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HP Notebook PCs - Using HP Update Tools to Update HP Software, Drivers, and BIOS with Vista

This document pertains to HP Notebook PCs with Windows Vista.

HP constantly improves its products and provides software updates for its products. You should periodically check for an updated BIOS, a new version of a driver, or a new software service pack to keep your HP computer running properly. These updates often resolve most computer problems, so it is a good idea to check regularly.

If an automated tool is not available for your particular issue or if you have a non-factory image (such as the retail version of Windows Vista or a corporate image) installed on your computer, or you do not want to download and install the HP Help and Support tools, you can manually locate and download the latest version of the BIOS and device driver(s) from the HP support web site, then manually install the updated BIOS and device driver(s) from a softpaq .

Get current system information

Before you take the time to download and install any BIOS or device driver updates, you should first determine which versions are currently installed on your notebook. This will help you determine if the BIOS and driver updates available from HP are newer or older than what your system is using. If newer updates are available, then it is recommended that you download and install them.

For example, if you just recently purchased an HP notebook PC and you determine that it is running BIOS version F.09, but the version available on the HP support site for your particular model is BIOS version F.10, then you should download and install the update.

To get your notebook's system information:

  1. Click Start , type information in the search field, and then select System Information from the search results list.

  2. Under System Summary , you can view the BIOS version number and release date.

  3. Next, expand the Components list and select a device to view its driver(s).

Once you determine which BIOS and device driver versions are installed on your notebook, proceed to the next section.

Update BIOS and device drivers

If your computer has the original operating system, BIOS, and drivers that came installed on your computer before updates, you can use an automated tool or manually get the drivers from the web site to install updated versions of the BIOS and device drivers.

Automatically install latest version of the BIOS and device driver(s) with HP Support Assistant

The HP Support Assistant on notebook PCs with Windows Vista and Windows 7, is a collection of diagnostic and repair tools that will keep your computer operating as efficiently as possible. To learn more, you are strongly encouraged to:

To install updates, do the following actions to run the HP Support Assistant Tune-up tool.

  1. Click Start , type support in the search field, and then select HP Support Assistant from the search results list.

  2. In the HP Support Assistant window, click Maintain .

  3. Click Tune-up . You should run the Tune-up even if the No pending action message is displayed.

  4. Click Start Tune-up and allow the program to run.

  5. When the Tune up is complete, a list of updated drivers and actions will display. Follow the on-screen instructions to apply all the Important actions and Recommended actions .

    If your computer is up-to-date, there will be no required or pending actions.

Manually locate and download the latest version of the BIOS and device driver(s)

In some cases, HP support may recommend that you download and install a specific softpaq or you may have realized that a specific softpaq should be installed after reading an HP support document. A "softpaq" is the term HP uses for BIOS, device driver, and software application updates that are available for download and installation from hp.com. Each softpaq file is listed with the abbreviation "SP" (for softpaq) and followed by a reference number. For example, SP12345.

You can view a video on Use Model Name or Product Number (in English) to locate and download updated drivers on the HP web site.

To locate and download the latest version of the BIOS or device driver(s) for the computer manually, follow the steps below.

  1. Open a web browser and go to www.hp.com home page, click SUPPORT & DRIVERS link at the top of the page to display the Support & Drivers page.

  2. Select the Drivers & Software task option.

  3. Enter the product number or complete product name in the Enter a product name / number field, and then click Search .

    NOTE: If multiple numbers display, refer to the service tag on the bottom of the notebook computer to verify the model number.
    1 - Product Name (Product)
    2 - Product Number (p/n)
    3 - Model Number (shown in area below the bar codes)

    For more information about the service tag, refer to the HP Notebook PCs - Locating and Using the Product Number and Model Number support document.

  4. On the Software & Driver Downloads page, use the drop-down menu to Select your operating system , and then click Next to display a list of available BIOS and device driver downloads.

  5. Device driver updates are listed by category. For example, device driver updates for audio devices are listed under Driver - Audio .

    Click the icon to expand the BIOS or applicable driver section, and then click Download for the latest version of the BIOS or device driver for your particular computer model.

  6. When prompted, click Save to save the file to a convenient location on your computer, such as your desktop. Consider renaming the file to something that is easy to remember.

  7. Repeat steps 4 and 5 above for each device driver that you want to update.

When the latest version of the BIOS and/or any device drivers for the computer are saved to the hard disk drive on the computer, continue to the next section to complete the installation.

Manually install the latest version of the BIOS and device driver(s) from a softpaq

Sometimes installing the latest version of the BIOS or software driver(s) can take a while. It is important to remain patient and not interrupt the process so that the updates will install properly.

To install the latest version of the BIOS and/or device driver(s) for the computer manually, follow the steps below.

  1. Be sure that you are running on AC, not battery, power.

  2. Locate the softpaq ".exe" file that you downloaded and saved to a convenient location on your hard disk drive.

  3. Double-click the softpaq to open the file and follow the on-screen instructions.

  4. Repeat these steps for each softpaq ".exe" that you downloaded and want to install on the computer.

  5. Restart the computer, if prompted.

The latest version of the BIOS and device driver(s) that you downloaded and saved to the hard disk drive are now installed on the computer.

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