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helpful55
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Inspiron N4110, 2011, which bios of 2 possibilities

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I get two bios options. Listed first is A07. Next is A12. Which should I use, and why is there 2 listed? And if A07 is the one to use, why would the A12 not be that? Thanks. Fred

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jphughan
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Re: Inspiron N4110, 2011, which bios of 2 possibilities

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@helpful55   there is certainly something to be said for the "If it ain't broke" mentality when it comes to BIOS updates. Normally I let security concerns override that mentality, and as I said many recent BIOS updates have been driven by security fixes, but newer versions of Windows are now implementing fixes for Meltdown and Spectre in software in order to cover systems that haven't updated to newer firmware (or where newer firmware isn't even available).  In terms of performance gains, they would be rare unless maybe there was some bug that was bogging down performance in some scenarios, or if they perhaps changed the thermal map to run the fans more often in order to reduce thermal throttling.  But in that case people might complain that their fans run more often, and it's also possible to change the thermal map to reduce maximum temperatures before throttling occurs, which would actually REDUCE performance. Dell did this with the XPS 15 9570.

In terms of knowing what's in a BIOS update, I'm not sure if you're getting updates through an application like SupportAssist or Dell Update, or via support.dell.com, but Dell does publish releases notes about their updates.  But in your case since you're so far behind, if you wanted to learn as much as you could about the updates, you'd want to go to support.dell.com, find the BIOS update for your system, and click the Full Details link to open the page showing the fixes and enhancements.  And then on that BIOS update result, you'd also want to click the "View older versions" link and open the Full Details page for every previous BIOS update going back to the version you're running.  Of course even then there's a possibility that Dell will have made undocumented changes (the one I mentioned above with the XPS 15 9570 wasn't documented), but there's not much you can do about that other than maybe doing a bit of research on forums to see if there are any known issues with a particular BIOS update on your system.

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jphughan
5 Tungsten

Re: Inspiron N4110, 2011, which bios of 2 possibilities

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Sometimes you can only update to the latest version if you’re running a certain minimum version already, so for example it might not be possible to update from A01 all the way to A12. In that case, Dell will keep an “intermediate” update available so that people running very old versions can update to the intermediate version first and then to the latest.

helpful55
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Re: Inspiron N4110, 2011, which bios of 2 possibilities

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Ok, that was one possibility I thought may be. As mine is now A04, old, it may require the A07 before the A12. Which I am assuming would be the one I should go to. Thanks.

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jphughan
5 Tungsten

Re: Inspiron N4110, 2011, which bios of 2 possibilities

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@helpful55 wrote:

Ok, that was one possibility I thought may be. As mine is now A04, old, it may require the A07 before the A12. Which I am assuming would be the one I should go to. Thanks.


Yes, unless you have a specific reason for avoiding a particular BIOS release, you want to be on the latest version.  That's especially the case these days with all of the Spectre/Meltdown mitigations that are still being released as new variations of those attacks are discovered.

Re: Inspiron N4110, 2011, which bios of 2 possibilities

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Here is my take in BIOS upgrading, on the Motherboard.  

 PLS READ:        https://www.howtogeek.com/136881/htg-explains-do-you-need-to-update-your-computers-bios/

You might be at risk, if you do.   The original BIOS on YOUR specific motherboard, was factory tested.  Changing it may present issues.   I learned way back from an IT Manager.  Also, to run "DISK Cleanup," periodically and clear search engine stored data.   

 

_______________________
Inspiron 7572 15\8th Gen\i5\8GB Ram\256GB SS\Nvidia MX150 4GB\InfinityEdge Display [2019]
Inspiron 3542 15\4th Gen\ i3\4GB Ram\500GB\DVD [2014]
Three 11.6" Laptops [Toshiba, 2 ACERS]
No BIOS Update/Upgrading fm Orig. Factory Install
helpful55
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Re: Inspiron N4110, 2011, which bios of 2 possibilities

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I understand what you are saying. Even discounting the chance of a disastrous install failure it does seem true that many times bios updates are more related to changes to allow for things like alternative hardware. Even though you can find many saying to upgrade bios even an aftermarket mobo manufacturer told me no reason to mess with the bios unless the aforementioned or there is a problem. Just one thing I wonder about, and this is something that may not be provable. But what if there is some performance gain because of an updated bios that you may never know about unless you update? And what is the best way to find out the real specifics of an updated bios to help determine if it would be preferable? And I do have disk cleanup as part of my maintenance routine. Thanks for the info. Fred

