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mfreed
1 Copper

Slower boot with XPS 8700 BIOS A06

I recently got an XPS 8700 with Windows 8. I upgraded to Windows 8.1 and noticed slow shutdown times. Noticing that there was a BIOS update from A03 to A06 available (http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/us/en/19/driverdetails?driverid=KT62X), I installed it. As it turned out, my slow shutdown time was due to the Dell drivers for WiFi and Bluetooth. Apparenlty their own drivers for their system doesn't work with Windows 8.1 properly, despite 8.1 being out for a while.

As mentioned, I installed A06 thinking it would improve things based on the vague description. I have an SSD as my boot drive, and now instead of booting to the Windows login screen in about 7 seconds, it now takes about 30 seconds.

There's no way for me to flash back to A03 BIOS. I tried running A03 BIOS update in Windows and in legacy boot mode via a DOS bootable USB drive, but both blocked me due to already having a newer version.


Also, did the order really go A04 -> A03 -> A06? This post indicates to "not worry about the numbers". OK, then what's the point of them being numbered at all?  I don't think tihs was the case on my old Dell from 2002. I gather that someone messed up with the BIOS for this system. What "performance enhancements" went in to A06 and why am I booting so much slower? What can I do about it?

I find this whole issue very frusturating because Dell's "24x7 chat" link 9 times out of 10 doesn't work, which sends you to a question submission form which doesn't work. The standard email request support link also usually doesn't work and I have to input my own service tag.

35 Replies
Delrel
1 Nickel

RE: Slower boot with XPS 8700 BIOS A06

The A06 definitely degraded performance on boot up.  In may case my XPS8700 went from 3 second boot up to 14 second boot up.  The boot up also deleted the one beep on boot up.  There has thus far been no response of answers from Dell in the forum.  In an earlier thread there was discussion of Dell replying after the holidays, but I have seen nothing yet.  See earlier thread here http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/desktop/f/3514/t/19538470.aspx.

mfreed
1 Copper

RE: Slower boot with XPS 8700 BIOS A06

I should note that I have 8GB of RAM, and have a 250GB SSD as my boot drive. I have an i7 4770 CPU.

Yeah, this is really frusturating, but at least I didn't brick my system. 

I've also tried turning Secure Boot off in the BIOS, but that has no noticeable effect on boot speed.

mfreed
1 Copper

RE: Slower boot with XPS 8700 BIOS A06

Just got off chat with a dell tech support person. They want to run BIOS diagnostics and such and potentially replace my mobo. They say that it's NOT a widespread issue and that the forums aren't authenticated issues.  I find it had to believe that other people would be lying about having these issues. I urge anyone reading this that has A06 with these issues to do a dell tech support session with them. And if you have A03, I would personally reconsider installing A06.


Quotes:

Bob, if the issue has started right after the BIOS update, I can go ahead and replace the system's motherboard for fixing the issue. However, if that is not the case, I can go ahead and check the system as well when it would be available.

Bob, BIOS update contains feature enhancements or changes that helps keeping the system software current and compatible with other system modules (firmware, BIOS, drivers and software).

Once the motherboard is replaced, you can go ahead and update the BIOS in front of the technician as well.
The BIOS update should not be giving this issue.

Bob, as I mentioned earlier, BIOS update contains feature enhancements or changes that helps keeping the system software current and compatible with other system modules (firmware, BIOS, drivers and software).

BIOS is first checked and only then it is posted on our website for our customers.
The only reason I see could be that the BIOS update didn't happen properly.

 

 

 

mfreed
1 Copper

RE: Slower boot with XPS 8700 BIOS A06

By running the bios update EXE file by default, it won't let you roll back your BIOS to an older version.

After examining the EXE file in notepad, I saw a reference to a FORCEIT flag, which cuases it to skip the version check.

so, if you want to roll back, open up a cmd prompt and type

>"XPS 8700 A03.EXE" /FORCEIT

Do this at your own discretion of course, but I was successful at installing it and got back to my very quick boot time. It might be a few seconds slower than what it was originally, but I can't be certain as I didn't keep an accurate record before.

wowsers55
2 Iron

RE: Slower boot with XPS 8700 BIOS A06

I have tried in many many ways to do the command prompt installation of the XPS A03 bios to no avail. I have tried with spaces in different places, caps on, caps off and it never work. I'm in the same boat as you having upgraded to A06 and now I regret it. I would like to return to A03 or A04 like it was last July when I bought it but every attempt has failed so far. Can you help me with this? Thanks.

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Delrel
1 Nickel

RE: Slower boot with XPS 8700 BIOS A06

I and the same problem on an XPS 8700, bios A06 killed my startup times after having an A03 that started my computer in 6.5 seconds. My suggestion is that you contact Dell support, tell them your problem and request they replace your motherboard {your computer should still be under warranty}. Then make sure they install the A03 bios on the new board. Good luck. It solved my problem, now back to rapid starts/restarts/shutdowns.
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mfreed
1 Copper

RE: Slower boot with XPS 8700 BIOS A06

Hello wowsers53,

I don't recommend replacing your mobo. I almost went down that path, and any mobo they replace with you will have the current BIOS version installed on there. I was very close to do doing this with DELL, and even had the appointment scheduled to replace it, but realized it was a waste to get a fresh laptop with A06, and yet they refuse to believe that A06 is faulty/slow. Poor service, if you ask me.

I am not sure what exactly you are typing. My instructions above are exactly what I typed. Are you missing the double quotes? On Windows command line, ti's critical you use double quotes to contain a file that has spaces in it (this is why people shouldn't put spaces in files names of this sort).

Anyways:

1. go to start > run > cmd. Or, just press teh Window key, type 'cmd' and hit enter

2. cd to your directory where you have the file XPS 8700 A03.EXE.

3. Your command prompt should be in the directory of the file

4. Type the following on the command prompt, everything exactly after the colon, including the quotes: "XPS 8700 A03.EXE" /FORCEIT

5. Follow onscreen instructions to install it.

 

---

If you are still having trouble here, please paste the FULL window text in your cmd window.

wowsers55
2 Iron

RE: Slower boot with XPS 8700 BIOS A06

Do they just send you the new motherboard and replace it yourself or do they come to your house?  

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mfreed
1 Copper

RE: Slower boot with XPS 8700 BIOS A06

A tech comes out and swaps it out, supposedly. This would only work if you're under warranty. As noted above, it's useless because they're just going to give you the same mobo with the same BIOS you have on there now, A06. Trust me, don't waste your time. Roll back your BIOS to A03 in the method I gave you above. I did this and I'm living the dream of ultra fast bootups.

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