What is BIOS and How to Update the BIOS on Your Dell System

The BIOS (pronounced BYE-OSS) stands for Basic Input/Output System, and it is a ROM chip found on motherboards that enable users to access and set up their computer platform at the most basic level. The image below shows what a BIOS chip on a computer motherboard could look like. The BIOS shown is an early AMI-BIOS, which is a form of BIOS made by AMI.

BIOS Update in Dell

It is a set of steps that tells the machine how to do things like boot from a network or a hard drive or which drive to boot from.

A computer’s BIOS is often used to define and customize hardware components. Hard drives, floppy drives, optical drives, processors, memory, and Plug-and-Play devices are among them. It is known as the ESCD, and it is stored in non-volatile memory known as Non-Volatile Random Access Memory (NVRAM).

As technology has progressed, people have continued to refer to the BIOS as both CMOS and NVRAM. The BIOS and its settings are stored in the CMOS, while the ESCD is stored in the NVRAM, so updating the BIOS does not clear the NVRAM.

How To Perform Dell Inspiron BIOS Update?

The Dell BIOS should be updated as part of your regular update file period, according to Dell. The BIOS can be updated to fix bugs, add functionality, or do both. BIOS updates include feature upgrades or improvements that help keep the system software up to date and consistent with other system modules (hardware, firmware, drivers, and software) and security updates, and improved reliability.

A computer’s BIOS must be manually changed. Dell offers a simple self-installing update utility that makes this job simple to complete. Windows Update also pushes out critical BIOS updates.

Caution: When changing BIOS settings, be cautious. The BIOS GUI is intended for advanced users; you can adjust a setting that might prevent your device from starting correctly, resulting in data loss.

On a Dell PC, click F2 at the Dell loading screen to access the Dell BIOS. If the F2 key doesn’t work, try F12, delete, or in some cases, F8 and F10.

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1. BIOS Update Through the Windows Operating System

It’s essential to keep your System BIOS updated. Improved hardware compatibility, improved diagnostics, security upgrades, and increased stability can be seen in newer BIOS releases.

Once you’ve determined that you need a BIOS update through the operating system method, navigate to the Dell support page and get the latest version.

  • Activate your web browser of the operating system (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, or Edge) and visit Dell drivers and download pages.
Dell BIOS Update
  • On that drivers and download page, you might be asked to “Identify your product, or you can simply “enter your Service code or choose “Browse for a product” to browse for one manually.
On that drivers and download page, you might be asked to "Identify your product, or you can simply "enter your Service code or choose "Browse for a product" to browse for one manually.
  • If the system displayed is wrong by the above method, click “View a different product” and enter your Service Tag or browse manually once more.
  • After you’ve chosen the correct system or service tag, press the “Find it Myself” tab, then scroll down to where it says “Refine your results” Select BIOS from the pull-down Category menu. It narrows down the findings to only the BIOS group. (service tag will be available on the dell system or back of the laptop).
After you've chosen the correct system or service tag, press the "Find it Myself" tab, then scroll down to where it says "Refine your results" Select BIOS from the pull-down Category menu.
  • If there are several files listed, go to the most recent version of the system BIOS and click “View Details.”
If there are several files listed, go to the most recent version of the system BIOS and click "View Details."
  • To begin the update, click Download File.
To begin the update, click Download File.
  • Save the document to your computer’s desktop.
  • On your screen, double-click the button.
  • To finish the installation, follow the on-screen directions. It will reboot your computer and load a BIOS update.

How do I update BIOS using a USB flash drive?

If you can’t log into a device but still need to update the BIOS version, you’ll need to load from your Flash drive. To continue, make sure the USB is selected in the correct boot order. To find out what BIOS version is currently installed on your target device, turn it on and keep pressing F2 until the BIOS setup appears. Next to BIOS Revision, you’ll see your BIOS edition. 

