Dell BIOS Updates


Dell BIOS Updates


How to Update BIOS or System Setup

Duration: 02:32
Closed captions: available in multiple languages



Introduction to BIOS

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

When a computer is powered on, BIOS activates all the basic hardware that is required to boot the operating system including but not limited to:

  • Chipset
  • Processor and cache
  • System memory or RAM
  • Video and audio controllers
  • Keyboard and mouse
  • Internal disk drives
  • Network controllers
  • Internal expansion cards

To access BIOS or System Setup on Dell computers:

  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 between different Dell computers. To learn more about the BIOS options in your Dell computer, refer to the User Guide of your Dell computer.
Warning: BIOS interface is designed for advanced computer users. Changing certain settings could prevent the computer from completing the power on self-test (POST) process, prevent the operating system from loading or suffer potential loss of data.
  1. Browse to the Dell Drivers & downloads page.
  2. Identify your Dell computer
    • Click Download and Install SupportAssist to automatically identify your Dell computer.
    • Or, enter the Service Tag, Express Service Code, or model number of your Dell computer and click Search.
    • Or, click Browse all products and select your Dell computer from the list.
  3. Select the Operating System.
  4. Under Category, select BIOS.
  5. Locate the latest System BIOS.
  6. Click Download and save the file to your computer.
  7. Open File Explorer and browse to the location where the downloaded file is saved.
  8. Double-click the BIOS setup file and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process.

Updating the BIOS on a Dell computer

Dell recommends updating the BIOS as part of your scheduled update cycle. BIOS update can often fix problems, add features, or both to the BIOS. BIOS update contains feature enhancements or changes that help keep the system software current and compatible with other system modules (hardware, firmware, drivers, and software) as well as providing security updates and increased stability.

BIOS on a computer has to be updated manually. Dell provides an easy-to-use self-installing update utility that allows this task to be performed easily. Critical BIOS updates are also pushed through Windows Update.

Warning: Ensure to back up your data before attempting to update the BIOS. Errors during BIOS update may result in potential loss of data.
Warning: Disconnect external devices like external USB drives, printers, scanners before updating the BIOS on the computer.
Warning: Dell laptop battery should be charged to at least 10% before you begin the BIOS update. Dell recommends running the laptop computer on AC power before proceeding with the update process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click to expand a section below for more information.

To access BIOS or System Setup on a Dell computer:

  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 computer.
  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 computers are available for download at Dell Drivers & Downloads page. Critical BIOS updates are also pushed through Windows Update

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 computers. Check the Dell Drivers & Downloads page and select the model or enter the Service Tag of your Dell computer.

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It is important to keep the BIOS of your Dell computer up to date. New releases of BIOS can provide improvements to hardware compatibility, improved diagnostics, increased stability, and security updates. Critical BIOS updates are also pushed through Windows Update

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 computers must have the battery that is installed and charged to at least 10% before you begin the BIOS update. Dell recommends running the laptop computer on AC power before proceeding with the update process.
  1. Browse to the Dell Drivers & downloads page.
  2. Identify your computer
    • Click Download and Install SupportAssist to automatically identify your Dell computer.
    • Or, enter the Service Tag, Express Service Code, or model number of your Dell computer and click Search.
    • Or, click Browse all products and select your Dell computer from the list.
  3. Select the Operating System.
  4. Under Category, select BIOS.
  5. Locate the latest System BIOS.
  6. Click Download and save the file to your computer.
  7. Open File Explorer and browse to the location where the downloaded file is saved.
  8. Double-click the BIOS setup file and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process.

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If the computer cannot boot into or load the operating system but there is still a need to update the BIOS, download the BIOS file using another computer 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 computer.
  4. Connect the USB flash drive and restart the Dell computer.
  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 computer during the BIOS update process.
Warning: Dell laptop computers must have the battery that is installed and charged to at least 10% before you begin the BIOS update. Dell recommends running the laptop computer 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 computers 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 are then prompted to enter the recovery key to progress, and the system asks for this on each reboot.
Warning: If the recovery key is not known this can result in data loss or an unnecessary operating system reinstall.

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A corrupt BIOS is one of the possible causes of your computer unable to complete POST or some times even boot into the operating system. BIOS Recovery tool is software that is 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 computer's primary hard disk drive or an external USB key.

If your Dell computer or tablet supports BIOS recovery, you can recover the corrupt BIOS by using the BIOS recovery method on your Dell computer or tablet. Refer to the Dell knowledge-base article BIOS Recovery options on a Dell computer 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 various 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 computer users. Changing certain settings could prevent your computer from starting correctly, prevent the operating system from loading or suffer potential loss of data.

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The BIOS or UEFI firmware offers the ability to set lower-level passwords. This allows you to restrict a user from booting the computer, booting to removable USB device, and changing the BIOS or UEFI settings without permission.

There are 3 types of passwords that can be set in the BIOS or UEFI firmware settings.

  1. Supervisor or Admin password - The admin password enables several security features. Enabling this setting restricts a user from changing the BIOS or UEFI firmware settings.
  2. User or System password - This setting restricts a user from completing the power on self-test process without the correct password.
  3. HDD password - This option restricts a user from accessing the internal hard disk drive without the correct password.

To learn more about password settings in the BIOS or UEFI firmware and how to reset the passwords, see the Dell knowledgebase article How to Set, Change, or Remove a Password in BIOS or UEFI Firmware.



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Article ID: SLN129956

Last Date Modified: 09/18/2020 08:41 AM

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