Originally Posted by Ardalista
In my line of work I'm always changing the file system on my USB drives as a quick solution to various OS requirements... sometimes they will be an EXTx / SWAP partition for a linux machine.. the next it's a boot drive for Windows.
I simply suggested adding the required file system if a format was required, for clarification of which file system they should be, some people may have previously set the USB drives to NTFS then wonder why they can see it in windows but not use it to flash their bios from the method I posted above.
As for old people... hands up if you owned an 8086 with MFM controllers
I actually think I have an 8008 board somewhere in a box with 128K (I think... although it might have only been 32K) of system memory on it (which is in the form of about 70 separate chips if you include the controller...) granted I'm NOT actually old enough to have used it
professionally... it was manufactured while I was in diapers I believe... but it was pulled out of service by me.
Had a pretty green phosphorus 80-char display on that terminal too... didn't save that however.
I would also add that although formatting may not be necessary if it's already a FAT-formatted drive - I would generally consider it a best practice as well for the following two possibilities:
1) Age of Media. A format is the easiest way (at least without hitting the command prompt or using an additional step/utility) for testing the entire drive for errors in the media... granted with flash memory this isn't as important as it was in the floppy days, but it will at least assure you that file corruption is very unlikely.
2) Incompatible Images. I usually use the same one or two drives for flashing BIOS updates to numerous machines - and although I could simply delete everything on the drive prior to copying over the image for the update... I tend to get easily distracted by all the "cool, shiny things" in and around my office and I might wind up loading the wrong one.
I guess the bottom line is that you are correct, justanoldman, in saying that it is unnecessary in many cases to reformat the thumb drive used for an update prior to writing the image to it - just as you are correct in saying that you could update through the utility without even using a thumb drive or clean booting.
All Ardalista, myself and the other previous posters are saying is that there are some best practices that can be established (and have been actually for years) which can prevent a number of the common reasons for a failure during updating.
For me personally it comes down to efficiency. Would it save time if everything goes 100% according to plan
to update through Windows? Naturally. Unfortunately in my experience, everything goes 100% according to plan exactly 15.6% of the time. (And 23.7% of all statistics are completely made up).
Since I flash a BIOS image only once or twice during the life of a system - or at least the life of a motherboard in a system - I don't mind taking some extra, slightly time-consuming steps to give me a better chance of success... even if my chances were pretty great in the first place. There is nothing more frustrating than bricking a piece of hardware that was perfectly functional in pursuit of that last 1% of performance - or worse, just to "see what was new" in the latest BIOS/Firmware version when it wasn't even necessary at all! Edited by DiGiCiDAL - 1/27/13 at 9:54am