BillPec
1 Copper

Vostro 3700 BIOS update failure

I have a Vostro 3700 running Windows 10. I checked the Dell support site for updates and found that it was recommended that I upgrade the BIOS. I downloaded the file and ran it. All seemed to be going well until the process was almost complete. The screen went blank, the fan speed went up and then nothing happened. I waited for ten minutes or so but, sadly, nothing now works. When I switch on the machine the lights cycle but then the machine turns off. The screen is blank with no Dell logo. Is there a way I can fix this? I am fairly knowledgeable about PCs.

I understand that the BIOS can be reflashed from a USB stick on some machines. Can I do this with the Vostro 3700?

Bill.

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9 Replies
Highlighted
8 Krypton

Re: Vostro 3700 BIOS update failure

I don't envy you at all with this but if the machine is effectively 'bricked' at this point then you have little to loose.

Dell have a page on BIOS recovery options for various products.

BIOS Recovery Options.

Good luck...

 

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BillPec
1 Copper

Re: Vostro 3700 BIOS update failure

Thank you very much.

Unfortunately, it looks like the Vostro 3700 does not have the feature. However, it does appear to access a USB stick when it's switched on so perhaps there's hope.

 

I later found this thread:

https://www.dell.com/community/General/Vostro-3500-BIOS-Update-Failed-Recovery-Procedure-Needed/td-p...

 

Some people have had success with the 3700 following the instructions but, so far, I have been unable to make it work for me.

 

I will keep trying.

 

Thanks again,

 

Bill.

 

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8 Krypton

Re: Vostro 3700 BIOS update failure

That's a long thread but as you say, some are reporting success. Keep trying, and look for other methods as well.. 

Good luck, and let us know how you get on.

 

 

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HeyScotG
1 Copper

Re: Vostro 3700 BIOS update failure

Hello, I am another unfortunate victim of the dreaded A12 bios update debacle.

I have followed every instruction, in every permutation, with no success.

Here's my configuration attempts so far:

1gb, Fat32, 4k sector formatted USB.
(with and without bootable mbr)
Just the .hdr file (renamed to winery70" for my 17" Vostro 3700)
The .hdr file + the "rom" file; then with the ".exe" package.

Inserted, separately, in the left front, left middle, right middle, and right back USB ports.

Held END key above number pad BEFORE inserting power on all 64 attempts.

Also tried holding the ESC and CTRL keys, because someone said it worked. (It doesn't.)

At one point, I unplugged the CMOS battery, and held down the power button to "dissipate any residual current in the system" in the hopes that would reset the BIOS. (Nope).

I even waved both a Disney magic wand and Potter friggin' twig-thingy a few times over it, and still no luck. (I was really hoping that would do the trick.)

Wish I knew what I'm doing wrong. 

Some posts (lots of other sites and threads) said they just plugged it in. No holding the END key. 

If anyone has a secret, I'd love to hear it. 

My next attempt may include the surgical use of a hammer.

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SteDar
1 Copper

Re: Vostro 3700 BIOS update failure

Bill

I'm having exactly the same problem as you - Vostro 3700 running Windows 10 and a prompt, by Dell SupportAssist, to install the latest BIOS update. The AC adapter was plugged in at the time and the battery fully charged. I had also selected that the PC receive power from the AC adapter instead of the battery, just in case something went wrong.

And something did indeed go wrong.

About a quarter of the way through the BIOS update, I saw a sudden flash of what I think was the Windows-stock "low battery, you might want to plug your PC in" banner across the screen and before I could think of what'd gone wrong, the screen went blank and the PC became totally unresponsive - it wouldn't even perform a hard shutdown using the power button.

I pulled the battery and the PC still wouldn't turn off. Only when I pulled the AC adapter did it die.

Now, when attempting to boot the PC with the battery in and the AC adapter connected, it powers on, cycles through the touch-responsive media keys and the HDD read/write LED flashes for a few seconds. Then, complete lifelessness - a black screen, the HDD LED remains off and there's no response to a jab of the Num Lock or Caps Lock keys, but the system responds to commands to enable and disable the keyboard backlighting by using the Fn key and right arrow key.

