Dell XPS 9530 UEFI BIOS Recovery

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Dell-XPS-18

Dell recently released a new BIOS for the XPS 9530, A09. This BIOS is mainly for Windows 10 compatibility, but I always like to keep my system up to date. This time however, things didn’t go so well and the BIOS updater program actually threw an error about 20 seconds in during the erase procedure and crashed! This is bad news. Upon rebooting my XPS 9530, I got nothing but a black screen with no backlight, zero life. This was kind of expected, the UEFI firmware has been corrupted and therefore the laptop is now a semi-bricked zombie. Fortunately, the XPS 9530 does have a BIOS recovery procedure even when a bad flash occurs, here I’ll share with you how I recovered my XPS 9530 without having to swap out my system board or call Dell.

Note: This is a very specific procedure for a specific model of Dell laptop, while similar procedures may work for others, this information is only for the Dell XPS 9530. Also be aware any type of flashing procedure always carries the risk of failure and may cause further problems if done incorrectly. Use this information at your own risk, if you don’t feel confident or have an active warranty, call Dell technical support or see assistance from a I.T professional.

Your mileage may also vary in terms of successful recovery as this is an undocumented recovery method, but if your out of warranty and are confident in BIOS flashing related areas, I hope this information is useful to you.

What you need

  • USB flash drive
  • Your Dell AC adaptor
  • Another Windows machine to obtain the HDR and ROM files
  • Specific Dell BIOS Updater EXE for XPS 9530
  • Finger nails (so you can sit and bite them, while you watch)

Extracting the HDR and ROM files

First you need to obtain the Dell BIOS updater EXE for the XPS 9530. The version of BIOS you grab is important. It seems that the recovery process only recognises the version present on the flash chip, even if the BIOS is corrupted. Its a bit confusing, but scroll down a bit to see my notes on this point, hopefully it explains the requirements. Once you’ve done that, continue with following this section to extract the required BIOS version files needed.

Dell generally keep the older versions of the BIOS updater EXE programs around on their download servers, but sometimes don’t make them easy to find. Luckily various sites tend to index these locations and if you search the exact filename in search engines this tends to yield there locations on the Dell’s download servers.

I have also created a mirror of these files in case Dell removes them from their download server in the future.

Once you’ve downloaded the BIOS updater executable you require, rather than opening up the application, your actually going to open it via Command Prompt. A undocumented feature is that you can run the BIOS updater with additional parameters. Some of the parameters may not be applicable to all Dell BIOS packages, but in this case the two parameters were concerned about are writehdrfile and writeromfile, which extracts the files we need for recovery.

Open Command Prompt (ideally Run as Administrator) you can either cd to the directory the EXE is in or specify the full path in Command Prompt.

"C:\path\to\9530A??.exe" /writehdrfile /writeromfile

The question marks are placeholders for the updater EXE version you downloaded. For example, for the A08 BIOS the actual command would be:

"9530A08.EXE" /writehdrfile /writeromfile

If there are any variations in the EXE name, make sure to change it before running the command.

Also make sure the updater EXE is not on a UNC/network path (avoid Folder Redirection paths), as the extraction will fail, stick to local disk locations.

If the command is successful the Command Prompt window will just enter onto a new line without any feedback and you should have a .hdr and .rom file called 9530a?? (version number will vary) or something similar in the same directory the updater EXE is in.

Renaming the files

You now need to rename both files to a very specific name, otherwise it won’t be recognised by the recovery process, the name is also dependant on the version of BIOS you’ve extracted. The filename required is VAUB0???, all capital letters and that’s a zero (0) in there not the letter “O”. The question marks are placeholders for the version of BIOS you’ve actually extracted, so if it was A08 it the complete name would be VAUB0A08, if its A09 it would be VAUB0A09 and so on. You should rename both the HDR and ROM file to these names, keeping the original file extension in tact.

If your curious, you can use a tool like Andy P (MDL) Phoenix-Insyde-EFI SLIC Tool to analyse the BIOS files embedded within the Dell BIOS updater exe, here you view various details about the files along with the all important recovery filename required.

