Update firmware

Products follow each other faster and faster and at the same time the functionality of a product is only increasing. In order to keep up with the high consumer rate, manufacturers sometimes even choose not to release all functionality immediately and only fix bugs later. A firmware update should then ensure that the product eventually functions as expected, with all the promised functions.

Firmware is a piece of software that is installed in a device. It is actually a kind of operating system that ensures that all parts function well individually and work together with each other. As with a normal operating system, it may turn out that certain things do not go as planned, or that new functionality has been devised. In that case, the firmware must be adjusted with a so-called firmware update. Flash memory is installed in the device especially for the firmware. Hence about it to flash talking about the firmware. Of course there are limits to what is and is not permissible in terms of functionality and stability. If a manufacturer exceeds this limit, he is punished by the buyers of his products. You can expect the manufacturer of your product to release a firmware update, if necessary, and have it done easily. The simplicity of installing a firmware update varies.

Firmware update or not?

In most cases, manufacturers are very reluctant to provide new firmware. And if it is provided at all, it comes with some serious warnings that make some people still forget to use the provided update. An important saying in this is: if it ain't broke, don't fix it. In other words, stay away from things that do their job. And this is not without reason, if something goes wrong during the firmware update there is a risk that a product becomes unusable. There is a group of people where it starts to itch when new firmware is found. That update must then be used and the associated risks are taken for granted. Because in the end you never know whether the user experience will be lifted to an even higher level. If the user experience is plagued by annoying bugs and missing 'promised' functionalities, a firmware update is of course a blessing, provided it does not make things worse. And here's the tricky part: will life get better with a firmware update or will it collapse into the abyss?

Preparing a firmware update

A successful firmware update depends on good preparation. Some firmware updates will lose settings you have made on the product. If possible, a backup, creating a configuration file, is recommended. Most routers do offer that option. With motherboards it is often not possible for technical reasons and then a notepad is a solution to write down all the settings yourself. Backing up the firmware itself is not always possible and if this is possible, it is often not possible to overwrite a newer version with an older one. In other words: there is not always a way back, so determine in advance whether a firmware update is useful for you.

Our HP printer appears to have new possibilities with a firmware update, among other things.

To work

It is not possible to address each way in which a firmware update should be performed individually. The steps you need to take are substantively different, but there are about six phases that you have to go through anyway. We therefore take you through these phases of the upgrade process. An example is the HP LaserJet Pro CP1525n network printer. The methods we use to update this printer with new firmware can be used to update a BIOS of a motherboard, the firmware of an optical drive, external hard drive, SSD, and so on. When installing the driver for the first time, the HP CP1525n offers the option to check for new firmware updates. Because not all equipment is capable of performing a firmware update in this way, we have chosen to manually implement the firmware update afterwards.

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