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Windows 7: Help! Dell Inspiron 'Dead' After BIOS Update

17 Feb 2018   #11
Snick

Win 10 x64, Linux Lite, Win 7 x64, BlackArch, Kali, VMWare Workstation Player, OpenVPN
 
 

You might want to take a look at BIOS Recovery options on a Dell PC or Tablet. This is available on some, not all, Dell machines.

As far as recourse from Dell, no, they absolve themselves of responsibility in the disclaimer section of their web pages. (boilerplate language) I'm a register paralegal in Michigan!


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17 Feb 2018   #12
boweasel

Windows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by fireberd View Post
What "BIOS" did you upgrade? The only BIOS listed on the Dell downloads is dated 19 Nov 2013 (A11). As it is an old BIOS there is probably nothing wrong with it. Nothing new and probably what you had originally.
Yeah, that's the one. And if it didn't need upgrading why did the Dell Support Ass(istant) tell me to do so. If didn't list many of the other drivers that had been updated or installed through Windows Updates.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by fireberd View Post
BTW, the correct install sequence on a Dell is (1) Install OS (2) install Intel motherboard chipset drivers (3) Install device drivers.
The disk I used to install the OS was not a Dell disk, so I basically had no internet availability. So I used another PC to download the Ethernet driver to a USB stick. Once I installed that Network driver from the stick I used the now internet capable PC to download the Chipset driver, then the BIOS
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by fireberd View Post
If the BIOS is the problem, the best option is to buy a refurbished (working) Dell Inspiron 660 motherboard. BIOS chips can be replaced on some, but not all. You need the exact Dell motherboard due to Dell using proprietary motherboards that are not always ATX compliant both on the rear I/O panel size/location, front panel connections, etc.

Can't hurt.
What is it that 'Can't hurt'? Do you mean the BIOS reset? Or buying a refurbished mobo?
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by fireberd View Post
Try a BIOS reset.

With the AC power cable disconnected, push the power button for 10 seconds then open the case and remove the CR2032 CMOS backup battery for at least 10 minutes (Intel says 15 minutes). Reinstall the battery, observing polarity and try to power up.
Will give that a try. And as I expected the old HDD also only displayed the gray screen - no sounds or text or any signs of life.
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17 Feb 2018   #13
Snick

Win 10 x64, Linux Lite, Win 7 x64, BlackArch, Kali, VMWare Workstation Player, OpenVPN
 
 

If it ain't broke don't fix it!

As I stated earlier, HDD or SSD has nothing to do with bios, which is on bios chip on motherboard.

Try this and see if you have this available on your Dell desktop; only available on select PCs!

How do I initiate BIOS Recovery on a Dell desktop or all-in-one PC?

  1. Restart the computer.
  2. Press and hold the CTRL key + ESC key on the keyboard until the BIOS Recovery page appears.
  3. On the BIOS Recovery screen, select Reset NVRAM (if available) and press the Enter key. Select Disabled and press the Enter key if you wish to save the current BIOS settings.
  4. Select Recover BIOS and press the Enter key to start the recovery process.
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18 Feb 2018   #14
townsbg

Windows 7 pro 64-bit
 
 

Some may disagree but I suspect that the BIOS update killed it and if that is the case using another hard drive won't fix it. The BIOS update is actually an update to the computer's firmware and not windows. Granted sometimes there are recovery disks but if the BIOS is so scrambled that it can't recognize any devise due to an bad install then it can't perform the restore. Not recognizing any devises, displaying a screen at boot, or beeping are very bad signs. If I where you I'd start looking for another computer or a replacement motherboard.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Snick View Post
If it ain't broke don't fix it!
Exactly. I would ONLY perform a BIOS update if I am experiencing severe hardware issues and I have tried everything else in my power to fix it including a reinstall of Windows. It would be my last resort.
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18 Feb 2018   #15
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

What I meant by "can't hurt". Its not working so trying the CMOS reset won't cause any more problems. Worth a try. I don't think the Dell BIOS recovery was on the older models like you have. I've worked the Dell forum since 2002 and only the last several years has Dell had a BIOS recovery. The older models, a replacement motherboard is needed for a BIOS corruption.

Too late now, but a BIOS update should only be done if it fixes a problem you have or supports new hardware you want to install.
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18 Feb 2018   #16
boweasel

Windows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Snick View Post
If it ain't broke don't fix it!

As I stated earlier, HDD or SSD has nothing to do with bios, which is on bios chip on motherboard.

Try this and see if you have this available on your Dell desktop; only available on select PCs!

How do I initiate BIOS Recovery on a Dell desktop or all-in-one PC?

  1. Restart the computer.
  2. Press and hold the CTRL key + ESC key on the keyboard until the BIOS Recovery page appears.
  3. On the BIOS Recovery screen, select Reset NVRAM (if available) and press the Enter key. Select Disabled and press the Enter key if you wish to save the current BIOS settings.
  4. Select Recover BIOS and press the Enter key to start the recovery process.
What a surprise! I do not have BIOS Recovery on this unit.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2018   #17
townsbg

Windows 7 pro 64-bit
 
 

A BIOS recovery on a disk or built into the board might help if it is only partially damaged but if it is completely damaged it won't be able to sense your cd drive or keyboard so it is really of no use in that case. Your only recourse is a motherboard replacement or a new computer. So it could be that there isn't one there as fireberd said or it sounds like your computer can't communicate with the keyboard.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2018   #18
Snick

Win 10 x64, Linux Lite, Win 7 x64, BlackArch, Kali, VMWare Workstation Player, OpenVPN
 
 

Wasn't sure if it would work or not, but worth trying. Get lucky sometimes! Running out of ideas short of replacing bios chip or new MoBo! I've done the replacement a few times & the desoldering /soldering of the tiny pins is arduous and time consuming!
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19 Feb 2018   #19
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

I have an SMT workstation (Surface Mount Technology) but I would still be wary of trying to replace the BIOS chip (would have to be an exact Dell replacement chip). Most motherboards are multi-layer and that even gets more complicated. But again, won't hurt to try if you can find the correct BIOS chip - it either will work or you will have to replace the motherboard. The other option if you don't want to try the chip is replace the motherboard (again only a Dell exact replacement will work/fit).
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19 Feb 2018   #20
Snick

Win 10 x64, Linux Lite, Win 7 x64, BlackArch, Kali, VMWare Workstation Player, OpenVPN
 
 

I believe Dell has BIOS chips, if they do, you can obtain the model/version and try Ebay or Amazon for better price, but replacing them is a PAIN, due to the minute soldered connections. Too much heat and you fry the chip, to little heat and you have a cold, non-conductive connection. I built the Thomas Heathkit Paramount Organ when I was in High School, never had an issue with the 1000 plus solder connections, just one bad transistor on one of the sound boards.

BIOS chips are in the $20 US area, give or take a few bucks.
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 Help! Dell Inspiron 'Dead' After BIOS Update




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