Upgrading the BIOS on a Dell laptop using Fedora 17

A warning: I don’t know what I am doing and this may brick your laptop. So proceed at your own risk.

I noticed that my Dell E4300 was behaving a bit strangely when it came to managing the speed of the CPU. Sometimes it would limit it to 800Hz for an extended period of time and obviously that made it kind of a pain to use. So I thought that maybe the issue had been fixed in a BIOS update (there have been 11 BIOS updates since the one I have on the laptop now) and here’s how I installed it using Fedora 17.

First we need the Dell firmware tools

[maxx@siamese ~]$ sudo yum install firmware-addon-dell

Then we need to figure out what BIOS version we are running

[maxx@siamese ~]$ sudo inventory_firmware
Wait while we inventory system:
 System inventory:
 System BIOS for Latitude E4300 = A13

Then go to Dell’s “Drivers & Downloads” page and look for updates for E4300 BIOS. I found A24 and downloaded the E4300A24.exe file.

Now to run that .exe file and extract the BIOS update we need to install wine:

[maxx@siamese ~]$ sudo yum install wine
[maxx@siamese ~]$ wine E4300A24.EXE  -writehdrfile

This should give you with a file called E4300A24.hdr.

Update the BIOS:

[maxx@siamese ~]$ sudo dellBiosUpdate -u -f E4300A24.hdr

And finally reboot. Upon booting the machine you should see a message about updating the BIOS.

When you are back at a shell check that the BIOS version is right:

[maxx@siamese ~]$ sudo inventory_firmware
Wait while we inventory system:
 System inventory:
 System BIOS for Latitude E4300 = A24

And that’s it.

One Comment

  1. Kjetil says:

    Thanks!

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