What BIOS file format to download?

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N3+ 9H0$+

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Jan 4, 2006
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I have an Inspiron 8100 Dell notebook computer.I need to update it's BIOS, so when I went to DEll's site to download I have three options.

1. Hard-Drive
A15-I81.EXE
Description: This file contains a compressed (or zipped) set of files. Download the file to a folder on your hard drive, and then run (double-click) it to unzip the set of files. Follow the instructions to complete the installation

2.Floppy
I81-A15.EXE
Description: This file contains a compressed (or zipped) set of files. Download the file to a folder on your hard drive, and then run (double-click) it to unzip the set of files. Follow the instructions to create a set of floppy diskettes, and then use the diskettes to complete the installation.

3.Non-Packaged
I8100A15.exe
Description: This file format consists of a BIOS executable file. To use it, download the file and copy it to a DOS-bootable diskette. With the diskette in the floppy drive, reboot the system and run the program.

Which one should I use? Dose it matter? Is one safer to use then the other?

I'm thinking the floppy disk route would be the safest however, I'm not entirely sure how to do boot from floppys if I do this. I would have at BIOS setup and see if there is an option for boot from loopy. I don't think there is.

I know computers with XP installed will over look a floppy in the disk drive. So somewhat confused on this type of BIOS flash.

I don't think the .exe would be wise due to the fact your running the OS and all drivers. Safe mode be better?

Anyway, Just need to be pointed in the right direction. Thanks.


PS. Here is a link to the dowload page I'm referring to.
 
Joined
Sep 19, 2005
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Why do you need to update the bios?
If you are not sure how to do this, or dont need to, DONT, only upgrade if you are having problems with your current bios
 

bearone2

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Jun 4, 2004
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fwiw: i've never updated the bios on any computer and wouldn't recommend it unless it's been recommended by dell to resolve a problem.:cool:
 

N3+ 9H0$+

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First, I wont be able to use a new video driver. I guess it will cause screen problems. So thats one reason to update this old BIOS. Especially because I have a new 64 MB card that I want to install. I currently have 32 MB.

Second, There are many issues that I can see that I may have a problem with. One is that the DHCP is not assigning an IP address correctly. The other is the fan speed not controlled very well. Just a couple of small things. DHCP though I need to fix. Always had trouble. I also noticed here lately that the system board is beeping sometimes. Very rare but don't know yet what it would be for.

So with this, anyone else willing to help in determing the best course for the flash?

One more question. When I do flash to the updated BIOS, could I re flash back to the previous if the new one gives me problems? Or does this depend on the chip? Maybe the new BIOS wont allow it, I don't know.
 
Joined
Mar 29, 2005
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I think BIOS files are generaly ROm files. But i would never suggest flashing your bios unless you are sure you know what your doing. If you flash it with a bad or wrong file say goodbye to you're motherboard.

John
 

JohnWill

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Well, I'm not sure how the BIOS is going to fix your video driver issue, and it's sure not going to solve the DHCP problem, since that has nothing to do with the BIOS. The beeping is real unlikely to be the BIOS, more likely it's something like the overheating alarm for the processor.

I suggest you attempt to solve the issues without doing needless BIOS updates. One only has to search the forums on BIOS Update to see how often novices manage to create doorstops from their motherboards doing needless BIOS updates. :)

I presume you do want to simply solve the problems, and not do a BIOS update for the fun of it, right?
 

N3+ 9H0$+

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JohnWill said:
I presume you do want to simply solve the problems, and not do a BIOS update for the fun of it, right?
Yes I want to solve problems.

I looked at the list of changes that has been made to the BIOS and it seems clear that I should do a flash. I want to make sure this computer is at optimum. Thats why!

The video card driver makes sense. Heres why.

Dell
Copyright (C) 2003, All Rights reserved.
www.dell.com

BIOS Release Notes

===================================================================
===================================================================
Systems: Dell Inspiron 8100 (Memory location F000:E845)
Version: A15 (Memory location F000:E842)
Build Date: 03/03/03 (Memory location FFFF:0005)

*********************************************************************
** IMPORTANT NOTE FOR THIS RELEASE **

1. Users with systems equipped with nVidia video controllers must
also download and install an updated video driver when upgrading
to this BIOS. Failure to do so may prevent the LCD panel from
operating at its optimal resolution or prevent the system from
resuming from Standby.
Please refer to the list of driver versions and file names below
to find the correct driver for your operating system.

Operating System Driver Version Driver File Name
-------------------------------------------------------
Windows ME A07 NME1760.EXE
Windows 2000 A15 NX2K2964.EXE
Windows XP A15 NX2K2964.EXE
As I read all of the updates to each BIOS update I wonder if I should really flash. I guess if I positively don't need to I wont. I also talked to a co-worker who has done this a few times. He also recommended me not to unless I have to. I asked what BIOS download to use he said "just use the .exe". I guess it will power down windows throw a bunch of stuff on screen as it reprograms the board. He also pointed out that if theres a power failure I sunk! Of course this is a notebook I'm talking about. Power goes out battery kicks in, of course this too can cause a problem while installing a new BIOS.

I got to wonder how they do this at the factory?

Now if my occasional beeps from the board are from it heating up then how do I fix that problem? I don't think it's that because I was outside with my computer and feeding off a wifi spot that I go to download large files. I had some beeps from it then as well. The temperature outside was and is in the 30's at night.

So I'll see what to do here and just install the video card, install the driver. I really don't want to have to mess around with BIOS but if it would improve things here I would like to give it a try. If you go here you will find the text of the update changes to the BIOS and my reason for wanting to update.
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2003
Messages
10,254
If you do update the BIOS, use the Hard Drive Option . . it's less complicated . . I like to use a UPS when I update BIOS . . but if you don't have one, be sure you have the pc plugged into a reliable wall plug.

here is the instruction on the download page:

Hard Drive Installation (via WinZip) with Setup.exe File for A15-I81.EXE

Download

1.Click Download Now, to download the file.
2.When the File Download window appears, click Save (Windows XP
users will click Save) this program to disk and click OK. The Save In:
window appears.
3.From the Save In: field, click the down arrow then click to
select Desktop and click Save. The file will download to your desktop.
4.If the Download Complete window appears, click Close. The file
icon appears on your desktop.

Install

1.Double-click the new icon on the desktop labeled A15-I81.EXE.
2.The Self-Extracting window appears and prompts you to extract or
unzip to C:\DELL\DRIVERS\r57195. Write down this path so the executable (I.e.
Setup.exe) file can be found later.
3.The Self-Extractor window appears.
4.Click OK.
5.After completing the file extraction, if the Self-Extractor
window is still open, close it.
6.Click the Start button and then click Run.
7.Type C:\DELL\DRIVERS\r57195 in the Open textbox and then click OK.
8.Follow the on-screen installation instructions.
 
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