stevenhoneyman
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Dell Latitude E6540 bricked by A11 BIOS (recoverable, but not fixed)

As a warning to anyone thinking about updating to A11 (which is "urgent" to fix a vuln in UEFI apparently) - I just did, and despite getting "Flash successful" in green text, it no longer got past the Dell logo at POST. F2 or F12 told me what it should be doing, but just stuck.


To fix: remove back, remove battery, remove BIOS battery. Reassemble.
The laptop will pretend to start up twice, then you can switch it on. You'll get a message stating BIOS is corrupt (as in, because it's been reset). The *most important thing* is DO NOT enable UEFI network stack. That's what causes it to not boot. Tested and repeatable 3 times, with no other changes from default settings.

When can we expect A12?
A10 was broken as well: http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/laptop/f/3518/t/19593360

16 Replies
stevenhoneyman
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RE: Dell Latitude E6540 bricked by A11 BIOS (recoverable, but not fixed)

update (1 day later): looks like the BIOS update has been pulled from the support page!

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vapre
1 Copper

RE: Dell Latitude E6540 bricked by A11 BIOS (recoverable, but not fixed)

I have the same problem.

I received my new E6540 yesterday (24 Oct). Went to the Dell support page (url below). I downloaded recommended BIOS upgrade version A11 release date 20 Oct. 14. Installed it from within Windows 7. Upgrade was said to be success.

Previous BIOS was set to/left in Legacy boot mode - I believe previous version was A05.

After booting only the Dell logo shows.

After waiting a while and pressing a button the BIOS progress bar goes from 0% to 50% - but only after a key board key press.

After pressing either A2 or A12 the BIOS  progress bar jumps from 0% to 50% progress - it shows in the top left corner that either the setup or other menu will be entered  -  nothing happens.

Can you clarify what you mean by BIOS battery? Is this referred to in the manual the Coin cell battery? What happens? The factory version of the BIOS is put/flashed-back - it is still somewhere in ROM?  

I cannot find any other information online or on the Dell site that this is the best approach to take. So would like Dell to give their feedback on this method.

http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/04/product-support/product/latitude-e6540-laptop/drivers?s=biz

Thanks for your reply.

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stevenhoneyman
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RE: Dell Latitude E6540 bricked by A11 BIOS (recoverable, but not fixed)

Can you clarify what you mean by BIOS battery? Is this referred to in the manual the Coin cell battery? What happens? The factory version of the BIOS is put/flashed-back - it is still somewhere in ROM?  

I cannot find any other information online or on the Dell site that this is the best approach to take. So would like Dell to give their feedback on this method.

Great description of the problem - that's exactly the experience I had (progress bar, F2, F12, logo, etc).

BIOS battery - sure... although my describing skills suck, so here's a photo. It's just next to the "dvd drive" bay. The only thing (as shown) is that you may have to move the wifi antenna cables out of the way to access the connector. Usual disclaimers apply - I take no responsibility if you damage your laptop by doing this

The firmware/BIOS will stay at rev A11, so you will not be able to use UEFI network unless you downgrade. All that you will lose by disconnecting and reconnecting this battery is your BIOS config and the date/time setting.

Hope you get it working!

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Random Dude
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RE: Dell Latitude E6540 bricked by A11 BIOS (recoverable, but not fixed)

The same problem in A10 for M4800, and Dell has not yet smarted up to pull it.

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vapre0
1 Copper

RE: Dell Latitude E6540 bricked by A11 BIOS (recoverable, but not fixed)

Yeah I figured that had to be it. 

It worked. Just as you described - the laptop boots a bit slower and reboots the first time - after that you can enter BIOS setup again. You still have version A11 yes. 

Thanks again.

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EssJ
1 Copper

RE: Dell Latitude E6540 bricked by A11 BIOS (recoverable, but not fixed)

I had the same problem on an E7440. I updated the BIOS to A11 and the computer no longer went past the Dell splash screen. I was ready to buy a new motherboard as Dell support was useless. Thank goodness I came across this post as your solution worked perfectly. I was able to boot in and revert back to A10 for good measure. You literally saved me $200. Thanks man.

vapre0
1 Copper

RE: Dell Latitude E6540 bricked by A11 BIOS (recoverable, but not fixed)

I can confirm it is related to the UEFI network stack being enabled in the BIOS menu.

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Synaptikk
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RE: Dell Latitude E6540 bricked by A11 BIOS (recoverable, but not fixed)

Very happy I found this post. Had 2 brand new machines with this issue. Dell was in the process of sending a tech with new motherboards to swap them. Wish they would read these forums once in a while...

stevenhoneyman
1 Nickel

RE: Dell Latitude E6540 bricked by A11 BIOS (recoverable, but not fixed)

Very happy I found this post. Had 2 brand new machines with this issue. Dell was in the process of sending a tech with new motherboards to swap them. Wish they would read these forums once in a while...

Oh they've read it - they're just pretending it doesn't exist

Their latest reply (to me asking them to at least confirm they're working on it) said:

We currently do not have an update on it yet. Any update will be posted on the conversation once received.

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