drivers .

  3. On the Software & Drivers page, follow the step-by-step instructions to find and install updates for Windows, Microsoft, and HP programs

Manually download and install updates and drivers

Use the following steps to manually locate updated HP software and hardware drivers.

  1. Go to the HP Software & Driver Downloads web page for your model.

  2. If prompted for information, enter your country / region and model name or product number. For example, Pavilion dv6110us or Mini 210-1040nr.

  3. Select the current installed version of Windows.

  4. Click the specific Driver link to display a list of drivers and software.

  5. If an update is available for download, follow the instructions to save the driver to your desktop, and then open the file and follow the instructions to install it.

Manually download and install BIOS firmware

If HP Support Assistant or HP Help & Support utility is not installed, you should find which version of the BIOS and which CPU processor is installed. If the installed BIOS version is the same as the BIOS version available on the HP web site, no additional action is needed. You must verify which type of CPU is installed because attempting to install a BIOS for a different CPU may cause the computer to stop working completely.

Use the following steps to find, download, and install the latest BIOS for your computer.

Find the version of the current BIOS

To determine the version of the current BIOS on the computer, perform the following steps.

  1. Windows 7 and Vista: Click Start , enter msinfo32 in the search field, and then select msinfo32.exe when it becomes available in the list.

    Windows XP: Click Start , select Run , enter msinfo32.exe in the Open field, and click the OK button.

  2. In the System Information window under the System Summary category, look for the BIOS Version/Date entry. This is your current BIOS version.

Write down the BIOS version you have and continue to the next section.

Find the processor type

Some notebook models may have more than one kind of processor over the course of their manufacturing lifetime. A different processor may require a different BIOS. It's best to verify which processor your notebook has, and compare it to the documentation in your BIOS download before installing the BIOS.

To determine what your processor type is, follow the steps below.

  1. Windows 7 and Vista: Click Start , enter msinfo32 in the search field, and then select msinfo32.exe when it becomes available in the list.

    Windows XP: Click Start , select Run , enter msinfo32.exe in the Open field, and click the OK button.

  2. In the System Information window under the System Summary category, look for the Processor entry. This is the type of processor in your computer.

Write down the processor you have. Take the time to read the information to ensure that the BIOS you are about to install is one meant to be used with your specific processor.

Download the BIOS update

In some cases, an HP Support Agent, or the instructions in a support document, may recommend that you download and install a specific updated BIOS or driver or program called a "softpaq". Each softpaq file on the HP web site is listed with the abbreviation "SP" (for softpaq) and followed by a reference number. For example, SP12345.

To download and install, or flash, the BIOS, find the specific product number on your computer and do the following steps.

  1. Go to the HP Drivers and Downloads web page for your notebook product.

    If prompted for information, enter your country / region and model name or product number. For example, Pavilion dv6110us or Mini 210-1040nr.

  2. Use the drop-down menu to select the supported operating system that is installed on the computer, and click Next to display a list of available BIOS and device drivers.

    For each model, only the supported operating systems are listed.

  3. Click the icon to expand the BIOS section to display the latest version of the BIOS, or ROMPaq, available for your particular computer model.

    • If the update is newer than your current BIOS on the PC, choose the download with your processor and follow the on-screen instructions.

    • If the version of the listed BIOS is the same or older than the current BIOS on the PC, you may exit this procedure. The notebook does not require a BIOS update at this time.

    It is important to read the Description and the list of Operating systems to verify the BIOS update applies to your PC. Installing a BIOS that is not designed for the processor in your PC, or interrupting the flash installation process may cause the PC to stop working.

  4. Click Download , and when prompted, click Save to save the file on your desktop. Do Not Select the option to Run a BIOS over the network.

The latest version of the BIOS for the computer is now saved to the computer. Continue to the next section to install the BIOS.

Install the BIOS update

Once you have downloaded and saved the latest version of the BIOS to your computer, you will need to manually install it. It will take a few minutes to install the latest version of the BIOS. It is important to remain patient, do not interrupt the process, allow the updates to install properly. Installing a BIOS may also be called 'Flashing the BIOS'.

To install the latest version of the BIOS for the computer manually, be sure that you are running on AC, not battery, power, and follow the steps below.

  1. Connect the AC power supply to the computer.

  2. Locate the BIOS file (sample name: SP12345.exe) that you downloaded to a convenient location on your computer.

  3. Double-click the file to start the installation and follow the on-screen instructions.

  4. Allow the installation to complete all its actions and automatically restart. If prompted, press the power button to restart the computer.

The latest version of the BIOS is now installed on the computer.

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