The recovery filename comes from the system board part number VAUB0, this will never change, the only variable is the BIOS version.

Prepare the USB drive

You should format the USB drive with FAT or FAT32, you can use the built in Windows format tool to do this. You don’t have to label your USB drive with any specific it can be anything or blank. Once this is done you’ll need to copy the renamed HDR and ROM files to the USB stick, they are small files so it will take a mere few seconds. Once this is done, safely eject the drive and unplug it from your machine. Ideally you’ll want to plug the USB drive into the second USB port on the right side of the XPS 9530 (The one next to the SD card slot). The reason for this is because sometimes USB 3.0 ports can be iffy with procedures like this, the second port on the right is USB 2.0 and is generally more reliable for reading/booting off especially in such basic recovery environments. This may not be an absolute requirement, just something I’ve learnt over the years for other areas.

Flashing the firmware through the BIOS recovery mode

A member on reddit posted a similar experience with a failed A09 update on the XPS 9530 and details the recovery procedure, credit to him for highlighting this somewhat hidden recovery mode.

  1. If your AC adaptor is already plugged in remove it now, make sure the laptop is also completely powered off.
  2. If not done already, plug in the USB drive into the mentioned USB slot of your XPS 9530, don’t power it on.
  3. Hold down the END key (Right arrow) on the keyboard and plug in the AC adaptor
  4. Your XPS 9530 should boot up on its own without you touching the power button, the power button will start flashing and the fans on the XPS 9530 will spin at full speed, this is normal and will remain in this state throughout the entire process
  5. You can now release pressing down on the END/Right arrow key button
  6. Now wait…

The screen will remain blank during this initial stage. If your USB stick has a indicator LED it should start flashing showing its being read and after about 5 – 10 seconds your screen should come to life and you should see the Dell logo briefly followed by the flash utility. If you don’t see the flash utility below and your screen remains blank, this means the BIOS recovery file was not loaded. This can occur for several reasons, see my notes below.

WP_20150809_001

If the flash utility does appear your UEFI Firmware/BIOS will now be flashed automatically. It should be obvious, but don’t interrupt this process at all. Don’t remove the USB drive, don’t power off the XPS 9530 and don’t even touch the keyboard! It took about a minute or so for me, but let it run. Your XPS 9530 should then power off and power on again automatically and if successful you’ll see the Dell logo appear upon power on, which is a good sign as you’ve just done a normal boot and the fact the Dell logo appeared shows the UEFI firmware is back in business and your laptop is no longer semi-bricked.

Tap F2 to get to the BIOS setup to confirm. You’ll notice that the settings are set to defaults, this is because the NVRAM was cleared and rewrote during the flash. You’ll need to adjust them to how they were before, in some cases your XPS 9530 might not even boot to Windows any more until their values are set properly again. You can now unplug the USB drive, knowing that you’ve got the firmware and BIOS flashed successfully.

Inaccessible boot device/Bitlocker issues

I happen to use full disk encryption with Bitlocker on my XPS 9530 and this caused some problems after recovering my BIOS/Firmware. On the first boot after the normal UEFI Dell logo splash, I got the Bitlocker recovery screen, wanting my recovery key.

WP_20150809_002

My recovery ID was not blank, I have removed it from the photo

After putting this in, the drive “unlocked” but then I got a BSOD with INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE and got into a reboot loop each time entering my recovery key. I’d lost various settings previously stored in the NVRAM including TPM settings and other areas, so I re-enabled TPM in my BIOS, I also set the SATA mode to AHCI (as it was previously) and rebooted, again I got the Bitlocker recovery screen and the same BSOD. Eventually after third Bitlocker recovery screen I went to Advanced Boot options instead of trying to boot normally and chose Safe Mode, my XPS 9530 then booted to Windows in Safe Mode. I logged into the machine with a local user account. I then restarted from within Windows and this time normal boot worked. I guess Bitlocker was slightly confused about my SSD and a link needed to be re-established.

After my first normal boot, I saw the Windows login screen again, what a lovely sight, logged in and I was back up and running again.

