Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Stuck while updating system BIOS


  • Please log in to reply
31 replies to this topic

#16 saluqi

saluqi
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 582 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:southern San Joaquin Valley, Calfornia
  • Local time:05:52 AM

Posted 08 April 2018 - 10:35 PM

I've run Avast Premier and Malwarebytes Premium together ever since MB Premium came out, and before that it was MBAM.  No problems, no viruses, no malware.

 

In the light of recent improvements in Windows Defender, such an arrangement might well be overkill.  I gather that many experts (I am no expert) consider WD now to be as good as or better than any third party AV program or suite.



BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#17 Condobloke

Condobloke

    Outback Aussie @ 54.2101 N, 0.2906 W


  • Members
  • 5,815 posts
  • ONLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:10:52 PM

Posted 09 April 2018 - 01:37 AM

""3rd party AV's....users will begin to learn they don't need them.""

 

All they need......is Linux.


Condobloke ...Outback Australian  

 

fed up with Windows antics...??....LINUX IS THE ANSWER....I USE LINUX MINT 18.3  EXCLUSIVELY.

 

Microsoft gives you Windows, Linux gives you the whole house...

It has been said that time heals all wounds. I don't agree. The wounds remain. Time - the mind, protecting its sanity - covers them with some scar tissue and the pain lessens, but it is never gone. Rose Kennedy

#18 saluqi

saluqi
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 582 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:southern San Joaquin Valley, Calfornia
  • Local time:05:52 AM

Posted 09 April 2018 - 11:16 AM

Last time I looked (a few weeks ago) Malwarebytes offered a free trial of the Premium version (with real-time detection).  That was downloaded and installed by default if you chose to try MB.  After I think 14 days, if you didn't pay for it, it reverted automatically to the free version (without real-time detection).  Unless something has changed, the free version is effectively an on-demand malware scanner.  There's no problem, so far as I know, with having several of those on hand for occasional use.

 

AFAIK MB has touted Version 3 as a complete AV solution, replacing any other third-party AV product.  AFAIK also, the opinion of BC experts has been that MB is a useful auxiliary, focused on malware, but NOT a replacement for a standard AV system.  AFAIK also, MB is still so designed that it does not interfere with other AV products - hopefully, including Windows Defender.  I am a former software developer, but by no means a security expert, so would be grateful if someone would tell me if any of the above "AFAIK" statements need correction.

 

I also understand that in the meantime Windows Defender has advanced to the point of being a complete and indeed superior AV solution, making third party AV systems superfluous, at least in the Windows 10 environment.  I suppose that's why the AV vendors are so busily pushing "extras" that don't actually have anything directly to do with AV protection - things like password managers, software updaters (RIP Secunia PSI, alas) and so on.  What I'm still not clear about is whether or not Malwarebytes Premium still has a useful auxiliary role to play in a Windows 10/Windows Defender environment.



#19 saluqi

saluqi
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 582 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:southern San Joaquin Valley, Calfornia
  • Local time:05:52 AM

Posted 09 April 2018 - 08:58 PM

This thread began with a BIOS upgrade that fortunately did not go wrong.  I hope therefore this is the appropriate place to continue with another Dell BIOS upgrade, this time for an Inspiron 15R 5537 laptop.  Windows 10 home, 64 bit, Avast Premier, Malwarebytes Premium etc., essentially the same software environment as the desktop just happily upgraded.

 

The Dell support page offers to scan the computer to find out what drivers (etc.) need updating.  That's what I did with the desktop.  The same procedure with the laptop yielded 3 recommended driver updates, and a BIOS update from A07 to A10.  The A10 is dated 6 February 2018, so is again the "Spectre fix" version appropriate for this computer.  The support site said "4 driver updates ready to download and install".  For the desktop (XPS 8700) this ran as advertised - all the items were downloaded and all the drivers, but not the BIOS upgrade, were installed automatically.  The BIOS upgrade was, understandably, a manual install. 

 

With the laptop things did not go quite so smoothly.  The BIOS upgrade module was downloaded first, no problem.  As soon as it started to download the first of the 3 drivers, the download crashed.  The screen said "download completed" but no automatic install took place and when I looked I found that only the BIOS upgrade module had actually been downloaded.  OK, no sweat, I was able to download the 3 driver updates manually,one at a time (took a bit of fiddling, back and forth to be sure I had the designated ones and not anything else) but now I have them all on the laptop HDD.  There is the BIOS upgrade (Inspiron_5537_A.10.exe) and 3 driver updates: Chipset_Driver_KV645_WN_9.5.24.1790_A02.EXE, Network_Driver_KXHK3_WN32_10.0.0.0_A00.EXE, and Serial_ATA_Driver_923PH_WN_12.8.2.1000_A01.EXE

 

So am I correct in thinking I should first install the 3 hardware drivers, then use Macrium Reflect to create a bootable rescue disc and an image backup of the entire hard drive, then clear the decks by turning off real-time monitoring apps, WinPatrol, and the AV system, and try to update the BIOS by running the .exe file as I did on the desktop?

