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What advantages to go from A02 to A06 or A07?

Dell Dimension 8100
P4 1.5 GHZ
1394 Firewire card

What are advantages to go to A06 or A07?

Any disadvantages?

Known problems?

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DELL-Stephen S
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RE: What advantages to go from A02 to A06 or A07?


Thank you for visiting DELLTalk.

Below are the listed changes and updates for the system BIOS from A02 through A06 and A07.

Dell Computer Corporation
Copyright (C) 2000, All Rights reserved.

BIOS Release Notes

Systems: Dimension 8100
Version: A07
Release Date: 06-12-01

The following changes have been made to BIOS rev A06 to create A07:

1. Fixed potential corruption in system setup screens when accessing help.
2. Updated the USB and S3 resume code to fix win98 S3 problems.
3. Fixed problem with bang on System Device for ACPI BIOS in device
manager after suspend/resume with USB emulation on.
4. Updated the PCI cache line size to 64 bytes for onboard devices.
5. Added IOAPIC support. Turn option on in system setup.

6. NEW FEATURE: Enhanced Selectable Boot in system setup.
Desc: Our select boot implementation has changed in three ways:
1. A device may disappear (ex. removable HD) but will not be
removed from the list.
2. Similar devices (class codes are the same) can replace each other.
3. Added devices are added to the end of the attempt list.
The new code should be able to handle any combination of cards and
onboard devices that a customer could possibly use. The boot and
controller sequences should never go to a default sequence when
adding or removing devices. The object is to preserve the sequence
the customer has set in Setup.
7. Fixed multiple issues in Win98SE with USB and S3 resumes
Desc: * Win98SE shutdown hangs after S3 resume
* PS/2 keyboard and mouse do not function on "Restart to MS-DOS"
after an S3 resume
* USB keyboard and mouse do not function in legacy emulation mode
on "Restart to MS-DOS" after an S3 resume
8. Updated SMBIOS table fields
Desc: AGP
Maximum CPU speed to 2G
Memory array capacity to 2G
9. Added 48-bit LBA support
Desc: Added 48-bit LBA support for large IDE drives.
10. Added a Timer Overflow Status SMI# handler.
Desc: If a Timer Overflow occurs while the system is configured for
SMI# interrupts, the system will hang in the SMI code.
The system will appear to be locked up. The failure has been seen in
Windows 98 and ME when a RESTART occurs. Added a handler for the
Timer Overflow if this event generates a SMI#.
11. Updated USB and USB legacy code
Desc: Hub records were not being correctly updated when a device was
disconnected from a hub.
12. Implemented the INT 15 Remote lockouts for keyboard
Desc: Implemented a handler to either block CTRL-ALT-DELs or all keys but
CTRL-ALT-DEL. This is to meet a PC2001 requirement.

Systems: Dimension 8100
Version: A06
Release Date: 04-20-01

The following changes have been made to BIOS rev A04 to create A06:

1. Added capability to disable USB ports in SETUP.
2. Reconfigure ESCD for PXE changes.
3. Support C-step cpus (1.7 GHz and above).
4. Added capability to select deepest Suspend Mode in SETUP.
5. Removed IRQ 12 from PCI IRQ resource list.

Systems: Dimension 8100
Version: A04
Release Date: 03-14-01

The following changes have been made to BIOS rev A03 to create A04:

1. Correction to support factory install process for WinME.

Systems: Dimension 8100
Version: A03
Release Date: 01-30-01

The following changes have been made to BIOS rev A02 to create A03:

1. Set chipset register bits for new version steppings.
2. Added more robust handling of mouse and keyboard devices for Standby.
3. Re-adjust expansion ROM handling to accommodate a variety of adapters.
4. Allow Ctrl-Alt-Del functionality during adapter initialization.
5. Correctly handle Standby and Shutdown events.

Systems: Dimension 8100
Version: A02
Release Date: 11-30-00

The following changes have been made to BIOS rev A01 to create A02:

1. Fix the trigger for when the hard drive automatic detection code
gets called.

Systems: Dimension 8100
Version: A01
Release Date: 11-17-00

The following changes have been made to BIOS rev A00 to create A01:

1. Updated Willamette F07 microcode patch level to "07".

Systems: Dimension 8100
Version: A00
Release Date: 10-28-00

* Initial release

** I always like to advise that updating the BIOS can occasionally cause problems in Windows. Updating the BIOS can change the way Windows looks at the motherboard and sometimes it will confuse the Windows hardware setup. These issues can usually be fixed easily, but occasionally may require a reload of Windows. This is not that common, but I just want to make sure that you are aware of the possibility. Also it is very important that the system not lose power or be turned off during the BIOS upgrade procedure as this can corrupt the BIOS install and leave the motherboard non-bootable.

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Re: RE: What advantages to go from A02 to A06 or A07?

I'm not sure if this should be a new post or not.  I did a search but did not find an answer to my BIOS question.  I have a Dimension 4100 running Windows ME with the A06 BIOS.  My question is: Will upgrading my BIOS from version A06 to a higher version (A07 or A08) provide me with Large Drive Support?

I read that enhancement number 9 to BIOS version A07 is " Added 48-bit LBA support
Desc: Added 48-bit LBA support for large IDE drives".  I belive that this enhancement is what I need.  However I do not see a Flash BIOS upgrade on the downloads page specific to a Dimension 4100 running WinME with BIOS A06.  I'd like to know if I can do a flash BIOS upgrade to BIOS version A07 on my machine to get large drive support without encountering problems.

Can you help?





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6 Gallium

Re: RE: What advantages to go from A02 to A06 or A07?

ChippN,  check your other posting for the answer.  Each Dell model has their own specific set of BIOS updates.  The BIOS notes you reviewed in this posting are specific to the 8100 model and not yours.
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6 Gallium

Re: What advantages to go from A02 to A06 or A07?

Joecapp,  BIOS version A07 is no longer available for download in the Dell File Library.  I assume that you are looking at the large hard drive support which was added in version A07.  If that is correct then any BIOS version higher than A07 will also included large drive support since Dell BIOS upgrades are cumulative.  In other words the latest version will have all the fixes and tweaks found in the earlier version.  Since there is always a slight element of risk when updating the BIOS you should consider updating right to one of the later versions if that is your plan.  For Windows XP that would be BIOS version XP2.  For all other Windows operating systems then use BIOS version A09.
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