WP_20150809_007

Additional notes/experiences on the flashing procedure

Below are my additional notes on the whole process to provide additional information on various areas based on feedback and different situations.

USB Drive requirements

I don’t know the exact requirements for the USB drive, but I tested a 16 GB and 32 GB SanDisk USB drive formatted to FAT32, it doesn’t need to be a bootable DOS drive or anything like that. The large GB size is completely overkill and not required, its just the first ones I had to hand. The USB drive literally just need to be formatted to FAT/FAT32 to place two specific files on it. This is what the BIOS recovery process will attempt to look for during a recovery boot. A USB drive with a LED indicator is advisable so you can see if it is being read from for troubleshooting.

In addition, in some cases the flashing procedure doesn’t start simply because the XPS 9530 rejects the USB drive for whatever reason. If you are having problems getting the flash utility to appear try different USB drives.

AC Adaptor

You will need your AC adaptor as part of booting the laptop into a specific recovery mode because and its different than just turning on your laptop with the power button. An original Dell 130W power brick would be advisable, but its likely any compatible adaptor will work.

HDR and ROM files

In order to obtain the BIOS files required, ideally you need another Windows machine, any will do. You can also use a virtual machine if your stuck. The reason being is you need to run the Dell BIOS updater EXE with Command Prompt to obtain the HDR and ROM files. Though it is also possible to extract the HDR file with Linux, Dell published a tool called extract_hdr, you can also potentially use WINE to emulate a Windows environment and use the same command line switches detailed above.

Depending on the BIOS you had previously or attempted to flash, the version you use for recovery is important. In fact, the recovery process doesn’t appear recognise any other version of the BIOS file unless it matches what is on the flash chip. The recovery process appears to be possible, because a certain part of the BIOS is likely protected from being written over and keeps a basic recovery environment available for this situation, even when bricked. It appears to need the same version that’s on the flash chip provided to it. So for example you can’t flash version A08 in recovery when you have a failed A09 flash. Despite failing, if it managed to at least flash something, its will only recognise A09.

Use this as a general guide to find out what updater EXE you need:

  • If the process failed during the erase stage – Use the updater EXE that matches the BIOS version you had before the upgrade
  • If the process failed during the flash before rebooting – Use the updater EXE that you attempted to flash with
  • If the process failed after rebooting – Use the updater EXE that you flashed with

If in doubt, try different versions.

Successful recovery rates

This process worked for me, but its not guaranteed it will work for all attempts by others like any BIOS flashing procedure. There are a lot of factors to contribute to it working or not. I think one area that is apparent is badly messed up the UEFI BIOS/Firmware is and what state your XPS 9530 is left in, in some cases a software recovery may not be possible and only a hardware fix i.e. replacing the BIOS chip/system board will work. It seems if you can at least power on your XPS 9530 normally with the power button after a bad flash, there is hope. If you can’t power it on without removing the battery, then you seem to be out of luck and require the hardware route to fix it.

Undocumented recovery procedure

Unfortunately while the XPS 9530 does to have this BIOS recovery mode, it is completely undocumented publicly, however the utility seems to be the official way to reflash your BIOS, after all its part of the firmware. As stated earlier, your mileage may vary in terms of successful recovery.

It could be very much dependant on how badly bricked your XPS 9530 is. If you still can’t recover, I’d suggest contacting Dell, if your in warranty, they’ll likely replace your motherboard, while overkill, its the easiest way to replace the BIOS flash chip without having to do some soldering work. Dell’s technicians probably aren’t trained to actually solder systems! If your out of warranty, you’ll have to pay Dell for the repair or if you have decent soldering skills, you could buy a pre-programmed BIOS chip for the XPS 9530, remove the current BIOS chip and solder the new one onto your motherboard. Obviously this isn’t for the faint of heart! Alternatively you can also buy a refurbished motherboard and do a system board swap, it can cost however.

Did it work for you?

I’d be interested in finding out of anything in this article allowed you to recovery your XPS 9530 from a bad flash, as this was an entirely learning as I went exercise. If you’ve had a similar experience or are having problems, sounds off in the comments and I’ll do my best respond!

