On 3/25/2018, Windows 10 Update installed: Dell, Inc. – Firmware -1/17/2018 12:00:00 AM – 1.19.1
How could I confirm if this was a legitimate BIOS upgrade for an Inspiron 2-in-1 laptop?
If not, what should I do now?
You can click the link below and choose your computer model and OS installed. From there click on Bios and see what the latest version of the bios is listed.
Microsoft requires that updates delivered via Windows Update be digitally signed by the provider, Windows requires that the digital signature be intact before installing them, and Dell system firmware requires that BIOS updates have an intact digital signature from Dell before the system will accept it. So it's extremely unlikely that your system would have ended up with a nefarious update through Windows Update. However, I've never seen Windows Update offer BIOS updates for any systems other than Microsoft's own systems, like the Surface models. Are you sure that the firmware update was the BIOS and not some other piece of hardware in the system, or even a Dell peripheral that was attached at the time? Did you see the BIOS update process occur when you restarted after that update was installed?
jphughan, Thanks for replying to my post.
I don't know much about Dell support assistant. Could it have grabbed the update and wrapped it into Windows Update?
Interesting to think about having a digital signature being used – Should that help me feel the update was legitimate?
Checking Dell's web site, I found it had a lower version but later date of the BIOS that was auto-loaded. Any ideas about that?
1) Dell web site: BIOS file named: Insprion_3153_3158_7353_7359_7568_1.18.2.exe Dated 06 Feb 2018
From the name it would be version 1.18.2 dated 2/6/18
2) Auto-loaded: BIOS version 1.19.1 Dated 1/17/18.
Able to see BIOS details in event log: firmware.inf_amd64_ofbcdd5d68ad2219\firmware.inf for Device instance ID UEFI\RES etc.
(Windows displayed message installation would be delayed until battery was at least 40% charged, which allowed to know a BIOS update was pending.)
As part of the restart, I saw the BIOS being updated. It included the following: Updating your firmware. Do not power down your system. Flash Progress bar. Updating System BIOS with BIOS Guard.
Ah ok, if you have something like Dell SupportAssist or Dell Command Update installed, those tools can DEFINITELY push BIOS updates. But those are also separate from Windows Update. I'm not aware of updates from those Dell tools being merged into Windows Update, but I also don't use either of those Dell tools on a regular basis, so maybe something has changed.
Yes, the use of digital signatures should give you a high degree of confidence, because they mean that unless the company that signed the code has had its private key stolen, then anything with an intact digital signature from that company immediately tells you that a) the file did in fact come from that company, and b) it has not been altered since it was signed.
As for the dates on Dell's site, don't put too much faith in those. Sometimes they get updated when the only thing that changed was the description text of the update rather than the update itself. It makes it rather annoying to search support.dell.com manually for recent updates since you'll often see the same updates "promoted" to a newer release date because some text was revised/corrected, but that's how it is. As for you having 1.19 while the site only has 1.18, it's possible that the site is a bit behind whatever repository the Dell tool is checking, in which case I would expect 1.19 to appear on the site soon.