B1tbull
2 Bronze

XPS 8930, Bios update questions

Greetings,

I like to start a conversation about XPS 8930 Bios updates because the information at hand currently is confusing to say the least.

Available BIOS releases are ( Dell Support ) : 

1.0.1 dated 20 Oct 2017
1.0.2 dated 24 Oct 2017
1.0.5 dated 22 Dec 2017

My Dell XPS 8930 was delivered early January with Bios 1.0.3

The Bios update 1.0.5 is marked urgent and fixes the following ( copied from Dell support )

Fixes:
- Fixed an issue with UEFI variable default handing.
- Fixed a potential issue with early OROM loading.
- Fixed an issue with SPI flash command configuration.
- Updated chipset SPI flash configuration.
- Updated Intel ME Firmware to address security advisory INTEL-SA-00086 (CVE-2017-5705 & CVE-2017-5708)
- Update to the latest CPU microcode to address CVE-2017-5715.

Also flagged as urgent at the XPS 8930 support page is Intel Management Interface Driver Version 11.7.0.1054, A03 released 30 Nov 2017 which fixes the following :


Fixes
- Mitigated security vulnerability CVE-2017-5705, CVE-2017-5708, CVE-2017-5711 and CVE-2017-5712. CVE details are anticipated to be available on November 20, 2017.

Both updates refer somehow to the Intell Management Engine ( ME ) and this rings a bell about the Intel Processor Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities.

The Dell client statement on this issue on the other hand does not mention XPS 8930.

Are you still with me ?

Allow me to summarize the question : two separate upgrades are marked as urgent for XPS 8930 and are related to Intel ME, therefore Spectre and Meltdown, but the Dell statement on this subject does not mention XPS 8930.

Any clarifications more than welcome :

- Are the two upgrades related to the Spectre/Meltdown issue? ( Yes I guess )
- Will applying those upgrades result in a "non vulnerable" outcome when testing with Intel-SA-00086 Detection Tool
- If so what is the recommended order : Bios first then driver or other way around?
- My XPS 8930 is vulnerable with Bios 1.0.3, so should I urgently upgrade?

Thanks in advance for your insights.

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38 Replies
B1tbull
2 Bronze

Re: XPS 8930 Bios Update Questions

http://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/sln308587/microprocessor-side-channel-vulnerabilities-c...

Just a few hours after creating this post XPS 8930 is now appearing as "in proces".
Check the link above.
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photog2
1 Copper

Re: XPS 8930 Bios Update Questions

Thanks for the link.  At the bottom of the page, it says the information was last updated on Jan 21, so it is current.  The latest BIOS update is "in process." Sounds like this will address the latest Intel vulnerabilities, which evidently include i7 gen 8.  I am using a Dell XPS 8930 that I ordered on 12/22/2017, and it has BIOS 1.02.  Recently I have been receiving notices from Dell to update my BIOS.  They don't say to what version.

I hate to update a BIOS until it has been out for a few weeks.  I read about folks who have updated a BIOS and  run into problems.  In any case, because the latest update is listed as "in process" for the XPS 8930, I think I will continue to monitor that web page for status rather than update now.

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B1tbull
2 Bronze

Re: XPS 8930 Bios Update Questions

Thanks for the feedback.
My XPS 8930 was ordered Jan 4 and delivered Jan 7 with bios version 1.0.3.
So in less than a month Dell moved from 1.0.2 to 1.0.5.
I will also for sure wait till the dust settles before any bios upgrade.
8930 owners, please continue to share your bios upgrade experiences and insights in this forum.
B1tbull
2 Bronze

Re: XPS 8930 Bios Update Questions

A post from sawkilla was removed after I received the email notification.
Correction : this is now a sepatate post in XPS desktops.
Check it out there.
He upgraded two 8930 sytems, one from windows, the other from a bootable usb stick. Both upgrades were ok. Maybe he can repost the Windows procedure. I agree that clicking on the bios update notification when it pops up in windows is a bad bad idea.
Method 6 in the link below, bootable usb stick, is the method that I also recommend.
https://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/04/sln284433/what-is-bios-and-how-to-update-the-bios-on-y...
sawkilla
1 Nickel

Re: XPS 8930 Bios Update Questions

Yeah I think my post was removed my post cause it had a dell link??

