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emdc emdc is offline
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Location: Birmingham, AL
Question Bootable USB drive - 06-03-2009, 06:37 PM

Last night I discovered that the BIOS in my Dell mini 9 is A00.
Most shipped with A04 & the latest is A05.

I came across the instructions on how to flash the BIOS using a Mac & tried to make it work. After getting past the hurdle of using the Terminal to write the program to a USB drive, I discovered that only one USB drive I had was bootable.

I tried using:
8GB SanDisk MicroCruiser
2GB Super-Talent
4GB Super-Talent
2GB SD card in a USB reader

None of these would boot the Dell mini; only an 8GB Kingston drive was bootable but I had OS X installer on it along with DellEFIBootmaker & didn't want to mess with it. This morning I bought a new USB drive (2GB PNY) hoping it would work but it doesn't. Finally I loaded the BIOS installer onto the Kingston drive, figuring I could reload OS X back on it when finished with the BIOS.

Wouldn't you know it; now it wont boot either. The error message I get is:
Media test failure, check cable
Exiting PXE ROM
Operating System not found

The 8GB SanDisk drive returns a different error message:
boot0: GPT
boot0: testing
boot0: testing
boot0: error

From all I read on the forum regarding this matter, the 1st suggestion is to try a different USB drive. I find it hard to believe that out of 5 different drives, none are bootable. Anyone have any ideas on what might be going on here? All I want to do is flash my BIOS!

Dell mini 9, 2GB RAM, 32GB RunCore SSD, OS X (10.6.7)
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Jim Hacker Jim Hacker is offline
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Join Date: May 2009
Default 06-03-2009, 07:44 PM

I don't know the answer, but this question may help. Are key keys formatted correctly to boot whatever OS is on them?
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charley charley is offline
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Default 06-03-2009, 07:55 PM

Is legacy USB enabled in the BIOS?

Mini 9 | Mac OS X 10.6.5 | 2 GB RAM | 64 GB Stock STEC SSD | BIOS A05 | USB Legacy Mode: OFF | Bluetooth: OFF | NBI 0.8.4(20100616212351)
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emdc emdc is offline
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Posts: 153
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Birmingham, AL
Default 06-03-2009, 08:34 PM

I forgot to add that Legacy USB was enabled.

I launched XP in Parallels & used an application found here Dell I910 Mini/Vostro A90 USB Key Drive flashBIOS Utility - DELL COMMUNITY to create a USB drive that actually worked!

I made another to confirm that it wasn't a fluke then successfully upgraded the BIOS on my beloved little computer. When that was finished I burned the BIOS updater to a CD, which is what I really wanted in the 1st place.

Disk Utility finished restoring the Leopard installer to the USB drive but now DellEFIBoomaker can't (or wont) install to it. After entering my password, I get the error message 'Can't install postinstall to OSXDVD.' That means I've screwed up a USB Leopard installer that was working perfectly.

Oh well; at least I was able to flash the BIOS, which was the purpose of this endeavor to begin with.

For some reason, whenever I post about a problem I'm having, I usually solve it soon afterward.

Dell mini 9, 2GB RAM, 32GB RunCore SSD, OS X (10.6.7)
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