[Latitude CPi R] problems after upgrading firmware

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Igor Sobrado, Jul 29, 2003.

  1. Igor Sobrado

    Igor Sobrado Guest


    Some days ago I upgraded the firmware on my Dell Latitude CPi R400GT
    to the latest release (upgraded from A08 to A14). Now I see an odd
    behaviour on this machine. It looks like the most recent firmware
    release does not works as expected (but it fixes some important
    issues related with the laptop's battery!). Two examples:

    1. when I go to the Setup program from NetBSD (Fn+F1) and return
    to the operating system, the font size on the console change
    to big fonts (I need to press *two times* Fn+F7 to restore
    the normal font size); and,

    2. sound is incredibly high before going to the Setup program,
    even if it has been configured to a low volume (and Fn with
    either Page Up or Page Dn does not works). After running
    the Setup program and returning to the operating system all
    goes well (but I need to press Fn+F7 to restore the font size).

    Those problems never happened with firmware release A08.

    Can those issues be solved from NetBSD? Will Dell Computer Corporation
    release a new firmware addressing those issues? I suppose that this
    machine will be EOL'd soon, it is a great computer but it is some
    years old now.

    Igor Sobrado, Jul 29, 2003
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  2. Igor Sobrado

    Igor Sobrado Guest

    That is what I believed, Dell maintained the firmware on this machine
    three years (from mid-1999 up to mid-2002) but there are not new firmware
    upgrades on ftp://ftp.dell.com/.

    I really hope you are right about new firmware upgrades. It is good
    to see that Dell not only maintains high quality hardware but software
    (e.g., firmware) too. That is the reason I got this machine and I will
    buy new hardware to Dell.

    On the other hand, I am not sure about the firmware behaviour on
    MS Windows, I do not have any MSFT software on my machines. But I believe
    that it does not work as expected on NetBSD. Another example: after going
    to suspend mode (Fn+Esc) and turning on again the machine I need to run
    the setup program again (Fn+F1) to make changes available (like a low
    volume "beep"). In short, it looks like the setup program needs to be
    run each time the machine is turned on to make changes available.

    Igor Sobrado, Jul 30, 2003
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  3. Igor Sobrado

    Fredrico Guest

    That might be a problem with the BIOS battery on the system. It might be
    worth trying to flash the BIOS again as well. good luck.
    Fredrico, Jul 31, 2003
  4. Igor Sobrado

    Igor Sobrado Guest

    You are absolutely right about the BIOS battery issue. When the laptop
    arrived, the BIOS battery was discharged (e.g., the machine was unable
    to store the current date when it was turned off). Now, the BIOS
    battery is working again.

    I will follow your advice about flashing the BIOS again, but I will wait
    until a new external battery arrives. The external battery is dead, and
    I do not want to force a new BIOS upgrade without that battery. A power
    outage can seriously damage a computer if it happens when a new BIOS is
    being flashed. I will buy a new battery from Dell, it is not an expensive

    Dell did the right thing when requiring both the external power supply
    and the external battery to be working before allowing a firmware upgrade
    on laptops.

    Thanks a lot for that advice,
    Igor Sobrado, Jul 31, 2003
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