Dell BIOS Updates

Dell BIOS Updates




Introduction to BIOS

BIOS is an acronym for Basic Input/Output System, also known as System Setup. BIOS is a firmware that is embedded on a small memory chip on the PC's system board or motherboard. It acts as an interface between the PC's hardware and the operating system. BIOS also contains instructions that the PC uses to perform basic instructions such as whether to boot from network or hard disk drive.

When a PC is first started, BIOS activates all of the basic hardware required to startup or boot to the operating system including but not limited to:

  • Chipset
  • Processor and Cache
  • System Memory / RAM
  • Graphics and Audio Controllers
  • Keyboard and Mouse
  • Internal Drives
  • Network Controllers
  • Internal Expansion Cards

To access BIOS or System Setup on Dell PCs:

  1. Press F2 key several times at the Dell logo screen during startup.
    Or
  2. Press F12 key several times at the Dell logo screen during startup and select BIOS Setup or System Setup from the menu.
Note: BIOS interface may differ across different Dell PCs. To learn more about BIOS options in your Dell PC, refer to the User Manual or User Guide of your Dell PC.
Warning: BIOS interface is designed for advanced PC users. Changing certain settings could prevent your PC from starting correctly, prevent the operating system from loading or suffer potential loss of data.

Updating the BIOS on a Dell PC

Dell recommends updating the BIOS as part of your scheduled update cycle. BIOS update is a software utility that updates the programming of the most basic hardware in a PC. BIOS update can often fix problems and/or add features to the PC's BIOS. Like operating system and driver revisions, BIOS update contains feature enhancements or changes that will help keep your system software current and compatible with other system modules (hardware, firmware, drivers and software) as well as providing security updates and increased stability.

Unlike Microsoft Windows, anti-virus or other software updates which are usually automatic, BIOS on a PC has to be updated manually. Dell provides an easy-to-use self installing update utility that allows this task to be performed easily.

Warning: Ensure to backup your data before attempting to update the BIOS. Errors during BIOS update may result in potential loss of data.
Warning: It is recommended that you disconnect external peripherals like external hard disk drives, printers, scanners before updating the BIOS on your Dell PC.
Warning: Dell laptop PCs must have the battery installed and charged to at least 10% before you begin the BIOS update. Dell recommends running the laptop PC on AC power before proceeding with the update process.


Video (English only) - How to Update BIOS or System Setup (2:32)

Frequently Asked Questions

Click to expand the sections below for more information.

To access BIOS or System Setup on Dell PCs:

  1. Press F2 key several times at the Dell logo screen during startup.
    Or
  2. Press F12 key several times at the Dell logo screen during startup and select BIOS Setup or System Setup from the menu.
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Identifying BIOS version using System Information in Microsoft Windows:

  1. Press Windows logo key + R key on the keyboard.
  2. In the Run dialog box, type msinfo32 and press Enter key.
  3. In the System Information window, look for BIOS Version/Date (Figure 1).
Identifying BIOS Version using System Information in Microsoft Windows
Figure 1: Identifying BIOS version in System Information

Identifying BIOS version using Command Prompt in Microsoft Windows:

  1. Press Windows logo key + R key on the keyboard.
  2. In the Run dialog box, type cmd and press Enter key.
  3. In the Command Prompt window, look for BIOS Version (Figure 2).
Identifying BIOS Version using Command Prompt in Microsoft Windows
Figure 2: Identifying BIOS version in Command Prompt

Identifying BIOS version in the BIOS interface:

  1. Restart the PC.
  2. Press F2 key at the Dell logo screen during startup.
  3. Under the Main or System Information tab, look for BIOS Version.
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BIOS update for Dell PCs are available for download at Dell Drivers & Downloads page.

To learn more about how to download a driver, refer to the Dell knowledge-base article How to download and install a device driver?.

Note: BIOS update may not be available for all Dell PCs. Check the Dell Drivers & Downloads page and select the model or enter the Service Tag of your Dell PC.

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It is important to keep the BIOS of your Dell PC up to date. New releases of BIOS can provide improvements to hardware compatibility, improved diagnostics, increased stability and security updates.

To learn more about how to download and install a driver, refer to the Dell knowledge-base article How to download and install a device driver?.

Warning: Dell laptop PCs must have the battery installed and charged to at least 10% before you begin the BIOS update. Dell recommends running the laptop PC on AC power before proceeding with the update process.


Video (English only) - How to Update BIOS or System Setup (2:32)

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If the PC cannot boot into or load the operating system but there is still a need to update the BIOS, download the BIOS file using another PC and save it to a bootable USB flash drive.

Note: To learn how to create a bootable USB flash drive, refer to the Dell knowledge-base article How to Create a Bootable USB Flash Drive using Dell Diagnostic Deployment Package (DDDP).

To install the BIOS update using a USB flash drive:

  1. Create a bootable USB flash drive.
  2. Download the BIOS update file and save it to the USB flash drive.
    Note: Make a note of the BIOS update file e.g. O9010A12.exe
  3. Power off the Dell PC.
  4. Connect the USB flash drive and restart the Dell PC.
  5. Press F12 key at the Dell logo screen to enter One Time Boot Menu.
  6. Using the arrow keys, select USB Storage Device and press Enter key.
  7. At the command prompt, type the full BIOS filename e.g. O9010A12.exe and press Enter key.
  8. Follow the instructions in the BIOS Update Utility screen to complete the update process.
Warning: Do not power off your PC during the BIOS update process.
Warning: Dell laptop PCs must have the battery installed and charged to at least 10% before you begin the BIOS update. Dell recommends running the laptop PC on AC power before proceeding with the update process.

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To learn how to update the system BIOS in a Linux environment such as Ubuntu, refer to the Dell knowledge-base article Updating the Dell BIOS in Linux and Ubuntu Environments.

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To learn about updating BIOS on Dell PCs with BitLocker enabled, refer to the Dell knowledge-base article Updating BIOS on Systems With BitLocker Enabled.

Warning: If BitLocker is not suspended before updating the BIOS, the next time you reboot the system it will not recognize the BitLocker key.
You will then be prompted to enter the recovery key to progress and the system will ask for this on each reboot.
Warning: If the recovery key is not known this can result in data loss or an unnecessary operating system re-install.

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A corrupt BIOS is one of the possible causes of your PC unable to complete POST or some times even boot into the operating system. BIOS Recovery tool is a software designed to recover a corrupted BIOS based on Boot Block Technology. The software's main feature is to provide flexibility to recover the corrupted BIOS using a BIOS recovery file from the PC's primary hard disk drive or an external USB key.

If your Dell PC or tablet supports BIOS recovery, you can recover the corrupt BIOS by using the BIOS recovery method on your Dell PC or tablet. Refer to the Dell knowledge-base article BIOS Recovery options on a Dell PC or Tablet for more information.

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The information stored in the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System), known as ESCD (Extended System Configuration Data) can occasionally become corrupted due to a variety of situations such as power events, incorrect settings by the user, hardware incompatibility due to a specific setting, or a No POST or No Video scenario. In these cases it is sometimes necessary to reset the BIOS or CMOS (Complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor) to "Factory Defaults", or in other circumstances, clear the NVRAM (Non-Volatile Random Access Memory)

To learn more about how to perform a BIOS or CMOS reset, refer to the Dell knowledge-base article How to Perform a BIOS or CMOS Reset and/or Clear the NVRAM on your Dell System.

Warning: BIOS interface is designed for advanced PC users. Changing certain settings could prevent your PC from starting correctly, prevent the operating system from loading or suffer potential loss of data.

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Article ID: SLN129956

Last Date Modified: 12/10/2018 01:12 PM


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