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How to Force a BIOS Update on a Dell Laptop

Summary: This page describes how to Update the BIOS on a laptop with or without the AC adapter attached, if the battery is missing, or the battery has failed.

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Force flash the BIOS

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How to Force a BIOS Update on a Dell Laptop

There are cases where you must update the system BIOS on a laptop when the AC Adapter cannot be determined or is not available. This process may also be needed if the computer battery has failed or is not installed in the computer. When you attempt to update the BIOS within Windows, the update program detects if the AC adapter and a charged battery are present or not and will not continue until it is plugged in. If you must flash a BIOS and the AC adapter is nonfunctional or unavailable, the battery is dead or removed, there is a way to force the flash.

CAUTION: If the battery charge is less than 10% or the battery is removed, you may be able to force the BIOS to update from within a DOS environment. A failure during this process may result in your computer becoming unusable and users must proceed at their own risk. Dell shall not be liable for any loss, including but not limited to loss of data, loss of profit, or loss of revenue, which customers may incur by following any procedure or advice set out in this article.
NOTE: For information regarding the updating of your system BIOS, see the KB article Dell BIOS Updates.

What You Should Do:

  1. Download the relevant, or latest BIOS update file from Dell's drivers home page.

  2. Save it in an easily accessible location from a command prompt. (C: drive or root directory would be the easiest)

  3. Click Start. In the Run or Search box, type cmd, and then right-click "cmd.exe" in the search results, and select Run as administrator.

  4. If the User Access Control window appears, select Yes

  5. In the Command Prompt window, at the C:\Windows\system32> prompt, type in cd\ and press Enter this will return you to the root directory.

  6. At the C:\> prompt, type biosflashname.exe /forceit and press Enter.

    NOTE: biosflashname is the actual name of the BIOS you downloaded, for example, A6540A09.exe and there is also a space between that and the /forceit switch
  7. After answering YES to the User Access control prompt, the update should commence without the AC adapter warning. Reboot when prompted to complete the update.

Additional Information

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Article Properties

Affected Product

Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, XPS

Last Published Date

27 May 2024



Article Type

How To