|"He said he heard a pop when it crashed"|
Electronics that go "Pop" cannot be fixed with a software update.
You say it only gets black screen now. Does it show any sign of actually booting up when you try? Black screen means nothing in isolation. your problem may be a blown powersupply, blown motherboard, blown CPU, blown ram, blown graphics ( integrated in motherboard), blown inverter, blown backlight, and you are quite correct in guessing that without any display you cannot do a bios update, pointless as that exercise would be.
Goin' Fishin' (Some day)