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How to update BIOS without floppy and without Windows installed?


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How to update BIOS without floppy and without Windows installed?

  • I'd like to update the BIOS of my Dell Latitude X1.

    I've got no floppy drive and I replaced the Windows installation with Ubuntu Linux.

    Is there still any way to flash update the BIOS?


  • How about pen drive or write in CD???
  • I finally managed to update the BIOS of my X1 without a diskette drive and without Windows installed (on the machine to update).

    First, I got an old disk drive from the garbage and attached it to my Desktop PC (running Windows). Then, I wrote the BIOS disk image to disk. Using Nero, I could create a bootable CD from the disk. Using this CD, I could boot on the X1 and flash the BIOS.

    Suggestions to Dell:

    What do you think about updating the BIOS disk image writer so it can write to an attached bootable memory stick? Nowadays, every computer has got USB ports but nearly no one has got any floppy drives.

    Alternatively, why don't you offer the BIOS disk image without an .EXE installer? If I would not have to write it to floppy first, I could create a bootable CD using Nero with the disc image directly. No need to take the detour of writing to a physical disk.



    Message Edited by aschildbach on 05-23-2005 02:10 AM

  • Hi,

    Is your CD-ROM connected via USB port? I'm considering a X1 but don't want to pay the ultra expensive Dbay cdrom. If I can use my exiting USB2 encased drive, that will be super. So the X1 bois does support USB boot huh?

  • Well, at least in Germany you can't buy the X1 without a DBay-Combo-Drive or DVD-Writer.

    The DBay-Drive is connected via USB2, but using a proprietary connector. You can use the socket for a standard USB2 device though.
  • Well the question is then can you hook up a regular USB CD-ROM and boot from it ...
  • I'd say yes, but I haven't tried it.
  • Would you kindly try it and let me know the result? I'm leaning towarding buying the X1 but if it doesn't support USB boot, then it's a no-go. Thanks a lot!
  • I haven't got an external CD-ROM drive, only the DBay drive from Dell. With this drive, you can certainly boot.
  • Are you able to boot from an external hard drive or a USB key?
  • Hi folks,

    I also used to do this : Use a Windows computer from a co-worker, create the BIOS update disk, put it in an USB floppy drive, dd it to a file and create a bootable CD from it.


    It seems like the latest X1 BIOSes (A04, A05 and A06) are now directly BIOS update programs, and not disk creation utilities. So I was wondering... how does one update the BIOS without Windows installed? Is there still a place where to find the floppy image to put on an USB memory or burn to a CDRW?

  • I recently found these instructions for creating a BIOS update CD from Linux:

    I tried it and it worked! However, I ran into the performance problems (thermal table) and graded back to A02.
  • lol

    Yeah, I found that link moments later too... the fun part is that it links back to my own page ( for the freedos disk image and the instructions they copy/pasted are mine too :-)

    My only issue was that since the latest EXE files didn't create disks anymore and seemed like graphical Windows programs, I thought they wouldn't work from DOS... but I seem to understand that they do, so problem solved, and things are now even easier as before!

    Thanks anyway.