Several months ago I encountered a failure I had never encountered before in decades of technology consulting...a BIOS failure.

It was partly my own fault. I was partly due to impatience (although I don't think if I was patient it would have helped).

I was dealing with an annoying audio issue. Audio playback is clipping. Obvious first step is to reinstall the audio driver. I go to the HP website and download the appropriate driver for my computer. While there I notice that there is a very recent BIOS update, so I grab that as well.

I reinstall the audio driver. It requires a reboot and I put that off because I need to install the BIOS update as well. I proceed to install the BIOS update. Things are going well, until the very end of the process when the computer freezes. Mouse stops working. Keyboard stops responding. Nothing. I wait a bit and then power off the computer...knowing full well that it is a bad idea to cut the power during a BIOS update.

BIOS or Basic Input Output System is the software that that tells your computer what to do and how to do it when you turn it on. BIOS tells your computer how to boot your operating system. In short, without a working BIOS your computer will not work.

So I cut the power to my computer and reboot. The power button turns red the internal speaker goes Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep. My lizard brain going into over drive. Red is danger, emergency, BAD. Computer beeping is BAD. Computer screen are black and showing no connection. Not good.

I pull out my laptop and a flash drive...there has to be a way to fix this. A quick search on the Internet reveals that there is a fail safe mechanism to recovery a corrupt or failed BIOS installation. If you put the BIOS image on a formatted USB drive and turn on the computer the new BIOS will load.

I do this. It does not work.

I read more on the Internet, someone else had the same issue. They fixed it by loading the BIOS image onto a CD-ROM. I threw out all my blank CD-ROMs a year ago and even if I did not I do not have a computer with a working CD drive.

There has to be a way to fix this...the fail safe mechanism is old and it is dead simple.

Hmm, old and simple...So I get the smallest USB drive I can find (4GB) and format it with the simplest file system (FAT). Load the BIOS image onto the drive and try again.

Success! Crisis resolved.

how to load the operating system.