Friday, December 8, 2023

Beware: The latest BIOS updates might wreck your Dell, Alienware, or Inspiron PC


If you own a Dell PC, you might want to be a bit more careful with installing the latest system updates. According to multiple reports on social media, there’s a new BIOS version that could end up wrecking Dell Latitude 5320 and 5520 laptops, the Inspiron 5680 desktop, and even the Alienware Aurora R8.

There are three specific BIOS versions that are causing issues. On the Dell Latitude 5320 and 5520, the BIOS number comes in at version 1.14.3. On the Dell Inspiron 5680, it comes in at version 2.8.0, and on the Alienware Aurora R8, it’s version 1.0.18. Based on social media accounts, after installing this BIOS version, users report that these systems are unable to boot into Windows. In some cases, users can’t even access their files and other important content.

Over on Dell’s Latitude community, one user complains that after the troublesome BIOS update, turning on a Latitude laptop lights up the power button, but then the system turns off again with an error code. A similar situation is also backed by a Redditor’s own experience with a Latitude laptop. That user mentioned that this specific Latitude 5320 model is quite popular in their organization, and warned there are potentially hundreds of people who might face the issue.

On the Alienware side of things, with the Aurora R8, a user running the Ubuntu operating system on the device reports that after installing problematic BIOS, the system’s hard freezes and crashes. The system also sometimes reboots to an endless automatic repair loop. Using the recovery mode, recovery USB, and Ubuntu recovery stick does not resolve the issue. Though it has not been confirmed, this user specifically believes it could be a motherboard problem, linked to the BIOS update.

Dell has yet to issue an official response on these problems, but according to Tom’s Hardware, the company is no longer offering these BIOS updates on its website. There are also some workarounds for restoring impacted PCs, including downgrading the BIOS. This involves downloading older BIOS on the problematic PC, and creating what’s known as a BIOS recovery tool. Dell offers step-by-step guides and instructional videos on its website, though it is for more experienced users.

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