Skip to main content
  • Place orders quickly and easily
  • View orders and track your shipping status
  • Enjoy members-only rewards and discounts
  • Create and access a list of your products
  • Manage your Dell EMC sites, products, and product-level contacts using Company Administration.

BIOS Recovery Steps for a No Post issue on OptiPlex, Alienware, XPS, Vostro ,Inspiron Desktop and Inspiron AIO PCs

Summary: The following article provides information about steps available to owners of OptiPlex XX60, XX70, 7080, Alienware Aurora R5, R6, R7, R8, R9, R11, XPS 8910, 8930, 8920, Vostro 3690,See more

This article may have been automatically translated. If you have any feedback regarding its quality, please let us know using the form at the bottom of this page.

Article Content


Symptoms


 

Are you seeing a 3-6 or 3-7 LED No POST diagnostic error on your OptiPlex, Alienware, XPS, Vostro or Inspiron PC?

 

The following section of this article will take you through the steps that are needed to use the built-in BIOS recovery facility. This facility aids you in recovering from a No POST issue on your system.

Affected Systems:

  • OptiPlex 3060, 5060, 7060, 3070, 5070, 7070, 3080, 5080, 7080
  • Precision 3440
  • Alienware R5, R6, R7, R8, R9, R11
  • XPS 8910,8920,8930
  • Vostro 3690, 3890, 5890
  • Inspiron 3891
  • Inspiron 7700 AIO, Inspiron 5400 AIO, Inspiron 5401 AIO


Back to Top


Cause

Note: The BIOS Recovery operations cannot be completed with a wireless keyboard. We suggest that you use a wired keyboard.

This article will take you through how to perform BIOS recovery procedures. Either from the USB Key or the HDD. These are used once the BIOS has been corrupted and is reporting a startup issue such as a No POST error. (Such as the power LEDs blinking amber repeated in a pattern (3, 6) or (3, 7) during system boot.)

Resolution

Recovering the BIOS from the USB Key:

  1. Remove the power cord from the affected PC.

  2. On a working PC with Internet access, download the latest BIOS.exe:

    1. Go to the Dell Support Site.

    2. Enter the service tag or express service code of the affected PC to get drivers specific to how the system shipped.

      Alternatively, you can choose the affected PCs system type from the product list to get a general list of drivers for that system.

    3. Click the Drivers and Downloads drawer in the menu.

    4. Ensure you have the correct operating system set.

    5. Select the BIOS drop-down category.

    6. Look for the System Type BIOS Update Driver.

    7. Click the Download button and follow the onscreen instructions to save the update file to a safe location on the working PC.

  3. On the working system, click the Start Menu icon. Navigate to the CommandPrompt/PowerShell application. Right-click on the icon to run the command-line application as an administrator. (You will need administrator rights on the working system for this work properly.)

  4. On your Windows Command-line application, navigate to the location you saved the BIOS update (i.e. cd c:\temp\) and type the following command to extract the recovery file:

    C:\<downloaded BIOS file location>\<downloaded BIOS filename.exe> /writehdrfile /writeromfile

  5. Rename the file from downloaded BIOS filename.hdr to BIOS_IMG.rcv.

  6. Copy the recovery image file BIOS_IMG.rcv to the root directory of a bootable USB key.

  7. Plug the USB key to the affected system.

  8. Plug the power cord back into the affected PC.

  9. When you power the system on, press and hold down the CTRL + ESC keys until the BIOS Recovery page appears. (If it cannot enter the BIOS Recovery page. Remove the power cord and CMOS battery coin and wait for about 1 min. Reseat the CMOS battery and then replug the power cord and reseat the CMOS battery and repeat step 9.)

  10. Select the Recover BIOS option on the screen to perform a BIOS recovery.

  11. The system will show a process bar of the BIOS Flashing Process. (It may take 1 minute to complete.)

  12. Once the BIOS flash process is complete, it will display an on-screen message asking you to Press any key to reset the system.

Recovering the BIOS from the HDD:

  1. Remove the power cord from the affected PC.

  2. Once a SATA or M.2 NVMe drive is replaced, you can reinstate the BIOS Recovery capability. Reinstitute the default configuration on the SATA HDD or M.2 NVMe SSD:

    1. Remove any newly added or replaced SATA HDD or M.2 NVMe SSD from the system.

    2. Reconnect the SATA HDD or NVMe SSD that originally shipped with the unit.

  3. Reconnect the power cord and power on the system. Wait for 20 to 30 seconds, for the system to boot into the BIOS recovery menu automatically.

  4. Select the Recover BIOS then ‘continue’, ‘confirm’ on the screen to perform a BIOS recovery. (If BIOS recovery file which is illegality, the dialogue will display UNSUPPORTED on the screen and please go to recovery from USB)
    SLN309785_en_US__2image(19136)
    Figure.1 Recover BIOS
    Recover BIOS Screen.jpg
    Figure.2 Recover BIOS Screen for Inspiron 7700, Inspiron 5400, Inspiron 5401.
    The illegality Screen.jpg
    Figure.3 The illegality Screen for Inspiron 7700, Inspiron 5400, Inspiron 5401.

  5. The system will show a process bar of the BIOS Flashing Process. (It may take 1 minute to complete.)

  6. Once the BIOS flash process is complete, it will display an on-screen message asking you to Press any key to reset the system.

SLN309785_en_US__3SOP7

Figure.4 BIOS Flash Complete Message

Note: BIOS recovery from a USB key is only applicable in the FAT32 format:

Follow these steps to format the USB key as FAT32:

  1. Plug the USB key into a working PC.

  2. Press the Windows + E key together to open the File Explorer application. (also known as Windows Explorer)

  3. Right-click on the applicable USB drive and click Format.

  4. Change the File system to FAT32.

  5. Check the box next to Quick Format.

  6. Click Start to begin formatting the USB key.


Back to Top


 

Article Properties


Affected Product

Alienware Aurora R11, Alienware Aurora R5, Alienware Aurora R6, Alienware Aurora R7, Alienware Aurora R8, Alienware Aurora R9, Inspiron 3891, OptiPlex 3060, OptiPlex 3070, OptiPlex 3080, OptiPlex 5060, OptiPlex 5070, OptiPlex 5080, OptiPlex 7060Alienware Aurora R11, Alienware Aurora R5, Alienware Aurora R6, Alienware Aurora R7, Alienware Aurora R8, Alienware Aurora R9, Inspiron 3891, OptiPlex 3060, OptiPlex 3070, OptiPlex 3080, OptiPlex 5060, OptiPlex 5070, OptiPlex 5080, OptiPlex 7060, OptiPlex 7070, OptiPlex 7080, Precision 3440 XE Small Form Factor, Precision 3440 Small Form Factor, Vostro 3690, Vostro 3890, Vostro 5890, XPS 8910, XPS 8920, XPS 8930See more

Last Published Date

23 Feb 2022

Version

13

Article Type

Solution