Updating Dell BIOS on a machine without Windows Installed

Posted: 2023-12-23 14:53:03 by Alasdair Keyes

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I recently had a Dell laptop that required a BIOS update, but the BIOS installers were only for Windows and my machine was running Debian.

This posed a problem as to how to apply the update. I didn't want to go swapping out hard-drives to install Windows, or even wipe the Linux installation to install Windows and then re-install Linux after.

In the end I found that I could start a Windows 10 installation process, drop to a shell and run the BIOS update.

The steps are as follows...

  1. Download a Windows 10 ISO image from Microsoft. Write it to a DVD or use software such as Rufus (https://rufus.ie/) to create a Windows 10 Bootable USB drive.
  2. Download the BIOS update .exe files and put them onto a second USB stick.
  3. Boot into the Windows 10 installer.
  4. At the first screen that asks you for languages, press SHIFT+F10, a Windows Command prompt appears.
  5. Insert the second USB stick with the update into a second USB port. Wait 5 seconds for the drive to be auto-mounted, Windows will assign it drive letter E:.
  6. In the command prompt type e: <ENTER>.
  7. Run the executable file that you downloaded. The update will run and then reboot into the BIOS update process as normal.

After the update, you can remove the USB sticks and reboot back into Linux.


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© Alasdair Keyes

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