Bios Recovery Dell Vostro 3500 / 3700 after update failed

Last week my dad called me, he was updating the bios of his Dell Vostro 3500 laptop when he suddenly got a warning that the battery was running low.  He had the AC plugged in, but still, the laptop just fell out, and the bios update wasn’t finished yet. So he gave me a call if I had an idea how to recover the bios of is old and beloved Dell laptop.

First I thought, that isn’t possible. Never heard of an option to recover the bios of a computer before. But as an IT guy, I am always in for a challenge. After reading on the Dell Community forum I noticed he was not the only one. Somehow it happened to many other users before and there is a recovery option.

Dell Bios Recovery Procedure

While the step below work for the Vostro 3500 and 3700, the same procedure should also work for other models. To get started you need an empty 1GB or 2 GB flash drive.

Step 1 – Download the bios version

First, we need to download the correct bios version. Don’t download the latest, but a version older. Keep in mind that the update went wrong, so we want the bios version that worked. Go to the Dell Support site and download the Bios update file. You can find the correct version here for the Dell Vostro 35001

Rufus bootable usbStep 2 – Prepare the flash drive

I created a dos bootable flash drive, this should not really be necessary, but my first attempt without it didn’t work. Format your flash drive to Fat32, download Rufus and format the flash drive with the FreeDos boot type.

Step 3 – Write the hdr and rom file

We now have a formatted flash drive and downloaded bios file. Copy the bios file, A3500_A10.exe to the flash drive. Open PowerShell or Cmd and go the flash drive. Run the following two commands to create the hdr and rom file:

If you now look a the flash drive, you will find a file called A3500_A10.hdr and A3500_A10.rom

Step 4 – Rename the files

Rename the hdr and rom file to winery50.hdr and winery50.rom for the Vostro 3500 and to winery70.hdr / .rom for the Vostro 3700. When done you should have the following files on you flash drive.

Recover bios dell

Step 5 – Boot the Laptop in recovery mode

Remove the battery and AC power from the dead computer. Plug the flash drive in the second port on the left side. Hold down the End button (not the Esc!) (that was I did the first 3 times… ) and plugin the AC power while still holding down the End button.

Wait a couple of seconds before you release the end button. The recovery mode will start.

Step 6 – Update the Bios

Update the bios and reboot the computer.

If the recovery mode does not start, try another USB port.

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15 thoughts on “Bios Recovery Dell Vostro 3500 / 3700 after update failed”

  1. Hi Rudy we copied the files and plugged the USB in the laptop in all 4 ports but still no luck it keeps restarting the lights flash and you hear the fan kick in then it all stops and it repeats the process just wondered if you have any other info that would help us

  2. Hi me and my wife found your post on how to do the bios as we done a reinstall windows and the bios update shut the laptop down. We are stuck on the part where we have to write the files on powershell no idea on how to do it we tried copying the pictures you put up but it says it’s not recognise d if you could help that would be great. We are on a Windows 7 laptop doing bios for Windows 10

    • Hi Mark,

      So you are stuck at step 3. I reckon you have copied the files to the flash drive.

      When you have plugged-in your flash drive it will get a drive letter in your explorer. Most of the time it’s the letter D, E or F. Keep that letter in mind. Go to Start and type in the run box (in Win 7) the following command: cmd and press enter. You will now get a black dos box.

      Type the drive letter followed by a colon ( : ). So if the drive letter of the flash drive is E, you type e: and press enter. You are now “working” on the flash drive. Type dir to see if the files are listed there. If you have the files enter the following two commands to create the files:

      A3500_A10.exe /writehdrfile
      A3500_A10.exe /writeromfile

      Continue at step 4.

      Let me know if you got it working.

  3. Un grand merci pour ce tuto ça a très bien fonctionné pour récupérer le bios de mon dell vostro 3500 ,j’avais essayé d’autre méthode sans succès celle la marche, j’ai remis le bios d’origine A3500_A08 et ça fonctionne de nouveau . Cordialement Philippe

  4. Hi Rudy and everyone,
    I have a Dell Vostro 3700 with this problem. I have followed your instruction and your recommendation but it seems not working for me. But what i found out is that, i do not have amifldrv64.sys in my flash contents.

    Please see the Printscreen url to view my flash contents

    I have tried with both 2Gb, 8Gb and 16Gb Flash, but all to no avail. I also tried different USB ports on the Laptop. After the Laptop tries to read the flash, nothing happens. I also download Dell Vostro 3500 Bios to see if the extraction would have the amifldrv64.sys but it does not have it either.

    Can you please advise if you have a clue on what i haven’t done rightly.

    Thanks in anticipation

        • If it still doesn’t work, try an older bios version for your model. Had the same with the 3500 that I needed to repair. The latest bios version wouldn’t restore, but an older version was working fine.

          • Thanks a lot Ruud. I was able to get the same files when i used it on Powershell on Windows 10 PC. I was using the RUN on WIndows 7 to generate the writehdr and that was why i didn’t get the amifldrv64.sys.

            After i did it on Windows 10 with the correct files, i still wasn’t able to get the system to work. I tried with Bios 3700_A12, 3700_10 and 3700_A09 but i wasn’t successful with any of them. I tried different Ports but no success. Unfortunately, i only have 1 2GB Flash while others are 16GB. I tried with the 16GB but no success.
            The Last thing i will try is to get another USB of 1Gb or 2GB just to confirm that the 2GB USB is not the culprit.

            Thanks for your efforts Ruud. Very well appreciated.

            Tosin Ayorinde

      • Hi, are you sure you got the sequence right:

        End button (not the Esc!) and plug in the AC power while still holding down the End button.

        You can also try a different USB port or USB stick. It won’t go into recovery mode unless it finds a properly configured USB stick.

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