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socalpk
1 Nickel

Area 51 R2 Bios A03 to A10

I believe there is an A04 and an A08 that's been released since I updated to A03. I have read in these forums that it is suggested to run each update in succession prior to going to A10 however I have found no instruction or downloads available when I enter my tag number in support. I only find the file for A10 and instructions.

Can I assume that the bios (A01, A03, A04, A08) is not updated but actually replaced entirely so the existing bios version is not significant when installing the A10 (latest) Bios, and therefore there should be no need to update versions in succession?

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Tesla1856
6 Gallium

Re: Area 51 R2 Bios A03 to A10

I see A04, A08, A09, A10 here. I would do those in order.

http://downloads.dell.com/published/pages/alienware-area51-r2.html

See my post here:

https://community.dell.com/message/102219?commentID=102219#comment-102219

And here are my notes:

CMOS/BIOS Upgrades:
The general rule is you don't update motherboard CMOS-BIOS firmware, unless you have a good reason to do so. This is due to the risk of "bricking" the motherboard. If under warranty, I suggest you call phone support and let them walk you through it. That way, if it bricks, you can usually get your motherboard replaced for free. Bricking-risk is especially true with older (non-UEFI) conventional Legacy-BIOS machines. Better to do those outside-of-Windows with DOS bootable media.
 
Newer UEFI machines might be less prone to bricking/killing. Finally, a very old BIOS might have bugs/glitches that are fixed in newer versions. If you are far behind and have many to install, it's usually best to just install them all in order (checking machine after each one).
 
I've had good luck flashing BIOS outside of Windows with Rufus-made FreeDOS bootable flash drive. If in UEFI-Mode, you might have to temporarily switch back to Legacy-Mode to get flash-drive to boot:
http://www.howtogeek.com/136987/how-to-create-a-bootable-dos-usb-drive/
I just make one of these USB Flash drives. Create a Folder on it for each machine. Inside the folder, copy all the consecutive BIOS updates needed for that machine. Goes pretty fast. Again, be sure to check machine after each one. #Don't get it a hurry or get confused. Better to have machine on a good UPS (like APC) while doing this.


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socalpk
1 Nickel

Re: Area 51 R2 Bios A03 to A10

Thanks Tesla1856! I see the versions there (which is a great resource) but when I use support and my tag number it does not say I should download and install in succession to the latest Bios. If the bios is completely replaced each time, then doing as you suggest, is a lot of extra risk for absolutely no gain here, since every time the bios is changed it could fail and brick my presently-out-of-warranty area 51 r2. I actually have previously read your very informative post and focused on the CMOS/Bios section you included. Still, I have to wonder if the bios is being replaced or simply updated...if only updated what you say regarding succession makes complete sense, if not, if the downloaded bios is a complete replacement each time then it is adding a lot of risk to update in succession when the end result is the same with a single full version replacement of the bios contained in one install rather than numerous (which logically seems the safest way to do this)? Are you certain the newest bios isn't complete but rather based on previous installments?

This is the answer I seek, since my tag support only includes the latest bios version and makes no mention of conditions related to what version I am at presently nor does it include this access to previous versions as you've provided.

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Tesla1856
6 Gallium

Re: Area 51 R2 Bios A03 to A10

Sounds like something might be wrong with Dell's database in relation to your Service Tag. You are welcome to contact them and try to get it resolved before you continue.

You are also welcome to update your BIOS however you wish. I don't have your model. I do own different Alienware models and years of experience with various computers.

I can tell you that some machines have prerequisite BIOSes that must be done first, and then the rest in a certain order. Some manufacturers prevent firmware "back flashes". Some motherboard are prone to "bricking". The steps I suggest are my best idea for 100% success (what I would do).

Sounds like you are looking for definite answers which I can't give you. Maybe someone else will post.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
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Moderator
Moderator

Re: Area 51 R2 Bios A03 to A10

Hi socalpk‌,

You can not jump from A03 to A10, the system will probably not post any more if you do so. You need to go to the A04, A08 and finally the A10.

