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martijntje
Copper

Inspiron 1501 bios update

I want to upgrade the bios of my Inspiron 1501 laptop. According to libsmbios my System ID is 0x01F5. I've looked on http://linux.dell.com/repo/software/bios-hdrs/ for a bios directory matching my system id, but I cannot find one.

However, when I look on the Drivers & Downloads page, there appears a bios version 2.5.3, A16. Downloading this, however has no use since it pops up with some sort of exe file for which I have no idea what it is.

My current bios version is 1.4.0 Is there any way to upgrade this?

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9 Replies
Davet50
Diamond

Re: Inspiron 1501 bios update

you need to run the exe file. The days of using a floppy to boot to the bios are gone. Bios updates are now done from within the OS then will auto reboot to flash and then boot up.

You should always go to the Dell download page for your system for driver/bios updates.

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martijntje
Copper

Re: Inspiron 1501 bios update

I've tried that. Even installed wine to try it, but it does not work. It uses calls that are not (yet) implemented.

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Davet50
Diamond

Re: Inspiron 1501 bios update

Re reading your orginal post I see you are running Linux. The bios is designed to run on windows

 Home Built Sandy Bridge P8P67 i7 2600k @ 4.5 GHz 8gigs GSkill Ripjaws. Corsair 800D Case and AX1200 Ps X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty pro PCIe Sound Card
Dell Studio XPS 1645  Window 10 Pro

Forum member since 2003

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martijntje
Copper

Re: Inspiron 1501 bios update

OK, so where do I find the bios update for linux?

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martijntje
Copper

Re: Inspiron 1501 bios update

I noticed just now that running the EXE file under wine has created a lot of garbage in my home folder. One of the files that were left there is called FLASHABL.ROM

Can I flash that file to my bios?

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Davet50
Diamond

Re: Inspiron 1501 bios update

I am not at all familiar with Linux or the bios contents. I found this link. Scroll down to the  Biosdisk section for a possible work around

 Home Built Sandy Bridge P8P67 i7 2600k @ 4.5 GHz 8gigs GSkill Ripjaws. Corsair 800D Case and AX1200 Ps X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty pro PCIe Sound Card
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PaJoe
Bronze

Re: Inspiron 1501 bios update

 

I think the file you downloaded from Dell , that is , the ".EXE"  file is a dos executable, you need to copy it to a dos boot disk and boot from that disk and type in the the filename .exe and it will run.  You will want to change the name to something smaller like update.exe.

 

It is more difficult if you don't have a floppy drive. You will need to download a disk image file and burn it to a usb drive using something like unetbootin. Dos disk images can be found at http://www.fdos.org/bootdisks/.  

 

I am really poor at explaining things ...but here is an idea on a way that might do it..

Download dosdisk.img from http://www.fdos.org/bootdisks ( may have different name)

Download the bios upgrade from Dell , save it as UPDATE.EXE

in one of your empty personal directories.

> chmod 777 dosdisk.img 

I don't know if it needs it but this chmod command

will change dosdisk.img  so you can do aything to the file

now make a new empty subdirectory (you can delete it all when you are done)

>mkdir folder

 now mount the dos boot image :

> sudo mount -o loop,rw dosdisk.img folder/

now you  can use your favorite file manager to copy the file UPDATE.EXE to the folder you just created, you will see your dos boot up files in the folder as well. If you want to get creative you can creat an AUTOEXEC.BAT file with one line only : UPDATE.EXE  but You don't need it, after it boots you can just type in UPDATE.EXE

once you copied the .UPDATE.EXE to the img. you can then unmount the image with

sudo umount folder

 

**** creating a bootable usb flash drive, mmc card etc;

an easy way to install unetbootin use:

sudo apt-get install unetbootin

Once installed it will be in your application menu system, just click on it to make a boot device  select .iso and

select your dosdisk.img file

You can use any memory card,usb flash etc. just plug it in so the system mounts it prior to starting unetbootin

 

 

NOTE:  you must mount the image file BEFORE you copy anything to the newly created folder.  Remember, mount the image first!

Use your file manager and look at the newly created subirectory called folder, it will be empty until you mount the image, then you will see the dos boot disk files. Once you can see them you can work with the files on the boot image the same as any other drive.

 

Unetbootin will ask if you want to reboot, if you select yes the system will reboot and you use  F12 while the DELL splash screen is showing to get to the boot menu and you can boot from the usb drive

 

good luck

 

 

joe

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Davet50
Diamond

Re: Inspiron 1501 bios update

PaJoe

Sorry but you are incorrect about the .exe file. The file is a self extracting zip file, that will place all the sub files into a sub folder under the Dell folder on the C drive.

The file listed on the Dell site is only designed to run from within the windows enviroment. Bios updates from the Dos prompt on Dell system have not been around in the past 5 or so years. They are all designed to be run from within windows.

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Forum member since 2003

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PaJoe
Bronze

Re: Inspiron 1501 bios update

You might be right Dave - some, but not all bios upgrades use the

winphlash utility.I used the  method I described above for a bios

upgrade on my Dell Inspiron 531S this morning, as the bios upgrades

for that system are not in the repository for automatic updates using linux either.

if it is using the winphlash utilty here is some documentation:

 

 

Obtaining and using an image from the WinPhlash utility

 

If the download from the DELL site comes as a WinPhlash installer, then the biosdisk method will not work - the executable cannot be run from the DOS environment it boots into. Consequently we must modify the image biosdisk creates. Firstly, you need WINE to obtain the image from the archive:

 

wine /path/to/biosupdater.exe

 

Then extract and attempt to run the updater, which will fail, but place a file named BIOS.ROM in C:\Windows\Temp\WINPHLASH\. Now download the phlash16.exe utility, which will actually perform the flash using BIOS.ROM.

Assuming the image from biosdisk is called bios.img, next mount the image somewhere and modify it (as root):

 

# mount -t vfat -o loop,rw /path/to/bios.img /mnt/somewhere
# rm -f /mnt/somewhere/{xxxx.exe}
# cp ~/.wine/drive_c/windows/temp/WINPHLASH/BIOS.ROM /mnt/somewhere
# cp /path/to/phlash16.exe /mnt/somewhere
# umount /mnt/somewhere

 

Now write the image to a floppy or boot it with GRUB as before, but once you get a command prompt and autoexec.bat has failed, type:

 

`phlash16.exe BIOS.ROM


***************

On edit: You may also want to check the Dell ftp server for
the "raw" bios upgrades as well:

ftp://ftp.dell.com/bios/

The one I downloaded today is from "02/19/2009" (I531_1013.EXE)
and it uses the dos executable.
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