How to upgrade Dell BIOS on a Ubuntu laptop with FreeDOS

Those of us who use only Linux Laptops like Dell’s Vostro 3546 with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS installed on it, cannot just apply the BIOS upgrades that Dell provides on it’s web site. The BIOS update file is actually a MS DOS .EXE file and it requires MS DOS to work. Here’s how to apply the BIOS upgrade with FreeDOS. Do not proceed if you are not comfortable doing the steps below. You do so at your own risk.

Download FreeDOS from Choose the one that fits your USB pen drive size.

Verify the SHA1 signature using
$ openssl sha1 FreeDOS-1.1-memstick-1-2048M.img.bz2 <enter&gt;

Unzip the FreeDOS image from the downloaded file
$ bunzip2 FreeDOS*.bz2 <enter>

Insert your USB pen drive in the computer. Copy the image to the pendrive. It will take sometime.
$ sudo dd if=FreeDOS-1.1-memstick-2-2048M.img of=/dev/sdc bs=512k <enter>
where /dev/sdc was my USB device. You need to find your USB device name.

After a while, the FreeDOS drive is ready. Make sure that the data is all copied on the USB pen drive.
$ sync <enter>
$ sudo sync <enter>

Now unmount, remove and re-insert the USB pen drive.

Open the pen drive in the file manager. Copy the BIOS executable file from the Dell web site onto the pen drive. Reboot the computer.

Upon reboot, press F12 and choose to boot from the USB pen drive.

Choose fdos -> 4-Load FreeDOS without drivers.
Execute the BIOS update when you get to the MS DOS C:> prompt. Wait for the upgrade to complete.

These instructions were derived and used from