I have been planning to upgrade my old Mini-ITX based Linux server with an Asus Eee Box. I have purchased the Eee Box and was just waiting for the upcoming release of Ubuntu 8.10 to run on it. But then I noticed that the computer didn’t start automatically after a power outage. There is usually a setting in the BIOS for this but I just couldn’t find it on the Eee Box. Not being able to boot automatically after a power loss posed a major setback for my plan of migrating my server.
It turns out that the Eee Box BIOS prior to version 0902 didn’t have support for restore after power-loss so to solve the issue I had to upgrade the BIOS.
Normally, BIOS upgrades can be a source for some concern as there is always a risk that the computer is left completely bricked. Also, it can be difficult to get a bootable USB device with the correct BIOS flashing utility and with the new BIOS firmware.
The BIOS firmware can be downloaded from Asus support pages by searching for the Eee Box model name (B202).
The documentation for the Eee Box was not very helpful. It said that there is a upgrade utility in the OEM version of Windows that the computer came with. However, the first thing I had done with the computer was to wipe the hard drive and to install Ubuntu.
The solution to the problem is to insert a FAT-16 formatted USB device with the desired BIOS firmware, then boot while pressing Alt+F2 to get into a special boot menu. There, one can choose the firmware file.
This was definitely the simplest BIOS upgrade processes I have come across – once I found the information on how to do it.