How to Upgrade the BIOS on a Dell Inspiron Mini

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Gone are the days when updating the basic input/output system, or BIOS, on a computer meant booting to floppy disks and using DOS commands to update the hardware controller on your system. Flashing, or updating, your BIOS software is an important element of computer maintenance, and it used to be a procedure reserved for technicians and tech support experts. No more: Dell's BIOS update software is easy to use, and you can update the BIOS on your Inspiron Mini quickly on your own.

  • Open a new browser window and head to the Dell Support Drivers and Downloads site at Support.dell.com. Click on "Enter Your Tag," and then enter your Dell Service Tag from the base of your Inspiron laptop. If you don't want to flip your laptop over because you have too many devices plugged in, you can choose to select your particular Mini from a list by clicking "Select Model." You're best served to enter your service tag, though, since Dell Support matches your tag to a download specific to your system. Click "Submit" to continue.

  • Choose your operating system and language if the fields aren't filled in for you. Then click the "Category" arrow, choose "BIOS" and make sure "Importance" is set to "All." Look in the following list to find the most recent BIOS update, and then click the "Download" button. Since the download is a program file, your system might give you a message trying to block the download. Make sure to accept the file.

  • Close all programs and save your work, as updating the BIOS involves resetting your computer. Disconnect all of your nonessential peripherals -- including a webcam, printer or even an external mouse.

  • Browse to the folder where you saved the file in Step 2. Double-click on the downloaded BIOS update file to launch the program. Each download page on Dell Support has driver-specific installation instructions, which you can follow to ensure the best results for your particular mode. Inspiron Mini BIOS updates all adhere to a similar process.

  • Click "Continue" on the Dell BIOS Flash screen to begin the installation. Then click "OK" to accept the reboot warning. Your computer reboots, and the Dell BIOS upgrade software automatically updates the BIOS software. Then your computer reboots a second time to complete the installation. When your system boots back to the Windows desktop as normal, the BIOS update is complete and you can use the computer.

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