... but this post is more about another topic. BIOS updates and failure recovery. I wanted to update the BIOS to the latest version in hopes of eliminating my crash/freeze issue. Unfortunately Windows didn't like me updating the BIOS as it was running. Mid update I hit a blue screen inflicting death upon the entire PC. No more POST, no more anything. I turned off the PC and went back to my other to begin researching what I could do.
Luckily BIOS recovery is not as scary as I figured. I was relieved when I read that I would be able to recover the BIOS from a floppy disk. All I had to do was rename my BIOS to AMIBOOT.ROM and copy it to the disk. After that the machine would read the disk before posting, determine the BIOS was hosed and restore it from the file. My new PC doesn't have a disk drive so I figured I would temporarily attach one to perform the recovery. As I prepared I made a bootable disk only to find that the BIOS was too large for any floppy at 4 MB. In somewhat of a desperate panic I opted to simply copy the file to a USB key. Amazingly this worked. The PC recognized the USB stick and proceeded to update the BIOS (even with on screen status). (one example guide: http://www.biosman.com/biosrecovery.htm
Now I was at least back up and running. But I still didn't have the ability to update the BIOS without a disk. (I did not attempt to use the newer BIOS during recovery... I didn't want to take any chances) After some investigation I found that HP had created a utility that makes USB keys bootable. I was able to boot my PC from the USB key with plenty of space for the BIOS file and update the BIOS without issue. (direct link from HP: http://h50178.www5.hp.com/local_dri