niko9 asks: "I am a Linux user who lives in an all Linux household. I build all my Linux boxes from components that I know will play nice with Linux. I was recently contemplating building a box with a Tyan Tiger K8W dual-Opteron motherboard, as the original BIOS did not provide support for the built-in Intel Gigabit NIC. Tyan has since released a BIOS revision, but the instructions for flashing the BIOS explicitly state that you need a Windows 95/98 boot disk. As someone who doesn't know anyone who runs Windows 98, nor do I own any copies of any Microsoft operating system, how does someone complete the delicate task of a BIOS upgrade? Wasn't Windows 98 recently retired? An email to Tyan's tech support has so far not yielded any response. When will motherboard manufacturers realize that upgrading your BIOS is better off being a neutral OS event? Does anyone know of any motherboard maker that doesn't require a specific OS to flash a BIOS?"
A simple solution is to not fight the requirement. Windows and DOS bootdisks
are readily available on the Internet, and all you need to do is grab a floppy, write the image to it, and put it in a safe place for such occasions. The gist of the question is still valid, however: what will it take to get BIOS manufacturers to make an OS neutral BIOS upgrade path?