  • Go to drivers and downloads on any device you have access to see if an updated BIOS version is available.
  • In the appropriate text box, type your Service Tag or Express Service Code. (service code is typically found on the top or bottom of the target desktop or laptop whose BIOS you want to update)
  • If you don’t see “View products” under “Browse for a product,” scroll down and then choose a model for your desktop or laptop based on that.
  • To see if a newer version of the BIOS is available, use the method described in the above solution. If you answered yes, then press Download File to get the file.
  • Connect the Flash drive you’ll use to make your device bootable. To open Windows Explorer, press Windows Key + E. If you have some data on the Flash drive, make a backup.
  • Download Rufus driver. The drive will be used to load the Flash drive. Open the file you just downloaded.
Download Rufus driver. The drive will be used to load the Flash drive. Open the file you just downloaded.
  • Under My PC, choose your USB flash drive. Select FAT32 from the File systems drop-down menu and FreeDOS from the “Create a bootable disc using” drop-down menu. Start by pressing the Start button.
  • When the procedure is over, click Close. Copy the new BIOS file, and only that file, to the Flash drive. Make a note of the file’s exact name.
  • Connect the Flash drive to the target device you want to update the BIOS on. Switch it on. F12 must be pressed repeatedly before the Boot Menu appears.
  • From the Setup menu, choose your Flash drive/USB and press Enter.
  • A window with a command prompt will appear. Press  Enter after typing C.
  • To view the files on the flash drive, type dir.
  • Now type the BIOS update file’s exact filename, such as E5440A13.exe, and click Enter.
  • Follow the instructions on the screen. During the updating process, do not turn off your computer or laptop in any way. If you’re using a laptop, make sure the battery is installed and that the AC adapter is connected at all times.
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Identifying BIOS version

This article explains many methods for determining the BIOS edition. You should check the manufacturer’s website to see the new update once you have the original version.

  1. System Information
  • Open Run from the Start and type msinfo32. The Windows System Information dialogue box will appear.
Open Run from the Start and type msinfo32. The Windows System Information dialogue box will appear.
  • You will see a row called BIOS Version/Date in the System Summary section. You now know what BIOS edition you have.
You will see a row called BIOS Version/Date in the System Summary section. You now know what BIOS edition you have.
  1. Windows Registry

The Registry stores almost everything in Windows, and the version of the BIOS is no exception. To get started, type in the following key:

D3uLsS

SystemBiosVersion, SystemBiosDate, VideoBiosDate, and VideoBiosVersion are only a few of the BIOS-related keys you’ll find.

The Registry stores almost everything in Windows, and the version of the BIOS is no exception.
  1. Command Line

Another simple way to decide your BIOS version without having to restart your personal computer is to open a command prompt and put the following command:

wmic bios get smbiosbiosversion

The BIOS version number will be shown, and that’s all there is to it. However, there are a few more commands that will provide you with additional information.

wmic bios get version
wmic bios get bios version
Command Prompt
  1. Windows Startup

Simply restarting your machine is another way to find out what BIOS version it has. When you first turn on your screen, some computers, such as Dell’s, show the BIOS version number.

If not, press F12, DEL, F10, or F12 to access the BIOS setup when it appears during initialization. Some device manufacturers can use a different key to access configuration, but the instructions will generally tell you which one to use.

Since every computer manufacturer’s BIOS GUI is different, you’ll have to look around before finding BIOS Revision or BIOS Version.

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You won’t be disallowed to press any keys during startup if you’re using a newer device running Windows 8 with UEFI instead of the standard BIOS. You’ll need to boot to the System Recovery Options screen in those situations. Click Troubleshoot and then Advanced Options once you’re there.

Conclusion

Updating your BIOS can only be done if necessary and with extreme caution. A failed BIOS update will completely brick your machine, forcing you to pay a significant amount of money to get it fixed.

For updating the BIOS, each motherboard manufacturer has its own set of resources. Some updates are available directly from the system BIOS, while others need you to boot from a USB drive and flash the BIOS that way. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the essence of updating the BIOS?

BIOS updates will address issues with your computer hardware that aren’t solved by drivers or an operating system update. You should think of a BIOS update as a hardware update rather than a software update.

Is it safe to change the BIOS on a Dell computer?

Dell offers a self-installing upgrade kit that is easy to use. Caution: Always backup your data before updating the BIOS, as a mistake could result in data loss.

What are the cons of updating the BIOS?

BIOS updates will not make your device faster, may not add new features that you need, and may even cause problems. Just update your BIOS if the new version includes a part that you need.

Is it essential to update PC BIOS?

Generally speaking, you shouldn’t have to refresh your BIOS very often. Installing (or “flashing”) a new BIOS is riskier than upgrading a basic Windows application because if something goes bad during the process, the machine might be bricked.

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