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  • Hung

    I am facing many problem with bios A09. So, I follow your instructions as following:
    1. Make USB with 2 file VAUB0A09.hdr, VAUB0A09.rom
    2. Insert USB and press End Key
    3. Insert AC
    4. Black screen in many minutes …
    So please help me !

    • Try other BIOS versions such as A08, A07 etc. The recovery method may not work for all bricked XPS 9530. If you can’t get the flash utility to appear, consider calling Dell Technical Support or if your out of warranty, consider getting a replacement motherboard or seeking advice from a I.T professional.

    • Arkadiusz Miśkiewicz

      @Hung: what problems did you see on A09?

  • Rick

    Facing some issues:

    Make USB file with VAUB0A09.hdr, VAUB0A09.rom, VAUB0A08.hdr, VAUB0A08.rom, VAUB0A07.hdr, VAUB0A07.rom, VAUB0A06.hdr, VAUB0A06.rom, VAUB0A05.hdr, VAUB0A05.rom, VAUB0A04.hdr, VAUB0A04.rom (Each on different attempts).

    – Insert USB into USB next to the SD card reader.
    – Press End key and connect AC.
    – Recovery appears only with files VAUB0A07.hdr, VAUB0A07.rom, computer shutdowns, tries to turn on again but it goes off and nothing else happens. With all other files the computer just goes ON, fans at all speed but no video.

    – Reset the CMOS and the battery, try several times and with no luck.
    – Tried with and without CMOS and Battery.
    – If I try to turn it on just by pressing the power button, it does nothing.
    – Interesting is that, this MOBO that I have has been replaced 5 times now, at this point I’ve lost all hopes.

    I’ll wait for a new BIOS update cuz I’ve even reset all internal components, swap RAMs, try different power cord, different DC connector, different RAM, no luck :'(

    • The BIOS recovery only recognises a specific version, in your case its A07. All the other versions not working is actually normal.

      A BIOS update won’t do anything now, your system board is dead and will need replacing, the fact that the power button doesn’t even work indicates its seriously bricked.

      • Rick

        Thanks for your reply James.

        Just a quick update, I ordered a new MOBO, replaced it and now everything is working fine except for the battery, I think it died when the MOBO issue happened, I will have to order a new one soon.

        Thanks!

  • Kamal Masarweh

    Hello. Unfortunately I also faced the same problem while trying to flash the A09 BIOS update.
    After completing the install process, I got a blue screen showing a problem with the video driver, and then the laptop rebooted. It was thenstuck in a black screen, the power button is lit, and the fans were working at full power for about 2-3 hours. I couldn’t turn it off at all, the power button wasn’t responding.
    I tried to go through the unbricking process, but it didn’t work.I actually succeeded to get to the stage where the BIOS got updated once again, but after a reboot, the power button kept flashing, and it got into a boot loop process.
    i tried repeating the process , but it doesn’t seem to recognize the USB again.

    Is there anything I can do before sending it to DELL?
    Thanks

    • Sending it back to Dell appears to be the only option for you now. It would appear your system board needs replacing and is beyond software based recovery.

      • Kamal Masarweh

        UPDATE:
        I got my MB replaced, and I received one updated with A09.
        After less than 24 hours, the motherboard died again. Pressing the Power button makes the button turn on for 5 seconds and then it turns off. Even if I didn’t make any changes to the BIOS, I decided to try this method once again on the newer MB, and guess what, it worked! I also encountered the INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE problem which was fixed by changing the settings in the BIOS.
        The problem now is that it refuses to go to Sleep mode or to shut down entirely. Each time I try to send it into sleep mode or shut it down, the laptop restarts, and the only way to shut it down is to long press the power button.I guess it has something to do with the default BIOS settings.
        Any idea what could be done? I read on some forums that resetting the CMOS by taking out the motherboard battery battery can fix it, but I’m not sure I’m confident to do that.
        Thanks

  • BobKåre

    It worked. Needed to use previous BIOS version for recovery, but couldn’t have done it without this blogpost. Thanks!

