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Can't update Dell E6530 Bios from A09


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#1 DavidRSF

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Posted 17 March 2018 - 03:19 PM

I'm posting after having searched a few days for this.

 

I have two E6530's and just got a third one for a friend.

 

It's stuck on A09.

 

I've created a Rufus - DOS boot thumb drive for the current A20 and successfully used it to update another one of the E6530's but this one doesn't update. (The updater always goes through the steps, acts as if it's worked, and then the BIOS is once again not updated.

 

I have removed and reinstalled the CMOS battery (twice).

 

I have reformatted the hard drive.

 

I have tried updating using every rev from A11 upward (11,12,13,14, etc.) from the DOS boot. (Right now the hard drive is wiped until I get this done, so I know it's not something on the HD blocking it.

 

I read that some of the BIOS updates wouldn't work with more than 4G of RAM, so I pulled 4G and now it just has 4G.

 

So with nothing on the hard drive, 4G of RAM, booting from the DOS thumb drive (that worked on the other E6530), it keeps looking as if it's flashing, but on reboot it's still A09. Like some sort of malignant perma-bios.

 

I'm apparently not the only person who has suffered from being stuck at A09:

https://www.dell.com/community/General/BIOS-doesn-t-update-no-error/td-p/4139468

 

A10 may be the answer, but it's not on the Dell site, and I haven't found it anywhere yet. 

 

Many thanks for help with this one.

 

David

 

 

 



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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 17 March 2018 - 03:48 PM

I don't believe there is an A10 available. I wonder if doing an install of Windows and using the Windows installer of A20 would work. 

 

In UEFI is SecureBoot disabled? Under General settings I believe there is a Boot Sequence setting. That is set to Legacy Boot, correct?

 

Edit: I'm thinking SecureBoot has to be disabled or how else could you boot a DOS USB drive.

 

IMG_3339.jpg​

 

Edit Edit: Do you get the BIOS Flash Update Option by tapping F12 at boot?

 

http://www.dell.com/support/article/ae/en/aedhs1/sln305230/flashing-the-bios-from-the-f12-one-time-boot-menu?lang=en


Edited by JohnC_21, 17 March 2018 - 03:57 PM.


#3 DavidRSF

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Posted 17 March 2018 - 04:57 PM

Thanks for such a lighting-fast response. I went to the DOS boot after failing from Windows, because so many people said it was the only way they could get these to update. Then I was having a lot of strange problems with the Window install itself, so I wiped it to narrow down the problem sources.

 

It's currently set up as you describe, with Legacy boot on, and Secure Boot off.

 

-- But --

 

that link you included leads to information I'm seeing for the first time that says I can only get the USB boot to work if I have Bios Flash Update listed in the one-time boot menu. That choice isn't available on this unit, so that could be why it's not working... 

 

It's a really useful link. Thanks! I'll put the OS back on, and see where that takes me.



#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 17 March 2018 - 05:23 PM

Because you have a UEFI computer with SecureBoot you could leave it at Legacy Boot and SecureBoot disabled in order to install Windows 7 if you have the install disk otherwise Windows 8 would be an option using the Media Creation Tool.

 

If installing 8.1 then enable UEFI and disable Legacy boot but keep SecureBoot disabled. Boot the Windows 8.1 install media. Where you see the screen asking for language press Shift + F10 to open a command prompt. Type the following commands.

 

diskpart

list disk

select disk X     Where X is the number associated with the HDD Windows will be installed to. This will be 0 on a laptop

clean                 Wipes the drive by erasing the partition table

convert gpt        Initializes the disk as GPT required for booting on a UEFI computer

exit

exit

 

Continue with the install. Select Custom Install and click Next. The screen after Custom install will show your disk as unallocated because of the clean command. Click Next and Windows will partition and format the blank drive automatically. Because the computer was pre-installed with Windows 8 or 10 the key is embedded in firmware and will auto activate once online. Did this computer come pre-installed with Windows 8 or 8.1?

 

Edit: I did a post awhile ago regarding the Dell E6410 using Rufus. Not sure why it failed on one of yours and the other was successful.


Edited by JohnC_21, 17 March 2018 - 05:25 PM.


#5 DavidRSF

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Posted 22 March 2018 - 03:04 AM

Sorry for the delay. Update - Win OS completely reinstalled from a Dell E6530 restore disk. All drivers working except the Broadcom vault stuff, which is a low priority for me.

 

BUT

 

No known way to update this Bios from A09. The option isn't in the F12 menu, and it simply fails to update from within Widows (looks as if it's working, restarts the system, but no update).

 

The other E6530 where the update worked was already at A16 but it also does not show the Bios update option from the F12 boot menu. Nonetheless, it updated from 16 to 20 with no problem using the USB drive w/ Rufus.

 

So still searching.



#6 DavidRSF

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Posted 25 March 2018 - 10:07 PM

Went ahead and posted this in the Dell forums. I'm guessing it's a real issue that they've never publicly dealt with, based on the other forum threads like this that end up with "hello? anybody out there?"

 

Re: >>>I'm seeing for the first time that says I can only get the USB boot to work if I have Bios Flash Update listed in the one-time boot menu<<<

 

It turns out that my other E6530 also doesn't have Bios Flash Update listed in the one-time boot menu, but it updated from the DOS usb boot with no problems at all.

 

Re: >>>Nice WinPE64 tool that one of the Dell tech guys put out. It lets you run WinPE64 from the command prompt and install the bios updates with various useful switch options. Also used it to try insalling A11 through A20 on this machine, but earned no cookie. It still boots up as A09.

 

Still looking, thanks.



#7 DavisMcCarn

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Posted 26 March 2018 - 09:33 AM

Note2 on the BIOS page says to make sure that Bitlocker encryption is disabled before attempting the BIOS upgrade.  Did you check that?


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#8 Burt51

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 01:11 PM

I had an issue with BIOS A07 installed on an E6530 and it would not upgrade. Here is what I did:

 - I downloaded BIOS A07, A20 and A21 off the Dell web site and placed it on my desktop to run/install from there.

 - I removed the laptop off of the port replicator. No real reason why, just something I did.

 - Re-installed A07 BIOS. This worked

 - Installed A20 BIOS. This worked

 - Installed A21. This worked

 

Notes:

I always select "Run as Administrator" when installing any kind of software

Not sure if I had to install A20 or if I could have gone directly to A21

You can always downgrade to a lower BIOS level to see if that works






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