1.I am trying to upgrade all of my drivers prior to upgrading to Windows 10 as recommended by Dell. I am currently at Windows 7 Professional.
I used Support Assist which identifies my computer correctly by service tag and it took me to the drivers download site, and I accessed the tab :Guide Me. It recommended Intel chipset driver 126.96.36.1999, and I installed it, along with Intel Management Engine Controller Driver.. Turns out I did not look carefully and I later identified the chipset driver as supporting the Area 51 computer, not the Aurora R4. So far the computer works ok. Odd though that the Guide me would recommend downloading a driver for a different computer.
When I go to the "I will find them myself" tab and referencing my specific computer again, it shows the latest chipset driver for the Aurora R4 as the Intel chipset driver 188.8.131.526. I downloaded that and tried to install it thinking that my first download was erroneously suggested, but when I click install a warning comes up saying I am trying to install an OLDER driver, so I exited out. It shows the installed driver as in fact 184.108.40.2069, which of course I installed earlier.
How can I tell which Intel Chipset driver is the correct one before I upgrade to Windows 10?
2. Dell recommends upgrading the BIOS to latest version before upgrading to Windows 10. I have BIOS A 03. Downloaded the A 11 from the website under "I will find them myself" and when I tried to run the installer in Windows, it says I must update to A05 first. But there is no A 05 listed anywhere on the drivers and downloads site for the Aurora R4.
Given the possibility of rendering computer inoperative with BIOS flash, do I really need to upgrade to A11 to make my transition to Windows 10 work? If I do where could I find the driver?
I think Aurora-R4 is Intel x79 chipset. You can get them directly from Intel.
Intel often releases Chipset Driver installers to support/install many of the latest chipset drivers from one universal installer. That might explain how a different Area51 targeted file updated your machine.
Both in Win-7 and Win-10, Windows-Installer and/or Windows-Update (from online) should also install an appropriate Intel chipset driver.
BIOS updates are risky on machines like Dells without Dual-BIOS. In your favor, updates on uEFI machines are a little safer.
It's a risk, but A03 is pretty old. Around A07 there was a major BIOS change that affected PCIe video card stability.
If you must do it inside Windows, I suggest a fresh boot. Stop Anti-Virus and unnecessary background programs and processes first.
I decided to use the last posted chipset driver that was specific for the Aurora R4, and "downgraded" to that one from the newer Area 51 specific one recommended by the Dell Detect, so I think I am OK with all the latest drivers.
However I remain concerned about updating the BIOS. Dell STRONGLY RECOMMENDS updating to latest BIOS prior to upgrading to Windows 10. I might like to use a more advanced NVIDIA video card n the future, as I am using a GTX 580. That would require updating the BIOS as well.
I am surprised that Dell does not give more specific step by step instructions for updating the BIOS given that potentially thousands of users would need to do this before going to Windows 10.
So can Dell or anyone answer these questions:
1. Please tell me how to create a DOS bootable USB Drive. I see l websites that give one tools that purport to do it, but for something as important as this in terms of ruining motherboard, Dell must have a utility or step by step instructions for doing so. Use Free DOS, MS DOS, what size USB drive, what format type do I use etc. What is the proper utility to create the drive?
2. Where does one place these BIOS update files on the bootable USB drive? The root directory?
3.Also what precisely does one do or type out once one boots into the DOS environment with this flash drive to execute the file to update the BIOS? I have not used DOS commands.
4. Although one chooses the USB drive as the first in the boot order in the BIOS what about Legacy v s UEFI as type of boot when trying to boot from the USB drive?
5. Finally the BIOS has multiple user chooseable settings, usually set at the factory. What happens to those during the flash? Are they retained? Do I need to copy them all down before upgrading so I can reapply them?
6. Based on users comments it seems safest to apply all of the BIOS updates using Dos, so I would do that, intending to update to A 05 and then A11. But again it would be nice if Dell would tell me if I accomplish this with two updates or have to risk multiple updates which each one in the series from A05 up.
Fortunately my computer is still under warranty.
After some research I was able to find the following and post this for others who may have the same questions.
An instruction page and video on how to update BIOS from Dell is here:
Dell does have a utility to create a DOS Bootable Disk found here along with very detailed instructions on how to create the disk which are included in the link above.
One copies the BIOS updates to the root directory.
That said I called Dell support to help me through the process. I was on hold about one minute, and a friendly technician stayed on with me through the process. We performed every available update from A03 to A11 sequentially with no skips, as the Dell support technician indicated not doing them sequentially would lead to no POST problems.
Also of interest was that all of the updates were done by clicking the executable BIOS downloaded file while in Windows 7 environment, and all of the updates worked fine, with automatic reboots in between.
So maybe I was lucky but it all went well. Did not need the DOS bootable disk. But nice to know how to create one if desired for the safest process.