Dimension C521 BIOS recovery

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Dimension C521 BIOS recovery

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Hi everyone

I have a Dimension C521 which won't POST, due to a failed BIOS update. (The system locked up hard when the BIOS update's progress indicator reached 8%. I waited 20 minutes before giving up and powering it off.)

Now, when I try to power it up, the power light comes on amber. The CPU fan runs slow for about 2 seconds, then goes turbo. None of the other front panel lights come on.

Does anyone know whether there is a BIOS recovery procedure for the C521? Thanks.

-- graham

BTW: If anyone at Dell is reading this, why on earth is the Flash BIOS IC soldered to the motherboard? Seriously, how much does a 32-pin PLCC socket cost -- maybe a few cents? If the chip was socketed, I wouldn't even be posting here, as I have access to a PLCC flash programmer.

 

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  • graham.k  

    If removing the CMOS battery for 30+- minutes does not correct the failed BIOS flash, then the typical fix is to replace the motherboard.

    Bev.

     

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    Forum Member since 2001
    I am not employed by Dell

  • I've tried the CMOS reset jumper, and that should have the same effect as pulling the battery.

    Replacing the motherboard is (obviously) an incredibly poor solution, but it is the only option available to many people -- again, because Dell couldn't be bothered to put the flash chip in a socket. Fortunately, I have access to SMD soldering tools and a flash programmer -- so I should be able to unsolder the flash BIOS IC, solder a 32-pin PLCC socket in its place, reprogram the flash chip, and drop it into the socket.

    There are BIOS recovery procedures for many Dell systems, but I can't find one for this particular model. The BIOS seems to include the Award Boot Block BIOS, but that isn't working for me -- or maybe I just don't know how to invoke it. That's what I was really asking about, because any software fix is easier than soldering.