Dell XPS Studio 1640 Bios update problems through Phoenix Recovery

Discussion in 'BIOS Mods' started by Jon1972, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. Jon1972

    Jon1972 MDL Novice

    Jan 20, 2010
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    Hi,

    I have managed to brick my Dell XPS Studio 1640 while updating to A12, such that I get the flashing lights above the keyboard when I switch on, which I believe are the POST diagnosis lights.

    I have reached a dead end in how to fix it, and I was hoping someone here has managed to recover their BIOS on the 1640, or might be able to point me in the right direction.

    I have read many useful threads on this site in how to recover the standard BIOS, and have so far:
    * Created a USB stick using the Phoenix Crisis Recovery software (wincris.exe) using the A11 BIOS extracted using the new version of 7zip and renamed to BIOS.WPH.
    * Booted into the recovery mode (by holding down the End key while plugging the AC adapter in - this causes the side lights to show a red/orange colour, and my USB stick to glow.) (Presumably it's not possible to enable the video?)

    It looks like it's reading something for a few seconds, as the USB stick flashes, but nothing else happens. I've tried various phlash16.exe versions (and then rebuilt the drive) but each time the same happens, even after leaving it for about 20mins for each attempt.

    If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, that would be amazing!

    Many thanks for your help,
    J
     
  2. wuhoatu

    wuhoatu MDL Member

    Apr 24, 2009
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    #2 wuhoatu, Jan 22, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
  3. Jon1972

    Jon1972 MDL Novice

    Jan 20, 2010
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    Wow, thanks wuhoatu! That did the trick!

    It really does seem dependant on the version of plash16.exe that you use. For those that are interested (and this is taken from the readme in the archive wohoatu kindly posted) it has to be version 1.7.0.18 (154,381 bytes). I had tried about 11 other versions, but these don't work.

    Thanks again.

    J
     
  4. fatherjack85

    fatherjack85 MDL Novice

    Mar 6, 2010
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    Just wanted to add my thanks for this. I was able to restore my Studio 15 1557 i7 laptop after a bad flash using these instructions. Only change of course was that I ran the 1557_A04.exe under Virtual PC and grabbed the bios1.wph from my windows profiles temp folder (replacing the bios.wph provided in the downloaded phlash16 folder)
     
  5. kizwan

    kizwan MDL Member

    Mar 6, 2010
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    Recovered from failed BIOS update

    Thank you so much wuhoatu. You're one of my life saver. Your post is one of the many posts I refer to recover my laptop, Dell Studio 1557.
    No. 5 is identical to what happen to my laptop during recovery process.

    kizwan
     
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  6. kizwan

    kizwan MDL Member

    Mar 6, 2010
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    When you got the bad flash, were you trying to update BIOS from A03 to A04? On Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit?

    I noticed you recovered your laptop using BIOS ver A04. I recovered with A03. Is there any improvements you experiences with A04 compare to A03? How about temperature (both CPU & GPU)? Can you play full screen HD video at youtube without windows crashing?

    kizwan
     
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  7. fatherjack85

    fatherjack85 MDL Novice

    Mar 6, 2010
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    I was going from A03 to A04 on Windows 7 Pro x64. Other than that our hardware is the same. I have not been monitoring the temperatures but I'd say it seems slightly cooler in the trackpad area. I do have the extended battery so the whole thing is raised at the back which no doubt affects how hot it gets.

    I fixed the flash crashing issue after installing leaked catalyst 10.3 drivers and the latest flash 10.1 beta
     
  8. jimlad

    jimlad MDL Novice

    Mar 16, 2010
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    Can someone help me with this, i bricked my Dell 1557 laptop flashing from A03 to A04, i have downloaded the files in the guide, but non of the files seem to do anything... help !
     
  9. wuhoatu

    wuhoatu MDL Member

    Apr 24, 2009
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    The most important file - your original bios file - is not contained in the crisis archieves.
     
  10. abdulwahab17

    abdulwahab17 MDL Novice

    Mar 29, 2010
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  11. kizwan

    kizwan MDL Member

    Mar 6, 2010
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    Hi abdulwahab17,

    Yours should not be any different. It should work with included phlash16.exe. On my studio 1557, it only have two LEDs; one power button LED, another is battery indicator LED (lit up when charging or discharging. The power button LED should remain off while in the recovery process. The only LED should lit is battery indicator LED with RED light (battery is NOT plug-in).

    I don't know if it is related, if you have a combo port, which are usb & e-sata in one port, try plug-in USB bootable drive to this port & try again.

    kizwan
     
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  12. Springs

    Springs MDL Novice

    Jul 14, 2010
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    Hi, I recently bricked my Dell Studio 1749 Windows 7 64 laptop.

    I've followed the above instructions and downloaded the crisis recovery files and replaced thee bios with the 1749A04_w64.exe one however I'm still getting no joy when trying to restore the bios. The screen remains blank, fans are working but no green or red indicator lights to tell that its working.

    If it helps I have to retreive the rom file from c:\windows\temp\winphlash because the exe file fails to execute (I don't know if this is because i'm working on a 32 bit system to get the neccessary files) and then rename the .rom file to .wph.

    Could it be down to the correct Phlash16.exe version?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  13. kizwan

    kizwan MDL Member

    Mar 6, 2010
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    Hi Springs, putting EXE file in the CRISIS disk will not work. You are correct to obtain the rom file from the temporary folder. Then, you should rename the rom file to BIOS.WPH file. Put BIOS.WPH file in the CRISIS disk. What year your notebook manufactured/released? If it is 2009/2010, the included phlash16.exe should be working for your notebook too.
     