  • Michele

    I had the BIOS bricked, because i followed a guide to flash it to enable all the menus; everything went find in the installation, but when I rebooted the computer it started, but the screen remained black and nothing happened. I tried to apply your method with different version of the BIOS, but it seems
    that the computer does not recognize any of them: it stays always
    with the black screen as if it cannot find the 2 files forever. Do you have any advice for me?

    • If the software based recovery doesn’t work and you’ve tried all BIOS versions, the only alternative is replacing the system board.

      • Michele

        I have ordered a new BIOS chip and I will replace it on the motherboard. Could it work?

        • I remember reading somewhere that someone else tried to replace the BIOS chip by soldering off the bricked one and replacing it with a compatible part and it didn’t work. Replacing the system board itself seems to be the best way.

          • Michele

            As you said it did not work and take me 1 month and 130€… Unfortunately the only option is to replace the motherboard…

  • Renan Miranda

    I have a Dell XPS 13 9333 and it’s bricked. When I try to extract the HDR and ROM files (using the command “file.exe” /writehdrfile /writeromfile) the following message shows up:

    Extracting capsule…
    BIOS.CAP
    BIOS_BIOS.bin from BIOS.CAP
    Completed.
    Extracting FITC binary…
    There is no FITC binary in package.

    This process extracted two files on the directory: “BIOS.CAP” and “BIOS_BIOS.bin”. There isn’t neither HDR file nor ROM file.

    Could anybody help me???

    • I have no experience with the XPS 13. As noted, this instructions are specifically for the XPS 15 9530, I cannot guarantee accuracy or how useful they are for other models. You should be very careful trying to attempt a BIOS flash with these instructions they are not written for your model of laptop and could cause further damage.

      You should look for other XPS 13 related BIOS information, failing that contact Dell support. If your out of warranty you might want to consider replacing the system board yourself or getting a IT technician to carry out the work.

    • Renan Miranda

      Thanks for your attention.

    • Alexsander Melo

      Can you solve this problem?
      I have in the same situation.

      • Renan Miranda

        Unfortunately no! I’ve spent many hours searching over the internet the solution for this problem, but I haven’t find, so I gave up and sent my laptop to Dell, and they replaced the motherboard…

  • Hi there James, Thank you for your post. The Dell 9530 I purchased was bricked during an update and the last bios on it was A06. May I please have the .EXE file for the A06? Thank you again and best regards, Mark

    • Hi Mark,

      I managed to find a site that indexed the 9530A06.exe file location on the Dell downloads server:

      http://downloads.dell.com/FOLDER02324031M/1/9530A06.EXE

      I’ll add this to the main post for others. Older BIOS files typically can be found on third party sites, but care you should be taken to ensure the file has not been modified and is signed by a valid Dell Inc certificate.

  • Julian vd Heuvel

    Hi there, thanks for the guide. I’m facing a problem, I’m updating from bios version A08 and after plugging in the USB, pressing END and plugging in the AC it gets to the DELL logo, but after that it doesn’t do anything anymore. I tried other ROM+HDR’s but only A08 ‘works’ for me, other versions won’t get me to the DELL logo (I tried them all). What am I doing wrong? I think I’m really close to the solution….

    • Hi, not sure I’m afraid. I haven’t seen that happen before. From what you’ve described it sounds like your machine it attempting to start the BIOS recovery but its not actually progressing to the flashing stage, where you see the “Aptio Setup Utility”. I would try using another memory stick to see if that makes a difference.

      • Julian vd Heuvel

        I used a different USB stick and it worked flawless! I had the same problem as you with the inaccessible boot device, but editing inside the boot setup resolved everything. Thank you so much for writing this detailed guide, saved me a lot of time contacting dell etc.

        • Great news! Glad my post helped. Just out of interest for future reference, what memory stick did/didn’t work?

          • Julian vd Heuvel

            It was an 8GB ICIDU USB flash drive. Formatted it to FAT32 (also exfat), but it didn’t help. The memory stick that worked was WUA! (it’s an unknown brand I think) 2gb flash drive.

