Windows 10: Are todays computers safer to update BIOS?

  1.    07 Feb 2018 #1

    Are todays computers safer to update BIOS?


    I was servicing a new Dell Win10 computer the other day and in the new notification list it was recommended to update the BIOS with a link to do so. I would have done so but over the years I've seen complaints about BIOS update problems sometimes even bricking a computer. Are todays computers safer to update BIOS? If the owner had a system image backup, would it be ok to do that BIOS update?
    --- I sent the owner to Staples because that's where she bought the computer and it was under warranty.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  2.    07 Feb 2018 #2

    Hi,

    Are todays computers safer to update BIOS? If the owner had a system image backup, would it be ok to do that BIOS update?
    Generally speaking, yes absolutely much safer and easier to perform. Basically, the main thing that can render a machine unusable is a power cut off during a flashing of its bios/efi.
    Still, even then almost all modern machine I'm aware of have build-in ways to recover from that situation.

    While having a backup image is always a good thing to have around it won't help in any way to recover from a failed flash update.

    Cheers,
    Last edited by fdegrove; 07 Feb 2018 at 16:33.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    07 Feb 2018 #3

    It's now normally bomb proof the main thing is to backup the BIOS first and this is normally available from the update program
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 18,479
    windows 10 professional version 1607 build 14393.969 64 bit
       07 Feb 2018 #4

    See this link for information about upcoming BIOS changes:
    What Is UEFI, and How Is It Different from BIOS?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    07 Feb 2018 #5

    zbook said: View Post
    See this link for information about upcoming BIOS changes:
    What Is UEFI, and How Is It Different from BIOS?
    That is possibly the worst article about UEFI I've ever read. Short sentences. Incorrect facts. More than 10 words? Time for a new paragraph.

    If OP has a new Dell it is UEFI anyway.

    As @fdegrove said it is pretty safe to upgrade as long as you don't unplug it half way through the 20 second process.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    07 Feb 2018 #6

    Thanks for all of your answers, very good information. I was willing to update the BIOS as requested but I was concerned about the possibility of failure as I've never done a BIOS update.
    --- BTW, should I call it a UEFI update instead of BIOS update?
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 777
    Windows 10 Home x64 and Pro x86
       07 Feb 2018 #7

    Some Dell BIOS/UEFI can be completely overwritten using a flash drive with the latest version on it [Dell issues BIOS updates for these computers as complete, stand-alone .exe files not merely as changes from the last version]. So that does make them both easy to update & readily fixable.

    To decide if a particular Dell computer has this facility - see What is BIOS and How to Check and Update the System Setup or BIOS on Your Dell System Dell UK [section 6 is the core of that document].

    Just by way of example, my Dell Inspiron 7779 has this capability so I can keep the latest BIOS version on a flash drive ready to overwrite the complete BIOS if it all goes down the tubes. [Even though it's UEFI, Dell use the term 'BIOS' in their documentation & in their download lists.] Dell provide a copy of the BIOS on the HDD for the same purpose when such a computer is sold but it remains in its original version so it is not of any use once new versions are issued.

    Neither my Dell Inspiron 1545 [2010] nor my Dell Inspiron 9300 [2005] have this capability.

    I do not know how widespread this re-flashing capability is across different Dell models or across models from other computer makers.

    Please do note that a system image is no protection against a defective or corrupted BIOS. A system image is a backup of the operating system not the contents of the BIOS.

    Denis
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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