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I'd like to update my BIOS on my Dell Studio XPS 1340. I have the .exe file for installing it with Windows, but I don't have Windows installed on this computer. I'm currently running Ubuntu 9.04 64-bit.

What can I do to update my BIOS from A07 to A11 now? I have no floppy drive available, and looking around the Dell linux firmware tools pages shows that my model (SystemID: 0x0271) isn't in their repository.

I'm not opposed to going out and buying a new thumb drive if necessary.

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5 Answers 5

If it's a DOS based installer, you can use an Boot CD instead - the CD just needs to have DOS booting on it. try www.bootdisk.com for some downloadable ones. Otherwise, if it's a Windows based installer, I would suggest creating a WinPE/BartPE boot CD and installing off a flash drive (WinPE/BartPE Flash drive should also work).

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If you are not using Windows for idealogical reasons, you may want to look at FreeDos rather than Microsoft based solutions (you may want to look at it anyway, of course).

I have, in the past, written image files of Dos boot floppies to cds to get a proper Dos boot cd - you'd end up with a coaster after your single use, but it saves messing about getting Dos and USB to work together (mkisofs's -b option will get you going).

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Edit: As ~quack pointed out below, this script uses the same repository that you reference in your question, so of course it won't work. It may be that Dell only maintains this repository for computers on which they support Linux.

Does dellbiosupdate.sh not work? It's what I've been using. Just download the shell script and run it as root. It will tell you your system info, your current bios rev, and list all available bios revs, then ask you what to do.

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the faq on that link indicates it works with the dell firmware tools: " Q: what does this script do? A: this script updates the BIOS of any DELL computer as long as it's supported by dellBiosUpdate. interactively." –  quack quixote Nov 8 '09 at 23:03

Convert the floppy image to CD, burn the Cd, boot from it and flash from there. Just did it on my Thinkpad T42 last week.

This may only work for floppy based flash utilities, as some windows based flash utilities are too large to fit on a floppy image, even though it is a Cd you are still limited to 1.44mb of space for the files.

Some Dell flash updaters that run in windows will run in DOS also, but may not fit on a DOS floppy image converted to CD.

http://www.biosflash.com/e/bios-boot-cd.htm

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I wrote instructions a while back specifically for Ubuntu/Debian systems. As requested, here's the gist of it:

  1. Use gparted to create a single FAT16 formatted partition on the flash drive.
  2. Use unetbootin to install a bootable FreeDOS onto the flash drive.
  3. Copy your motherboard's BIOS update and flashing utility files into the root of flash drive.

Both gparted and unetbootin are available via apt-get and probably via yum.

http://0sumgain.blogspot.com/2009/11/updating-motherboard-bios-from-ubuntu.html

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1  
Welcome to Super User! But: care so summarize a bit? Just linking to a blog is not considered very helpful here. Thanks! –  Arjan Apr 23 '11 at 15:34
    
Especially as in China at least, blogspot.com is blocked :) –  8088 Apr 23 '11 at 16:10
    
Updated the post as per Arjan. Wow I did not realize that blogspot.com is banned in China. –  0sumgain Apr 23 '11 at 16:40

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