Dell BIOS Update taking Waaaaay too long?

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Old 03-17-19, 04:17 PM
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Dell BIOS Update taking Waaaaay too long?

I have a Dell Inspiron 3847, about 7 years old, with Windows 10, and about a week ago a notice flashed up during boot-up advising me of a "Critical Update". Opening it up, it seems to be a legitimate Dell Update for System BIOS. It shows the correct Service Tag number, notes that the Dell Update has never been performed since new, and shows (2) Available Updates, one is optional, the other "Critical BIOS". I clicked the BIOS to start it, last week, but after 3 hours of waiting, got impatient, and cancelled it. (The first thing it does is create a Restore Point).

The computer returned to normal operation, so I figured I just wasn't giving it enough time, so I started it again yesterday, but after more than 12 continuous hours, it's still working to update, (and continuing while I write this). The computer runs fine during the process, as I discovered by looking at Task Manager, noting that the App, called "DU.Classic" is only taking 1-3% of CPU capacity, which may explain why it's taking so long.

There's no "progress bar" just a "twirling clock" to indicate progress, and my question is, should it take this long, or is it stuck in an "endless loop"?
 
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Old 03-17-19, 06:36 PM
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Eh, difficult situation-

A) You really DO NOT want to restart or interrupt a BIOS update.

B) I've NEVER heard of a BIOS update flashing a warning, OR actually running in the background, it is usually download, then re-boot and it installs.

I'd go DIRECTLY to the Dell website and download the newest BIOS update

    I'd download the critical Dell BIOS update again, look at the file size, and checksum values; then compare them to what was downloaded earlier.

    If they're off, it could be a file with an error, could be malware, and that's an entirely different problem...
     
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    Old 03-17-19, 08:24 PM
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    Thanks for quick response, Hal. Just to clarify, the notice to update was just a small box that appeared in the lower right corner of the screen. Nothing flashy that would remind you of malware.

    It's still running, as I write, presumably trying to download the file.....tho there's virtually no "Ethernet" activity showing on Task Manager.

    I'll wait to get a few more responses, but I think at this point I'll cancel it and anticipate just going to Dell, like you suggested.

    Thanks!
     
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    Old 03-18-19, 04:45 AM
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    I agree with Hal. If you want to update the computer's BIOS, I would go to http://support.dell.com, enter your service tag number, and download the latest BIOS. I'm guessing that what you're seeing is actually a Windows or driver update.
     
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    Old 03-18-19, 06:31 AM
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    Originally Posted by rstripe
    I'll wait to get a few more responses, but I think at this point I'll cancel it and anticipate just going to Dell, like you suggested.
    Don't reboot yet.

    UNHOOK INTERNET AND BROWSER
    Un hook the computer from the internet ASAP.
    Clear your web browser's cached data, and close the browser.

    SHUT DOWN UNNECESSARY APPS and SERVICES
    Leave any anti-virus programs running. Close any other background processes listed in the taskbar (chrome dropbox etc) then open task manager and close every process that you can, then go to "services" and shut down every service you can, especially "updaters", but leave antivirus services running..

    RUN BASIC VIRUS AND DISK CHECKS THAT DON'T REQUIRE A REBOOT
    NOW run a FULL (but NOT reboot) virus check with your existing antivirus; this checks whether the slow update is from a virus. Repeat if necessary.
    Next, select open file manager, select the hard drive(s) and run the "properties-tools-error checking" error check; this checks whether the slow update is due to a corrupted file. Repeat if necessary.

    MAKE BACKUPS BEFORE YOU REBOOT
    Once both basic virus and basic error checking come back ok; THEN make a dvd system backup AND critical data backup, just in case that partial BIOS update messed with the windows bootup.

    REBOOT TWICE TO RUN DEEP BOOT-VIRUS and DEEP BOOT-ERROR SCANS
    Have your antivirus run a "boot scan", which requires rebooting the computer.
    This should identify any virus issues that caused the slowdown.
    If you find ANY virus problems, I'd briefly hook up the internet to download malwarebytes or another virus REMOVER, then run a full scan and a boot scan.

    After clearing any virus issues, when the computer reboots, open a command prompt and run a "chkdsk /f /r /x" scan (that's F for "fix", R for "relocate" data from bad sectors, /x for "eXit windows". This should identify any disk errors that caused the slowdown.


    IF NO VIRUS OR DISK ERRORS, DOWNLOAD BIOS UPDATE FROM DELL
    Hook up the internet and download the update from Dell website and run the Dell Bios update

    Originally Posted by Bob1425

    If you want to update the computer's BIOS, I would go to http://support.dell.com, enter your service tag number, and download the latest BIOS.
    I'm guessing that what you're seeing is actually a Windows or driver update
    I have NEVER seen a flashing "you must update" alert for an actual BIOS or Windows Update.
    I have ONLY seen flashing "you must update" popups as a result of scammers.

    The service tag is stored as clear text in the BIOS, available to DOS command line query, so any program can probably read it, not just actual Dell updates.
     

    Last edited by Hal_S; 03-18-19 at 07:31 AM.
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    Old 03-18-19, 07:31 AM
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    Dell might call it a “Critical BIOS” update, but it if it were clear exactly what it does, you may not think so. If you have been running for seven years and haven’t had problems it may not be worth the risk to change your BIOS. For example, the update may have something to do with security passwords etc. to access the BIOS, which you may not care about. Or it could even be just adding or correcting the capability for a piece of hardware, which you may not care about.

    As you probably already know, any software update can introduce new problems, even if the quality control is good. (I admit I don’t know what Dell’s track record is.). If this is a legitimate Dell update process, it sounds like it never got past the download and setup stage since there should be a step to interface with you, the user, to authorize the BIOS update and start the update process after the download is complete.

    It wouldn’t give me warm fuzzy to see a “bug” in the actual update process itself, although that doesn’t indicate that the actual update itself is flawed.

    Just my opinion! (but I was a software guy long ago and for a very looonng time –lol)
     
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    Old 03-19-19, 04:19 PM
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    Thank you gentlemen, esp. Hal, for such a detailed recommendation....For the time being, I may leave well enough alone...the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" theory seems appropriate here, inasmuch as the computer continues to operate normally, and tho I have the free versions of Avira, Malwarebytes, and Superantispyware, which I run every week or 2, the only thing I ever get is pesky spyware, on the order of 400 to to 1000 each time I run Superantispyware once a week or so. I get the feeling that the problem is a glitch in the download process on the dell updater app that came with the computer.

    While I'm sure Hal's procedure is sound, I'm not sure of my ability to perform each of those steps without screwing something up, so I'm wondering if, when I get a mind to, just getting the update straight from Dell.....
     
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