This article describes an error message regarding signed BIOS firmware on the Latitude, Precision or Optiplex systems.
When updating the BIOS firmware on your Latitude, Precision, or OptiPlex system, you may see an error message stating that a transition BIOS firmware version with a Dell digital signature must be installed before you can update to a higher version.
Dell now applies a cryptographic digital signature to BIOS firmware releases for certain computer models as an extra security measure. This "signed firmware" ensures that the BIOS update applied to your computer has not been modified or corrupted.
Due to this change in the BIOS firmware releases, you may need to reinstall the current version of your firmware with a version that contains a digital signature (a transition or pre-requisite version) so that your computer has the microcode base to update to a higher signed BIOS firmware version.
After you install the transitional signed BIOS firmware, you must enable the Signed Firmware Update before you can update to a higher version. Once the Signed Firmware Update feature is enabled, you cannot update the BIOS to a version that does not contain a valid digital signature.
Note: You can update your BIOS firmware to the transition BIOS version without updating to a higher version. The transition BIOS firmware is supported just like any other Dell BIOS firmware.
To resolve a signed BIOS firmware message.
Determine your current BIOS version:
- Click the Start button.
- In the search box, type System Information.
- In the list of results, click System Information.
- Locate BIOS version/date in the Item column of the System Summary. The BIOS version and date are listed under the Value column.
Install the transitional BIOS firmware update:
- Go to the Dell.com/Support/Drivers page.
- Enter your Service Tag number, or choose your computer model from a list of products.
Note: Your Service Tag is a five- or seven-digit alphanumeric code found on a white bar-coded label on your Dell computer.
- Click the Arrow button next to the BIOS category to expand it. The most recent BIOS version will be shown under Version.
- If the most recent version doesn't match your current version, click Previous Versions.
- Click the number of the version you currently have installed to download the transitional signed BIOS firmware update.
- Click Download File to download and save it to your computer.
- Once the software is downloaded, double-click the downloaded file and follow the on-screen instructions to install.
Enable the Signed Firmware Update feature:
- Restart your computer. When the Dell logo appears, press the F2 key to access the BIOS Setup Utility.
- Use the Arrow keys to select the Firmware Update option, located in the Security section of the left pane Setup screen.
- Click the check box next to Enable Signed Firmware Update in the right pane.
Note: Once this feature is enabled, you cannot update the BIOS to a higher version that does not contain a valid digital signature.
- After selecting Enable Signed Firmware Update, you will be prompted to verify your selection before saving because this feature cannot be turned off.
- Once you have opted in, Signed Firmware Update is enabled is displayed in the General > System Information > BIOS pane. You can use this status to verify that the BIOS is enforcing digital signature checking on all future firmware updates.
Now you should be able to update to a higher BIOS firmware version.
If you have further questions about this solution, please contact Dell Technical Support.