XPS 8500 (Win7/64): 13 Drivers AND BIOS Update!?

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XPS 8500 (Win7/64): 13 Drivers AND BIOS Update!?

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Hi:

Need advice re: BIOS update and slew of driver updates released in the past week or so.

3-month old XPS 8500 (Win7/Ult/64 SP1; Intel Core i7-3770 @3.4 GHz; 16 GB RAM; NVidia GeForce GT620 GPU), fully patched (except postponing IE10 upgrade for a while longer) and malware-free. Wired MS4000 KB, Wireless Logitech mouse. KIS2013 Security Suite (clean install after cleanly removing OEM McAfee). Standard productivity apps (Office 2010, Adobe CS5.5, SnagIt), Firefox, Thunderbird.  Nothing fancy or odd. No gaming or torrrents or P2P.

Pretty much stable, except for frequent, annoying intermittent/brief/unpredictable "freezes/hangups/latencies" that I can't isolate to any particular program.

HOWEVER: My 3-year-old XPS 8100 (same OS and nearly identical software, but less robust hardware) is less buggy & glitchy, with none of the freezes.

I  found a total of 13 "recommended" UPDATES on the Dell D&D page for my service tag today!!  All released within the last 7-10 days! BIOS update, as well as drivers for chipset, both network adapters, Intel RST SATA, video, card reader, audio, Dell bloatware, etc.

What's a girl to do??

I generally subscribe to the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it..." school of driver updates.  But, with the ongoing minor performance glitches, it would seem advisable to upgrade some, if not all of these.

QUESTIONS:

  1. Do I need any/all of these updates?
  2. Does it matter what order I install them ( BIOS > chipset > network > video > other)?
  3. How long do I need to monitor for stability problems before proceeding to the next one (assuming it would be a bad idea to install ALL of the updates at one sitting, even with reboots in between)?

Thanks much in advance for your expert guidance and advice,

Daledoc1

All Replies
  • Hi Daledoc1,

    I have an XPS 8100 and it's been quite good. Sorry to hear about the pauses. Wow! That's frustrating.

    My suggestion is to take things one at a time. I would do the BIOS update first. These must be run with care. Download and save to your desktop. Then unplug your network cable and disable your security software and any unnecessary background programs before you execute.

    See how things run before trying the chipset drivers. After that, any order is fine.

  • Thanks, Osprey4, for your prompt reply.Big Smile

    Just to be clear, my XPS 8100 (which is now my back-up rig) is quite stable & I haven't actually looked into driver updates for it.

    It's the new XPS 8500 about which I am asking.

    It does seem surprising for Dell to release so many driver updates AND a BIOS update within such a short time span.

    I DID find an old Dell article that suggests this order:

    1. "System Software" -- Is the "Dell Digital Delivery Client" considered a component of this???
    2. Chipset driver
    3. Video
    4. NIC
    5. Audio
    6. (Modem)
    7. Wireless

    I suspect all of this might relate to improved Win8 compatibility, which doesn't impact me directly, as I am running Win7?

    I've "flashed" BIOS before on several other rigs (including the XPS 8100) over the years, and I know it's not as risky as back in the old days.

    But it does make me a bit nervous.

    Thanks for the tip about disconnecting the ethernet cable & the reminder to shutdown security suite/programs.

    I need to make backups and RPs first, so it'll likely be a few days before I report back with the results.

    In the interim, I certainly welcome any additional input,

    Daledoc1

  • If you go to the Drivers & Downloads page for your XPS 8500, expand the BIOS category, click on the BIOS file, and then click on Fixes & Enhancements, it says "Update Dell diagnostic tool." Only you can decide whether it's worth it to flash the BIOS for that.