Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 28

Thread: HOWTO: BIOS Upgrade on DELL Computers WITHOUT a WINDOWS Install

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Oxford, OH, USA
    Beans
    1,000
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Lightbulb HOWTO: BIOS Upgrade on DELL Computers WITHOUT a WINDOWS Install

    Hello,

    Most DELL (or any other brand) of machines have BIOS updates/upgrades from time to time. There have been several projects attempting to solve the issue that arises when attempting to upgrade the BIOS of a DELL computer with no MS Windows O/S on it. However, most of them are defunct (not working anymore).

    BTW: You CANNOT upgrade the BIOS from a VirtualBox or a VMWare install - Please DO NOT try this - you need to be running an MS O/S or FreeDOS natively - i.e. on the bare metal.

    Therefore, what is the solution? Here's one that I came across that is very easy and straightforward and makes use of the native *.exe BIOS file from DELL.

    (This method will also work for any other brand of computer that provides it's BIOS files as *.exe format).

    1) Install unetbootin from Synaptic or CLI.
    2) Plug in a USB stick (it does not need to be erased, just to enough room for the FreeDOS and the bios (*.exe) file).
    3) Create a FreeDOS bootable USB stick (on the USB stick you just plugged in).
    4) Download the latest and greatest DELL_BIOS_MODEL.EXE file for YOUR specific machine from the DELL SUPPORT website from your Ubuntu install.
    5) Transfer the DELL_BIOS_MODEL.EXE file to your USB stick.
    6) REBOOT your computer and enter the BIOS options (F8 or F12 - usually).
    7) Select BOOT from USB before booting from anything else. Hit <Enter>.
    8) Wait for the USB with the FreeDOS to boot.
    ***THIS NEXT STEP IS IMPORTANT***
    9) DO NOT choose to install the FreeDOS - this will erase your HDD and wipe-out your Ubuntu install.
    Also, do not choose any of the other special memory boot options.
    Just choose boot FreeDOS with no extras.
    ***Dangerous Step is Now Over***
    10) You will get a couple or warnings/errors - its okay to ignore them. When presented with the A:\ prompt, type C: and hit <Enter>.
    11) Type dir and you should get a list of all directories and files on your USB stick.
    12) Type DELL_BIOS_MODEL.EXE and hit <Enter> to execute the BIOS update/upgrade file.
    13) DO NOT touch the power (make sure your are plugged in with an A/C adapter if your are using a laptop); follow the on-screen instructions.
    14) If necessary after the update/upgrade, enter the BIOS (again, usually F8 or F12) and return the first boot device to what was before (usually the CDROM or HDD).

    Cheers,
    CH
    Last edited by cement_head; December 30th, 2011 at 05:42 PM. Reason: grammar, clarity, spelling
    ________________________________
    DELL e6420 Laptop
    Ubuntu Pagolin Precise 12.04 LTS
    Linux Registered User #434330

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Douglasville, GA
    Beans
    130
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal

    Re: HOWTO: BIOS Upgrade on DELL Computers WITHOUT a WINDOWS Install

    Nicely done - I need to update the BIOS on my laptop and will give this a try!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Central Calif
    Beans
    1,208
    Distro
    Xubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal

    Re: HOWTO: BIOS Upgrade on DELL Computers WITHOUT a WINDOWS Install

    Dell support requires Internet Explorer. What is the solution?
    Remember When Double-Dog dare ya's and water balloons were the ultimate weapon?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Oxford, OH, USA
    Beans
    1,000
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: HOWTO: BIOS Upgrade on DELL Computers WITHOUT a WINDOWS Install

    Hello,

    You have to manually navigate to the correct PC model. You cannot use a windows-based "automagic" scan and auto-download option to find the correct files "For my PC" type programme. Just do it manually yourself in FireFox.

