Skybirth
1 Copper

Re: XPS 8900, BIOS 2.2.1

Indeed, been awhile responding. Tried everything to recover the installation but ultimately replaced the HDD. Reinstallled a fresh Windows 10 and everything works fine. Your assessment was correct, just coincidental I guess. Thanks and take care.

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Skybirth
1 Copper

Re: XPS 8900, BIOS 2.2.1

Indeed, been awhile responding. Tried everything to recover the installation but ultimately replaced the HDD. Reinstallled a fresh Windows 10 and everything works fine. Your assessment was correct, just coincidental I guess. Thanks and take care.

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bselff
1 Copper

Re: XPS 8900, BIOS 2.2.1

I am not sure it was coincidental, after installing the 2.2.1 bios dell instructed by way of urgent update  on the screen, the same issue, except it toasted my processor also. When Dell fixed the unit, they replaced both the processor and the HD.

Just an FYI

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DonAlford
1 Copper

Re: XPS 8900, BIOS 2.2.1

I run a PC service center and had a recent experience with the BIOS 2.2.1 upgrade. Below is what I experienced while researching the issue and resolving the issue:

1. From reading forums, it appears there were multiple releases of the BIOS 2.2.1 with the last update being in the Jan - Feb 2018 time frame, all have the 2.2.1 release number. Having spent several years in Software Quality Assurance, I find using the same version number for multiple software releases is a poor industry practice.

2. From my own analysis and hands-on experience, this issue persist with MBR for Windows 7 process and not the UEFI (GPT). Dell 8900, and maybe other models, offered Windows 7 with some of it's shipments, possibly Windows 8 (I have not heard of any), and Windows 10 for certain. Typically, Windows 7 installs utilize MBR and Windows 8 and 10 use UEFI (GPT), this could explain why some people in these forums have not experienced this particular BIOS 2.2.1 upgrade issue with Windows "hanging" at the Starting Windows screen, the screen with the Windows pulsating color flag.

3.I contacted Dell Support about the BIOS 2.2.1 issue, got past the post-warranty person, and requested to speak to a Level 2 tech. After several minutes of explaining, and re-explaining the issue, there was no fix offered for the MBR issue. 

4. Windows 7 Workaround: After much trial-and-error, I did find a way to boot into Windows under MBR: Go into BIOS and set SATA to RAID mode (not AHCI). MBR mode will work with SATA set to the RAID mode. In general, I understand that if you are not installing a RAID drive configuration (more than one drive for redundancy), setting SATA to RAID mode is not recommended because it will create some performance issues. When possible, always use AHCI mode. I did set SATA to RAID. and after a longer Windows boot-up time (1 minute or more using an SSD, where AHCI booted in 20 seconds), Windows 7 functions appeared to work fine. There were some noticeable performance issues during some Windows 7 operations, but I considered them minor. This workaround is great for retrieving software licenses, using a tool like Belarc Advisior, and saving off personal data files, so you can convert to Windows 7 to UEFI, but I don't see this as a long-term solution without extensive testing.

5. Long-term, yet more time-consuming solution; Convert Windows 7 from MBR to GPT (UEFI). This required ten or more of my time, and I know my way around BIOS and Windows 7. NOTE: Using a USB docking station, I first had to retrieve all drive software product licenses and personal data files before re-installation and reusing a drive:

    a.) Reformatted the drive to GPT and set up a partition volume using the Windows "Create and format hard disk partitions" tool.

    b.) I next set BIOS to UEFI and SATA to AHCI (use F2 when Dell splash screen appears) then reboot.

    c.) Inserted a Windows 7 installation disk in the DVD player then reboot (I used an origianl Dell Windows 7 Pro Installation DVD). Force a boot to UEFI, not Legacy, by pressing F12 during the Dell boot-up splash screen then I select the UEFI DVD boot option)

   d.) After Windows reinstall process started, and getting past the first couple of screens, I selected the Custom Installation choice. This choice will produce a list of drives. i deleted the Primary partition then clicked Next to continue the installtion process. (NOTE: There might have been a way to not include a formatted Primary partition during the reformatting process, but I did not take the time to research that. This might have eliminated deleting the Primary partition in this step d.).

NOTES:

1. I spent over ten hours or more rebuilding the Windows 7 drive from scratch; requiring the recovery of several licenses, reinstalling an configuring applications, saving and restoring data files, and reconfiguring several email accounts in Outlook.

2. I made several attempts on trying to convert the MBR partition to GPT without success. Some of the tools used were the Command line gptgen tool and AOMEI Partition Assistant. Even if successful, I fear some obscure issue would later surface as a result of trying to shoehorn a MBR to GPT conversion, so I later opted out of trying to MBR to GPT convert.

3. You will encounter problems installing Windows 7 as a UEFI unless you have previously installed Windows 7 64-bit SP1.

I would be interested to hear if anyone also had success with the above workaround or changing MBR to UEFI.

Dante01
1 Copper

Re: XPS 8900, BIOS 2.2.1

Was doing updates last week to several computers at our office.  2 Dell XPS 8900s were rendered unusable by upgrading to BIOS 2.2.1.  I stopped the upgrades immediately after that.  Do NOT upgrade to this BIOS version

BIOShell
1 Copper

Re: XPS 8900, BIOS 2.2.1

Well, I was one of the MANY unlucky ones.  Installed their 'criticial' BIOS update 2.2.1, completey CRASHED my system.  Have been on the phone with them over 5 times, hours on end, tried everything they said to do, and nothing worked.  Throughout this process, I've bought an extended warranty as they said this is the ONLY way they can help me.  Well, they still could not fix it.  Now they want me to buy ANOTHER copy of the OS the computer CAME with when I bought it DIRECTLY from them at Dell.  I said to them, you know I bought the computer from Dell directly (I have an account with them), you know it came with the OS, yet you want to charge me for ANOTHER copy of the OS, and you are saying that NOW, this is the only way to fix my computer caused 100% by YOUR BIOS UPDATE.

I am at my wits end.  This is unbelievable.  I feel like I'm in a dell purgatory.

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BIOShell
1 Copper

Re: BIOS 2.2.1 for XPS 8900

I don't know how you got them to admit it and take care of it!  I just spent valuable time talking to "Amit Singh"

who said he is a Manager, and that I could not talk to any other manager, as there is no one above him.

 

He denied 100% that it is a known or Dell issue.  Though I sent him this link among others.  He said anyone can write anything on a forum.  I said the link is not a forum, but a Dell statement.

https://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/04/sln308587/microprocessor-side-channel-vulnerabilities-...

 

So, again, I'm here with a broken computer.  Been over a week.

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totinho2000
1 Copper

Re: XPS 8900, BIOS 2.2.1

I had the same problem with my Dell XPS 8900. I had to go back to previous Bios and reinstall Windows 10 again. Problem solved.

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