BIOS update on Studio 1558
brian at PingToo.com
Sun May 1 07:30:14 CDT 2011
On 28/02/11 12:57, Sriram Chadalavada wrote:
> linuxsri at linuxsri-laptop:~/Downloads$ sudo update_firmware
> Running system inventory...
> Searching storage directory for available BIOS updates...
> Checking System BIOS for Studio 1558 - *a04*
> Did not find a newer package to install that meets all installation
> This system does not appear to have any updates available.
> No action necessary.
> However, the Windows BIOS installer talks about version *A11*. Clearly
> my BIOS is out of date.
> 2. These appear to to be the system and device IDs.
> On the page http://linux.dell.com/repo/firmware/bios-hdrs/, there is
> no corresponding entry for any version of BIOS. Would that be why the
> system does not see any updates or did I just understand this completely
The Dell repository now has bios A12 available (8/04/2011).
My machine has locked up more often with each new linux kernel, so I
decided to apply A12 any way that I could.
I have an old compaq laptop XP image running under VMWare, but that
didn't help me run the windows bios update for my dell because (of
course) the WinPhlash program could only detect the vmware bios, not the
I tried messing around with PEBuilder and giving it my compaq oem XP
recovery CD as the installer feed, but it kept giving me errors creating
the CD, and it wouldn't boot.
Finally, I stumbled into a very scary procedure for building a bootable
freedos system to update the bios. You have to run the R301434.EXE
self-extracting program under wine, then run the unpacked 1558_A12.EXE
under wine to create a standalone copy of BIOS1.WPH (the bios upgrade
Next, you download and unpack a dos 16-bit bios flash program from the
dell ftp site by finding a package for an older system. You run freedos
in a qemu virtual machine to create a bootable system on a usb memory
stick, then add the old dos flash utility and the new bios image. Boot
your dell studio 1558 from the usb device and run the flash16 program...
sit around nervously while the status is updated and it beeps a lot.
Eventually the process completes and the system reboots with the new
Here is the full procedure:
It is a scary process and I'm very relieved to say it worked for me. As
Matt has said on this and several other threads, dell are distributing
bios updates for more and more of their models in this "new"
I guess the 1558 won't have many (any?) more BIOS updates, so I'll
probably survive for years running A12. I only bought a Dell this time
because I believed they had started to recognise the value of selling
machines to linux-only users. The move back to windows-only maintenance
will make me tell anyone who will listen to keep away from linux on dell
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