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Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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I had a working Vostro 3500 laptop and was doing maintenance to bring it up to date. I downloaded and installed the recommended BIOS update for this laptop... Dell Vostro 3500 System BIOS 3500A12.EXE | Windows/DOS (3 MB) BIOS Release date 7/21/2014 Last Updated 7/21/2014 Recommended The BIOS update failed and left the computer with no working BIOS. F2 is dead. It will not boot. I am pretty sure that there is a backup or primitive BIOS still in there, as when I start the machine with no battery and just AC power using the End key it continuously tries to read data from a 2GB flash drive. I assume that it would like to reload the BIOS from a file. I know how to get the ROM contents from the above file using the /writeromfile parameter. The big question is, what kind of file does the 3500 want to read, and what is the file name that it is looking for? Does the flash drive need to be bootable? Is this an AMI or Phoenix BIOS? Can someone please help? Thanks, Terry
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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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On a Vostro 3700 you must copy the .hdr file and rename it to winery70.hdr.  Otherwise, the instructions above are spot-on!  Thanks!

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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I'm having the same problem.

Vostro 3700 failed to flash with 3700_A12

I'm using a 1GB USB-Stick, FAT32

Files on Stick: 3700_a10.hdr copied to winery70.hdr and 3700_a10.rom

By holding the "End"-Button and putting in the powercable, the fan howls but nothing happens.

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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August 2017 and you're still helping people!

I went to flash the A12 BIOS on a friend's Vostro 3500 running a fresh install of Windows 10 1703 and during the update, screen went blank and it never came back on. After five(5) calls to five (5) different Dell tech support "dummy's" located in India ending all with the same  recommendation "replace motherboard. Cost 350 $ CND" I went on the WEB, located your solution. Formatted a 8GB flash drive as FAT 32, extracted the winery70.hdr to the drive and plugged it in holding the end key. Came right up and flashed! Next thing you know it's back into Windows 10 all happy again!

Thank you from Canada

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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You have two options:

Locate  a shop that can remove the BIOS chip, flash it externally and resolder it, or

Replace the mainboard.

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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What about the 3rd option of using the primitive BIOS to reload the regular BIOS? I have read many postings about this being possible to do, both with AMI and Phoenix BIOS firmware. And I can see that it wants to do this by watching it access a USB flash drive. The only real question is what file name is the primitive BIOS looking for to get started with the recovery.
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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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You likely mean a ROM or an HDR file - if you search, there are ways to extract these from the BIOS exe file, but it is system-dependent AND your system must have failed in such a way that it will still at least try to boot the system.  Some recovery modes will work from USB flash drives;  others require a floppy diskette.

The chances this will not work are far higher than that it will -- the vast majority of failed flashes can only be solved by externally flashing the BIOS chip and then resoldering it on the board.

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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As I said in the original post, my BIOS is anxious to read a file from the USB flash drive I have plugged in. It is clearly reading the directory over and over again, about once every 30 seconds. And as I previously said, I have extracted the ROM contents from the Dell BIOS update download. Now what I need to know is what file name the primitive BIOS code is looking for. That is the key missing item at this point. Someone at Dell must know the answer to this question.
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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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It's unlikely anyone at Dell will know - they simply replace boards when the flash fails.

Try here for a utility that's supposed to determine what the file should be named.

http://www.bios-mods.com/bios-recovery/

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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Here is how to recover from a failed BIOS flash update of a Vostro 3500 laptop...

1.  Download the Dell BIOS update .exe file to a USB flash drive.

2.  Run the .exe file with /writehdrfile parameter

3.  Run the .exe file with /writeromfile parameter

4.  Copy the .hdr file to winery50.hdr

5.  Remove the battery and AC power from the dead computer

6.  Insert the flash drive into the dead computer's USB port

7.  Hold down the End key and then connect the AC power

8.  Dead computer reads USB flash and asks if update should be done

9.  Allow the update to finish and then reboot.

10.  Computer is now working normally.

Helpful web site:  http://mickitblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/dell-bios-switches.html

 

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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I have the same problem. I have a small question, did you re-flash the A12 BIOS to cure the problem or revert back to A10?

Background

I had a problem with my SD card reader.  So I updated to the new BIOS version A12. When the system rebooted it would not load windows.


If I remove the battery and unplug the power and then switch on. Press F2 and enter BIOS setup.  I can then Save & Exit BIOS and it then restarts into windows.  I need to have this problem fixed.

Should I use the A10 or A12 BIOS?

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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I have tried these instructions with no success. Do the files need to be in a subdirectory? Did you recover with A10 or A12? Since this seems to be a known issue Dell should either take the A12 down and fix it and replace the motherboards it has corrupted. 

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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Wow! I really need to thank you for this! Worked like a charm! ☺

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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I can confirm that this method is working properly. Thanks!

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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How do you do.

Dell Vostro 3400 System BIOS update failed

Before Bios Version : A10
Update to : A12

Affter updated, Can't boot to bios, Blank sceen

Thank you.

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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See the verified answer, this method works.

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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On a Vostro 3700 you must copy the .hdr file and rename it to winery70.hdr.  Otherwise, the instructions above are spot-on!  Thanks!

