[CentOS] OT: BIOS upgrades and booting without a floppy drive

Tue Aug 23 01:01:45 UTC 2005
Bart Schaefer <barton.schaefer at gmail.com>

I've got a machine running CentOS 3.5 with an Intel D865GBF
motherboard and I've been having an occasional "event" where
disk-intensive activity (such as running "yum check-update" or
starting up OpenOffice) causes the load average to spike and X11 to
become unresponsive (as in, the pointer won't even track the mouse)
for a few seconds.  The machine always recovers and returns to normal,
but it's getting a bit annoying.

I saw one thread in which the suggested solution for a vaguely similar
problem was to switch from the SMP kernel with hyperthreading to the
UP kernel, but that hasn't made much difference.  Then I saw Dave G's
recent thread in which a more severe yum-related lockup was solved
with a BIOS upgrade.

I see there's a D865GBF BIOS upgrade on the Intel site, dating from
May.  Problem is it comes only as either a Windows installer, or a
bootable floppy -- and not only does this machine not have a floppy
drive, but the case configuration is such that the DVD-ROM drive
blocks access to the floppy connector on the motherboard, so I'm
looking at minor surgery just to stick one in temporarily.

Is there any clever way around this?  Some way to make a bootable CD
from the floppy image, for example?  Or must I grit my teeth and bring
out the screwdrivers?