[clug-talk] BIOS Update on Dell: My Next Trick

Jon me at jonwatson.ca
Mon Sep 5 07:05:33 PDT 2005


Hi Gustin,

I've finally figure out enough to get this thing working...mostly...

I've got myself booting into the laptop no problem, can I can see the 
executable that I'm supposed to run, but it just won't run. When I run it, it 
just returns me to the command prompt immediately with no error messages, no 
warnings, and no update occuring.

I think that means that I'm now using biosdisk properly, and my remaining 
problems now surround the executable itself. I'm exchanging emails with John 
Hull (the Dell support guy for this). We'll see how it goes and I'll post my 
results here.

Thanks!

Jon

On September 4, 2005 09:01 pm, Gustin Johnson wrote:
> On Sunday 04 September 2005 13:31, Jon wrote:
> > Wow..how the hell did I miss this when Googling?
> >
> > I've made some progress here, but I've reached a stumbling block and I
> > really don't know where to go from here.
> >
> > I've downloaded the biosdisk app and the I1000A08.EXE file (which is
> > allegedly my 1000 A08 BIOS update) from Dell support.
> >
> > I used the biosdisk mkimage -i /home/jon
> > /home/jon/biosdisk-0.65/I1000A08.EXE command to make the image which
> > resulted in a dosdisk.img file being created in my home directory.
>
> This looks like a floppy img to me.  Try dd if=dosdisk.img of=/dev/fd0
> then reboot with that floppy in the drive.
>
> If you do not have a floppy drive, then I believe you can make a bootable
> cd with this floppy image.  You could also, if you are feeling brave, send
> the output of dd to your usb stick (eg. of=/dev/sda ) but this will destroy
> the filesystem on the usb (eg you should backup the files).  With my memory
> stick I was able to repartition it with cfdisk.  Although I have not
> experienced a problem on my USB keys, I have heard of usb keys getting
> toasted this way. As always the usual disclaimers apply and YMMV.
>
> > There is a biosdisk install command but it doesn't work on Debian systems
> > so I can't use it on my Kanotix. So I manually copied the memdisk and
> > dosdisk.img file to my /boot directory.
> >
> > I then modified my /boot/grub/menu.lst file and added:
> >
> > title BIOS Flash A08
> > kernel /boot/memdisk
> > initrd /boot/dosdisk.img
> >
> > lines to it.
> >
> > When I reboot and select this item from teh Grub menu, the system does
> > one of two things. It either boots into a plan jane FreeDOS prompt and
> > does nothing further, or it hangs while displaying 'InitDisk'
> >
> > I can only assume that there's something wrong with the dosdisk.img file,
> > but I really have no idea how to troubleshoot that.
> >
> > Can someone point out to me where I'm going wrong?
> >
> > Thanks!
> >
> > Jon
> >
> > On September 4, 2005 04:34 pm, Jesse Kline wrote:
> > > Domain match.
> > > Remove domain from Allow list -->
> > >
> > > https://www.vqme.com/pk/eh?op=remove_domain&Domain=clug.ca&VU=HqIXF6rk+
> > >Pp DI 0Rq/fWFgg Block domain -->
> > >
> > > https://www.vqme.com/pk/eh?op=block_domain&Domain=clug.ca&VU=HqIXF6rk+P
> > >pD I0 Rq/fWFgg
> > >
> > > http://linux.dell.com/projects.shtml#biosdisk
> > >
> > > Jesse
> > >
> > > On Sun, 2005-09-04 at 14:29 -0400, Jon wrote:
> > > > OK, so now that my touchpad kinda works, I've noticed during my
> > > > screwing around that my Dell BIOS is A03 and the most current version
> > > > for my Inspiron 1000 is A08.
> > > >
> > > > Unfortunately, the only file I can find to update the BIOS on the
> > > > Dell site is designed to run right off the Windows desktop. I've
> > > > tried Wine and Win4Lin, but neither will allow the application to run
> > > > (not surprised).
> > > >
> > > > Has anyone successfully updated a Dell BIOS on a straight GNU/Linux
> > > > machine before? I can boot from a USB stick and have tried running
> > > > the application as a DOS executable, but no go. It wants Windows.
> > > >
> > > > Any ideas..?
> > > >
> > > > Jon
> > > >
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