Solving “Command or filename not recognized” when flashing HP ProLiant BIOSs using ROMPaq

My Problem

I have an HP ProLiant N40L MicroServer that needed its BIOS upgraded. I downloaded the proper firmware update package from HP’s support site which includes ROMPaq and the update flat files. I created a bootable USB thumbdrive using the ROMPaq utility, however attempting to update the server’s BIOS receives this error:

RomPaq may take a few minutes to get started, please be patient...
Command or filename not recognized

My Solution

Open the SWSetup folder that the ROMPaq installer creates and copy all files from the “Flat Files” folder over to the USB drive that the ROMPaq utility modifies to be bootable.

The Long Story

After the “Command or filename not recognized” error was received, I popped the USB drive into a different machine and inspected the contents. Looking at the AUTOEXEC.BAT file that is on the root showed this:

@echo off
echo ROMPAQ may take a few minutes to get started. Please be patient...
rompaq.exe /l:us /!

However, there was no rompaq.exe file anywhere on the drive! Furthermore, there wasn’t even a ROM file to be seen. Clearly the utility did not create a drive that was capable of flashing my server. Part of the unpacked files included a folder called “Flat Files” that included things which made more sense. For example, in that flat files folder was an AUTOEXEC.BAT file that looked like this:

@echo off
if errorlevel == 1 goto ENDIT
if errorlevel == 0 goto other
echo Next Please!!!

As well as a flash.bat file that looked like this:

kbd /"flash O41072~1.rom -r 100000,10000 -r 1e0000,10000;q"

And finally an actual ROM file that matched filenames with the line in the flash.bat file. I merely copied all the files in the “Flat Files” folder over to the USB key and chose to replace any existing files.

Apparently HP’s QA group let this get past them. The tool and documentation explicitly state that it will, once run, leave the USB media in a state that can be used to directory update the ProLiant firmware. No additional steps should be needed, according to the documentation. That is clearly not the case in this scenario.

Ever had a similar experience with ROMPaq or is this an oddball case? Let me know in the comments.


  1. Andria B

    September 6, 2012 at 10:27 am

    Thx for posting this. I am having this same exact issue with the new version of firmware for the Gen 8 Blades. I just put the files on there, and it worked. You would think HP would’ve fixed this.


  2. Rdenne

    October 2, 2012 at 6:51 am

    Thanks WD, this fixed my issue in a flash *badumtch*


    • Wesley David

      October 2, 2012 at 10:28 am



  3. Leigh

    November 5, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Same problem. I ended up using the ISO to make the boot CD in the end. That worked a treat!


  4. Nedal Abdouni

    November 22, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Thank you much, simply solved my issue


  5. Yusuf G

    February 8, 2013 at 6:10 am

    Thanks man, this server was gonna drive me crazy


  6. ziakhan

    June 17, 2013 at 12:04 am

    thx buddy ur solution works


  7. tdhaslett

    November 19, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Thanks so much! Another satisfied customer. Worked for me to install the critical BIOS update.


  8. Bob S

    December 14, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Thanks! Really Frustated until this fix.


  9. David White

    January 4, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Very useful THX.
    Can’t believe HP still haven’t sorted this simple fix out!


    • Kyle

      January 17, 2014 at 12:44 pm

      Mine is now stuck on programming blocks!!
      any ideas?


      • Wesley David

        January 17, 2014 at 1:11 pm

        Dunno – I’ve heard others have had that problem, but no one seemed to have a solution. =/


  10. Matt

    February 6, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Thanks – sorted by problem on the N54L with the October 2013 BIOS.

    Well done HP – still shipping rubbish software!


  11. kostas

    May 24, 2014 at 10:06 am

    Thank you very much, simply solved my issue.


  12. inkey

    June 13, 2014 at 2:49 am

    tnx.. it works!


  13. rolin

    June 24, 2014 at 4:35 am

    Thank you so much, i was pulling my hair out!


  14. John

    July 11, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    It appears as though the file extracts the USB creation software into whatever directory you launched the Download out of and then proceeds to copy the entire contents of that folder. if you open “ROMPaq USB Key” in the created c:\swsetup\spxxxxx folder and run the HPQUSB.exe file from there it will create the boot disk properly.


  15. tonydstechblog

    July 12, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Man, thanks, even. Great solution. HP man step up your game!


  16. Theo

    August 13, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Thanks to the OP and thanks to John, who provided a simpler solution. It’s simply unbelievable HP can’t fix it, might really be very difficult for them to provide correct software/instructions.


  17. Richard

    August 22, 2014 at 1:07 am

    This is my exact problem! After two months correspondance with HP support and a new system board I find this article. The time wasted..


  18. Mike

    September 30, 2014 at 4:52 am

    Thank you from Russia!! I updated BIOS on Proliant BL460C g8 and faced with a similar problem))


  19. Vern Roberts

    June 9, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Props brother… It totally worked for me too!


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