So, you’re probably reading this blog post after lots of searching online about how to do this, likely after lots of reading of hardware manufacturer’s documentation about how to upgrade firmware or similar. And you’ll probably also realise that we live in 2019 (at the time of writing….), so when a hardware manufacturer recommends you install some software on a ‘floppy disk drive’ you realise that the hardware world is stuck in the stone age. But hey. It is what it is, and we have to deal with this nonsense.
So, let’s figure out how to get this firmware upgrade onto a ‘floppy disk drive” aka a USB Drive!
A bit of background before we do though. It used to be pretty easy to boot into a DOS environment when Windows owned the world back in 1995. But things have changed a little since then and we have things like non-Microsoft software and other hardware made by many manufacturers around the world. This is great, but does complicate things a little.
DOS is an operating system that runs from a hard disk (aka. Disk Operating System) – but typically refers to MS-DOS, i.e. Microsoft Disk Operating System.
Ultimately if you need to upgrade the firmware on a piece of hardware on a machine, then you need to Boot the Machine to your DOS USB (i.e. configure the Boot Priority in your motherboard BIOS to boot from your USB, not Floppy…., Disk Drive).
What this means in simple terms is that you need to have on your UBS Drive is the Bootable USB Operating System (more on how to do this shortly…) PLUS the Firmware upgrade files (likely a Shell or Bash or Executable file).
Create a DOS Bootable USB
If you’ve simply tried to move the firmware upgrade files to the USB and boot directly to the USB drive with these files present you’ll be sorely disappointed as you’ll probably have received an error along the lines of “firmware upgrade shell load.exe is not recognised as an internal or external command”
What this basically means is that you cannot simply run the USB from Shell, but you must run the command from DOS instead. Semantics, but you’re working with underlying hardware here so you must be specific, so let’s create a DOS Bootable USB.
Firstly, download Rufus here, https://rufus.ie/, it’s pretty awesome, and more importantly allows you to create a bootable USB. Once you’ve opened Rufus, fill out the details as follows;
Prepare the Firmware Upgrade and Upgrade It
Basically, once you’ve created your DOS Bootable USB above, copy whatever files over to the same USB Drive as you’ll need to work with these once you’ve booted into the system.
Next, once you’ve booted into your DOS, simply run whatever commands your firmware upgrade tells you to.
And that’s it! This is a simple step 🙂
Ok, so if you’re reading this, you’re probably a bit of a geek like myself. We’ve all seen the “Welcome Mr Stark” message that appears on Iron Man when Tony Stark logs into his private server. i.e. in other words, SSH’ing into his server.
So, how easy or difficult is it to get this set up? Well, it’s remarkably easy to configure this and it is all down to configuring your ‘Message of the Day’ on your server. So let’s have a play around.
Firstly, generate some text that you want to display, you could simple try the basis such as “Hello”, but that’s a bit boring. Instead, let’s look to replicate the same message that we can see on Tony Start’s private server. You’ll find many different ASCI Art Generators online if you search, so find one that you like the look of. Here are just a few examples that I’ve generated to give you an idea of the different styles you can use.
So once you’ve got the text that you want to configure, simply SSH into your server and run the command;
Which will switch your user over to the Sudo user, you’ll need to enter in the password to do this.
Next, run the command;
Which will create a new file for you, if it doesn’t already exist, or edit the current file if it is already there. Feel free to use the editor of your choice here, personally I prefer the Nano editor as I find it more intuitive to use. Simply paste your text into here, and save the file.
Simple, you’re done. Then the next time you login to your server via SSH you’ll be greeted with the nice message that you entered;
When it comes to technology, technology should work for you, you should not be a slave to your technology. And oh-my-god, Windows have got things SOOOOOO wrong with their automatic update system in Windows 10. For the average home user, you’ll probably be thankful that things are simply taken care of for you, and that’s great. Security is hugely important and this is where the Windows 10 automatic updates come in very handy. But Microsoft seem to have forgot one key thing with these updates and that is that not everyone is an average user and Windows is used by businesses that require stability and control.
The amount of times I have gone to make a brew (that’s a ‘Cup of Tea’ for the Southerners reading…), or turned by back for only a few minutes to come back to my machine and find that bloody Windows 10 has turned itself off, in the middle of the flipping day, in the middle of when I was doing something!!! Thankfully, I have a good habit of saving every 2 seconds so I’ve never lost anything, touch wood, but by god is this annoying.
What’s more annoying is the fact that when Windows 10 built the feature as part of this update to helpfully re-open all the things you had open, they forgot one thing…. not everything you use is a bloody Microsoft product! The amount of things that people use in the working day, particularly myself with the amount of techie things I have open at any one point, that simple turning things off and back on again causes more problems than it solves (ironic for an IT product!). Even on powerful machines, for users who have things on the go, it’s going to take you a good 10, 15, 30 minutes to get everything back up and running that you were working on. It’s such a time wasting activity that I’ve decided to outline the steps required to just turn everything off for Windows 10 automatic security updates…
Just do this;
Open the Run Dialog
Press Windows Key + R – This will open the Windows Run window where you can type handy shortcuts to run programs
Open Windows Services
Type services.msc into the available field then click OK. This will open the Windows Services settings where you can control a lot of the background processes and tasks that run on your system.
Find ‘Windows Update’
In the rather large list of services, find the ‘Name’ of ‘Windows Update’ and Select It. Then Right Click and select Properties
Stop the Service if it is Running and Disable it on Startup
Simple, job done. No more annoying, interrupting, ill-thought-out Windows 10 automatic updates at inconvenient times!
Word of Warning
Don’t do any of the above if you aren’t sure what you are doing. Changing things within your Services can really mess up things that you would want to work.
Clearly security and feature updates are important and you need to schedule time to do this. So don’t simply turn this off and never run security updates again, that would be bad. Schedule some time in, on a regular basis, at your convenience to run the security updates. Simple start the service and the rest will take care of itself.
Hope the above is some use to people going through the same pain…