14
May
09

Asus eeePC 900 – Bios Update.

asus-eee-pc-900-blackToday’s post, is a bit technical I’m afraid. I have to apologise if some of you find it boring, but I think it is a useful piece of info that might help some people.

The story: I have an ASUS eee PC 900, which I bought with windows XP. I worked just fine, save from the short battery life. It supposed to last about 2 hrs, but in my case it lasted no more than an hour with the wlan turned on. While searching through forums, asking around and taking wild guesses, I decided to install linux on it, since it was supposed to treat batteries better. On a whim, I decided to go with SuSe, since I had seen it at a colleague’s computer and it looked nice.

The problem: After I had installed SuSe, I learned that the latest BIOS update, could help with my battery problem. I should say though that SuSe helped a lot, but I had to try that too. Asus supplies tools to perform the update through Windows and Xandros (the Linux that comes with eeePC) but offers little or no help with other OSes. Reading through forums, where everybody suggested all sorts of things, I reached…

The solution: You need a USB stick formatted as FAT16. FAT32 did not work! Then you will have to download the ROM file from ASUS website and rename it to something like 900.ROM (if your model is eeePC 1000, that would be 1000.ROM). Copy the ROM file to the USB stick, plug it in and restart your eeePC. While at the BIOS screen, press ALT and F2 simultaneously. This loads the built in updater. If all goes well, it should detect the USB stick, read the ROM file and start the update procedure. It didn’t take a long time, just a couple of minutes. Then, it will prompt you to restart the machine, and everything will be fine. Remember to re-enable some devices that will be turned off by the new BIOS.

PS: Needless to say that, updating the BIOS could result in damaging your machine, if something goes wrong…

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49 Responses to “Asus eeePC 900 – Bios Update.”


  1. May 14, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    The instructions remind me of an oldschool adventure game, were you have all these crazy and unrelated stuff, and have to make them work all toguether in a even crazier way…

  2. May 14, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    …While it all made sense in the sick minds of the game creators ^^

  3. 3 Zachary
    May 14, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Thank you for the post. I did, just a few minutes ago, follow the above process and it worked perfectly! Although my USB stick was FAT32 and not FAT16. Still worked great!

  4. May 14, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Glad to be of service. Normally, FAT32 should work just fine.I am not sure why it didn’t in my case and to be honest, as long as it worked I do not wish to find out ^^

    Feel free to drop by anytime :)

  5. July 13, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    Thank you for posting this! I have an Eee PC 900 from woot.com that wouldn’t take a 32GB SSD without a BIOS Update. I tried over and over again to update the BIOS but without any luck after waiting for hours for the netbook to never find the ROM file.

    Thank you!!

  6. 6 flynike
    July 17, 2009 at 12:30 am

    I have a linux asus 900a that I am using to run an XP install other than Asus’s. I want to try to update the bios, and was looking around to find a way.

    Thanks much for posting your experience on your blog.

  7. 7 Gari126
    July 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Great Trick … it has worked like a charm on my eeePC 900 (initially using WXP and now with Ubuntu 9.04) usung a FAT32 USB Key.
    Don’t forget to change the name to 900.ROM! otherwise it will not work.

  8. July 24, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Yes. Renaming the rom file is essential! For some reason it cannot see it otherwise! Gave me a hell of a scare when it could not detect it cause I hadn’t renamed it ^^

  9. 9 Mike
    September 2, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    Excelent help – Thanks !!!!

  10. 11 Alan
    October 6, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    Thanks for the post, I too was watching my Eee pc 900 not finding the update file, once renamed to 900.ROM it updated immediately. I am running eeebuntu which is the best operating system I have found for the Eee 900 so far.

  11. October 9, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    Glad to be of service :)

  12. 13 Tarek Mohamed
    October 27, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    I have an EEE PC 900 , running windows XP….tried to follow the instructions.
    1) downloaded all the updates that asus.com can provide
    2) copied them to my USB 4g flash drive
    3) re-named them all to .ROM’s
    4) restarted the comp. and pressed F2 and ALT simultaneously
    5) I enabled a few things that I saw
    6) restarted the comp. again …and it says “USB Device Found” “Reading File 900.ROM” , but yet its taking forever and isn’t working…is this because I didn’t format to FAT16 ? (which I don’t know exactly how to do?)