  • Melvyn Landsman

    Hi There, can you help me please, I have gone into command print, it then shows C:users First Name Landsman name>
    I have placed the A09 Bios on my desktop so can you let me know exactly what I place after the > above to get the files I need
    Thank You

    • If its saved on the desktop, you can switch into the Desktop folder in your user directory.

      cd Desktop

      The run:

      “9530A09.EXE” /writehdrfile /writeromfile

  • Mc

    Hi There, can you help me please,
    I have a Dell Vostro 5470 notebook, and when I tried to update the BIOS A12, to computer restarted and then not called, just a black screen, and the power LED.

    I’ve tried almost all and none worked, FN + B, ALT + B, R + FN, FN + ESC, hold the END and then connect the ac adapter.

    Neither did the led of stick work.

    And also the BIOS you had before was the A08, the same as now I try to do the recovery, but when I extract the EXE files, I have the following:

    BIOS.cap – 7,193Kb

    BIOS_BIOS.bin – 6.656Kb

    I completely lost my 5470 became a useless stone, and from what I’m reading seems to me to be able to recover through the flash drive recovery. But can not find the correct combination of keys to perform this action, nor found any returned procedure for the Vostro 5470.

    Can anyone help me with this?

    Thank you so much!

  • Alexsander Melo

    Can you solve your problem?
    I have the same problem.

  • reformatt

    I had the exact same problem and fixed it, this is what happened:

    1) I tried to install Windows 10
    2) removed all the partitions of the existing Samsung 256GB mSATA drive
    3) fired up win10 off an USB key
    4) install went fine until BOOM! stuck at the Dell logo, couldn’t boot into the Bios (F2) or boot manager (F12)

    I taught my laptop (XPS 9530) motherboard was fried, I literally tried EVERYTHING, from bios flashing, CMOS resets, clock reset, removing all components from the board, until I found the problem: the mSATA drive

    5) I went to the computer store, bought a brand new Samsung mSATA 512GB
    6) and voila! it worked, installed windows 10 without problems

    – I just cannot believe that a win10 reinstall can mess up your mSATA drive and mess up your laptop due to it.

    – I hope this information will help some people out there, if in doubt REMOVE the mSATA/SSD drive or all harddrives to iron out anything wrong with the board.

    • For the record. This wasn’t the same problem. You can’t brick your firmware/BIOS by wiping the SSD. The fact it showed the Dell logo means the firmware was still present. What could of been happening is after POST it hung because it didn’t know where your boot disk is. You could of also had a disk failure.

      For Windows 10 you must make sure you are running the latest BIOS, as there was a specific update for it. This should be applied before installation.

      Glad you managed to resolve your issue though.

      • reformatt

        strangely enough I was running A09 as well, I just posted my experiences here because this was the closest related threat thus I am sure more people with similar problems will stumble upon it 🙂 great article though 🙂

        • Very strange indeed. Thank you for taking the time to post your experience and how you resolved it. I only clarified to make sure no one thought you can actually damage the firmware by wiping the mSATA or SSD.

  • Pingback: Dell XPS15 9530 BIOS reflash – Znpy()

  • alexp

    Any idea on where I can get bios version A04 for the xps 9530? I was on A04 when I tried to flash to A09. I cant seem to find a04 anywhere and the oldest i can find is A05 on your site and dells.

    • I’ve uploaded the A04 BIOS to the OneDrive mirror mentioned in the article.

      Note: It was obtained from a third party site and not from Dell’s servers. I’d check the binary to make sure the signing certificate is valid and hasn’t been tampered with.

      It should match the following checksums:

      https://www.reasoncoresecurity.com/9530a04.exe-ac4e954a59c00abf5118e162f094ee3e22dba382.aspx

      • alexp

        Thanks so much ill try it out. I noticed with all these bios exe’s that they extract as .sys and .hdr files. I am not seeing .rom like everyone else and as you mentioned in your article. Am I doing something wrong?

