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jason_ellison
1 Copper

Dimension XPS T500 BIOS upgrade

I have never upgraded a BIOS before.  If any of you can answer these questions that would be great.

I have a Dell Dimension XPS T500 and the BIOS version ends with a P05 but the upgrades listed on the Dell website are A__.  The lastest upgrade is A11.  Also the version date of my BIOS does not match any of the upgrade dates.  It falls somewhere in between two of the upgrades.

1.  Do I need to apply each BIOS upgrade since my BIOS date or can I just apply the most recent version A11.

2.  Is there a problem applying these BIOS upgrades if my version says P05 instead of A__.

3.  The recent upgrade A11 has two different downoads.  Do I download both files or should I just choose one.

Thanks for any help.

Jason

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8 Replies
Majestic
5 Rhenium

Re: Dimension XPS T500 BIOS upgrade

If you are still using the Dell BIOS then the version will be listed with the letter "A" followed by a number, such as: A09.  Go into your BIOS Setup by pressing the DEL key at boot up and look at the top of the BIOS page.  Your BIOS version will be listed there on the top line.

Now for your questions:

1. You can apply the most recent as BIOS upgrades are cumulative.  In otherwords they will contain all the fixes and improvements found in the earlier versions.

2. I think you will find that you are using a Dell BIOS will a "A" designation.

3. Use the BIOS upgrade version that creates it's own bootable floppy disk as that is the easiest to work with.  The file needed can be downloaded at this link here.  Once you have the file downloaded then run the file from your hard drive and it will prompt you into creating a bootable BIOS upgrade floppy disk so have one available.  Once the floppy is created then just leave it in the floppy drive and reboot your machine.  The BIOS upgrade program will then start.  The upgrade will last less than a minute to perform.  Don't power down the machine while the upgrade is in progress or do the upgrade when weather conditions outside may indicate a possible power outage.

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Flooby
4 Germanium

Re: Dimension XPS T500 BIOS upgrade

Where are you getting the information regarding the BIOS ID of "P05??"  You more than likely have A05 on there, but without knowing where you're seeing what you say you're seeing, it's hard to be sure.  At any rate, you can safely flash the most recent (A11) version to that system, but bear in mind that if you're not changing operating systems, and/or if you're not experiencing any problems which might be directly related to the need for a more current version, there is absolutely no reason to change anything.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

If you do decide to upate, you want the floppy " BXPST_11.exe" version.  Download it to someplace where you can find it, have a formatted floppy handy and double click the downloaded file to load it onto the floppy diskette.  Leave the diskette in the drive and restart the system, then follow the prompts to flash the BIOS.

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jason_ellison
1 Copper

Re: Dimension XPS T500 BIOS upgrade

Thank you for all the information.  I am sure I must be looking in the wrong place for the version of the BIOS.  One other question for you.  Do you think it is worth it to upgrade the BIOS if my computer seems to be working well?  What are my chances of having a problem with the upgrade?  Have you kept yours uptodate?

Thanks,

Jason

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Majestic
5 Rhenium

Re: Dimension XPS T500 BIOS upgrade

If your computer is working good then there really isn't any reason to do the upgrade unless you really want to.  A BIOS upgrade can carry some element of risk that can range from an interrupted BIOS upgrade trashing your motherboard to having to re-install the operating system because of a conflict between the two.  Fortunately with the greatest risk your exposure to an interrupt upgrade is very limited as the BIOS upgrade will take less than a minute to perform.

With that said, I have done all the XPS T BIOS upgrades as they were released and never had a problem.  Since my time on this board I have found the XPS T BIOS upgrades are probably the most reliable and least complained about of any of the BIOS upgrades offered by Dell on the Dimension product line. 

Some of the reasons you might consider doing the  BIOS upgrade on your XPS T....  if you're planning on installing a hard drive larger than 64 gigs, but smaller than 137 gigs, installing the Pentium III 1 gig processor or the Powerleap Celeron processor or are planning to install Windows XP. 

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jason_ellison
1 Copper

Re: Dimension XPS T500 BIOS upgrade

Thanks againf for your reply.  I have installed Windows XP and installed a 80 GB hard drive so I decided to upgrade the BIOS.  I ran into a small problem however.  When it started to run off the floppy disk it said Starting MS-DOS and then gave me this error message:

Bad or Missing Command Interpreter

It asked for where the Command Interpreter was (e.g. c:\COMMAND.COM), but I couldn't change from the A drive root.  Luckily I was able to restart the computer and reboot.  My BIOS is still A04 (The version was what you said it would be).

Any ideas what the problem could be.

Thanks,

Jason

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Majestic
5 Rhenium

Re: Dimension XPS T500 BIOS upgrade

Sounds like you are the perfect candidate for a BIOS upgrade with all the changes you made.

Try using another floppy disk to create the bootable BIOS upgrade floppy.  Sounds like either your disk is bad or it was an error in creating the bootable floppy.  Either way by trying a different disk should eliminate the problem.  

For an error like that there won't be an damage and a reboot will solve the problem.  The errors you have to be concerned about is after the BIOS upgrade program begins writing the new information to the BIOS.  That is where you don't want to interrupt it.

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jason_ellison
1 Copper

Re: Dimension XPS T500 BIOS upgrade

Well, the upgrade went well without any glitches!  I now have BIOS version A11.  Thank you for your help.

I am also considering getting a new video card.  If you have any advise and have time to check, I will be posting my questions regarding that in the Video section.  Thanks again.

Jason

 

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Majestic
5 Rhenium

Re: Dimension XPS T500 BIOS upgrade

Glad to hear the upgrade went well.  I'm glad to help you out.  As for the video card, I upgraded mine not too long ago to the ASUS Geforce FX5200 with 128mb.  Although there are probably older cards that would perform a tad faster, I figured my machine has a bottle neck with the processor anyways.  My main interest with this card was that is supported DirectX 9 which I considered to be a big factor.  Since the card would probably be my last upgrade on this machine I wanted something that supported the latest DirectX version.  
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