Total Freedom

18 08 2009

borrowed from another blog

Because Hewlett – Packard only delivers BIOS updates in WinFlash form, it means having Windoze XP installed in my MacBook Mini is a prerequisite before I could proceed with the update. In hard drive real estate terms, that means from the already limited 60 (actually just 55.xx) Gb PATA HDD of the HP Mini, I’ve to alot yet another 5 Gb minimum for Bill Gates dated baby and, Win 7 users, please don’t get started with me. (There are still issues with the Mini’s touchpad drivers downloadable via the HP downloads and support page so I hadn’t bothered tinkering with that OS for quite some time now).

Back to the WinFlash issue. I’m no real genius as to be able to extract the ROM image from that file which should be enough to flash the Mini’s Ami Bios via Afudos. The idea is to make a bootable USB stick, slap afudos into it along with the ROM image, boot the Mini up with it, type in a simple line of command and voilà, your bios is updated. But as stated above, in attempts to making it simple to Windoze centric masses, HP has made it rather a pain in the arse for non-Windoze centric masses – Linux-centric, hackintosh-centric, and all-others-centric collectively.

Now my gripe is primarily just that 5 – 10 GB of HDD space that’s being hogged up by that OS; I could’ve gladly lived with it if only thoughts of a pure 100% Mac OS X devoted MacBook Mini isn’t perpetually bugging me. The idea of having to run that OS just to do the update is fine by me so what I want is just something that could help me run that OS outside of MacBook Mini.

And then comes “Win XP Portable” into the picture. Or actually, Bart PE. Same premise; you put in a USB stick, slap in the WinFlash file for the latest bios HP releases for the Mini, boot the Mini with it and double click the file (.exe format) and you’re covered. I actually had a hard time trying to figure out what to do with the .rar or .zip files I was instructed to install. I don’t know if I’m just actually dumb or what but the guides weren’t exactly clear (as if I wrote clear guides anyhow, now look who’s talking now! haha 😉 ).

For those who want Bart PE in USB for just such purposes;

1) In a Windows machine (I did it on the MSI Wind which still dual boots with Win XP), download this bundle and extract the file.

2) Stick in your USB and launch HPUSBFW.exe to quick format it into FAT

credits to trickster

credits to trickspedia

3) Copy the rest of the files just as they are from the archive onto the USB.

You now have your own bootable Bart PE USB. Now reboot your Mini and press F9 during start up to get to the boot menu, choose your USB and hit Enter.

Normally, that should be it. Although note that this Bart PE is in German.

from bartpes website

from bartpe's website

It’s a totally minimal iteration of Windoze so it might look barren and alien at first but you just click on the “GO” at the left bottom corner of the screen and a start menu equivalent should show up.

credits to Tomshardware

credits to Tomshardware

Use the a43 File Management Utility so browse the contents of drives attached to your Mini.

image from bartpes website

image from bartpe's website

My MacBook Mini’s innards is now devoid of Windoze traces. Total freedom? Well, to some extent, yes.