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HP Notebook PCs - Restoring the BIOS

This document pertains to all HP Notebook PCs.
If the BIOS on your notebook becomes corrupted, such as from a failed BIOS upgrade or damage from a virus, the computer might show any the following symptoms:
  • The computer displays the error message BIOS APPLICATION ERROR 501.
  • The computer stops at a black Screen and it will not enter any of the Boot Options, such as: the BIOS Setup Utility, Hardware Diagnostic Tools, System Recovery screens, etc.
  • The computer does not boot and the Caps Lock key blinks twice or the computer emits beep codes.
  • The computer turns on but does not boot into the Operating System and it does not show any activity at all.
If the computer shows any of the symptoms listed above and it won’t boot up, use this document to restore the BIOS.
Many HP notebook computers have an HP BIOS Restore tool that might be able to recover the BIOS from an earlier version and restore basic functionality. This tool might or might not work in the event of BIOS corruption depending on many factors, but is worth trying in the event the BIOS has become corrupted.
Recovering the notebook BIOS using a key press combination
When you upgrade the BIOS on your notebook, a copy of the previous BIOS version is stored in the HP TOOLS partition of your hard drive. Many HP notebook computers have an emergency BIOS recovery feature that allows you to recover and install the last known good version of the BIOS from the hard drive, as long as the hard drive remains functional. This emergency recovery feature is separate from the BIOS and is designed to work in the event of a catastrophic BIOS failure.
To recover an earlier version of the BIOS on your notebook:
  1. Turn off the computer.
  2. Plug the notebook into power using the power adapter.
  3. Press and hold the Windows key and the B key at the same time while the computer is off.
  4. Still pressing the Windows key and the B key, press and hold down the Power button on the notebook for 1 second, and then release the Power button and the keys.
    The Power LED light remains on, and the screen remains blank for about 40 seconds. You might hear beeping sounds. Eventually, an HP BIOS Update screen displays and the BIOS update begins automatically.
    If the HP BIOS Update screen displays, go to step 5 below.
    If the HP BIOS Update screen does not display, find your condition from the following options and then follow the steps for that condition:
    • Computer boots into Windows
      The computer boots into Windows if the power button and keys are released too soon. Repeat the previous steps 1 through 4, this time press and hold the power button down for two to three seconds in step 4.
    • Power LED light turns off
      The computer turns off if you press and hold the power button too long. Repeat steps 1 through 4 above, this time press and hold the power button down for between one to three seconds in step 4.
    • After repeated attempts, the HP BIOS Update screen does not open
      Your computer does not support this function or it has a hardware problem that is preventing the tool from opening. Contact HP Support for further assistance.
    Figure : HP BIOS Update screen
     Photo of HP BIOS Update screen showing a progress indicator
  5. After the BIOS is recovered, a Continue Startup button displays and a timer counts down. Click the Continue Startup button to restart the computer immediately. The computer restarts automatically when the timer reaches zero.
    Figure : HP BIOS Update screen
     Photo of HP BIOS Update screen showing a Continue Startup button
  6. When the computer restarts, a message similar to the following displays: A system BIOS Recovery has occurred. BIOS Recovery (500) Enter – Continue.
    Press the Enter key to continue immediately or allow the computer to reboot automatically.
     note:
    After restoring the BIOS, if the computer repeatedly displays a message that the BIOS has been recovered, perform the steps in HP BIOS Application Selected is Corrupt or Missing.
  7. After restarting, Windows may display a message stating that the computer was improperly shut down or that a boot problem was detected. Read and respond to the screens to continue.
Recovering the notebook BIOS using an external storage device
If the HP_TOOLS volume on your HDD has been deleted, you can use a USB key with an HP_TOOLS volume as an alternative. You can either create the key manually or use the Create a USB key option in the HP UEFI BIOS Update SoftPAQ or the new HP UEFI Support Environment SoftPAQ. The USB key does not have to be bootable. However, this assumes the boot block is not corrupted in which case a repair is required.
Before you begin downloading the BIOS
Collect the following tools and information:
  • Product number of the computer that is not booting into the operating system
    The product number is usually located on a sticker on the bottom of the computer. If you need help finding the product number on your computer that does not boot into the operating system, please refer to Option 3: Use the product label in the HP support document, How Do I Find My Model Number or Product Number?.
  • Another computer with Internet connection
    If your computer does not boot into the operating system, use another computer with an Internet connection to download the BIOS and save it to a removable thumb drive.
