Phil Pang

Barracuda Firewall BIOS unlock (load your own OS)

The Barracuda Internet security appliances are x86-based machines that are locked down in the BIOS to only boot to its OS and will not retain BIOS password changes. If you want to reuse the machine for other purposes, you’ll need to reflash the BIOS to the manufacturer’s version. Here’s how I did it on a Barracuda Web Security Gateway 315.

  1. Download the zip file below if you trust me (I won’t blame if you don’t, this is the internet after all! – you can try to find the files named below.) It includes the motherboard manual, most recent MSI v2.10 BIOS as well as the Barracuda-customized v2.11b5 BIOS if you need to revert.
  2. Plug in a blank, FAT32 formatted USB key.
  3. Boot up your system and enter the BIOS setup by pressing DEL right after the Barracuda Networks splash screen. Password is BCNDK1.
  4. Go to M-Flash
  5. In the Backup BIOS to USB Drive>Save File to Selected Device section, select your USB key (should be automatically selected), select Start to Save File.
    Picture of BIOS screen
  6. Go to BIOS Update or 2nd BIOS From USB Drive>M-Flash Function As>BIOS Update.
  7. Load BIOS Source File From selection should appear with your USB drive already selected. Drill down the menu until you see a filename (A7597NZ1.2B5 or something like that.) Note the filename down that appears.
  8. With the prompt still on the screen, pull the USB key from the Barracuda and plug it into a working computer. I suggest you archive a copy of your own saved BIOS as well.
  9. In the MSI BIOS v2.10 folder, copy A7597NMS.2A0 to the USB key.
  10. Rename your original saved BIOS to something like .old, and rename the new A7597NMS.2A0 BIOS file as the saved filename. In my case, it is A7597NZ1.2B5. This name should match the filename to load on the Barracuda BIOS update prompt.


  11. Plug the USB key into your Barracuda again, and press return. In effect, the Barracuda is thinking this is a valid custom BIOS. Allow the M-Flash sequence to finish and the Barracuda will automatically reboot.
    Yes, flash the BIOS!
    BIOS Flash Success

  12. Upon rebooting you should get an MSI splash screen. Congrats, you now have a “normal” MSI BIOS and can modify BIOS options (including the password) that will stick on reboot!
    Generic MSI BIOS screen

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