On power up the F10 key will get you into the BIOS or F9 brings up a boot menu.
Initially I was prompted for a password, obviously set by the previous owner and so unknown to me. It didn't take long to fix this by taking the top off the unit and then:
Having got into the BIOS, at the top of the screen it identifies itself as 'HP Setup Utility'
and at the bottom of the screen is a version number:
Version 2.19.1268. Copyright (C) 2019 American Megatrends, Inc..
I always find these random version numbers a little odd as they bear no relation to the ones used on the HP
support pages. To find what BIOS version you are running you go to
'File -> System Information screen' where I found the System BIOS identified as
The BIOS has the usual range of configuration options:
||let's you set the size of the shared graphics memory.|
||let's you set up the boot order.|
One oddity I found was under:
That brought up a screen that let you individually enable/disable the front and rear USB ports. There
are no front USB ports, but there are two USB ports on the side.
I subsequently discovered that there are two different BIOSs available for the t430: the N41 BIOS and the N44 BIOS. Why there are two different ones I have no idea. (If you have the answer please email me using the link below).
Visiting the HP support site today (May 2023) I see that they offer updates for the N41 BIOS (00.01.12 Rev A, May 12 2023) and the N44 BIOS (00.02.08 Rev A, Nov 8 2022). These both appear as options whatever OS you select as the one running on your t430 so the BIOS versions are independent of the OS.
I assume that you are expected to stick to the strain of BIOS that's currently installed on your t430.
I can't remember exactly what I was presented with by the HP support site back in 2021 but I came away
with the impression that the latest BIOS at the time was
N44 00.02.04 Rev A. so that was
what I downloaded. (
sp114090.exe). I ran this to unpack all the files in the package.
The BIOS Flash.htm file lists various ways of updating the BIOS. My options were restricted as my t430 was not running a standard HP O/S. A previous owner had switched to ELUX. According to the htm file it looked like I had the option of updating from within the BIOS or from a specially prepared USB pen drive.
I ran the file
N44_0204.exe from the directory
SP114090\win\ to format
a USB pen drive and then copy a load of files to it which included the new BIOS
I then moved the USB pen drive across to the t430 and powered it up.
Originally I then described here four ways in which I failed to update the BIOS. This wasn't surprising as I was attempting to install a N44 BIOS on a machine running the N41 BIOS.
However in October 2021 I heard from Enis who told me how to do it by renaming some of the files so it appeared to be a N44 BIOS that I was trying to install. I must admit in the back of my mind I did wonder about the apparent major switch from an N41 BIOS to a N44 Bios but didn't pursue it. I should have done.
In May 2023 I heard from Alex who followed what I did to get the N44 BIOS onto his t430 as an update to his N41 BIOS and ended up with a brick. I wonder why I didn't when I did my 'upgrade'? My apologies to Alex for being the source of his problem and my thanks to his (suprisingly?) polite email letting me know about it.
So I currently have a sample of two N41-to-N44 upgrades one of which worked and one of which didn't. We know nothing about why there are two 'strains' of BIOS (N41 and N44). The moral of this story I think is to stick with what you've got - N41 or N44 - and don't try and cross over.
Below are screenshots of my original update to give you a flavour of the process.
In the interests of economy the pictures of BIOS Update screens below are intended to give you an idea of what you should be seeing. They're not meant to be an eye test!
Plug the pen drive into the t430, power up and hit F10 to get into the BIOS. Pick the File option.
Pick Flash System BIOS and then Launch HpBiosUpdate
The BIOS should discover the new BIOS on the pen drive and put up a screen about the update. Left to its own devices a counter counts down and it will launch the update.
The update process runs. It does take a while but you do get a progress bar whilst it is doing it.
Then you sit through it again whilst it verifies the new image.
At this point the system reboots and does I know not what. I followed the instructions and left it alone even when it seemed to have finished and shut down. Eventually it restarted into the OS at which point I barged in.
Result: one updated BIOS.