I was about to mention several differences between UBCD 4.1.1 and UBCD 5.3.3 in relation to fdubcd and the boot process, but instead I'd rather suggest alternative methods of flashing these Dells' BIOS.
The information I am writing here is not a complete step-by-step, but just a generic description. Moreover, in some cases some details that are not specified here might be relevant for the success of the procedure.
Beware readers out there: flashing BIOS could potentially make your computer unusable in some cases.
Disclaimer: I am writing this post in good faith, with the solely intention for this info to be useful, but with no warrant of any kind to anyone and with no responsibility at all on my part. Use at your own risk and own responsibility.
This procedure is directed to UBCD 5.3.3, but it can be adapted for UBCD 4.1.1 too with minor differences. It should be relatively consistent for most versions of UBCD using ISOLINUX (or SYSLINUX for USB sticks).
A1_ Instead of copying the DOS-based executable flash program directly onto "c:\myubcd" (or under a sub-directory) as mentioned in the prior post, you could build a simple uncompressed bootable DOS floppy image containing:
_ DOS boot code (VBR)
_ DOS kernel
_ DOS shell (e.g. command.com)
_ the flash program.
The file name of the DOS-based executable flash program should rather contain only common English printable characters and no symbols (not even a minus sign "-"). The file name should rather be limited to "8.3" format.
There is no need for this floppy image to include additional drivers. In fact, adding any driver / TSR / RAM manager to this floppy image should be discouraged, unless the instructions from the BIOS/PC manufacturer indicate its use is recommended or necessary.
A2_ Copy the floppy image file :
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A3_ Add a boot entry to:
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APPEND floppy raw
Note: Some (or all) of the appended parameters for MEMDISK might not be needed.
A4a_ If the target system to be flashed allows to boot from USB, use the ubcd2usb script for a bootable USB stick.
A4b_ As an alternative to the above option "A4a", re-build the customized UBCD 5.3.3 by means of the ubcd2iso script, and burn the new customized ISO on optical media.
A6_ Boot UBCD -> custom -> myflash -> execute the flash program...
Advantage of this method (in comparison to the method presented in the prior post): There are no additional DOS drivers using RAM, reducing the chances of incompatibilities with the flash program.
There are some minor details that would be different in UBCD 4.1.1, such as some path(s), and the "FLOPPY RAW" appended parameters for the MEMDISK version included in UBCD 4.1.1. (these parameters either didn't exist at the time or were not used / needed in UBCD 4.1.1).
If the particular target system (the one that needs the BIOS update) cannot boot with ISOLINUX, then using El Torito floppy emulation should be possible too. The basic steps are not _that_ different, but the ubcd2iso script does not (currently) support El Torito floppy emulation, so I am not adding details about such alternative method.
Some BIOS versions allow to use the DOS-based flash executable program directly from a FAT-formatted USB stick.
First insert the USB stick (with the flash file included in it) and power on the computer.
During POST, the user can press some specific key (DEL / F1 / F2 / F8 / F12...) allowing for some "quick flash" method (this is not the same as the "boot priority" options). The "quick flash" method is embedded in the BIOS itself. It shows a screen where the user can select a drive, a sub-directory and the flash file provided by the BIOS/PC manufacturer (similar to what users can see in NC, VC or "edit.com") from the FAT-formatted USB stick.
Depending on the type of flash file provided, this alternative procedure might or might not be available.
There are some additional possible methods available, and some BIOS / PC manufacturers also include their own recommendations / methods / downloads...
This info is not to be considered exhaustive / thorough / detailed / complete. Use at your own risk.