 

FWIW the BIOS upgrade for the desktop was successful even though I did NOT turn off any of the monitoring or AV functions.



#20 JohnC_21

JohnC_21

  • Members
  • 23,286 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:08:52 AM

Posted 10 April 2018 - 07:52 AM

So am I correct in thinking I should first install the 3 hardware drivers, then use Macrium Reflect to create a bootable rescue disc and an image backup of the entire hard drive, then clear the decks by turning off real-time monitoring apps, WinPatrol, and the AV system, and try to update the BIOS by running the .exe file as I did on the desktop?

 

FWIW the BIOS upgrade for the desktop was successful even though I did NOT turn off any of the monitoring or AV functions.

 

That is what I would do. I would also make sure the laptop is plugged into the power adapter and fully charged. If you use Bitlocker that too must be disabled before a flash. Dell allows you to also flash via DOS which can be done using Rufus and FreeDos it defaults to when creating a bootable flash drive. You can also use the F12 setup menu for a flash update. Put the firmware on a USB flash drive formatted FAT32. Rufus not required. See step 5.

 

http://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/sln284433/what-is-bios-and-how-to-update-the-bios-on-your-dell-system?lang=en#bitlocker



#21 saluqi

saluqi
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 582 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:southern San Joaquin Valley, Calfornia
  • Local time:05:52 AM

Posted 10 April 2018 - 01:41 PM

Thanks!  Laptop is always plugged in when it's here at home (it travels with me sometimes and logs into various water-office networks when on the road).  So it's plugged in and the battery is fully charged.  I don't use Bitlocker.  Before flashing I would turn off or uninstall WinPatrol, Malwarebytes real-time monitoring, and Avast ditto.  What about CryptoPrevent?  Is there some way (ProcessExplorer?) to see what else might be lurking there and need to be shut off?  FWIW I have the whole Sysinternals suite on hand, if any of those might be needed.

 

I am a great believer in "excess of caution" but wonder when we are going to get into overkill territory here?  The update did succeed on the desktop without disabling any of those things.  I even had TeamViewer live on the desktop in receiving mode (to deal with a now long-ago problem where I needed to be able to log in from remote sites and do things on my desktop I couldn't do from there with the laptop).  Forgot to shut it off - and the upgrade succeeded anyway.

 

I've visited that Dell support site several times now, and studied the article you mentioned <G>.  Unless someone can think of cogent reasons for doing otherwise, I propose to use the Windows/DOS executable.  It worked for me on the desktop computer, and it's very straightforward.  Close all other applications, and start it up.  The rest is automatic (it's a self-extracting 7zip package).

 

I'm such an old dinosaur I still remember Phil Katz, PKZip, the details of the LZW compression algorithm, and a whole lot more.  All the birth pangs of Windows, for example.  Life is simpler these days, and I don't mind at all <G>.



#22 JohnC_21

JohnC_21

  • Members
  • 23,286 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:08:52 AM

Posted 10 April 2018 - 01:55 PM

Personally, I think the safest approach is to do it outside of Windows if flashing is available in the F12 menu as shown in step 5 of the link. Definitely disable CryptoPrevent. 



#23 saluqi

saluqi
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 582 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:southern San Joaquin Valley, Calfornia
  • Local time:05:52 AM

Posted 10 April 2018 - 03:33 PM

The boot mode on the laptop is set to UEFI (it was Legacy on the desktop).  Does that make a difference?  I gather that switching modes can cause loss of BIOS settings, and I don't really want to get into that if I don't have to.  Yes, I have built and configured many custom computers, but that was LONG ago and I've probably forgotten most of what I then knew.  Anyway, I suspect the details (including BIOS setup) have changed almost beyond recognition in almost 20 years.

 

Having lightheartedly said "switch off potentially problematic real-time monitoring in Avast and Malwarebytes" my problem is now how to tell which options to turn off in those two programs.  Both those programs have "dashboards" that let you turn individual functions on and off.  I don't really want to try tu uninstall and reinstall those paid-for subscription items.  I've already had enough battles with Digital River, etc., to last me several lifetimes.



#24 JohnC_21

JohnC_21

  • Members
  • 23,286 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:08:52 AM

Posted 10 April 2018 - 03:54 PM

If you have UEFI firmware then I would thing you should set your firmware to UEFI mode but if the OS was installed using Legacy Mode Windows will not boot if set to UEFI mode. You would then need to keep it in Legacy Mode to do the flash in Windows.



