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BIOS question

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by simonkeeps, Feb 15, 2003.

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  1. simonkeeps

    simonkeeps It's My Birthday! Thread Starter

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    is it possible to upgrade my BIOS on my Dell Lattitude Cpi
    laptop running XP when the only BIOS upgrades on the
    Dell website are for 2000 and lower. My BIOS is A 02 and
    they are now up to A 12, so did I miss the boat when my
    system ran on 98??
     
  2. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge

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    9,140
    Sounds like a question for Dell, to be safe.
     
  3. ~Candy~

    ~Candy~ Retired Administrator

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    A bios update should only be done to correct any problems you are experiencing.......don't do it just for fun or because their 'appears to be' a newer bios........

    Nothing like a real life example:


    http://forums.techguy.org/t118748/s.html
     
  4. simonkeeps

    simonkeeps It's My Birthday! Thread Starter

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    My computer is shutting down fairly frequently (just
    turning off). I have contacted Dell tech support so
    let's see what they say. The BIOS has never been
    upgraded (since '99) so I am thinking it should be
    done. Thank you for the feedback guys.
     
  5. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    First Name:
    Rob
    Bios flashes work on a hardware not software level - meaning it doesn't matter which operating system your running. They do however fix problems that affect specific operating systems. (Some old compaqs had o/s specific Bios' I think but that's an exception) You could try a bios for your problem but I think the solution lies elsewhere. Have you checked the fan if it has one - if its not spinning your laptop could be overheating. Could also be the power regulators (or whatever the proper name is for them). With laptop problems always go back to the manufacturer for support first.
     
  6. ~Candy~

    ~Candy~ Retired Administrator

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    Absolutely nothing to do with the bios............check for overheating problem......cpu fan spinning, case feels warm to the touch?
     
  7. simonkeeps

    simonkeeps It's My Birthday! Thread Starter

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    Thank you. You know just before I read your reply
    I thought about overheating being the problem.
    I quickly shut off my computer because as soon as
    I saw what you wrote I knew it was right. Sure
    enough I unplugged everything and turned it over
    and it was QUITE hot indeed. I will contact Dell and
    see how to go about fixing this, in the meantime I
    have the computer sitting on top of an open crate
    so it will get maximum ventilation and only run it
    for a short time and shut it off. Any chance I could
    fry anything having it on for short periods of time.
    Anyway thank you guys so much for the help and
    I will let you know what Dell says.
     
  8. ~Candy~

    ~Candy~ Retired Administrator

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    If you know it's running hot, you're playing with fire trying to run it.....depending on which fan isn't working, you could fry the cpu or the motherboard........even other parts......
     
  9. simonkeeps

    simonkeeps It's My Birthday! Thread Starter

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    I agree so am monitoring the heat (and sweating here
    in fla...) and running it only for short periods and then
    shutting off for several minutes. I did hear the fan
    coming on and off as recent as a few days ago but I
    have a feeling now it has never really worked right.
    Is it something I can buy and install or should I take
    it to a computer repair place. I am still waiting to
    hear from Dell so I am just wondering is it a driver
    that runs that fan or is it a strictly a mechanical
    device on the machine. Your help is so appreciated
    AcaCandy and perhaps even saved my motherboard
    from frying. I am shutting down now, but as Arnold
    says so well... "I'll be back"
     
  10. ~Candy~

    ~Candy~ Retired Administrator

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    Drivers don't run fans......they run off the power supply. But they can and do go out. I suppose it still isn't under warranty?

    Depending on which fan, sometimes they are hard to come by....if you don't have laptop repair experience, I would suggest putting out a few bucks for someone who knows what they are doing.
     
  11. nanosecond

    nanosecond

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    I have a Dell Inspiron and the fan turns on and off when it needs to cool down so I would imagine it works off a thermal switch (thermostat). I agree with previous post that if it isn't covered under warranty take it to a reputable repair shop that has laptop expeierence or even see what Dell would charge to repair. Good luck.
     
  12. simonkeeps

    simonkeeps It's My Birthday! Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the advice I will certainly take it to one of
    my friendly neighborhood repair shops. It just came
    off warranty last October (after 3 years of trouble free
    use, of course). They do give you lifetime support so
    that's nice. There are several places that specialize
    in fixing laptops so I will check there first, due to the
    economy a lot of places are hungry for business and
    will be reasonable in price (they know we shop around).
    It seems to be much cooler now that I am shutting it
    down frequently. Anyway, thanks again.
     