I've tried pulling the motherboard battery and numerous other instructions on this forum, all to no avail. Did you have any luck with any of the methods you tried?

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SteDar
1 Copper

Re: Vostro 3700 BIOS update failure

Bill

I did more research and followed the method outlined in the link that you posted (relating to the Vostro 3500). That method must be followed to the tee, right down to the storage format of the flash drive. I even had to learn how to run an .exe with parameters to extract the .rom and .hdr files!

One more curious thing happened in my case, though: after I got into the DOS-based BIOS recovery utility and fixed the flash, the laptop booted back into Windows at the very point that it failed during the first attempted flash within Windows - it was as if it had awoken from a frozen slumber! It continued with that flash in Windows and returned an error that the update had failed, with the caution to contact my local Dell support centre. At this point, the laptop's keyboard and mouse refused to work, making it appear as though the system had frozen - the mouse cursor had turned into the busy-in-background animation.

However, as a last ditch try, I plugged the receiver for the wireless mouse that I'd always used with the laptop (even during the first and fatal Windows-based BIOS flash attempt) which I'd removed to make space for the BIOS recovery USB drive, into another USB port and was able to use the wireless mouse to close the "update failed" dialog box. Upon doing so, Windows attempted to restart the laptop. The screen turned black after some time and nothing further happened. The HDD read/write LED remained lit solid and holding the power button down did nothing. I once again pulled the AC adapter out. I kept the USB drive inserted and "drained any residual power" by holding down the power button for about 30 seconds. Then, per the method in your link, I held the End key down and while doing so, inserted the AC adapter. The laptop sprang into life and went back into the BIOS recovery system, where it went on with the flash update - again.

Once finished, the laptop rebooted - this time into Windows, although very slowly. It appears to be working now, I will keep monitoring for stability.

Long story short - the method in your link can work with a Vostro 3700, as long as it is followed exactly.

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MeuLog
1 Nickel

Re: Vostro 3700 BIOS update failure

I got it 🙂

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MeuLog
1 Nickel

Re: Vostro 3700 BIOS update failure

Hi, thanks for your posts. It help me to get an solution.

The new bios doesn't work for me. Than i used the 3700_A10.EXE and with

3700_A10.EXE /writeromfile and 3700_A10.EXE /writehdrfile in the comand shell, i got the two files

3700_a10.hdr and 3700_a10.rom. I renamed them to winery70.hdr and winery70.rom. I also made a copy of them with the name winery50.hdr and winery50.rom.

I copied the whole files (winery70.hdr, winery70.rom, winery50.hdr, winery50.rom, 3700_A10.EXE) to a Fat32 formated usb 2.0 stick.

With no accu and the usb stick inserted in the nearest left usb port i pressed the Ende key on a german layout and pluged the power cable in.

After that i get color on the display and i could flash the Rom again and every think works fine 😄

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Zapata1957
1 Copper

Re: Vostro 3700 BIOS update failure

Thanks a million MeuLog Copper (and all others)

After a serious battle with my Vostro 3700 I eventually got it fully operational again.

At first I have made many mistakes because everybody offers advice and I had to find the solution that will work for my model only. Briefly, this was my laptop's condition, folowed by what I have done:

PROBLEM: During BIOS update from A10 to A12 my machine just died midway through the process, and I could not get any action from the screen again.

THE FIX: I downloaded the new BIOS file 3700A12.exe and followed your advice of extracting the two files 3700a10.hdr and 3700a10.rom and renamed them to winery70.hdr and winery70.rom. This appeared to be the key to solving the problem, because I first renamed to other names I got from various sources which just stretched out my misery. The name "winery70" seems to be the only file name the Vostro 3700 will accept.

I have used the USB (formatted to Fat32) on the right at the back without any further problems.

Thanks again.

 

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