  • A blank USB drive
Step 1: Finding and downloading the BIOS for the computer
To find and download the BIOS for your computer, find the specific product number of the computer that is not booting up and follow these steps:
  1. Connect a blank USB drive to the computer.
  2. Select your Country/language option, and then select Drivers & Downloads.
  3. Find your product either manually or have the HP website your computer model, and then navigate to the product page for your computer model.
  4. Select the drive language and operating system (such as Microsoft Windows 8.1 (64-bit)) of the computer that is not booting into the operating system, and then click Submit.
     note:
    Some BIOS versions on Windows 7 computers do not allow you to download a BIOS update from another computer using the InsydeFlash installation wizard. If the computer that is not running has Windows 7 and you get an error message like the one shown below, please contact HP Support for further assistance. Otherwise, continue with the next step.
    Figure : Cannot download BIOS update
    Image: Cannot download BIOS update
  5. The webpage lists the available downloads for your computer. If a BIOS category is listed, click BIOS.
  6. Click More details to view the overview, installation instructions, and system requirements for the BIOS download.
    It is important to read the Overview and System requirements sections to verify that the BIOS applies to the computer that is not running. Installing a BIOS that is not designed for the processor or operating system in your computer could cause the computer to stop working.
  7. To the right of the file name, click Download, and then click Run.
  8. In the InstallShield Wizard window, click Next.
    Figure : Click Next in the InstallShield Wizard
    IMage: Click Next in the InstallShield Wizard
  9. Select I accept the terms in the license agreement, and then click Next.
    Figure : End User License Agreement
    Image: End User License Agreement
  10. The HP System BIOS Update Utility opens. Click Next.
    Figure : HP System BIOS Update Utility
    Image: HP System BIOS Update Utility
  11. Select Create Recovery USB flash drive, and then click Next.
    Figure : Create Recovery USB flash drive
    Image: Create Recovery USB flash drive
  12. Select your USB drive, and then click Next.
    Figure : Select your USB drive
    Image: Select your USB drive
  13. Wait while the computer copies the BIOS files to your USB drive. When the message. The recovery flash drive was created successfully displays, click Finish.
    The HP System BIOS Update Utility window opens again.
    Figure : Click Finish
    Image: Click Finish
  14. Click Cancel.
    The BIOS utility is on the USB drive and it has renamed the USB drive HP_TOOLS.
    Figure : HP System BIOS Update Utility
    Image: HP System BIOS Update Utility
  15. Remove the USB from the computer.
Step 2: Installing the BIOS on the computer that is not running
To install the BIOS on the notebook that is not running using the USB key:
  1. Shut the computer down completely and wait a few seconds.
  2. Plug an AC adapter into the notebook.
  3. Insert the USB key with HP_Tools file into the notebook.
  4. Press the Power button while holding the Windows and B keys for approximately 20 to 25 seconds.
    The HP BIOS Update screen displays showing the progress of the update.
    If the HP BIOS Update screen does not display, find your condition from the following options and then follow the steps for that condition:
    • Computer turns on
      The computer turns on if the power button and keys are released too soon. Repeat the previous steps one through four.
    • After repeated attempts, the HP BIOS Update screen does not open
      Your computer does not support this function or it has a hardware problem that is preventing the tool from opening. Contact HP Support for further assistance.
    Figure : Progress of the HP BIOS Update
    Image: Progress of the HP BIOS Update
  5. After the BIOS is installed, a Continue Startup button displays and a timer counts down. Click the Continue Startup button to restart the computer immediately.
     note:
    The computer restarts automatically when the timer reaches zero.
    Figure : The System BIOS recovery is complete
    Image: The System BIOS recovery is complete
  6. When the computer restarts, a message similar to the following displays: A system BIOS Recovery has occurred. BIOS Recovery (500) Enter – Continue.
    This message indicates that the BIOS update has completed, it is not an error message. Press the Enter key to continue immediately.
     note:
    After installing the BIOS, if the computer does not boot into the operating system and repeatedly displays a message that the BIOS has been recovered, perform the steps in HP BIOS Application Selected is Corrupt or Missing.
  7. After restarting, Windows might display a message stating that the computer shut down improperly or that a boot problem was detected. Read and respond to the screens to continue.
    You are now able to enter into the BIOS screens or Windows operating system after recovering the BIOS.

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