  13. simonkeeps

    simonkeeps It's My Birthday! Thread Starter

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    Here is Dell's response and I see someone else is
    having a problem with a Dell laptop shutting down
    so maybe there is a commonality that will help us
    solve this problem. Anyway here is Dell's response:

    ((SRMACSR cooling:fan02072001 SRMACSR))
    ((SRCATSR D_Fan.issues_Hot.Notebook SRCATSR))


    ***************************
    --- Begin Dell Response ---
    ***************************


    This document addresses overheating problems with Dell notebook computers.

    1. Notebook computer is getting too hot.
    2. Troubleshooting the cooling fan.


    1. Notebook computer is getting too hot.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    It is not unusual for the system to get warm, even very warm. If it becomes too
    hot to touch, that may be a problem. However, if the system simply feels warm,
    that is not an indication of a hardware problem. The processors can generate
    large amounts of heat, and the resulting residual heat will cause the unit to
    get warm. Peripherals such as modems and network cards generate heat as well
    and can contribute to the warming of your computer.

    To help alleviate heat from the unit, keep it in a well-ventilated place. Place
    the unit on a smooth, flat surface. Never rest it in your lap. Remove the
    PC-Cards if not in use, as this will allow for more airflow through the unit.

    If you would like your notebook to run cooler, there is a cheap and easy
    accessory that may help resolve the problem for you. There is a product called
    a "Coolpad" that has been seen by several customers to markedly reduce the heat
    of the unit. It is a miniature stand that the system sits on that increases the
    airflow around the unit, making it run much cooler. You can get more
    information about them at:

    http://www.teleadaptusa.com/nme/order_access.htm

    You can also go to:

    http://www.teleadaptusa.com/

    and look under Notebook Accessories in the Products section.

    It is rare for a computer to get so hot that it causes problems with its
    operation. If your computer is malfunctioning we will fix it for you. To have
    service arranged, you can do the following:

    Reply to this message and provide the following information:

    Contact Name
    Current Address (Computer Location)
    Daytime Telephone Number
    Service Tag (Verify)
    A Detailed Description of Troubleshooting Performed

    OR:

    Call: 1-800-247-9252 for home and small business accounts
    1-800-822-8965 for large corporate accounts
    1-800-234-1490 for government and institutional accounts

    If you are arranging out-of-warranty service Dell will contact you with the
    total cost of the repair and instructions for remitting payment.



    2. Troubleshooting the cooling fan.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    If you're having problems with the fan on your notebook computer, it will help
    to understand a few things.

    First, the function of the fan is controlled by the BIOS, according to thermal
    tables. When the internal temperature reaches a certain level, the fan cycles
    on. The tables will be different for AC versus battery-powered modes and
    whether power management is enabled or not. Also, the tables are different
    between system types, so you cannot compare one system to another in this
    regard. It is not unusual for a system to get warm, even very warm. For this
    reason we always recommend placing the unit on a hard surface in a
    well-ventilated area, and not in your lap. For the best results with the fan,
    have power management disabled, and run the system on AC power. Again, this may
    not make your fan turn on, but provides the most favorable "tables" for it to do
    so.

    If your fan is not working at all, it is likely due to low heat build up.
    Remember that what may seem hot to a user is not hot enough on the BIOS heat
    table to require cooling. The processor and internal components are rated for
    high heat capacity, and will not require cooling until they become very warm. In
    most cases, users will rarely if ever hear their fans operate, and under normal
    operation (home or office, moderately cooled, standard 8-hour day) the fan may
    never come on. Your computer has a thermal switch that will shut it off before
    it gets hot enough to cause damage.

    *************************
    --- End Dell Response ---
    *************************
     
  14. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2002
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    106,418
    Well, normally I'd agree with you, but many new motherboards come with software to vary the fan speed, and even turn them totally off. My AOpen AX4B is one such board, the three fan connections are controllable by the hardware monitor in a variety of modes.
     
  15. ~Candy~

    ~Candy~ Retired Administrator

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    103,706
    Cool......thanks for that info john ;)
     
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