Flashing a Dell Latitude Laptop’s BIOS running Vista

1 minute read

I’d tried several times to update the BIOS on my Dell Latitude D820 Laptop running Vista, but I always got errors.  Since a new version of the BIOS (A08) had been released, I decided that it was time to get to the bottom of things.

I found a post by E-Gizmo over on the Dell Community Forums that solved my problem.  Here’s what was happening and how the fix works.

When I ran the new BIOS install EXE, I would get the error below.image

No big deal: I just right clicked on the EXE and chose ‘Run as administrator’.  Nope, still an error.  I didn’t capture my specific error, but the one that I snipped out of the discussion referenced above looks almost identical (different laptop model and different BIOS version, but an identical error):

The discussion thread recommended two main solutions:

  1. Create a bootable DOS USB drive or diskette and install from there
  2. Use Regedit to remove the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SYSTEM ->ControlSet001 -> Services -> DELLBIOS

The bootable disk idea seemed like a pain and not really the right way to go for the future, so I tried the Regedit option.  Here are the instructions:

    • Click on start then run and type "regedit" (without the quotes) in the command line and press enter.
    • Expand and Look for: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> SYSTEM ->ControlSet001 -> Services -> DELLBIOS
    • Go to File/Export and save the key in an REG file.  (I always try to remember to do this.  If your deletion causes problems, you can always load the REG file back into the Registry by double clicking it.)
    • Delete DELLBIOS folder
    • Restart the system
    • Re-flash BIOS

This did the trick.  My guess is that one of my previous attempts at flashing the BIOS had left this key in the Registry for some reason.

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