I wanted to play with the bios of an old notebook I had lying arround. It was a Benq JoyBook, but the BIOS updates for this notebook came tightly packed. I had to expend a lot of time and effort to get the ROM file, so I thought that I'll be nice and post this to save time and headaches from anyone in the same case. So, if you need to extract a bios, these are the tools you need: WinRar (7Zip works also, and it's free) Universal extractor IsoBuster (Virtual Floppy Drive works also. Free. Now works on Windows 7) I found three different kind of packaging/compression on the Benq bios updater, but there are more. Because sometimes the files are packed/compressed recursively, you must check all the files every time you unpack, to see if there is something that can be further unpacked. These are the files types you can find: EXE files (Windows) You can try to just extract using WinRar/7Zip, but sometimes not all the data inside the EXE can be extracted that way. If you can't find the files you are looking for inside the extracted folder, try using the Universal extractor. Also you can use Sandboxie, but as I don't know this software, there is a manual way to get to the contents of a Windows auto-extracting exe: Open a file explorer window. Make sure you have the option to see hidden and system files on. (Tools -> Options) On the address bar, type %temp% and press Enter. You are now seeing the contents of the Windows temp folder. Set the view mode to "Details" and click on the "Creation Date" column header to sort with the newer date first. Run the EXE file and wait until the first dialog appears, but don't touch it yet. Look on the %temp% folder, there will be at least one new folder with the current date/time. Look inside these folders to get the contents of the EXE file. COM files I never found a BIOS file on a COM. But sometimes developers hide an EXE renaming it as COM. How do you know if it is really a EXE? Real COM executables can't be bigger than 64Kb. You can also open the file on a text or HEX editor, and if the first two characters are MZ, it is an EXE again. In any case, a COM file is a DOS executable, so treat it as an EXE file anyway. Look at the next section. EXE files (DOS) You can try with WinRar or 7-Zip, but the chances to unpack an DOS executable are slim, because usually they are custom programs. You can also try running the EXE with a help parameter -? or /? or -h or /h to see if the program has any switches. There may be a switch to extract the contents. CAB files There are two kinds of CAB files, the MS Cab ones that can be extracted with WinRar/7Zip, and the Installshield ones that only can be extracted using Universal extractor. You can easily tell an Installshield CAB apart because it comes with an file with identical name, but HDR as the extension. If there are files that are numbered (Data1.cab, Data2.cab, etc), usually the second and next files are unpacked automaticaly from the first file. ISO files These are CD/DVD image files. You can unpack them with WinRar/7Zip. VFD files These are floppy disk image files. You can unpack them with a program like IsoBuster (commercial software), or you can mount the file using the Virtual Floppy Disk software, and then manually copying the contents from the disk. In the case of my Joybook notebook, I had to do: "Joybook A32 R218(22.214.171.124).EXE" (Installshield EXE) -> Universal extractor "data1.cab" (Installshield EXE) -> Universal extractor "PQVF.VFD" (Floppy disk image) -> VFD "BIOS.ROM" (Phoenix bios file) -> Success! If someone knows more file types, different/better methods of extraction, or any useful information, please reply and I'll update this post.