        • alexp

          For example i get 9530a05.hdr and amifldrv64.sys I dont have a .rom file

          • alexp

            I was able to get the rom file. Had to run /writeromfile and writehdrfile as single commands. Then it wrote both files. Unfortunately it seems the recovery screen only loads with the a09 files. It just does a black screen with all others. When I try to use A09 it does its thing in the recovery and then just turns off after 30 seconds. Then does nothing. Guessing its a lost cause?

            *Update I got A04 to go into recovery and it did its thing but after about 30 seconds it shuts down and does nothing. Last I saw was it was doing writing nvram block.

  • XPS12_Peter

    Hey James,
    thank You for this tutorial.
    I bricked my XPS 12 by updating the BIOS. Now I’m trying to recover it. I got the correct BIOS-Version.EXE and extracted the .rom and .hdr.

    But now I need to know, which rename-name to use – because Your “VAUB0???” doesn’t work for me.

    So please let me know, how You found Your “VAUB0…”?

    In Dell’s product support I found in the system configuration for my XSP 12 (9Q33) the part number “GT35X” for the part “XPS 12 Duo”. But this five letters do not work either (i.e. “GT35XA08.hdr”). Well, may it be any random combination?

    Thank You!
    Peter

    • VAUB0 is specific to the XPS 9530 and Precision M3800 motherboard. If you look at the “renaming the files” section in this article. I linked to a tool that opens up BIOS files and checks the headers and other areas that reveals what specific string you should you use in the file name of the ROM/HDR. You should scan an XPS 12 BIOS file with this tool to find this out.

      Not guarantees however, that this guide will work for the XPS 12. This was written for the XPS 9530 only, I literally have no idea if you will be successful or it being the correct procedure for the XPS 12 or other models.

      Good luck.

      • Joshua P.

        So, where in Andys tool does the board name appear? The littler log windows at the bottom doesnt seem to show anything.

  • Ing_Imperator

    Hey, thank you for your Guide, i think it saved many expensive 9530!
    My XPS 15 is working fine, but ist still on BIOS A08. I am running Windows 10 and a bit annoyed about a ringing notification that my touchpad is beeing disabled/enabled everytíme i shut the lid to put the Laptop to sleep.
    And generelly i am not Happy with the Touchpad, it is not “Precision”, so the Scrolling is not nearly as smooth as on the newer XPSes (9550 and 9350).
    Does A09 solve this issues? Because its the only reason i would take the risk.
    Thank you in Advance

    • A09 is recommended for Windows 10. The notification of the touchpad being enabled/disabled is driver based and won’t be resolved by a BIOS update. You can probably shut it off, but I never looked into it that much. I happen to have the XPS 9550 and the touchpad is better, but that’s down to hardware and design, you probably won’t get any better experience with the touchpad on the XPS 9530, software cannot fix hardware.

  • JustinW

    Hey James, appreciate the effort you took to write such informative post. I recently bricked my XPS-15. I failed to flash the bios even though i followed the steps (it shuts down after verifying the BIOS). Dell quoted me $1880 to replace the motherboard. I find it ridiculous since I spent $1900+ on it just barely one year ago. Is there a cheaper option to get it fixed?

  • Leon Dan

    Hi James, you are a (computer) life saver!

    My XPS15 died about 3 mo. ago and would not boot past the BIOS logo. I have seen your post and tried it, to no avail because my BIOS version is – I’m embarassed to say – A02! As you mentioned, if the versions between my onboard BIOS and that of the flash drive, it would not work. But I cannot find the old version executable anywhere because it is just a dinosaur.

    Last night before I went to bed, it dawned on me that I can try to rename the files on the flash drive. So I tried it this morning (renaming the 2 A08 files to A02). My XPS took the bait and voila, Win 10 came back.

    Just want to post this solution to those with older BIOS like mine. Thanks again James.

    • Pandorica

      Hi Leon

      That’s very interesting, I wasn’t aware renaming BIOS files to a different version than what it actually is would work. I figured there would be some form of verification when it is extracted by the recovery process. Either way, that’s useful to know for anyone with an older BIOS. I unfortunately, could only obtain up to A05 through legitimate archives, though I’ll see if I can find any older versions and check the signature is valid.

      Thanks for sharing!