Silent updating of Insyde firmware

I did some work recently with an organisation who use specialised ‘tough’ tablets from a company named Getac. The project I was working on was a Windows 10 upgrade and as part of that upgrade, as any good desktop admin knows, we should be updating the BIOS/UEFI firmware as part of any operating system upgrade. That’s all good and fine when you’re using the major vendors such as Dell, Hp and Lenovo but sometimes things can get a little more ‘exotic’ when using low volume or specialised devices.

The devices I was working with were Getac RX10’s and they look something like this.

In the absence of online updates being available my customer had contacted Getac and obtained a firmware update. These particular devices are well integrated with the firmware in that some of the software that runs on them can be part configured through the BIOS/UEFI setup utility. Regardless, the customer was given a single executable which when launched ran an interactive utility called the Insyde Flash Firmware utility. I understand this is used with a variety of other manufacturers too including Lenovo for some devices.

image This tool simply instigates a comparison between the existing firmware and the version included within the supplied executable. From there, the user can hit upgrade, interact with any prompts such as AC power missing etc and then the upgrade kicks in, restarts and completes after a few minutes. Whilst this is obviously fine for piecemeal upgrades, it’s no use for an automated upgrade through something like a Configuration Manager task sequence.

Fear not, after a little tinkering I saw that the original executable extracted a number of files and when checking the %temp% folder you will see that there are a number of files extracted.

image

In here we have the ROM file which is the actual firmware update, an exe and 2 dll files which carry out the actual firmware flash, then finally a file named platform.ini which contains a variety of parameters which can be pre-configured to your desire. This configuration includes parameters for a silent install. If you do some searching around automating this then it’s quite bare but I did come across this PDF from 2014 (pre Windows 10!) which can be used for some guidance and understanding of the parameters within the platform.ini file.

https://silent-install.net/_media/h2offt_userguide_windows_v5.31.pdf

So, all we need to do is keep this bunch of files together and configure the parameters to make the UI silent. This can be done by looking for the {UI} section of the file and amending the parameters to the desired settings. You will find an explanation of the values in the comments below the parameters.

image

If you take a look through the rest of the file you will find you can also control several other parameters such as restart behaviour and AC power checks etc.

Once you have your platform.ini file, bundle this together with the other files and we can create a Configuration Manager package from this. All you need to do is run the H20FFT-Wx64.exe file without parameters or switches and it will automatically read the platform.ini file. In my case I simply created a package from those files and then specified the executable in a Run Command Line step. Alternatively you could create a program for this purpose or even an application but you may have to get a litte creative with teh detection method to detect the change in WMI perhaps.

A quick additional tip for you, if you want to detect the BIOS firmware version, you can use a WMI query with something like WMIC here.

image

wmic bios get smbiosbiosversion

Let me know how you get on and if you have any other experiences with this one.

/Peter

4 thoughts on “Silent updating of Insyde firmware

  1. To suppress the reboot I see the following parameters but it appears the reboot should already be ignored. I see Action=2,0 which to me indicates once flash is complete do nothing. However, the device is rebooting. Have you tested with this at all?

    [FlashComplete]
    Action=2,0
    Dialog=0
    Counter=15
    ActionOverride=0
    ;Action default : 2.
    ; 0 : Do nothing.
    ; 1 : Shutdown.
    ; 2 : Reboot.
    ;Dialog default : 0.
    ; 0 : Don’t display dialog.
    ; 1 : Display dialog.
    ; 2 : Display dialog and wait several seconds.
    ;Counter default : 15. (Unit is second)
    ; Integer : The number of seconds for count down to reboot or shutdown.
    ;ActionOverride default : 0
    ; 0 : This key is disabled. Flash utility bases action key setting to do original behavior.
    ; 1 : This key is enabled. Flash utility just does close itself in silent mode.
    ;The value behind comma is the return value in silent mode.

  2. I’m running into the same reboot issue, despite having Action=0,0. Were you able to get it to not reboot? I’d like to run this during imaging using MDT. I have it set that way for other HP Pro/Elite computers, but this is on an HP Stream 11 Pro G5.

  3. Ignore that. I was using the other .ini file that has the exact same parameters in the file. Renaming platform.ini to platform.ini.old and renaming 085AC.ini to platform.ini did the trick. I don’t know why there has to be multiple files that contain the same information, but are named differently. Either way, in the end, both 085AC.ini and platform.ini contained the exact same parameters to run silently and not restart.

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