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Failed Dell Inspiron 1100 Bios Flash

Posted on 2009-04-08
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
I have an Inspiron 1100 laptop that I was attempting to update the BIOS by using a bootable bios flash CD. The installation seemed to be going normally, but once I hit "Y" to confirm the bios update, the machine showed a transfer bar, the screen went off, and a solid Amber light lit up.

I have removed the battery and all drives. The system will not boot. It only continues to display the solid Amber light. No post codes either. Its just a paperweight with a permanently lit LED. Any suggestions?

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Question by:NAK321
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by:ComputerTechie
ComputerTechie earned 35 total points
ID: 24100587
it sounds like the bios update went  bad the only solution is to have the motherboard replaced or send in to dell.
you could also try http://www.laptoprescue.com/
CT
 
 
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coredatarecovery earned 100 total points
ID: 24130325
Try shorting the cmos clear jumper under the keyboard,
Then boot holding the F1 key down.

See if you get it up and running again.

(When you update the bios, sometimes you have to clear the cmos or it gets confused on bios updates on these dell laptops)
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by:NAK321
ID: 24130368
I was able to locate the CMOS battery but it is soldered into the board. I was not able to see a jumper of any kind on the laptop's motherboard. Do they look different from desktop jumpers?
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by:coredatarecovery
ID: 24130619
yes, they are incredibly tiny.
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by:coredatarecovery
ID: 24130651
If you want to short out the NVRAM (or EEPROM), you have to take the laptop apart (you can download a service manual from Dell) and remove the microprocessor board to get to the EEPROM (erasable-programmable) chip. It's an eight-pin chip marked with 24c02 -- though I've heard it can be a 24u05 or something else that starts with a 24. You have to solder fine wires to the third and sixth pins, then put them together (no more than two seconds per try) to short out the chip after you have powered up the computer. Definitely not for the faint-of-heart or unsteady-of-hand -- though the computer is just a doorstop anyway if you can't get it to boot. You can find more detailed info by doing a Google search using terms like Dell/EEPROM/short/password.
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by:coredatarecovery
ID: 24130687
The above is a last resort. Once you determine it is totally useless to continue.
It may allow you to reload the cmos chip. (partial instructions from a guru in that world)
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by:NAK321
ID: 24130709
Great, I will look up the service manual this afternoon and locate the 24c02/24u05 chip. It most definitely is a doorstop. So, time to break out my soldiering iron. I'll report back with any success (or failures? hah).
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by:coredatarecovery
ID: 24130738
You can look in the manual for the cmos reset jumper too.

The 24c02 chip holds the static password and cmos data, the above instructions were to break the hard coded boot password in the event all else was lost.

Hope it helps you out,
Chuck House
Core Data Recovery
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Author Closing Comment

by:NAK321
ID: 31568183
While this did not fix the laptop (still a doorstop), your answers did provide me with the final tests needed to confirm its death. Great tips and thanks.
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