Flash Dell BIOS to different model

Discussion in 'BIOS Mods' started by d93stc, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. d93stc

    d93stc MDL Novice

    Sep 29, 2012
    So this isn't a bios mod persay, but rather an interesting situation. There seem to be many people on this board knowledgeable about BIOS programming, so I thought I'd ask for some help.

    I have a Vostro 3400 laptop that recently had a motherboard replacement. For whatever reason, the motherboard came incorrectly flashed with a Vostro 3500 bios. Now, the 3400 and 3500 are very similar, so it works, but I'd like to re-flash it to the correct model. I'm having difficulty getting Dell to exchange the motherboard again as the customer service people don't understand the issue and it's not malfunctioning persay, it's just...wrong.

    I downloaded 3400_A10.exe from Dell. When running from Windows or DOS it I get the message:
    "Can't find Rom image to match with Main board."

    Interestingly, I can flash the 3500_A10 just fine...

    I know with some older Dell BIOSes, you could force it to flash using the parameter -forcetype from DOS. That doesn't work with the 3400 BIOS exe. Does anybody know of an equivalent switch I can use? Or some other way to force this thing to flash to the correct model's BIOS?

    Thanks for any help, I really appreciate it!
  2. urie

    urie Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 21, 2007
  3. d93stc

    d93stc MDL Novice

    Sep 29, 2012
    Yup. That's me on another forum. After 2 days of fiddling, I finally figured it out. I'll post the resolution here too in case somebody else runs into the same issue and in case the link on the other forum ever changes.

    I figured this out. What I did...

    Downloaded 3400_A10.exe from Dell and copied it to a DOS bootable USB stick. From DOS, run:

    3400_A10.exe /writeromfile

    This decompressed the bios ROM file (4mb) and wrote it to the USB drive.

    I downloaded AFUDOS.exe from AMI, since the Vostro 3400 uses AMI BIOS. I booted from the USB drive again into DOS and ran:

    AFUDOS.exe /P /X 3400_A10.ROM

    /X tells AFUDOS to not check the BIOS for the correct model number. It flashed the BIOS, I rebooted, and the laptop is now working properly and shows the correct model in the BIOS setup and on the startup screen.