HP Support Assistant is the oft-default tool, not suitable for automation; but there is the HP Image Assistant:
So far this looks like the way forward. Early testing done, not thorough yet. It has a GUI for default use, but also has command line usage. Download the installer, complete it, CD to the folder it created in command-line, and run HPImageAssistant.exe for nice GUI. Documentation is here:
Several command-line examples are in that PDF. This command does a lot of very good things, very silently:
.\HPImageAssistant /Operation:Analyze /Category:All,Accessories /selection:All /action:Install /silent /reportFolder:c:\HPIA\Report /softpaqdownloadfolder:c:\HPIA\download
On some HP desktop hardware, this is the only way to get drivers and BIOS:
If you see the above while trying to flash a replacement BIOS on a Dell, try:
- Backup your registry.
- Browse in REGEDIT to:
- Delete the
If the BIOS is UEFI-capable, one can install a current 64-bit Windows OS to a GPT partition, and this should increase overall reliability and stability of the hard drive by a good bit. But the procedure is interesting. Here’s the best example I’ve found so far:
If you see Windows 7 slow or less reliable than it should be, go deep into the BIOS and see if you can find an “HPET” item. It may need to be enabled. HPET is an option which permits certain operating systems (not XP, I believe) to multitask hardware into much smaller increments, which ends up permitting much higher overall responsiveness.
Had an HP laptop today which, when powered up, flashed by the BIOS keyboard prompt to blank screen, and gave an audible alarm. F2 does not bring up the BIOS setup on this laptop; however, not knowing this, I tried F2 (the prompt flashed very quickly), and it booted up fine. Conclusion: F2 is probably some sort of BIOS reset for current HP.
David Childers recently collected the following data specific to Dells, probably relevant to Dimension 2400 and later.
At startup, there are four LEDs on the back of the systems. These function very similarly to the old POST boards for diagnostics that were used in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. They will flash amber and green as the system initializes the subsystems:
Light A – Represents the Video subsystem
Light B – Represents the RAM subsystem
Light C – Represents the Data Bus (CPU to System Board) subsystem
Light D – Represents the Storage subsystem
Once all of the lights are green, fundamental hardware failures can be ruled out.
To reset the BIOS to factory defaults:
- Remove the power cable from the power supply. Leave the power switch on the power supply ON.
- Press and hold down the power button on the front of the case for at least 20 seconds.
- Replace power cord.
- Start system.
To clear the parameter RAM (CMOS)
- At startup, press F2 (or whatever) to enter the BIOS setup.
- Once you’re at the main BIOS screen, press alt-f to clear the CMOS RAM
A most interesting BIOS option
You can disable BIOS control of the PCI bus, and set it to OS control.
Just saw it today. BIOS gave the option of using the onboard video BIOS, or AGP BIOS, as primary. The machine had a PCI video card, and the motherboard flatly refused to work with it; it gave all sorts of weird behavior, and could be teased into functioning only and occasionally by rebooting to safe mode and then up. On this board and its kindred, therefore, we either go onboard video or AGP video, both, or a replacement motherboard! No PCI, even though there were 6 PCI slots to choose from.
On this page:
it is reported that Vista requires ACPI, and more importantly, APIC. APIC is a relatively new timing chip. Many motherboards have nonworking APICs.