BIOS Upgrades with consumer oriented companies like Dell become worse; because they started bundling the BIOS update with a program called Winflash (IIRC) to try and flash under Vista.
This seems far riskier to me, compared to the reboot simple with DOS and minimum driver method, but it was the supported method. The "Mandatory" upgrade, screwed Linux up, so I got involved with support to make a downgrade back to the original BIOS which had Linux certification. During this re-flash under Vista some glitch occured freezing the flash process and leaving blank firmware and the Winflash program would not try to flash again. An attempt to restart WinFlash and burn the image, caused a Vista Pop Up accusing me of piracy, due to some license keys being missing, and promptly Shutdown the machine "as a customer service to help me avoid using unauthorised software". Not what you want when there's no boot code. Inspection of the Mobo, showed the Firmware was soldered on not socketed; and therefore seemed bricked. The On Site warranty meant they sent an engineer, who fitted an entire replacement Mobo.
Now if I'd used a Bios extractor tool, to debundle it from WinFlash; or the Linux BIOS Dell had developed for use with their under Linux upgrade tools, probably it would have ended up expensive for me. As it was, using the official (but stupid) method meant they had to pick up the pieces.