[SOLVED] Dell E6520 BIOS executable ROM extraction

Discussion in 'BIOS Mods' started by hatdz, Oct 7, 2015.

  1. hatdz

    hatdz MDL Novice

    Sep 28, 2015
    #1 hatdz, Oct 7, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2015
    I have a Dell Latitude E6520 laptop with a corrupt BIOS after a failed/incomplete BIOS update within Windows from version A05 to version A19. Using Phoenixtool256, I have learned that the vendor Dell used for the BIOS type is 'EFI/Insyde'. Although judging from the way the bios on the laptop functions and operates, Dell has clearly made some modifications to its original BIOS system because of the "Secure" nature of the Latitude series from Dell. I know that Insyde BIOS's have a recovery feature built in for emergency recovery of the BIOS and I can confirm that it is there because while pressing the 'END' key and plugging in the laptop's power, the activity light on the inserted USB flash drive lights up showing it is being searched or read for the proper bios rom file.

    Similar to this procedure: http s://ww w.bios-mods.com/bios-recovery/insyde-bios-recovery/
    (Remove spaces for proper link address)

    Here comes the problem. Using the trick with the old Dell BIOS update executables to get the packaged rom file from it no longer works on newer laptop BIOS executables. I'm referring to the CMD command '/writeromfile' and '/writehdrfile' (I know there are some other commands as well). Opening the exe in WinRAR, 7-Zip and Universal Extractor refuses to open the exe file as well. The BIOS file within the executable seems to be well guarded and compressed as Dell obviously didn't want anyone messing with it or extracting it. After countless hours of searching on Google I found a Python script that managed to extract a compressed .HDR file from the BIOS update executable.

    htt p://forums.mydigitallife.net/threads/44785-I-present-you-a-tool-to-decompress-Dell-UEFI-BIOS
    (Remove spaces for proper link address)

    Using the Python script I got the .HDR file from the exe and I thought that's it right? Apparently not, as I tried to use the Insyde recovery procedure, all my attempts with the .HDR file were a failure. (Maybe I had the incorrect file name ???)

    So I have hit a wall. With my limited BIOS knowledge this is as far as I have got. If someone can extract a proper rom file (With the proper file name for it as well) from the executable, I might be able to recover my beloved E6520 laptop with the Insyde recovery procedure.

    Bios exe file: htt p://downloads.dell.com/FOLDER01853343M/1/E6520A19.exe
    (Remove spaces for proper link address)
  2. Synthesis2k2

    Synthesis2k2 MDL Novice

    Jan 7, 2016
    So... what was the fix? I'm basically at the same point you are, and would like to know how everything got wrapped up, on your end.