BIOS

So after realising that my desktop PC has been running in BIOS mode (how 1970s and probably the result of multiple clones from HDD to 10k HDD, to 10k HDD in RAID0 to SSD and to another SSD) and with a free weekend I thought it was time to have a look at the MBR2GPT tool.

However in running the validate phase I was getting the error message:

Disk layout validation failed for disk 0

After following through a few red herrings on the internet I had a bit more of a dig into what the tool was up to and it appears that one of the first steps is to shrink the OS partition.

It appears that the fix is actually to preempt this and shrink the OS partition yourself (I reduced it by about 1GB – which made sense as one of the new partitions goes right in at the end of the disk), given these kinds of steps should only be performed by a person who knows what they are doing and understands the implications I won’t go into any detail as to how to do this other than providing the screenshot below.

Recently I came across a need to update the BIOS of a number of Dell PCs, given that the PCs were due to be re-imaged it made sense to perform the update as part of the System Centre Configuration Manager 2012 task sequence process.

To kick this process off you will need

  • A need to update the BIOS – you should only update the BIOS on a PC if a later revision fixes a particular issue you are having (in my case it was a wake on LAN issue)
  • The BIOS update files from the Dell Support site – on occasion you may need to perform a staged update process, for example on the Dell Optiplex 390 to go from Revision A01 to A10 you must first update to A02.

The first step of this process requires that you put the BIOS update in as a Package, follow the guide below to see how this is done.

Please note – this guide only applies to the ‘newer’ packaged style of Dell BIOS updates, the steps to identify if you have one of the newer style packages can be seen in the first three screen shots.

Next you need to include the package in the SCCM task sequence, during the process you will need this WMI query (contained within the download to make copy/paste easy)

  BIOS WMI query (83 bytes, 3,207 hits)

A few points to note

  • You do not want the BIOS update to trigger the restart – (I have never been able to get this to work without causing a error and stopping the task sequence)
  • If you have one of the older BIOS versions you may find this list of legacy command line switches useful.