back to article Dell kills botched BIOS update that murdered punters' PCs

Dell has finally 'fessed up about the BIOS update that borked some customers' PCs, and advised punters to do what many have tried so far without any success – contact its tech troubleshooters for resolution. Complaints about the release first emerged a week ago after Dell owners of the Inspiron 20 model 3052 and 20 3252 …

  1. m0rt Silver badge

    "The business has yet to tell us why this happened."

    Because the bios updates made the computers sad?

    1. asdf Silver badge

      golf clap

      Wow Dell is showing how (for some) there are worse things than the Intel AMT cockup. Which I am guessing why this bios update is being pushed out in the first place.

  2. Stuart 22

    Dell Orange is the new Blag

    Only this isn't new. I used to have a range of Optiplex's. At around 5 or 6 years many of them refused to boot with that orange light.

    I'm pretty sure when I checked the manual it said "Thank you for choosing Dell. Its now time to choose a new one". I didn't.

    Sorry.

    1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: Dell Orange is the new Blag

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague

      Still the number one thing I look out for when opening up a stricken Dell pc.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dell Orange is the new Blag

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague

        Still the number one thing I look out for when opening up a stricken Dell pc.

        Ah yes. At some point in the misty past, the 100 or so Optiplex GX270 boxes under my tender care have received well over 200 motherboard transplants between them over their 4-year warranty, all due to the leaky/exploding caps. After a while, we cut a time-saving deal: they'll ship me couple of dozen new motherboards in advance, I'll swap them myself as the new patients arrived, and ship back the lot. Rinse and repeat.

        Luckily, GX270 motherboards were extremely easy to swap - with practice, who can perform the entire operation in well under 5 minutes.

        1. soulrideruk Bronze badge

          Re: Dell Orange is the new Blag

          Oh, that recall brings back memories....

      2. Montreal Sean

        Re: Dell Orange is the new Blag

        Cap leakage is also the first thing I look for on Lenovo or HP desktops that act strangely.

        At some point they were all affected, and all the caps came from the same manufacturer. I seem to remember them all being identifiable by an X on the top?

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Dell Orange is the new Blag

          "I seem to remember them all being identifiable by an X on the top?"

          The "X" scored into the top is a designed in safety measure to allow the top to bow out and, if necessary, rupture rather than explode. Nothing to do with fakes.

          1. TheMidnighToker

            Re: Dell Orange is the new Blag

            some caps have a K rather than an X - they're my favourite flavour :)

  3. James O'Shea Silver badge
    Coat

    Dude

    You've been gotten by Dell.

  4. hellwig Silver badge

    Automatic Updates

    And companies like Microsoft wonder why people aren't happy with forced automatic updates?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone with half a brain cell leaves all in ones well alone anyway, nasty things.

  6. Herby Silver badge

    Quality? Assurance?

    Sure, we've heard of that somewhere. We've also heard of testing as well.

    Just words to Dell.

    Than again, we've also heard of excuses, and we got lots of those.

    1. bob, mon!

      Re: Quality? Assurance?

      Than again, we've also heard of excuses, and we got lots of those.

      Reading the end of the article, it would seem there was a dearth of those, as well.

  7. Number6

    My Dell laptop keeps prompting me to install an update and I've been putting it off all week because I don't want to reboot the machine and it will probably want to do that. Perhaps this is a good thing. Or does the dodgy update only bork desktops?

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Better ask them.

      Find out what update is liable to be installed and whether you want it to be. It says they aren't distributing this one any more, but that may not help when you've already downloaded the file.

      Presumably if the bad software killed every machine it touches then they wouldn't have released it... but it may be Russian Roulette.

  8. wrangler

    "contact tech support"

    Who will do what?

    1. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

      Who will do what?

      The Dell online tech support will tell you whether or not the machines are still under warranty or not. If it's under warranty and "your business is very important to Dell. You have now been placed in the queue. Your call will be answered <PAUSE>, <PAUSE> four days and <PAUSE>, seven hours. Thank you for choosing Dell over those losers."

      Please don't ask whatever is going to happen if your machine is not covered under warranty. Right now there is probably a bloodbath inside Dell between Legal, Finance, Logistics.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Right now there is probably a bloodbath inside Dell between Legal, Finance, Logistics.

        Which Finance will win by mustering their Troll armies to point out that they pay the wages of all the other departments..

  9. Walter Bishop Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Dell has yet to tell us why this happened

    'Dell .. has yet to tell us why this happened'

    The Indian Intern misplaced a decimal point?

  10. Mr Dogshit Silver badge

    Nasty

    Nasty kit, with great big bits of green plastic inside, like a Qualcast lawnmower.

    Two stories:

    - Worked at a place that did a generator test every Wednesday. Every time they did this, at least two or three PCs would pop a capacitor on the board, thus requiring a replacement board. For security reasons, each PC was tied down to each network socket by its MAC address. Change the board, you change the MAC address. That was administered by the Comms guys, who would take two days to set it up again.

    - In another job, one of my colleagues noticed certain PCs we’d bought were really slow. He got some benchmarking software and proved that a certain batch of PCs with a certain flavour of disks in them was much slower than the rest. In the end a firmware update for the disks fixed it – but the point is we as the customer had to bring it to the attention of clueless Dell.

    And that’s what you get when you buy your componnents from a random supplier at a Dutch auction every day.

  11. HarryR

    Is My Latitude 13 at risk? Dell also bricked my Nexus 9

    This article has revealed my Latitude 13 is at risk. The warranty expired 3 months ago with quote of £400 to extend for 3 years. It originally cost £1400 so have so far not extended but with growing realisation that I'm stuffed if anything stops working. Now I realise it could be killed at any time by a Dell update.

    The same thing happened to my Nexus 9 sometime ago. I was notified of a security update which I immediately downloaded only for my Nexus 9 to fail to boot. Turned out this was a KNOWN issue for Nexus 9 as I found complaints from users already posted but not solutions from Dell. My 1 year warranty had expired a month previously, well AFTER other users had been having problems yet Dell had continued distribution of the sec update and without warnings or notifications to owners of pre-download precautions to take. Seemed to affect some Nexus 9s according to which motherboard they'd been built with.

    My contacts with Dell and later HTC were educational. Neither had the slightest interest in the problem. Got a telephone call from a 'Johnathon' with a promise to call me back but never did, or respond to my attempts to contact him. Otherwise, Dell's solution was to contact HTC for repair. HTC had no interest even though I was willing to pay for a fix.

    I recommend all support dealings are recorded so if nothing else you can release an account on social media.

    Up to that time I was very happy with my Nexus 9 as a travelling companion. I had deliberately bought the Google flagship tablet with vanilla Android specifically to ensure reliability and timely and regular updates.

    In fact it only got Android 6 long after other brands like Samsung. And was broken by a security update. So not a success.

    My problem then was should I buy another Nexus 9 for travel? I asked Dell via Twitter/Facebook what precautions I could take to stop it happening again. Ignored.

    Have now heard that security updates will be discontinued for Nexus 9 from Sept 2017 so I am now considering a Pixel C. Another £500 computer. What if they do the same to that? Why is Google breaking it's own h/w with s/w updates? Are they not testing updates before release? An owner cannot sensibly decline a security update from the manufacturer of the OS.

    Don't they known the configuration of my tablet and that similarly configured tablets have recently been bricked by the same security update? When will sec updates for Pixel C continue until? Google's lack of professionalism is revealed. And HTC's - but I can much more easily dump HTC than I can Google.

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