Updating the BIOS on a Soekris net4801

I found out why my net4501 was going slow: the latest bios had the cpu cache disabled. :-) Its so nice when you finally get to the bottom of something.

To update the bios, I had to use linux. Even though Mac OS X runs BSD, I couldn’t get the bios to update using minicom or lrzsz. :-(

I used linux, connected a null modem cable, and then booted up minicom and the net4501.

  1. CTRL-P upon post
  2. "download -"
  3. CTRL-S
  4. b4501_131b.bin
  5. Probably some errors, keep trying
  6. flashupdate
  7. reboot

Old:

comBIOS ver. 1.31  20070408 

New:

comBIOS ver. 1.31b 20070614

Is it faster? YES! It is WAY faster. It can load the system.php page in under 5 seconds, whereas previously it required 10-60+ seconds, depending on the configuration.

Would have been nice to get a notice from Soekris about this, but as imply on their website, customer service is not their forte. :-)

Thanks to the purple yonder for notes on flashing the net4801 bios using GNU/linux!