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  14. Springs

    Springs MDL Novice

    Jul 14, 2010
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    Hi Kizwan, yes my laptop was manufactured 2010.

    These are the steps that i follow to try to recover the bios:

    1) download the crisis recovery files from this thread.
    2) download the bios 1749A04_W64.exe
    3) run the exe file - which extract the files to the winphlash director (however complains about not being able to run the winplash64.exe - i think this is just down to being on 32bit system).
    4) extract the crisis recovery files and add the bios.rom file.
    5) rename the bios.rom file to bios.wph
    6) rename the recovery folder to Crisis_Recovery and move to C:\
    7) run wincris.exe as administrator to transfer files to usb drive.
    8) plug in usb to laptop, hold the end key whilst plugging in the ac adapter.
    9) USB is read my computer - power indicator remains white and constant fans remain constant but there is still a blank screen.

    Hope this helps in the diagnosis. Thanks again for replying.
     
  15. Springs

    Springs MDL Novice

    Jul 14, 2010
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    Hi Kizan,

    Just like to say thanks for your help, its all working now. The problem wasn't to do with the usb boot files it, i just didn't give it enough time to work, as with previous tries i've given up after about 1 minute. I was about to switch it off again and its restarted! All working fine now!

    An important note, if anyone has a dell studio 1749 do not abort the restore if there is no change to the power indicator light I think the green/ red is dell model specific.

    Just like to say thanks to everyone in this thread for all your help!
     
  16. kizwan

    kizwan MDL Member

    Mar 6, 2010
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    @Springs, you're in the right direction. Yes, during recovery process, the display will remain blank (no output). Recovery process is an automatic process. It will take roughly 5 minutes, maybe less. Just to be safe, let it run for 15 minutes & don't press any key on keyboard. When it finished, your computer will automatically reboot to working condition. Please observe these behaviour:-
    1) While pressing End key, plug-in the power cord to your computer - your computer will automatically turned ON
    2) FAN is running like in full speed
    3) USB flash drive blinking, like computer is reading something (maybe less than a minute) & stop
    4) When the USB flash drive stop blinking, LED indicator at you computer start blinking - this is when BIOS flash/recovery occured
    Please confirm above condition. For no. 4, pay attention to any LED indicator available on your computer. It probably start with amber or red light & when BIOS recovery finished, it will turn to white light.

    Observed carefully.
     
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  17. kizwan

    kizwan MDL Member

    Mar 6, 2010
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    Congratulation! :D
     
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  18. Springs

    Springs MDL Novice

    Jul 14, 2010
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    #18 Springs, Jul 14, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2010
    Hi Kizan,

    I followed the above instructions very closely, however i did press the enter key after the usb had stopped flashing for 20 seconds or so but before the sytem lights all flashed on and then off (starting from left - to right) and then it restarted. The power indicator on the right side of the laptop did nothing just remained constantly on and white.

    The laptop is working fine now but because i pressed the enter key should I be worried? Does this mean that the bios has installed incorrectly?

    Also while just before I forget this nightmare even happend are all the dell studio laptop bios manufactured by phoneix, if its helps my original bios had the dell logo screen when booting up.
     
  19. kizwan

    kizwan MDL Member

    Mar 6, 2010
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    You don't have to worry about it. I believe the BIOS recovered correctly.

    Can you search in the Event Viewer for any error message regarding the Embedded Controller (EC)? I believe it is related to the BIOS flash failure you experienced earlier. If the error message does appeared in the Event Viewer (pay attention to when it occured), you can try "reset" the Embedded Controller to fix it.
    Example error message:-
    Please follow this steps to "reset" the Embedded Controller:-
    1. Turn notebook OFF with button, hold 4 seconds. (I think just normal shutdown will do.)
    2. Remove recharge plug
    3. Remove battery
    4. Leave it like this for about 5 minutes.
    5. Put everything back and power the laptop again.
    I found the solution over here - hxxp://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/laptop/f/3518/p/19293505/19549078.aspx. As you see, there are no "weird" steps you need to do, so it should be safe.

    I got the same error in Event Viewer on my Studio 1557 with original motherboard. I got the motherboard replaced with new one because it produced beeps sound without any error message during power ON which also I believe caused by it. There have been another 1557s owner reporting about the same error. They experinced lockup/freeze for unknown reason with their notebook. However, I haven't experienced with system freeze or blue screen with my Studio 1557 yet since I bought it earlier this year. :D
     
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  20. Springs

    Springs MDL Novice

    Jul 14, 2010
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    Hi Kizwan,

    I checked the event viewer and your correct there was an error message exactly the same as the one you described here it is again:

    : The embedded controller (EC) did not respond within the specified timeout period. This may indicate that there is an error in the EC hardware or firmware or that the BIOS is accessing the EC incorrectly. You should check with your computer manufacturer for an upgraded BIOS. In some situations, this error may cause the computer to function incorrectly.

    Also I have experienced one system freeze, It was when firefox and tried to bring up task manager with no success, I had to hold the power button to switch off the laptop.

    How does the embedded controller relate to the original bios update failure?
    Also I was wondering if I have installed the correct type of bios as I have read that dell uses both award and phoneix bios for its systems - the current one that is installed is a dell phoneix is that correct?