How to Update the BIOS on a Dell Inspiron

by Gregory Hamel

Dell Inspiron is a series of middle-grade desktop and laptop computers produced by Dell computer aimed at the average consumer. A computer BIOS is a basin input output system which the computer loads to check system devices and load the operating system from the hard drive. Updating BIOS can give the user more options in the BIOS set-up utility or allow a computer to boot and run more smoothly. Dell periodically releases updated BIOS and drivers for its computers. Using Dell's official support site is the best way to update BIOS on a Dell computer.

1

Go to Dell's software support site (see link in Resources).

2

Use Dell's driver support tool to populate a list of updates. You will need to choose one of three options to have Dell's driver support system check for updates: search by your computer's model number, enter your computer's service tag number, or pick your computer type from a list. Using the model number or service tag are generally the easiest. The model number should be printed on the front of the tower near the power button. The service tag will be on the side or back of the computer.

3

Search through the list of updates for any BIOS updates for your computer. Dell's driver updates are categorized by type, so any BIOS updates will have their own category set apart from updates for devices, such as video cards, sound cards and Ethernet cards.

4

Download any BIOS update available, by clicking "Download Now," to the right of the Driver information. Usually the newest update is the best to download.

5

Locate the BIOS file or folder that you downloaded and follow the instructions it contains. You may have to unzip the file if it comes in a compressed state. (Just double click on it to unzip.) Each BIOS update will differ somewhat but generally it will instruct you how to insert a floppy disk to create a bootable BIOS disk, and then instruct you to shut down the computer and boot it up with the BIOS disk in the drive. This will cause the computer to boot from the floppy disk that will install the new BIOS update.

Tip

  • check Downloading and installing BIOS or other driver software from sources other than Dell's official support site can lead to system instability.

Items you will need

About the Author

Gregory Hamel has been a writer since September 2008 and has also authored three novels. He has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from St. Olaf College. Hamel maintains a blog focused on massive open online courses and computer programming.