Sometimes things just work out right, despite the dark cloud that’s appears to be looming ahead…
I love your newsletter and need some help.
Just received a notice to update bios on my Dell laptop so I downloaded, extracted and ran. Midway through the process, WinPatrol pops up informing of the changes. Here’s the problem, the screen is frozen, touchpad is useless and connecting a mouse does nothing.
Ctrl-alt-delete doesn’t work and computer won’t even power down via switch. For what it’s worth, the OS is Windows Seven.
Am I "SOL" or is there life after a botched bios install?
Wow! I was sure that Scott had just bricked his laptop, but I gave him some options and warnings.
I wrote back to Scott to say:
I haven’t run into that problem, so I can’t advise on it. The following are guesses, which you’ll have to decide for yourself if you want to try these things at your risk. They may make a fixable system into a non-fixable system – or it may already be non-fixable.
When I did BIOS updates on my old Dell laptop, I think they were done from floppy drives at a boot-from-floppy level or from CDROM at a boot-from-CDROM level. If the BIOS update got interrupted, you may have a dead system – I simply don’t know.
You should be able to shut down by either holding the power button for 8-10 seconds or simply pulling the battery out.
If the bios updater works from a floppy drive or a CDROM drive, you may be able to use either to do it. It often is done from a cold boot.
However, I suspect that the BIOS updating process being interrupted has “bricked” your BIOS.
A call to Dell Tech Support may be helpful.
Scott wrote back a couple hours later to report:
Thanks Terry for your quick response. I finally got the guts to pull the battery and was overwhelmed when Windows booted up. Now I’m scared to death to try and update again so I’m seeking more advice.
I wrote back to Scott to suggest some simple precautions:
That’s a happy surprise. If you do the BIOS update again, I’m sure you’ll turn off WinPatrol as well as your antivirus, antimalware and firewall — that’s a good time to be unplugged from the "’net".
One more thing, given that he’s using a laptop, is that I would make sure that the battery is charged and operational – and that he’s using his power adapter when he does the upgrade.
The idea is that the power from the wall socket will be plenty of power to run the machine, but if the power "blips" or the power company picks just that time to make a system change requiring power to be momentarily interrupted, then he’d have the battery to keep the notebook running.