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Last reply by 06-15-2020 Unsolved
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2 Bronze

M6500 BIOS update not working - Windows 10

HI all,

I have neglected updating the Bios on my M6500. The Current version seems to be the original A00.  To be honest this computer has worked great for years, I am a software developer and run VS and SQL Server among lots of other tools on this machine.

I updated from windows 7 to 10 which was not a complete disaster, but I had to spend hours turning things off to get the CPU under control and the updates are just awful but venting about windows 10 is another topic.

So my main issue is that the fans are running all the time even when cpu is 10% or less and RealTemp says its not too hot.  So that led me to some posts saying try updating the Bios.  This seems to be good idea regardless but the non of the newer .exe I downloaded from dell are working, it shows the approved message but then an error message when I click run.

I am running the exe as administrator.

I have tried the trick where you delete DELLBIOS from the registry and restart that also did not seem to work.

Another user suggested that Bios updates might need to go in order but I can seem to find anything older that A07?

 

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Check the bios updates by date & not just by version. Bios A07 has the latest update on 5th March 2014 whereas Bios A10 is last updated on 13 December 2013. I'm no expert but I'm in the process of fixing several issues on my Dell M6500. The list is an endless buffet. Being a Non- IT guy, I still wonder why I invested in this workstation way back in 2012. It cost me my entire salary then. And believe me or not I end up with zero support from Dell when there is assistance required. In this case, Dell online is not even able to detect my device even after providing them with the model number, service tag, etc. As a matter of fact, my service tag on the Bios A07 display's a different tag number on the back cover. No idea precisely how & when did this miracle initiate in mine/ Dell precision's lifetime!! Especially at the worst of times for me even as I sit with 4 laptops ( 2 workstations, 1 MacBook Pro & a Samsung) all failed or failing ever since people wished me Happy New Year on 31st December 2019. I'm just hoping for another miracle to find some help in fixing the multiple issues  (not like the aforementioned service tag miracle) This forum & it's member's support is All & the only saving grace & solace for Dell netizens ( I Guess). Dell's duties and responsibilities end with the sale of their product, all bundled in a single policy be it a $ 499 dell laptop or a $$ 4999 workstation. $ 5k meant a lot way back when this device was purchased. Wish it was at least 10% worth the Longines watch I deferred from buying then or some other investment!

 Sincerely Appreciate everyone's patience for the long read. The device has shut down 9 times rising out of heat issues since the drafting of this message began but all thanks to autosave & Corona lockdown that I decided to send this message.

Nevertheless, all the best with your endeavor to update, etc!

Regards, 

Ketan

 

 

2 Bronze
2 Bronze

A10 is the newest and last. you find it in Dell/Support/M6500

So I successfully followed the instructions to create a bootable USB and then was able to  update the BIOS from the USB Drive.

I did have to install A07 > A08 before it let me get to the latest version A10

I also cleaned out the vents and fans from both sides.  there was some dust cleared but it did not look significant.  I have read other posts who say even a small amount of dust on these machines can cause some problems.

The computer also looks to be running about 8 to 10 degrees cooler with nothing going compared to when I wrote the first post.  Maybe the dust really was a big part of the issue with the temp and the fan running all the time.

Thanks again for the reply,  the fan is much quieter and is turning on an off now at least with not much going on, where before as soon I turned on the computer the fan ran 100% and stayed on. 


It is hard to tell what impact updating the BIOS actually had but I can now eliminate that to some extent when trouble shooting issues on this machine and it nice to know its not 9 versions out of date.

I also turned off Windows 10 performance setting in the power settings and I am sure that is helping as well.


I hope MS does the right thing and gets windows 10 fixed up as there seems to be no other options (for windows developers anyway)

I know this machine is old but it was running all my development tools just fine on Windows 7.  I will probably invest in a new desk top development machine in a few months.  

The steps are not so difficult to follow or as time-consuming as you may think.  Just download DDDP (latest release is http://ftp.us.dell.com/diags/cw1394a0.exe but you should be ok with the one suggested by Dell on the article) and build a bootable USB drive.  You can customize the files you will install on your USB drive before making it, but perhaps it is easier letting DDDP install its diagnostic software and clean it then on the USB drive, leaving only the files required to boot.

Backing up all the files on your computer is a clever first step; if something goes wrong it is much better losing the computer than the computer and your work.  I never had a single problem upgrading computers from a simple DOS operating system like DRMK, but it is better backing up all your data before proceeding just in case a disaster happens.

DELL-Alasdair R is right about downloads.dell.com, sorry for missing that important advice.  You have all firmware releases available for download here.  I used it months ago to make an off-line repository of firmware releases for my Precision Tower 3420.