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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When I try this on a Dell 3700 I don't get any video after hold the end button and plugging in a the ac adapter I do get the power light to stay on and the fan spining and ideas Thanks

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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Ok I figured it out. You need to make sure you format the flash drive to fat 32 first or the motherboard wont read the flash drive

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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Thank you, worked like a charm. Saved my computer 🙂

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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I have follwed all steps:

1- format fat32 pendrive 1gb

2- copy A3500_A10 or A3500A12 to prendrive

3- ran A3500_A10.exe or A3500A12.exe /writehdrfile

4- ran A3500_A10.exe or A3500A12.exe /writeromfile

5- renamed run A3500_A10.hdr or A3500A12.hdr  to winery50.hdr

6- Removed the battery and AC power from the dead computer

6.  Inserted the flash drive into the dead computer's USB port

7.  Holded down the End key and then connected the AC power

8.  USB flash led and coller turned on

But nothing more, could anyone help me?

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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@ferfuji: Here it worked for the first time. Check flash drive, try another USB port. Press and hold End key _while_ connect AC power and hold it for another few seconds... it loads and starts BIOS from USB, and a recovery screen comes in.

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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hello, i follow all steps listed but nothing is happen to my vostro 3549, the screen is always black, there's just the cpu fan running. help please

thank u.

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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Today i pressed power button while inserting the ac power and right after i pressed end button and after 4 second there is 7 contunuously bip but nothing else.

Still waiting  for some help.

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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I´ve done everything suggested in this forum but no success. After I applied the latest bios update (A12) mi Vostro 3700 just won't work. When I turn it on all it does is make 4 beeps and nothing.

But, after reading this more carefully, I got to fix my laptop.

1) follow the instructions on how to recover bios from usb flash drive, exactly as they are, keeping in mind that you need to use a 2 Gb or less flashdrive, formated to FAT32.

2) not all usb ports work with the plugin end button combination. For my Vostro 3700, the second one on the left did it.

Thanks to everyone.

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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I have vostro 3700.

First I I tryed this with 16GB flash but later  2GB flash drive (without led), but it does noting.

Formatted FAT32, only file in there is "Winery70.hdr". Holding down END button, tryed every USB plug but no luck..

Is there something what I can try?

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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I'm having the same problem.

Vostro 3700 failed to flash with 3700_A12

I'm using a 1GB USB-Stick, FAT32

Files on Stick: 3700_a10.hdr copied to winery70.hdr and 3700_a10.rom

By holding the "End"-Button and putting in the powercable, the fan howls but nothing happens.

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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tuve el mismo problemas  seguí los pasos indicados y me funciono perfectamente

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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Thanks a lot for this help !! You save my life ( and the life of a computer). I try this for a VOSTRO 3700 and it's ok.

Thk from france

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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Hi buddy, Could you solve the BIOS update problem? I have the same problem

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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2017 and you're still helping people! I went to flash the A12 BIOS on a Vostro 3700 running a fresh install of Windows 10 1703 and during the update screen went blank and it never came back on. Formatted a flash drive from my spare 2006 iMac as FAT 32 - MBR in Disk Utility, extracted the winery70.hdr to the drive and plugged it in holding the end key. Came right up and flashed! Next thing you know it's back into Windows 10 all happy again!

Thank you!

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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Hello all.  Here's a link to an unlocked A12 BIOS that has allowed Windows 10 installs to work.  Mostly with Win 7 drivers.  

I opted to still with Windows 7 64 bit, but I did update the bios to see is it would allow me to finally use the eSATA port.  After much trial and error and taking some chances with some newer Intel drivers, I can now watch video, surf the net and transfer from USB to eSATA (BlacX Thermaltake Duet) all at the same time with NO GLITCHES, hangs or noticeable performance issues.  Last things to get working are the USB 3.0 Expresscard and testing the use of both ports on the BlacX at the same time.  

forum.notebookreview.com/.../

I'll see what I can do to get a system config and driver version list, as well as my BIOS settings.  There are choices on the BIOS that I have no clue about still.  Highly recommended.  Feels like I got a new system.  

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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August 2017 and you're still helping people!

I went to flash the A12 BIOS on a friend's Vostro 3500 running a fresh install of Windows 10 1703 and during the update, screen went blank and it never came back on. After five(5) calls to five (5) different Dell tech support "dummy's" located in India ending all with the same  recommendation "replace motherboard. Cost 350 $ CND" I went on the WEB, located your solution. Formatted a 8GB flash drive as FAT 32, extracted the winery70.hdr to the drive and plugged it in holding the end key. Came right up and flashed! Next thing you know it's back into Windows 10 all happy again!

Thank you from Canada

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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Hey, my friend, can you tell me where you found the Bios Chip on the Vostro 3500 card to replace?

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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Hey Guys, I have followed the steps above and it works very fine! I thank you very much for provide us this procedure! Saved my laptop

Dell Vostro 3500

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RE: Vostro 3500 BIOS Update Failed - Recovery Procedure Needed

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On a Vostro 3400 you must copy the .hdr file and rename it to winery40.hdr.  Otherwise, the instructions above are spot-on!  Thanks!

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