Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Question about updating the BIOS

  1. #1

    Question about updating the BIOS


    I have just bought a Dell Inspiron laptop. On the Dell drivers site it says that version A05 update for my system BIOS is recommended. The version on my laptop is A02 so its quite a bit out of date.
    If I update my BIOS will this ruin future Windows 8.1 reinstallations. Because it is an OEM system I don't have installation media .. I reinstall from the factory image. At the moment when I do a clean reinstallation Windows 8.1 gets installed and Windows Activation is done automatically. Activation is tied to the BIOS.
    Can you flash/update the BIOS without affecting future reinstallations and the current automated Windows activation method or does updating the BIOS completely ruin that method

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Two comments:

    1) Updating the BIOS

    This is not a trivial exercise. IF anything goes wrong, your PC is reduced to the functionality of an "electric brick"! So, before you do a BIOS update, ensure that BOTH of the following are true:
    a) You have the means to save off the current working BIOS to some media that you can later use to restore it
    b) You have the means to boot using some media, in the event of BIOS update corruption, such that you can restore the working BIOS from the saved copy.

    2) Result of Upgrade: While it should NOT affect the activation, you should contact Dell Support to be safe. They should be able to tell you if updating the BIOS will erase the product key information.
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  3. #3


    Central IL
    Posts : 3,468
    Linux Mint 17.2


    It states in the download how to do the bios update. Once you download it. Then run the update inside Windows, it will reboot after done. You can check it by pressing F2 at the Dell Splash screen that comes up during POST.
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  4. #4


    Thanks..I know how to run the BIOS Update..thats not a problem. I was just wanting feedback from people with OEM systems (mines a Dell) who have updated the BIOS on their PC's and performed a reinstallation of the operating system sometime afterwards. I wanted to know if flashing the BIOS removed the Windows 8.1 product key because if it does then automatic Windows Activation would be gone. I have to do my reinstallations using the Dell Factory Image as they don't supply Windows 8.1 discs any more so I don't even know what my Windows 8.1 Product Key is.
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  5. #5



    Trying to Sith things out
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 2,290
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit


    Quote Originally Posted by sportsfan View Post
    Thanks..I know how to run the BIOS Update..thats not a problem. I was just wanting feedback from people with OEM systems (mines a Dell) who have updated the BIOS on their PC's and performed a reinstallation of the operating system sometime afterwards. I wanted to know if flashing the BIOS removed the Windows 8.1 product key because if it does then automatic Windows Activation would be gone. I have to do my reinstallations using the Dell Factory Image as they don't supply Windows 8.1 discs any more so I don't even know what my Windows 8.1 Product Key is.
    Updating your BIOS should not(I didn't say "will not"-Murphy's law) but for peace of mind you can download ShowKeyPlus from Superfly at Ten Forums and get all your current Windows keys and copy them to a file (to a USB stick or OneDrive).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    If I update my BIOS will this ruin future Windows 8.1 reinstallations.
    No.

    Can you flash/update the BIOS without affecting future reinstallations and the current automated Windows activation method or does updating the BIOS completely ruin that method
    Yes you can flash, no it will not ruin that method.

    It is very true flashing the BIOS comes with extreme risks just because IF something goes wrong, it can make your system unbootable. But honestly, I have flashed many 100s of computers over the years and the last time one catastrophically failed was 20 years ago when a co-worker tripped over and yanked out the power cord right in the middle of the process. Since then, I make sure the PCs are on a fully charged UPS, power cords are out of the way, and notebook batteries are fully charged.

    The BIOS makers are very aware of the consequences so they have done much over the years to ensure the update process goes well and is verified before completed. So while the potential consequences are total disaster, the odds of that happening are very slim. Still, you should backup any data you don't want lost.

    Having said that, I NEVER update a BIOS just because a new one is out there. I read the change log to see what the update does first. Most often, they just add support for new CPUs or other hardware that came out since the last update. If they don't affect me, I don't fix something not broke.

    I do however, typically update the BIOS when I build a new computer or buy a new notebook if the update "fixes" issues since the notebook or motherboard came out of the factory.

    After the flash, immediately verify date and time and reset if necessary.
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  7. #7


    Thanks for your feedback Itaregid. Yeah..I'll make sure mains power is on and Notebook battery fully charged in case of a mains power outage. ..im presuming if that happened though that the BIOS update would just continue because of the laptop battery taking over where the mains power cut left off. Im only doing the BIOS update because the laptop is new. It has shipped with A02 BIOS version installed and A05 is the latest so it probably needs to be updated
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  8. #8


    im presuming if that happened though that the BIOS update would just continue because of the laptop battery taking over where the mains power cut left off.
    Yes, assuming of course, the battery is charged and the notebook works fine otherwise.

    Im only doing the BIOS update because the laptop is new.
    And I confess, I probably would too - unless the updates since A02 only added hardware support my notebook did not have.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Central IL
    Posts : 3,468
    Linux Mint 17.2


    The Dell Inspiron 537s I updated, was for some changes that allowed Windows 7 and up to run on the unit.

    Most times they are fixing temp monitoring to keep the CPU from baking. And also fixing code that caused the unit to crash with certain drivers that use certain IRQ's.

    The Readme or documentation for the download, should state what it fixes.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Most times they are fixing temp monitoring to keep the CPU from baking. And also fixing code that caused the unit to crash with certain drivers that use certain IRQ's.
    Ummm, not "most" times. They typically have those problems fixed before the motherboard leaves the factory. Most updates are to support new CPUs, RAM, or other devices and protocols that come out after the motherboard left the factory.

    For sure, some updates do correct issues as you describe, but most are just to add new support.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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