Anyway, here were the windows instructions..

The 2nd xps with 32gb memory I installed through windows(only because I saw so many people having issues through this method...1ST OFF---I DONT RECOMMEND THIS METHOD. uPDATING YOUR BIOS IN AN EXPERT LEVER UPGRADE AND UPDATING THROUGH WINDOWS SO MANY THINGS CAN GO WRONG....

Needed: goto your xps downloads and download the newest bios update,save it on your desktop.

Anyway, first I went to run(Cortana) and typed msconfig then enter

Then startup tab which brings you to the task manager startup tab. Disable EVERYTHING until your bios is updated. Then you can turn it all back on...

Then I went back to the microsoft configuration utility and clicked on the services tab..

Then put a check mark next to hide all microsoft services...DISABLE ALL

Hit apply then ok

Then restart your computer.

When your computer restarts, if you have an anti virus running, now is the time to disable it.(next to your clock on the bottom right, click the little arrow to expand your startup items and right click your anti virus. Disable auto protect and auto firewall if applicable...

Now click the update bios icon you downloaded to your desktop to start updating your bios..WAIT TILL ITS FINISHED! IT MIGHT LOOK LIKE YOUR COMPUTER IS LOCKED UP AT 1 OR 2 POINTS DURING THE UPGRADE. WAIT IT OUT!

It will tell you to restart your computer when its done updating.

when your computer starts up and your back on your desktop, DONT TOUCH YOUR COMPUTER. LET THE BIOS FINISH UPDATING IN THE BACKGROUND. GIVE IT 5 MINUTES TO BE SAFE...

Restart your computer once more and reactivate all the startup items and services you disabled...

Restart one last and final time when it tells you and wallahh!

If you follow my instructions either way, you should be safe to upgrade but I recommend the 1st method of flashing..

Goodluck everyone. The update is safe if you follow my instructions...

 

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B1tbull
2 Bronze

Re: XPS 8930 Bios Update Questions

Please check also this post : Re: Bios update has killed my XPS 8920

Several users report bricked system after Bios update from within Windows.

So disregard notification in Windows about an update being ready and clicking update now
There are way too many background processes running in a life Windows environment to ensure a safe Bios upgrade. The process described by Sawkilla will minimize the risks, but I still strongly recommend to go the USB bootable stick way.

In the good old days when floppy drives were around the standard Bios upgrade was always done from a bootable floppy disk, not a Windows environment.

Koeven
2 Iron

Re: XPS 8930 Bios Update Questions

Thanks for getting this discussion going.  My concern with the 1.0.5 bios for the XPS 8930 is that it has been released 3 different times over the past 4 weeks, however the version number hasn't changed.  I've tried running all three versions from within windows and all fail to execute properly.  I contacted tech support and they weren't able to help.

I've had a whole slew of Dell XPS machines (8930, 8910, 8700, 420 and  more) and have always updated the bios via the windows route and without problems.  Like many of you, I've read the other recent posts indicating that the latest bios is "bricking" some XPS machines.  I think that at this point I'm not going to try the USB route, as my confidence level in the quality of these bios update releases appears to be poor and the vendor testing is somehow missing identifying whether the release is ready.  I wish someone from Dell would comment on whether they know they have problems or when then know they have resolved the bios problems.

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B1tbull
2 Bronze

Re: XPS 8930 Bios Update Questions

I agree that holding back on Bios upgrades for XPS, windows or usb way, is the wise approach.
You just confirmed my suspicion that the 1.0.5 upgrade was modified a couple of times since initial release. The problem may well be with insufficient QA regarding this upgrade and not the way it is installed.
Hopefully Dell technical support will soon issue some communication to build up our confidence again in applying those bios upgrades.
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B1tbull
2 Bronze

Re: XPS 8930 Bios Update Questions

I do realize that posting in this forum has a bias towards "problems" .

So please share your experience if you have successfully applied the 1.0.5 XPS 8930 bios upgrade or invite people who have to post in this thread. My confidence level in applying this required upgrade is quite low and hearing from you would help me in making a decision on when to proceed with this.

On the same subject I would like to know if the Intel ME driver update was also applied prior or after the Bios upgrade. Let's make this Dell community forum really work for us all.

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