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socalpk
1 Nickel

Re: Area 51 R2 Bios A03 to A10

Thanks Alienware-Eimy and ! At this point I feel that I have to either trust the experts (you guys) and believe that Dell has a huge oversight regarding this, or assume Dell knows it's business and I should be fine going directly to A10. None of the Bios instructions include warnings that they must be done in succession. None indicate that you must be running any specific Bios version to update safely or correctly. This is very concerning to me and I don't know what to think here. I will most likely take your advice and run them in succession A04>A08>A09>A10 since technically that's how it should be done if you update them as they are released however even this really nice video doesn't say a word about doing this and if it's required it seems really scary to me that it's not mentioned. ... and if it's not required it seems really scary to take the risk 3 extra times to achieve the same result. The video shows almost exactly as I was going to proceed. When I enter my Service Tag and look for Bios drivers I have only 1 listed (A10) and nothing says I should first run the other drivers in succession. Thanks again, really appreciate the help, just want to do this right is all.

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Tesla1856
6 Gallium

Re: Area 51 R2 Bios A03 to A10

socalpk wrote:

1. None of the Bios instructions include warnings that they must be done in succession. None indicate that you must be running any specific Bios version to update safely or correctly.

2. This is very concerning to me and I don't know what to think here.

3. I will most likely take your advice and run them in succession A04>A08>A09>A10 since technically that's how it should be done if you update them as they are released

4. however even this really nice video doesn't say a word about doing this and if it's required it seems really scary to me that it's not mentioned.

5. ... and if it's not required it seems really scary to take the risk 3 extra times to achieve the same result.

6. The video shows almost exactly as I was going to proceed.

7. When I enter my Service Tag and look for Bios drivers I have only 1 listed (A10) and nothing says I should first run the other drivers in succession. Thanks again, really appreciate the help,

8. just want to do this right is all.

1. I can't speak to the accuracy of Dell posted Instructions, or if they cover every contingency. Not sure about desktop motherboard, but especially on laptops ... sometimes other embedded-controllers need to be updated, but that update is only included in the ONE firmware update when it is released (which ends up being a pre-requisite to all others).

2. I know, that's why I keep posting, to try to help

3. That is probably the most accurate thing you have posted yet. I might use your words to update the latest version of my notes in online thread. This is why I know this way will work, or has the best chance of success.

4. I can't speak to the accuracy of Dell posted video, or if it covers every contingency

5. See #3 above

6. Well, "almost" doesn't count. That's your point isn't it?

7. I can't speak to the accuracy to Dell's "Service Tag to Files" database. Even now, generic Aurora-R6 page shows a few extra files that are not shown when I use my ServiceTag. There is only one Aurora-R6. Also, the missing files have nothing to do with hardware that may/may not be in my exact config.

8. I understand. It's important it be done right. That's why I wrote the notes and keep posting here.
 
So, are you going to do it from DOS or try executing each one from Windows (and let each one flash from UEFI) like the video shows? Just wondering.

 

If you are still under warranty, you can call phone support and let them help you. If something goes terribly wrong, they might help you recover as part of your warranty.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
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socalpk
1 Nickel

Re: Area 51 R2 Bios A03 to A10

" I can't speak to the accuracy of Dell posted Instructions"

But this is actually what I am looking for more than anything. I know it's common to do bios updates in succession but what is common may not be the most right answer. It's a good answer, and a safe answer but is it the safest most correct answer? I am looking for the safest answer and was hoping to either officially hear from someone who will confirm the accuracy of Dell's posted instructions implying that succession is not necessary or from someone who has done a skipped version (successful or failed) bios update, and if failed confirmation from Dell that that was the cause. Perhaps I am checking the wrong place and need to try and get firm answers directly from their tech support but years ago (perhaps still), this forum did(does) have pretty solid reps like DELL-ChrisM who either had solid answers or got official answers.

At this point, I'm uncertain, I am leaning toward doing succession via windows, as this seems to be the most likely way the updates were designed and intended to be done. Or I may, painfully, call support and see what they say. I'm well past having a warranty and my machine runs nicely but I did see "Enhanced the Intel Processor Performance" on a couple updates which peaked my interest and expandability options that may become of interest in the near future. And I like to keep things updated and running as well as possible. But is it worth the risk? A single update would be so much more tempting than a series of them. That's sort of what I am trying to sort out. And the uncertainty is really holding me back.

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Re: Area 51 R2 Bios A03 to A10

Updating via Windows from A03 to A08 to A10 worked fine for me. After BIOS Update Always Reset Your BIOS Settings to Avoid Problems.

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socalpk
1 Nickel

Re: Area 51 R2 Bios A03 to A10

So you skipped A04 and A09 then?

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