    —I have also recently updated my RAM to 2g

    Someone Please help a.s.a.p

    Thanks
    -Tarek

  13. October 27, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    Well, if your asus runs windows xp, boot into windows plug in your flash drive then go to my computer. Locate your flash drive, right click on it and choose “Format”. One of the available options, will be the file system. By default I think it will be on FAT32, but you can change that to FAT16.

    Hope I helped.

    Cheers!

  14. 15 CarlGB
    February 27, 2010 at 3:18 am

    I HAD TO USE FAT16 AND A 512MB USB

    Otherwise it sat on “READING 900.ROM….” forever.

  15. 16 CarlGB
    February 27, 2010 at 3:20 am

    Format it to FAT (FAT16) in windows Vista or XP.
    Dropdown option in format.

  16. 18 GT
    May 15, 2010 at 4:02 am

    Thanks dude. This was whipping my ass until I found this.

  17. 19 Josh Kroman
    August 28, 2010 at 12:58 am

    Thanks for the tip. I had a similar experience to you where a 4GB FAT32 drive would not work but a 2GB FAT16 drive did. I added a 32GB SSD and without the BIOS upgrade it would not boot into the system. Cheers.

  18. 21 caryn
    October 2, 2010 at 6:35 am

    so i tried this even reformatted my drive and all but it just sits on reading file “900.ROM”

  19. 23 Rob Lopes
    December 9, 2010 at 7:43 am

    Thanks worked like a champ. Format FAT with a 512 MB or less partition and rename to 900.ROM. Otherwise, it didn’t work for me with 900-ASUS-1006.ROM with a FAT-16 2048 GB USB thumb drive Device.

  20. 24 Glitch
    January 8, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Thanks. This worked great. Formatted an old 512MB USB stick as FAT16. Renamed the 900-ASUS-1006.ROM to 900.ROM and now everything is blazingly fast. Even without my planned but not yet bought SATA SSD upgrade.

    Haven’t had the Default Xandros on it in years(currently Mepis). Never had Windows XP for it and I was loath to reinstal the old Xandros just to use Asus’ software tools.

    • January 8, 2011 at 7:06 pm

      Glad I helped! I found the 8GB SSD that shipped with my eee to be rather slow, so I guess replacing it with a newer, faster one will make a difference.

      Mint, has been the most stable and fast distro I have tried. Although in theory, Peppermint is supposed to be even lighter and faster than Mint, I haven’t installed it on the eee and I’ve never seen what Xandros looks like :D

  21. 26 sunberries
    June 12, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Its June 2011 and yes, I’m still commenting :)
    I am giving this eee pc 900 to my mom, and she only knows how to use XP.
    The problem is this EEE PC is the Linux version. I’ve tested XP on the original 16gb and it was slow as forever.
    I went about and bought a KingSPec 32GB SSD MLC (i didnt know about SLC then), and now I’m working on installing XP in it. Would there be any difference if i use this new ssd as the OS drive for XP??

  22. June 12, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Thanks! It is always a pleasant surprise to see that after all this time someone is still interested in my old post!

    Technically, SSD drives are supposed to be faster at loading. This means that a program would need less time to load and start working and that includes the operating system. The thing is, that when Windows 7 came out, one of the things M$ boasted about, was that their new OS would work wonders with SSD drives. This gives me a hint that older versions of Windows are not all that confident sitting inside an SSD.

    If the OS needs to access the hard drive for writing often, then the SSD would actually be slower than a common hard drive. Of course, the faster the disk, the better the OS runs. That was quite a long way of telling you that I wouldn’t hold my breath for the new drive’s performance, since XP is… well XP.