    Start Here: http://support.dell.com/support/topi...=427825#Issue3

    - CH
    Last edited by cement_head; January 19th, 2012 at 12:48 PM. Reason: clarity
    ________________________________
    DELL e6420 Laptop
    Ubuntu Pagolin Precise 12.04 LTS
    Linux Registered User #434330

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Central Calif
    Beans
    1,208
    Distro
    Xubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal

    Re: HOWTO: BIOS Upgrade on DELL Computers WITHOUT a WINDOWS Install

    Thanks!
    Remember When Double-Dog dare ya's and water balloons were the ultimate weapon?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio, USA
    Beans
    161
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Smile Re: HOWTO: BIOS Upgrade on DELL Computers WITHOUT a WINDOWS Install

    Quote Originally Posted by cement_head View Post
    4) Download the latest and greatest DELL_BIOS_MODEL.EXE file for YOUR specific machine from the DELL SUPPORT website from your Ubuntu install.
    Just call me "Dumb." I was having a whale of a time getting the bios update for my computer. In retrospect, I can see that what was faking me out was the Dell site's advice to use IE. I ended up using Firefox from Windows and flashing therein. But it was your post that helped me to be able to do it.

    Thank you very much.
    AMD Athlon II X2 220 Processor × 2 , 2.8 GHz, 6 GB, Nvidia PNY 210, 1 TB hdd: Windows 7; Ubuntu 13.10; Linux Mint 16 Petra. // Gateway E4000, Intel Pentium 4, 1.8 Ghz; 1.0 GB RAM, Geforce 5500; 32 bit; Windows 7, PCLinuxOS 201404 Mate Desktop.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio, USA
    Beans
    161
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: HOWTO: BIOS Upgrade on DELL Computers WITHOUT a WINDOWS Install

    Quote Originally Posted by critin View Post
    Dell support requires Internet Explorer. What is the solution?
    Dell Support only requires Internet Explorer to scan your computer; but after you've done that (and that's assuming that you need for Dell support to scan your computer to get information that might be on the right hand side of the rear of your machine), you can download the bios update with Firefox and have Firefox put wherever you need it to be.

    Cheers'
    AMD Athlon II X2 220 Processor × 2 , 2.8 GHz, 6 GB, Nvidia PNY 210, 1 TB hdd: Windows 7; Ubuntu 13.10; Linux Mint 16 Petra. // Gateway E4000, Intel Pentium 4, 1.8 Ghz; 1.0 GB RAM, Geforce 5500; 32 bit; Windows 7, PCLinuxOS 201404 Mate Desktop.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Oxford, OH, USA
    Beans
    1,000
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: HOWTO: BIOS Upgrade on DELL Computers WITHOUT a WINDOWS Install

    Quote Originally Posted by Randymanme View Post
    Just call me "Dumb." I was having a whale of a time getting the bios update for my computer. In retrospect, I can see that what was faking me out was the Dell site's advice to use IE. I ended up using Firefox from Windows and flashing therein. But it was your post that helped me to be able to do it.

    Thank you very much.
    Awesome, yeah the "automagic" scan & download is a pain and only works in Windows systems.

    Glad you solved the issue.

    - CH
    ________________________________
    DELL e6420 Laptop
    Ubuntu Pagolin Precise 12.04 LTS
    Linux Registered User #434330

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Spain
    Beans
    1,185
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Re: HOWTO: BIOS Upgrade on DELL Computers WITHOUT a WINDOWS Install

    Unfortunately, after running the .exe I get (after saying that AC & battery is present etc):
    Code:
    Memory error (2)
    No instructions to follow or anything, it happens almost instantly.
    Also, I see it creates another file, PHLASH16.EXE, with 0 bytes. To sum up, the process fails.

    I'm on a dell mini9, with solid state disk.

    Not that I expect a fix for that (it would be welcome though ). I'm simply posting for others to read.

    Thanks for the tip anyway!
    JC
    What's even more important than free software? - OPEN FORMATS.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: HOWTO: BIOS Upgrade on DELL Computers WITHOUT a WINDOWS Install

    FreeDos didn't work for me, just got a message "this file can't be run" or something similar.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •