I did not want to waste a full CD (or even a CD-RW) on just one firmware update, so I looked for an alternative way using a USB flash drive.
I came across this excellent Gentoo article which showed me the key points to get such a setup working.
- an Intel SSD (or any other device that needs to be flashed and which uses FreeDOS)
- a USB drive with a FAT16 partition having at least 5 MiB of free space (28KiB for the kernel, 4.8MiB for the Intel updater). I'll refer to this mounted partition with
/media/USBDRIVE hereafter. (other partition types should work too, please confirm this)
- The GRUB2 bootloader on your machine (actually, it may work for other setups too, but I've only tested this one)
.iso file from http://downloadcenter.intel.com
- The package
genisoimage for the
- The package
syslinux for a kernel image
Although I've never had an issue with any firmware update, making a backup is recommended as well.
The latest driver version at the moment is 1.92. The download is named
0911036202M388208850.iso. If there appears to be a newer version, adjust the file names below accordingly.
Extract the boot image from the iso file (the target filename was randomly chosen):
geteltorito 0911036202M388208850.iso > /media/USBDRIVE/intel.img
Copy a kernel to it:
cp /usr/lib/syslinux/memdisk /media/USBDRIVE/
You're now done with preparing the USB flash drive, continue with the instructions for booting from the flash drive:
- Boot from your disk containing the GRUB2 bootloader (usually the SSD in your machine) but, hold Shift to get the GRUB2 boot menu
- When the menu appears, press C for a GRUB shell
ls command to find your USB partition. The output will look like:
(hd0) (hd0,msdos1) (hd0,msdos2) (hd1) (hd1,msdos1)
(hd1,msdos2) is likely your USB flash drive (disk 2, partition 1). Confirm it with the below command, it should show at least the
If the files were not found, try other partitions, e.g.
ls (hd0,msdos1). In the following steps, I'll refer to
(hd1,msdos1), adjust if necessary.
Now that you know the partition, run the next commands:
- You should now get a lot of command output from the bootloader, after that FreeDOS loads and the Intel firmware updater shows up.
- When done, press Ctrl + Alt + Delete to reboot, you can then remove the USB flash drive.
These guide was designed for minimal hacking with the bootloader and hardware (USB flash drive). Of course you can install the GRUB2 bootloader to your USB drive, but I consider that overkill for just one update.