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).
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.
***Dangerous Step is Now Over***
Just choose boot FreeDOS with no extras.
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).