Small business desktop computer introduced by Dell in 2007.

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Is there an easy way to reflash the BIOS on a Inspiron board?

I recently picked up this Vostro 200 as a scrap system. Since I am testing it as a candidate for a future guide I want to test it and avoid a bad system partway through since I will never get the time back and it will delay things worse then not having hardware. I was mainly testing it to find any serious issues that will be a total gotcha.

What ended up happening was I planned on using this system for the project and I found out it had some issues. The issue I am having is the system is not retaining the BIOS settings, so I changed the battery. Replacing the CMOS battery didn't help the first time.

So far, here is what I tried:

  • New CMOS battery (did not work)
  • Checked the CMOS reset jumper (this was fine)
  • Power supply+spec simplification (did not work)
  • 2 additional CMOS batteries (did not work)
  • Tested and reseated the original CMOS battery (did nothing)

So far I tried a power supply and 3 new CMOS batteries and the issue has not cleared up. At this point it's a pretty cut and dry motherboard failure.

The nice thing about Vostros is that many of the components are shared with the Inspiron line. This makes finding parts incredibly easy, which is very welcome in my situation with this system. I don't want to spend money on a 10 year old system but I have a similar board on hand that's essentially the same thing from a 530s (but the DP/N is different; the Vostro board is a 0CU409 while the 530 is 0RY007). I suspect that the variation in part number is purely because of the BIOS difference.

Since these boards are essentially the same thing, I'm wondering how hard it'll be to cross flash the 530s board with the Vostro 200 BIOS. I can keep the sticker from the damaged board for reference if I care enough about that. How would I go about cross flashing these boards and backing up the Inspiron BIOS? If this is possible, I'd consider it because the 530s case it will come out of isn't something I want to preserve because I have a known dislike for SFF. I also need to change the service tag, since the boards do not match the cases.

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1) Try using RUFUS to create a dos bootable thumb drive and flash via DOS.

2) There is a linux utility from Dell that allows you to update/change the service tags IIRC.

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Resetting the service tag is nothing. I can do that with the Dell BIOS reset utility that runs from the ISO in DOS.

I need to reflash the BIOS on the spare board to match the Vostro's BIOS. I think I still have the Foxconn utility, but I'm not sure if reflashing with that will mess that board up.


Unfortunately, I cannot answer that. Good luck. :-)


If i still had the 530 board with the bad audio jacks I'd flash that and risk taking that out and seeing what happens. I got rid of this board a while back.


I've had an Inspiron 530 mini tower and the equivalent Vostro 200. Aside from the logo, what is the difference in the BIOS? I know the Optiplex is completely different, but I couldn't tell what the difference in an Inspiron and Vostro are.


The 530 BIOS has a RAM ceiling of 4GB that's BIOS imposed on M02 boards (but is unlocked to the full 8GB for M03 boards if the latest BIOS is flashed to the latest version). I'm not sure if that exists in the Vostro BIOS. I wouldn't be surprised if it was but Dell isn't stupid enough to !#^& off their business customers with that nonsense.


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Nick will be eternally grateful.
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