Posted 20 July 2009 - 04:38 AM
BIOS updates aren't like driver updates. They aren't specific to an operating system but to the hardware itself. Therefore installing BIOS updates can't usually be done while the system is running normally (some more modern motherboards can be updated like this, but not Dell's and certainly not one as old as yours.)
In order to flash the BIOS you must boot from a floppy containing the new BIOS ROM image. There's just no way (that I can see) around it.
As Stang777 already said, updating your BIOS shouldn't be undertaken unless you have a specific problem that is addressed by the new BIOS image. An incomplete, interrupted, or otherwise abnormal update will render the computer completely unusable and will have to be taken to the manufacturer for repair or replacement of the onboard ROM chip.