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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 will fail to boot into an operating system. The computer might display a BIOS APPLICATION ERROR 501 or simply stop at a black screen or beep. If you cannot enter the BIOS Setup Utility or System Recovery screens, and cannot start the computer from external storage devices, 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, do one of the following depending on the condition:
    • Computer boots into Windows - The computer will boot into Windows if the power button and keys are released too soon. Repeat steps 1 through 4 above, holding the power button down for 2 or 3 seconds.
    • Power LED light turns off - The computer will turn off if the power button is pressed and held down too long. Repeat steps 1 through 4 above, holding the power button down for between 1 and 3 seconds.
    • 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.
    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 will restart 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 black screen appears with a message similar to the following:
    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.
    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, a USB key with an HP_TOOLS volume can be used as an alternative. The key can be created manually or by using the HP UEFI BIOS Update SoftPAQ or the new HP UEFI Support Environment SoftPAQ and selecting the Create a USB key option. 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.
To recover the BIOS on your notebook using the USB key:
  1. Plug the notebook into an AC adapter.
  2. Insert the USB key with HP_Tools installed into an available USB port.
  3. Press the Power button while holding the Windows key and the B key.
  4. The emergency recovery feature replaces the BIOS with the version on the USB key. The computer reboots automatically when the process is completed successfully.
You are now able to enter into the BIOS screens or Windows operating system after recovering the BIOS.


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