Dimension 8200, Question about Bios and Update

Desktop

Desktop
Desktop computer Hardware and Software discussion

Dimension 8200, Question about Bios and Update

  • I have a Dimension 8200 purchased Nov, 2001. How can I tell which version Bios I have and if I should be updating it?
     
    Thank you
  • It should tell you when it first boots up
    Keep an eye on the screen to see it
    As to updating the BIOS, I also have a Dimension 8200
    and I am currently running Version A09 which is the latest
    one from Dell ... it works fine
  • 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?

    Steve

  • I am not sure what has changed with the Bios versions. At this point I am not having any problems, but since I am unsure what the changes are it is hard for me to know. It just seemed that one of these days Dell will not offer the Bios changes for this model and it might be useful to change it before that happens. When you say that it is possible to cause corruption, how or what would cause that? Is it not possible to flash the Bios again if you have problems?
  • 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 Corporation
    Copyright (C) 2002, All Rights reserved.

    Systems: Dimension D8200
    Version: A09
    Release 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 D8200
    Version: A08
    Release 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 D8200
    Version: A07
    Release 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 D8200
    Version: A05
    Release 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 D8200
    Version: A04
    Release 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 D8200
    Version: A03
    Release 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 D8200
    Version: A02
    Release 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 D8200
    Version: A01
    Release 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 D8200
    Version: A00
    Release 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

  • Busterbrown885, the latest BIOS version for your model is A09 and that can be found by clicking here to download. 
     
    Listed below are the generic instructions for using the downloaded file and updating the BIOS......
     
    Once the file is downloaded to your hard drive just run the file.  The program will then prompt you into creating a bootable BIOS upgrade floppy disk so have a "good" blank one available.  Once the floppy is created just leave the floppy in the drive and reboot your system.  The BIOS upgrade program will then prompt you into updating the BIOS.  If the floppy fails to boot then check your system's boot order and make sure the floppy drive is before the hard drive in the boot sequence.  Once the BIOS upgrade is successfully done just remove the floppy disk and reboot the system. 

    The actual time it takes the new BIOS code to be written is less than 30 seconds.  While the upgrade is in progress do not interrupt the upgrade or do the upgrade when weather conditions might indicate a possible power failure such as doing the upgrade during a thunderstorm.  An interrupted BIOS upgrade will corrupt the currently installed BIOS and make your motherboard unusable which will require replacement.

    ".....how would one go about getting any additional updates should one want them if Dell stopped supporting the Bios?"
     
    You can't.  Dell BIOS upgrades are modified by Dell Engineers for your specific system and are proprietary.  A non-Dell BIOS may install on your system, but as others have found out the use of a non-Dell BIOS may not fully support all the hardware attached to the motherboard if the system even boots up.  If you encounter problems using a non-Dell BIOS, flashing the BIOS back to a Dell version is a very difficult if not impossible task.  Failure to re-flash back to the Dell version will require the replacement of the motherboard.   Not to mention the installation CDs that came with your system will check the installed BIOS prior to installing.  If they find a non-Dell BIOS in place the installation program will abort.  For most users this means a re-install of the OS will require you to go out and purchase a new OS CD.
      
    Considering the last BIOS update for your model was released back in 2002, one can safely assume there will be no more.  At this point in time the folks at Dell are working on BIOS releases for their current product line and I do not recall where they have ever released a BIOS updated for a system so long out of production.  

    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