How to boot dos on a floppy-less system and flash the BIOS

This short guide assumes that your system is capable of booting over the network via PXE. If your motherboard/NIC does not support PXE, there are other, older network booting protocols you can investigate. If you are unable to boot over the network, you can almost certainly use some of the steps below to build a bootable USB memory stick.


The method described below makes no provision for saving a copy of your current BIOS. If you are desperate to have a backup copy of your current BIOS, I suggest you create a USB stick (good luck!) and boot from that.

Here's the method I used to do it:

On a Linux system:

You should now be ready to boot your client. Assuming the boot is successful, you should get the "grub" boot menu. Select FreeDOS and hit return.

you should see:

Welcome to the FreeDOS MetaKern boot menu
Please type a digit to select a list item
or type A or C to reboot from A: or C:...
Using <1> if no choice after 10s.
Boot sectors:
1 -> FreeDOS	(speedup, 386+)
2 -> FreeDOS	(chain to kernel  .sys!)
Hit "2" here.

Now you should see:

FreeDOS Beta9 ServiceRelease1 (2004-November-30) INSTALLATION

1. Install to harddisk using FreeDOS SETUP (default)
2. FreeDOS Safe Mode  (skip driver loading)

9. Run setup with user-specified storage driver(s)

Enter a choice: [01234569]

Hit "2" here too. You should have an "A:\>" prompt. Go to whereever you put your flash program and image and flash BIOS.