Is it very difficult to update the Bios and where would one find instructions to do that? What changes did you notice after updating your bios? I think that my Bios version is 01. At least according to esupport.com which has a bios agent that checks that sort of information and then they try and sell you the Bios update for anywhere from $30 to $50. I guess maybe they make it easy to update the bios.
Any help and suggestions would be appreciated.
Why do you think you need to update the BIOS? To find out which version you have, restart the computer and hit the F2 key as soon as you see the keyboard lights light up. Note that the only BIOS upgrade that will work on your computer is a Dell provided BIOS. The Dell BIOS upgrades is free and so, unless you want to mess up your computer big time, there is no sense in spending any money. Still BIOS upgrades can go wrong resulting in corruption which would require that you replace the motherboard. So, I ask again, what makes you think that you need to upgrade the BIOS? Are you installing new hardware that is not supported by the current BIOS?
Since the BIOS chip is soldered onto the motherboard and is a Dell proprietary item, if the BIOS becomes corrupt the only way to recover is to replace the motherboard. Chances are small that this would happen, but if you read trhough messages on this forum, it has happend. Dell stopped offering BIOS upgrades for your model 3 years ago. Here are the BIOS release notes for the 8200:
Dell Computer CorporationCopyright (C) 2002, All Rights reserved.
Systems: Dimension D8200Version: A09Release Date: 09-13-02
The following changes have been made to BIOS rev A08 to create A09:
1. Fixed resource allocation to some PCI devices when multiple adapters with bridges are in the system.
2. Properly set system power state when AC Power is lost in S3.
3. Added additional system board information into SMBIOS type 2 structure.
4. Fixed possible hang when exiting Diagnostic programs that access KB ports directly and USB Emulation is On.
5. Fixed possible issue with the Date and Time being changed after consecutive reboots.
6. Added new SMBIOS token definitions for UDMA, Hard Disk Acoustic, S1/S3.
Systems: Dimension D8200Version: A08Release Date: 08-30-02
The following changes have been made to BIOS rev A07 to create A08:
1. Put in POST fix for ATI cards with memory controller latch power-up problem.
Systems: Dimension D8200Version: A07Release Date: 07-18-02
The following changes have been made to BIOS rev A05 to create A07:
1. Added support for new Processors.
2. Fixed possible CMOS corruption when adjusting system configuration through Open Manage.
3. Updated ACPI sleep state mapping code to fix USB 2.0 devices not being found after a resume.
4. Added IDE UDMA support to speed up resume from Hibernate (when enabled).
5. Added support for additional models in the 8200 Series.
6. Adjusted USB Emulation support for special keys, and non-US keyboards.
7. Fixed false error on Floppy Drive when running Diags From Bootable Diags CD without a Floppy Drive.
8. Fixed issues with some USB devices causing a keyboard POST error with a USB keyboard.
9. Reduce POST time when no PS/2 keyboard or Mouse installed.
10. Added two new diagnostic LED codes for better memory failure isolation. No Memory Detected (ABCD=Grn, Yel, Yel, Yel) Memory Configuration Failure (ABCD=Grn, Yel, Grn, Yel)
Systems: Dimension D8200Version: A05Release Date: 04-17-02
The following changes have been made to BIOS rev A04 to create A05:
1. Fixed issue when resuming from Hibernate with keyboard & mouse swapped.
2. Fixed issue with UNKNOWN devices in System Setup for IDE devices. If a failure occurs, now check the second IDE cable for devices.
3. Fixed boot code to prevent problem with no boot devices.
4. Updated microcode and SMBIOS support for newer processors.
5. Alter code to verify that only supported RIMMs are used with correct CPUs. A 533 FSB CPU requires 800-40ns memory.
6. Fixed hang problem with Creative Audigy and large sound samples.
Systems: Dimension D8200Version: A04Release Date: 03-18-02
The following changes have been made to BIOS rev A03 to create A04:
1. Added "Low Power Mode" option to System Setup.
2. Added 533 processor support for boards that support it.
3. Correctly identify parallel port as ECP or non-ECP in PnP.
4. Allow flash program to operate from WinXP Boot Disk.
5. Updated the boot menu support to not display disabled boot items.
6. Updated Copyright strings to 2002.
7. Fixed Barco Video Adapter causing a PnP error.
8. Fixed Elan 64 bit/66MHz PCI card causing a PnP error.
9. Allow Num-pad Enter key on boot menu screen.
10.Changed the AC Power Recovery to OFF as default.
11.Changed from logging PROCHOT events to logging ICH THROTTLE events.
Systems: Dimension D8200Version: A03Release Date: 12-07-01
The following changes have been made to BIOS rev A02 to create A03:
1. Added support for newer cpus.
2. Modified SMI handler to prevent spurious shutdowns.
Systems: Dimension D8200Version: A02Release Date: 11-12-01
The following changes have been made to BIOS rev A01 to create A02:
1. Fix for broken Dell Power Management support on P4 systems
2. Various hibernate and standby optimizations.
3. Fixed problem with multiple devices corrupting the priority list
4. Fixed speed detection for P4 processors.
5. Fixed problem where BBS was being written to NVRAM on every boot.Systems: Dimension D8200Version: A01Release Date: 09-18-01
The following changes have been made to BIOS rev A00 to create A01:1. Created a boot device option during POST
Systems: Dimension D8200Version: A00Release Date: 08-17-01
Thank you for the update, I will have to think about flashing the bios, just a further question, how would one go about getting any additional updates should one want them if Dell stopped supporting the Bios? Does the company that makes the Bios support it and how do you go about getting it?
Are there instructions on how to go about downloading and then flashing the bios?
Thanks again for all your help
Message Edited by Majestic on 11-14-2005 07:41 AM
A great big Thank you to all who responded, your answers were very helpful. Since I plan on giving this computer to my wife and she will use it for some time, I think I will wait till my new Dell 9150 arrives and then transfer all data from my 8200 to the 9150 and give it a Flash. I have updated firmware on DVD drives and the process sounds somewhat similar.
Again many thanks for your help and information