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How to perform a BIOS update


This article will explain how to create a bootable FreeDOS USB drive and prepare the drive with the appropriate BIOS update files for installation on a Protectli Vault.  FreeDOS is a free DOS application that is compatible with Intel based computers, such as the Vault. The Vault uses FreeDOS to install BIOS updates to the Vault.

For creating a bootable USB with Windows, Protectli recommends a tool called Rufus. The home page for Rufus is https://rufus.akeo.ie.  The Windows system requirements are listed on the Rufus homepage.

These instructions are for the following models:

  • FW1
  • FW2
  • FW4A
  • FW2B/4B
  • FW6A/B/C/D/E

Create Bootable FreeDOS USB – Windows

  • Download the Rufus tool from the official page to a Windows computer
  • Verify an executable file with a name of rufus-2.17 or similar is downloaded (the version you download may have a higher version number than this example)
    • Note that rufus is an executable and does not need to be installed.
  • Select the Rufus application that was downloaded and verify that the main menu pops up (example screenshot below)
  • Verify that “FreeDOS” is the default selection
Rufus tool - BIOS update

Rufus Main Menu

  • Insert a USB drive into a USB port on the PC
  • Verify that Rufus recognizes the USB drive
Rufus tool menu - BIOS update

Rufus Detects USB Drive

  • Select Start
  • Verify the warning appears and select Ok
Rufus tool - USB detected

Rufus Warning Message

  • Verify the FreeDOS is created on the USB, application status is “READY” and the green bar is complete
Rufus tool - BIOS update

Rufus Ready Message

Download BIOS and Copy BIOS Folder to FreeDOS USB

*** Important ***

Note that the folder, file, and version names in this article are used as an example. The actual folder, file, and version names will vary depending on the model of Vault and the version of BIOS.

  • Download the BIOS folder to the Windows machine from the Protectli BIOS Version page at this link
  • The BIOS folder will be a compressed “zip” file. If compressed, uncompress the zip file
  • Go to “This PC” on the Windows machine and select the USB drive
Download BIOS

Select USB Drive on This PC

  • Drag/copy the BIOS folder to the USB drive
  • If prompted, check the box to copy all current items to the USB Drive
Select USB Drive

Copy Prompt

  • Verify folder copied to the USB Drive
copy prompt

BIOS Folder in USB Drive

  • Safely remove the USB drive from the Windows computer

BIOS update on the Vault 

Note: Freedos will not boot in UEFI BIOS. To successfully complete this procedure make sure the BIOS is set to Legacy. We have a guide covering this here. Using the same steps but switch to “Legacy Only”.

  • Insert the USB drive into the Vault
  • Hit the “F11” key repeatedly during boot
  • Verify the Vault boots to the boot selection menu
  • Select the USB and verify the Vault boots to the DOS prompt
  • Type “dir” to see the contents of the USB drive
  • In this example the folder “4A171114” should appear
  • Type “cd 4A171114” to change directory to the BIOS folder
  • Type “update.bat”
  • Verify that the BIOS installation completes

Verify BIOS ID on the Vault 

  • Reboot the Vault
  • Hit the “DEL” key repeatedly during boot
  • Verify the Vault boots to the main BIOS window
  • Verify the BIOS ID is the correct version
Verify BIOS ID on Vault


At this point the new BIOS should be installed. However, if there are any issues, please check our Knowledge Base or submit a ticket.

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