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jphughan
5 Tungsten

Re: Inspiron N4110, 2011, which bios of 2 possibilities

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@helpful55   there is certainly something to be said for the "If it ain't broke" mentality when it comes to BIOS updates. Normally I let security concerns override that mentality, and as I said many recent BIOS updates have been driven by security fixes, but newer versions of Windows are now implementing fixes for Meltdown and Spectre in software in order to cover systems that haven't updated to newer firmware (or where newer firmware isn't even available).  In terms of performance gains, they would be rare unless maybe there was some bug that was bogging down performance in some scenarios, or if they perhaps changed the thermal map to run the fans more often in order to reduce thermal throttling.  But in that case people might complain that their fans run more often, and it's also possible to change the thermal map to reduce maximum temperatures before throttling occurs, which would actually REDUCE performance. Dell did this with the XPS 15 9570.

In terms of knowing what's in a BIOS update, I'm not sure if you're getting updates through an application like SupportAssist or Dell Update, or via support.dell.com, but Dell does publish releases notes about their updates.  But in your case since you're so far behind, if you wanted to learn as much as you could about the updates, you'd want to go to support.dell.com, find the BIOS update for your system, and click the Full Details link to open the page showing the fixes and enhancements.  And then on that BIOS update result, you'd also want to click the "View older versions" link and open the Full Details page for every previous BIOS update going back to the version you're running.  Of course even then there's a possibility that Dell will have made undocumented changes (the one I mentioned above with the XPS 15 9570 wasn't documented), but there's not much you can do about that other than maybe doing a bit of research on forums to see if there are any known issues with a particular BIOS update on your system.

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helpful55
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Re: Inspiron N4110, 2011, which bios of 2 possibilities

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Allright. I do tend to do bios updates, in fact I have rarely skipped them. Even with the potential for problems I figure there must be reasons why the manufacturers go to the trouble, even with knowing of the potential pitfalls. And if there are security updates I sure want those. I had looked at the update information and I may look at even more like you mentioned. Thanks for all the help here.

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Re: Inspiron N4110, 2011, which bios of 2 possibilities

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For me, changing the BIOS on my specific motherboard that was factory tested and the system has no issues, I wish not to take the chance on the factory suggesting I need an untested BIOS update.  These suggested BIOS updates may cover several untested models, so, do you take the risk?  It may have adverse effect on sound, touch pad, display, keyboard for example.    I also, do not update any other drivers for any of my laptops/notebooks from any manufacture.  

I do go to Nvidia's website for direct download for my specific graphics card.    People are so intent on the need to update their drivers, not knowing the hiddens that MAY effect the performance of their system. 

Just saying.

 

 

_______________________
Inspiron 7572 15\8th Gen\i5\8GB Ram\256GB SS\Nvidia MX150 4GB\InfinityEdge Display [2019]
Inspiron 3542 15\4th Gen\ i3\4GB Ram\500GB\DVD [2014]
Three 11.6" Laptops [Toshiba, 2 ACERS]
No BIOS Update/Upgrading fm Orig. Factory Install
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jphughan
5 Tungsten

Re: Inspiron N4110, 2011, which bios of 2 possibilities

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@Teetertotter wrote:

For me, changing the BIOS on my specific motherboard that was factory tested and the system has no issues, I wish not to take the chance on the factory suggesting I need an untested BIOS update.  These suggested BIOS updates may cover several untested models, so, do you take the risk?  It may have adverse effect on sound, touch pad, display, keyboard for example.    I also, do not update any other drivers for any of my laptops/notebooks from any manufacture.  

I do go to Nvidia's website for direct download for my specific graphics card.    People are so intent on the need to update their drivers, not knowing the hiddens that MAY effect the performance of their system. 

Just saying.

 

 


@Teetertotter  I'm not sure why you're suggesting that BIOS updates are untested.  They definitely get tested  Of course that doesn't mean that problems never get through, but that's not the same as untested.  Also, BIOS updates are for specific system models.  They don't cover "several untested models".  Ironically, those NVIDIA drivers you download DO cover several models.  Even though they have you select the specific graphics card you have, you will find that the download that they give you is also provided if you select a wide range of other graphics card models beforehand as well.  And like BIOS updates, drivers can include security fixes as well, which is important because drivers run in the kernel, which means that if an exploit was able to leverage a vulnerability, an attacker could gain low-level access to your system.  And in some other cases driver updates are necessary for proper function of a device on a newer version of Windows 10 and/or add functionality either related to the new OS version or just because the vendor added some new functionality.  It doesn't really make sense to make an exception to your "policy" for your NVIDIA drivers and nothing else, but of course it's your system.

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