Highlighted
Not applicable

[HOW-TO] Update BIOS on DELL Laptops/Desktops/Servers running Linux

I came through this issue:

Called TechSupport for an issue on my Latitude E6430 (running ubuntu, and bought with ubuntu from DELL).. they told me to update BIOS to last revision in order to solve my issue. But, big surprise: there's no linux update package, nor a bootable usb something to do this, just a good old .EXE file.

I tried running it with wine, but no success (and a bit of fear in doing it too), vitual machines were not suitable because of hardware abstraction, I didn't want to install windows on my laptop just to update the bios, so I share this solution with you  (worked also on my old XPSstudio13):


4 steps HowTo Update BIOS on DELL Laptops/Desktops/Servers running Linux

STEP 1:

Download Hiren's Boot CD and burn it on a CDROM. download from here: http://www.hirensbootcd.org/download/

if your pc/laptop/server has no CDROM drive you can use this trick to boot from USB (tried with unetbootin but it does not work, so follow these steps from windows machine virtual or phisical) http://www.hiren.info/pages/bootcd-on-usb-disk

STEP 2:

Download your bios update file from DELL support site, usally named MODEL#REVISION#.exe  (eg: my file was called E6430A11.exe) and place it on a FAT formatted usb drive in order to access it from Hiren's Boot CD 

STEP 3:

Boot your  pc/laptop/server from Hiren's Boot CD and select the "Mini Windows XP" option. It will boot in a sort of Windows environment.

STEP 4:

Plug your USB stick with the BIOS update .exe and run it directly from Windows Explorer in the Mini Windows XP environment.

The package will run, unpack the bios image, reboot your pc and bring you to the BIOS update process. Lay down a couple of minutes and relax watching your BIOS being updated.

Enjoy and let me know if it helped

*note: to start the BIOS update you have to plug the AC adapter of your laptop and ensure that your battery is healty and over 50% of charge. For desktops and servers is best to do this behind a UPS battery to be shure not to screw your motherboard.

4 Replies
Highlighted
2 Bronze

RE: [HOW-TO] Update BIOS on DELL Laptops/Desktops/Servers running Linux

That's the correct answer.  Just a few notes for the moderator to append:

- The MiniXP will take about 5 minutes to start the update executable, because its microsoft software, and it <ADMIN NOTE: Profanity removed as per TOU>

- It will not auto-restart because the syscall() used by the code from Dell will not function in mini XP, so manually update after the executable exists.

Thanks, ~BAS

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Not applicable

RE: [HOW-TO] Update BIOS on DELL Laptops/Desktops/Servers running Linux

This way unfortunately does not work for my Inspiron 17r (3721). The Bios-Flash-Utility (InsydeFlash) does not recognize the plugged ac-adapter and battery. Have tried it with "/forceit" and edit the InsydeFlash configuration file "platform.ini" without success.

Any ideas?

Thanks.
olzzen

0 Kudos
Highlighted
2 Bronze

RE: [HOW-TO] Update BIOS on DELL Laptops/Desktops/Servers running Linux

I'd imagine that you could update the BIOS through Windows PE. The only problem with that is that Windows PE requires you to have a Windows machine to download the WDT on and generate the ISO. I've found a link through google with the WinPE iso, but I'm not sure how trustworthy it is: http://tinyempire.com/notes/generic_windows_pe_disc_for_vista-7-8.html.

Has anyone tried it this way? I'd be interested to know if it works.

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Not applicable

RE: [HOW-TO] Update BIOS on DELL Laptops/Desktops/Servers running Linux

This work like a champ. I was able to update my Dell latitude e6420 using this method. The only thing i did differently was downloading the Bios update on a USB using a windows computer. Also as a fun side note, it was cool seeing Windows XP again brings back memories. 

0 Kudos