Firmware updaters are tricky and dangerous, I would not run them from an unsupported operating system and, up to my knowledge, Windows 10 was not available when the most recent firmware release for your computer was published.  I may be wrong here, I am not a Windows guy, mostly a BSD and, sometimes, Linux guy instead.  This one is the reason I have no asked about the error you are seeing, I do not think the updater has been designed to run from that operating system.

If you are able to make a bootable USB drive then you will be on a supported configuration.  The binaries are described as DOS/Windows so they should run from DRMK.  If your computer is recent enough there is a chance a non-bootable FAT32 drive with the firmware updater on it will work too.  Try it if you want.  Just format a USB stick as FAT32, copy the installer on it, boot the computer and press F12.  If you are lucky there may be an option to upgrade the firmware from the USB drive.  This is the method I use on most Dell Precision workstations, but I am unsure when this feature was introduced.

Thanks for the detailed reply.  I had read short versions of this process but was hoping not to make this a project.

I will probably give this a try when I have a few hours free and have backed up all the files on this machine.

An unexpected error occurred while running the Flash application 

Please reboot and try again
Application Error Return 0x00000406

But rebooting does not help.

Moderator
Moderator

 

You can find earlier versions of BIOS here:

http://downloads.dell.com/published/pages/precision-m6500.html

What exactly is the error message that you receive?

 

 


DELL-Alasdair R
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3 Argentum

You may be interested in upgrading the Dell ControlVault firmware and Dell Latitude/Precision ON Flash firmware (whatever they are), the firmware on your optical drive, iff it is a HLDS GU40N or DU10N 9.5mm SATA trayload, an TSST TS-D633A slot loading SATA drive or TS-U333B, or a TEAC DV-18SA ultra-slim trayload one, or even the SSD firmware if you have one with a firmware upgrade (there are three Samsung PM800 drives listed), the Dell Wireless 5600 (EVDO-HSPA) Mobile Broadband Mini-Card firmware if you have a WWAN card or even the integrated NIC controller firmware (Broadcom 5xxx).  I may be missing some firmwares, it is your workstation so you must carefully see what you need to upgrade.

There is much more than just BIOS at the firmware level.

3 Argentum

Hi rtbike.

Lots of people will disagree with us, but as you I think upgrading BIOS makes sense.  Not to say you are upgrading BIOS from so ancient release.  First firmware releases usually include important and very noticeable changes.

I had been reading the details for the BIOS on your computer.  You are right, there is nothing below A07 so this must be the first one you need to install.

My advice is running the BIOS upgrades from anything but Windows.  The BIOS documentation talks about using bootable DOS diskettes.  I would do that, whenever possible I would run a firmware update, either BIOS or not, from a simple real-mode operating system like DOS.  There are too many things that can go wrong when running firmware updaters from Windows.  As you have a mobile workstation I would advice doing a full charge in the battery and run the upgrade with the computer connected to power mains.  I would remove from the computer anything that is not standard (e.g. other devices attached to USB ports) before continuing.

You can try building a bootable USB drive.  On an old workstation like the one you have I would suggest a 8 GB or smaller USB drive.  Old computers do not boot from USB drives greater than 8 GB.  You can build a bootable USB drive with Dell Real-Mode Kernel using Dell Diagnostic Deployment Package.  In this case you may need an ever smaller USB drive (4 GB or less).

Just include COMMAND.COM, DELLBIO.BIN and DELLRMK.BIN.

If you are able to boot to the DRMK operating system then you are ready to go to the next step.  Copy the A07 executable to the bootable USB drive, boot from it, and run the installer.  Be patient and let the upgrade do its work!

If you are able to upgrade the BIOS to release A07 I would go to A10.  I have seen nothing on the BIOS upgrade notes that say you will need an intermediate release.  You can probably go from A00 to A10, but it is odd A07 is offered as a separate download so I would apply it too.  Again, I have seen nothing that suggest you need to go to A07 before going to A10.

I try to be on the safe side, so before running a firmware upgrade (as I said before, never apply firmware upgrades from a live operating system like Windows if there are other means to achieve your goal) set all BIOS settings to default values and remove any BIOS passwords your computer may have.  I like running upgrades on the most well tested environment, so it includes running a simple operating system like Dell RMK and BIOS default settings (including no BIOS passwords at all).  Same about hardware not provided by default with your workstation.

After upgrading firmware put all BIOS settings to default again and save them, just in case some BIOS data structure has changed from A00 to A07, reboot the computer and repeat the steps this time to go to A10.  I do not think you will need to apply A08 or A09.  Nothing on the docs I have read show these intermediate releases are required either.

Be careful!  This is a somewhat risky process but you will need to do it only one time and there are obvious advantages when upgrading from an early BIOS release.

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