#25 saluqi

saluqi
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 582 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:southern San Joaquin Valley, Calfornia
  • Local time:05:52 AM

Posted 10 April 2018 - 06:15 PM

The BIOS mode in the desktop (Dell XPS 8700) was set to Legacy.  I made no attempt to change it.  The flash was successful.  It seemed to get stuck at 99% completion, but restarting the computer, as dc3 suggested, revealed that the flash had in fact been successful.

 

The BIOS mode in the laptop (Dell Inspiron 15R 5537) is set to UEFI.  I do not intend to try to change it.

 

The desktop had Windows 7 Professional installed when I bought it.  The laptop had Windows 8.  Shortly before expiration of the free upgrade period, I upgraded the desktop directly to Windows 10 Pro, and a few days later the laptop first to 8.1 and then immediately to Windows 10 Home.

 

I have no idea why the BIOS mode in the desktop was set to Legacy, and that in the laptop was set to UEFI.  Possibly the difference between Windows 7 and Windows 8?  I seemed to remember that both computers were purchased at the same time - but the file and folder dates given below make me think I might be remembering incorrectly.  

 

On the desktop, the file C:\DBAR_Ver.txt is dated 05/02/2014; the folders C:\Apps, C:\Intel, C\dell.sdr, and various others are dated 08/20/2014.

 

On the laptop, the corresponding files/folders are dated 05/23/2013 and 07/23/2013 respectively.

 

I have given those dates in the usual U.S. format of mmddyyyy.  I myself label files or folders using yyyymmdd, so they index properly <G>.



#26 JohnC_21

JohnC_21

  • Members
  • 23,286 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:08:52 AM

Posted 10 April 2018 - 06:27 PM

The only reason I could think Legacy Mode was used vs UEFI would be Windows 7 being 32 bit. Otherwise Windows 7 64 bit can boot from a GPT disk required for UEFI.



#27 saluqi

saluqi
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 582 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:southern San Joaquin Valley, Calfornia
  • Local time:05:52 AM

Posted 10 April 2018 - 07:44 PM

They are both 64 bit machines.  I checked with COSTCO and got the purchase dates: laptop 10/26/13, desktop 3/07/15.  So my memory is slipping.  Suppose I can't complain at age 86+.

 

This makes me think the XPS 8700 box had been sitting on the shelf for quire a long time.  In fact the XPS 8900 appeared immediately afterward.  Guess I got burned.  Big markdown = beware <G>.

 

Of course I'm a bit irritated at having my desktop in Legacy mode.  I looked a bit into what's involved in changing that.  Looks like major surgery to me.  There's a Microsoft utility MBR2GPT that will do it, booting from a Windows PE device, but it looks to me like something even an expert (which I am not) would think twice before attempting.  Careful testing required to make sure the hardware will support it, and so on.  Not sure I want to tackle something with that many ifs and maybes attached.

 

Perhaps a less hairy approach would be a complete, clean reinstall of Windows 10?



#28 JohnC_21

JohnC_21

  • Members
  • 23,286 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:08:52 AM

Posted 10 April 2018 - 08:07 PM

If the computer was upgraded from Windows 7 it's always best to do a clean install.

 

See the BC guide if you ever decide to do it. And before doing it create a complete disk image.

 

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/667627/doing-a-completely-clean-install-of-windows-10/?p=4419457


Edited by JohnC_21, 10 April 2018 - 08:07 PM.


#29 saluqi

saluqi
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 582 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:southern San Joaquin Valley, Calfornia
  • Local time:05:52 AM

Posted 12 April 2018 - 05:40 PM

Am I correct in understanding from this information that a clean install of Windows 10 will not, by itself, change the boot mode from BIOS (Legacy) to UEFI?  From reading up on MBR2GPT I gathered that this is not a very simple matter, and that older hardware (as in an originally Windows 7 machine) might or might not support UEFI.

 

Then there is the statement by britechguy, in the above link, that "Virtually all machines that came with Windows 7 (and earlier Windows) were produced with BIOS and use MBR partitioning."  That would seem to apply to my slightly "shelf ripened" XPS 8700 machine, that came with Windows 7 Professional when I purchased it in March 2015.  Sounds as if it might be time to buy (or perhaps build) a new computer (next time I win the lottery, that is).

 

Actually, this "old" machine seems quite adequate, at the moment anyway, for my rather modest requirements (E-mail, online research, writing and photo editing, mostly), so maybe I am fussing about nothing.



#30 JohnC_21

JohnC_21

  • Members
  • 23,286 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:08:52 AM

Posted 12 April 2018 - 05:45 PM

If you set Legacy Mode then Windows 10 would install to an MBR disk. You need to manually change to UEFI if you want UEFI. Speaking personally, I have an HP Windows 7 home computer that is UEFI. 






1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users