Regarding the bad BIOS flashes that are occurring on the Dimension E521 model, Dell is replacing the motherboards if you experienced a bad BIOS flash. They will also reimburse those folks who wound up paying for the motherboard replacement due to being denied service under warranty.
Click here for a thread on the topic of replacement and reimbursement.
I'll invite a Dell rep or moderator to comment on and escalate this-
It appears the E521 uses a modified Award BIOS. Used to be Award BIOS had BIOS recovery code referred to as the 'Boot Block' as part of the BIOS code. This portion of the BIOS program would allow recovery from a corrupt BIOS by booting from a floppy containing the Award flash program and a binary image of the BIOS. Because of the extremely limited space in the BIOS chip the Boot Block code had no video output so the recovery was blind although audible and visible by floppy activity. Because I see no mention of BIOS recovery by the Boot Block method, one must assume the Boot Block code is not a portion of the Dell proprietary E521 BIOS. With report of so many system boards being replaced due to BIOS corruption by an incomplete or otherwise failed flash, and the corresponding expense to Dell plus customer frustration, I would think Dell would be savvy enough to incorporate the Boot Block method of BIOS recovery. To turn out millions of E521 machines with the problems the E521 is plaqued with and not incorporate a method of BIOS recovery such as Award's Boot Block, or Intel jumper style BIOS recovery, seems to be as big an oversight as the degree of quality assurance testing the E521 underwent. Being as the Boot Block method could be incorporated after the fact, with a BIOS flash in fact, and no system board upgrade required, this certainly seems worthy of pursuit. It would benefit both Dell and the consumer in lowering Dell's outlay on replacing system boards and expedite returning the patron to effective use of the machine. Dell- give it some thought and see what you can do with the idea/notion! Thanks! Sincerely, E521 'perpetual wait state' Owner