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Installed Dell "Urgent" BIOS update now system is crashed

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Slowdog72, Mar 10, 2019.

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  1. Slowdog72

    Slowdog72 Thread Starter

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    From my online searches and research this has happened to more than a few Dell XPS 8910 owners. We received an Update notice from Dell that included four "Urgent" updates one of which was a BIOS update. I admit that I was not thinking clearly as I have read to never update a working BIOS, but in my haste I just clicked OK to all updates. When the Update restarted the the computer shut down but did not restart. So I hit the power button and it came on for, literally, one second, flashed amber, the DVD drive made it's short report, the fans started briefly, the hard drive made it's sound and then everything shut down. That happens each time I hit the power button. It comes on for about one second and then shuts back down.

    I tried all of the suggestions made by Dell on their Tech Support pages as well as on the Dell Forum and also all suggestions that I could find via Google. That included disconnecting all peripherals and then clearing any "ghost" power, removing the button cell battery for 30 minutes, pressing and holding the diagnostic button and green LED on the rear of the power supply, removing the video card and memory sticks, unplugging the power supply to motherboard cable and checking the voltages coming from the power supply, and downloading the BIOS file from Dell onto a thumb drive and plugging it in while trying to power up. Nothing helped. Some of those owners on the Dell Forum had to have their motherboard replaced....

    IF I unplug the four-pin CPU power cable and plug the computer in the HD spins up, the power switch LED blinks twice and twice again, but of course the monitor remains blank and the fans do not power up (since the CPU plug is pulled, I guess). But with that CPU power cable unplugged at least the parts that do come on stay on.

    I watched a video from a Phillipino guy with a very similar problem and he traced the problem to a bad Mosfet on the motherboard....when he removed that bad component the system worked fine. I am CERTAINLY a novice when it comes to computers and I cannot reliably de-solder components or even test them, but it raises my question as to whether these symptoms do point to a bad motherboard.... Your thoughts will be greatly appreciated!!

    My Dell is an XPS 8910 with a GTX730 video card, the motherboard is the model WPMFG. Windows 10.
     
  2. managed

    managed Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    I would contact Dell about this, they may agree to replace the motherboard for free, especially if the PC is still under warranty.

    It might be worth posting on Dell's forum as a first step.
     
  3. Slowdog72

    Slowdog72 Thread Starter

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  4. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    You may be able to recover the bios. Most modern systems have what is known as boot block; that is a part of the bios that is not overwritten or updated during a bios update. To attempt this, do the following;
    1 Download the relevant bios file. Extract the file to the root of a usb flash drive formatted as FAT32. I seldom see dells so IF the bios file is in a .exe format, you have to extract it. Do not put the .exe on the usb
    2 Open the case and pull the pw connectors from ALL drives; both hd and optical
    3 Place the usb in a rear usb port. Do not use the front case port
    4 Pw ON and wait at least 10min. You may or may not see anything on the screen
    5 Pw OFF, reconnect pw to drives. Pw ON and see if your system will POST. If it works great. If not, you are going to have to replace the bios chip on the board. Not a job for most people since you need to be very good with a solder iron.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  5. Slowdog72

    Slowdog72 Thread Starter

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    So here my "novice" is showing I guess....I downloaded the BIOS exe file for the Dell 8910 desktop onto my laptop so I could extract the file and then move it onto the thumb drive to do as you said, but when I click on the .exe file I get the prompt "do you want this to make a change on your computer"....and thus I fear that the file will try to replace the BIOS on the laptop which I certainly do not want to do...if I move the .exe file to the thumb drive in tact and then click on the exe file it says the same thing... which makes me nervous.... How can I extract the exe file without running the risk of it automatically trying to replace the laptop BIOS? Thanks!
     
  6. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    You need to use a program like 7zip to extract the file. Download 7zip and install on your laptop. Once done, right click the .exe file and choose 7zip. Another menu opens and choose to extract. Be sure the usb drive is FAT32 and not ntfs, linux file system or any other file system.
    Good luck. I will be OFF for a while running errands then doing a tranny fluid change on one of the cars.
     
  7. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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  8. Slowdog72

    Slowdog72 Thread Starter

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    Well that did not work either. The problem is that there is no way to power on the system, when I hit the start button it comes on for one second and goes back off. I tried holding the rear button on the power supply in hopes that would work since that does make the thumb drive light up... (and before I disconnected them like you said it brought the drives alive) but it still did not help. I think that you (and everyone else I have read) are correct....there is a problem on the motherboard which, like you said, requires higher skills than I have. However, I am still wondering how a BIOS update causes hardware failure....I find that interesting. I am taking to a computer repair guy I was told about and see what he thinks. THANKS for your help!!! This is an AMAZING forum!!
     
  9. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    A corrupted flash should not cause a no pw ON condition however dell is dell and they are proprietary so perhaps it is possible. With any other type of motherboard, a corrupted bios will cause a no POST condition however the board will still pw ON.
     
  10. Slowdog72

    Slowdog72 Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the help! If I find the solution I will post it .
     
  11. managed

    managed Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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  12. Slowdog72

    Slowdog72 Thread Starter

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    Thanks, I did try that. I have followed every procedure and advice I could find on the Dell support pages, the Dell Forum as well as what I could locate via Google. All suggestions seem to assume that the computer powers up but this one never gets past that first second and then shuts down....never giving it time to read the thumb drive.... If I unplug the four pin CPU plug it will then power up everything except the CPU and even the thumb drive lights up...but without the CPU powering up nothing happens and the monitor remains black.

    I am to the point that I must assume that there is a problem on the motherboard as is reported by other folk with this exact same problem....it just seems very strange to me. I did not know that a corrupted BIOS update could destroy hardware, but even Dell Tech is telling people that the motherboard must be replaced.... I appreciate all of the replies and helps! I must decide if I wish to put that much money into this Dell or start over.
     
  13. managed

    managed Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    I sympathise. I feel Dell should admit they made a bad mistake saying that Bios update was Urgent and fix this for free. Probably won't happen though.
     
  14. Slowdog72

    Slowdog72 Thread Starter

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    I agree....and I am going to keep my eye on the issue. I have always had great luck with Dell but I this was the first Dell that I did not configure myself....and it was also the least expensive I have ever purchased. I guess this model was a mass produced "made for the Box Stores" model. Live and learn. I think I am going to try for a refurbished iMac next time. I have yet to be disappointed in my iPad. Thanks again for all of your responses!!
     
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