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Update BIOS without os installed

Posted on 2009-05-19
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I'm trying to install Win XP on Dell Dimension 8400, during the installation PC crashes with STOP error 0x0000007B. I desided to update the bios to a latest version, how can I flash bios if I dont have os installed? Or may be you can suggest other solution to prevent the pc from crushing?

Thank you!
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Question by:Sergey_Nesterenko
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Lee W, MVP earned 250 total points
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Boot floppy - Dell BIOS updates are usually available as a downloadable boot floppy.  Don't have a floppy drive?  Get a USB one.

As for the 7B, that sounds like inaccessible boot device - BIOS update's almost certainly not going to resolve that - you could have a bad hard drive or controller.  Have you tried a different hard drive and/or a different controller (might need to get a 3rd party controller to install).  You can also try installing Windows 7 Release Candidate to confirm it's not a hardware error and just an incompatibility with XP (are you using your original CD to install?)
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by:Callandor
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Another option is to burn the BIOS image and update program to a bootable CD, if floppy and USB are not possible.
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by:Sergey_Nesterenko
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Yes I'm trying to install from original Dell Win XP CD. The computer had Win 2000 installed on it now I need to install Win XP. I have downloaded BIOS update from Dell website, but its in .exe format, if I copy it to a flash card how can I run it from it?
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by:Lee W, MVP
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Go back and check Dell's web site for another version of the BIOS.  Have you run the EXE?  They can package them in self-extracting EXE files.

And to be clear, you're trying to install from the original Dell XP CD *FOR THIS COMPUTER* - right?  Not one meant for a different Dell computer...
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by:Sergey_Nesterenko
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I'm not sure if this CD is exactly from this particular Dell PC, I have alot of Dell Win XP CDs and they are all the same. The company bought several Dell PCs and all of them had the same XP cds. I went to a Dell website and downloaded the only BIOS file they had. Originally this PC hadWin 2000 installed, it had 2 160GB disks in RAID, making one 320GB HD.
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by:Sergey_Nesterenko
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I found a site www.bootdisk.com it explains how to update BIOS.
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by:Sergey_Nesterenko
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www.bootdisk.com has solutions on how to create boot disk, and as in my case flash BIOS from boot disk.
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by:jamietoner
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I agree with Callandor flashing the bios probably won't fix 7b stop error. Did you load the sata drivers(f6 during setup) or also you can change the sata operation in the bios to ata(ide) mode then no sata ahci driver is required.
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by:Callandor
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>I agree with Callandor flashing the bios probably won't fix 7b stop error.

That wasn't me, that was leew.
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by:jamietoner
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Oops, Leew should have got some to most of the points too.
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by:Callandor
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Well, if he complains about it, I can reopen the question.
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by:Lee W, MVP
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Sergey_Nesterenko,

Please clarify, what aspect(s) of jamietoner's comment resolved the issue for you?
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by:Lee W, MVP
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Guys, I wasn't going to say anything because I just figured "change the sata operation in the bios to ata(ide) mode then no sata ahci driver is required." was what ended up solving the guy's problem... in which case, I deserve nothing.  BUT... if it was more than that, then I would appreciate a split (hence I asked about what exactly resolved the question).

**** Not sure jamietoner can see this, but I wanted to otherwise not make a big deal about it, so I stuck this in a deleted comment ****
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by:Sergey_Nesterenko
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I apologize, if some one can reopen the question I will redistribute the points equally. I have tried all of your suggestions, I have updated BIOS to a latest version and as you said that did not fix the problem, I changed the SATA  operation in BIOS to ATA and at first it looked like it did the job, the installation completed successfully but PC continued crushing as I tried longing in to windows. Thank you everyone for you help.    
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