    There are how ever a few tricks you can do to improve XP’s performance, such as using RAM Drives etc. Have a look at this thread here for more tricks http://forum.eeeuser.com/viewtopic.php?id=37047

    Good luck :)

  23. 28 Susie Q
    July 17, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    Friend found one of these netbooks (the eee pc 900), but it won’t boot. It starts but then goes to the screen to select safe modes. It won’t even load in any safe modes, or “back to time when it did run”. If you can shed some light could you please email me at countrygirl_102913@yahoo.com

    Thanks.

    • July 18, 2011 at 11:13 pm

      Well that can possibly mean that the Windows installation is completely busted. Other than re-installing Windows (or Linux for that matter) I don’t think I can offer much help. One last thing you could try, is boot from the Windows CD and choose to repair your installation. I would go with re-installing…

  24. 30 steven
    August 14, 2011 at 3:58 am

    I had update the bios according to your steps. however, dark screen and eeepc always marked, finding usb for update, do you know how to stop the update in every switch on. thank a lot for your help, expert :-)!!

    • August 14, 2011 at 12:59 pm

      I am not sure I understand Steven. In order for the updater to start you have to press ALT+F2 at boot. Otherwise it will just boot into what operating system you have installed. If after what you describe, it boots into Windows (or Xandros – I don’t know what you have) the only thing I am guessing is that you are seeing the POST screen, which is part of the normal boot procedure…

  25. 32 bästa dataspelen
    September 18, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Super-Duper site! I’m Loving that!! Will be restored once again, I’m using your give food to additionally, Thanks

  26. 33 Andreasd083
    November 4, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    1Gb Usb stick also worked. Not 2 Gb though

  27. 36 mku6r5lr
    April 2, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Hi, I like this site. Thank you for tips. I organize these tips to some extent helpful. But I got another query: where to obtain obedient and for twopence designer products?

  28. June 18, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    I try all means, it didnt work.

  29. 38 andres
    July 13, 2012 at 12:55 am

    me funciono a la perfección muchisisisiisismas grcias :D

  30. October 21, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    http://www.famous-smoke.com I have recently discovered your blog and enjoy each post. I love your talent.

  31. 40 steve l.
    October 28, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Just read your article, so i used the 2gb mini sd from my fone, formatted it under win 7 to fat (default) downloaded and renamed the file, it worked a treat, now running my 900 with a Kingspec 32GB, 2GB ddr2/800 and Linux Mint 13 Gnome, the whole job took me an hour from start to finish. Cheers.

  32. 41 Teddy
    January 10, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    bonjour j’ai un probléme avec un ASUS Eee PC 900HD – Celeron M 900 MHz – 8.9″ – 1 Go de Mémoire , il reste bloqué au bios sur un message qui dit : 900.ROM reading file ,jai regarde sur divers site ou l’on me conseille de faire une mise a jour du bios en allant sur le site de asus mais en vain je suis limite despereré en vous remerciant d’avance ^^

  33. 42 JJ
    October 29, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Thanks, you rock! Fixed my dead-in-the-water eeeeeeeeepc, after I boneheadedly applied the wrong BIOS update…..

  34. 43 crow
    November 13, 2013 at 1:27 am

    I had to use a 1 gig SD card in a USB multislot card reader/writer.

  35. 44 Ben
    December 5, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    With my 900A I struggled for ages trying different USB sticks and partition sizes and formats, and eventually it worked fine using an old 16MB MMC memory card in a USB adapter! I don’t know why!

    • 45 Red Viper
      December 7, 2013 at 10:55 pm

      I’m trying to update my eeePc 900 using the bios from http://update.eeepc.asus.com/bios/ (tried versions 0906 and 1006). I’m using a FAT16 formatted USB drive with a 16MB partition, and still the Eee pc cannot find the renamed 900.ROM file.

      I bought upgrades for RAm and SSD and I cannot use them now.

      Is there anything else I can do?

  36. June 1, 2014 at 5:36 am

    Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve visited your blog before but after going through some
    of the articles I realized it’s new to me.

    Regardless, I’m certainly happy I stumbled upon it and I’ll be book-marking it and
    checking back regularly!


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