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HP Notebook PCs - Restoring the BIOS

This document pertains to all HP notebook PCs including notebooks with HP SureStart architecture.
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 or blank 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 or Num Lock LED blinks twice, or the computer emits beep codes.
  • The computer turns on (for example, the fan might spin), but there is no video on the internal display or external monitor, and it does not boot into the operating system.
If the computer shows any of the previous symptoms and it does not boot up, use this document to restore the BIOS.
Many HP notebook computers have an HP BIOS Restore tool 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 it 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 on 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.
 note:
If the hard disk partition is deleted or inaccessible, follow the steps in the Recovering the notebook BIOS using an external storage device section.
Follow these steps to recover an earlier version of the BIOS on your notebook:
  1. Turn off the computer.
  2. Plug the notebook into a power source using the power adapter.
  3. With the computer off, press and hold the Windows logo key and the B key at the same time.
  4. Still pressing those keys, press and hold down the Power button on the computer for 2 to 3 seconds, and then release the Power button but continue to hold the Windows and B keys until the BIOS update screen is displayed or until you hear a beeping sound (usually 8 beeps).
    The power LED light remains on, and the screen remains blank for about 40 seconds before anything appears on the display. You might also hear beeping sounds. Eventually, an HP BIOS Update screen displays and the BIOS update begins automatically.
    Figure : HP BIOS Update screen
     HP BIOS Update screen showing a progress indicator
    If the HP BIOS Update screen displays, continue to step 5.
    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
      If your computer is able to boot into Windows, update the BIOS to the latest version using the standard BIOS update procedure. Follow these steps for your type of computer:
    • 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 two 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. For further assistance please Tweet us @HPSupport or for additional support options contact HP Customer Support .
  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
     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 to 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 the HP support document: HP BIOS Application Selected is Corrupt or Missing.
  7. After restarting, Windows might 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 (Windows 7) or UEFI partition (Windows 10, 8) on your hard drive has been deleted, you can use a USB drive with an HP_TOOLS volume as an alternative to restore your notebook BIOS. Follow the steps in this section to use the HP System BIOS Update Utility to create a BIOS recovery drive.
 note:
The USB drive does not need to be bootable.
Before you begin
Before downloading the BIOS file and creating the BIOS recovery media, you need the following:
  • The 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, refer to How Do I Find My Model Number or Product Number?.
  • Another computer with an 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 USB drive.
  • A blank USB drive
Step 1: Finding and downloading the BIOS file
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. Go to the HP Customer Support website.
  2. Select your Country/language option, and then select Software and Drivers.
  3. Search for your computer model number and navigate to the product page for your notebook.
    For help finding your notebook model number, refer to the HP support document How Do I Find My Model Number or Product Number?.
  4. Select the operating system (such as Microsoft Windows 8.1) of the computer that is not booting, and then click Update.
  5. The webpage lists the available downloads for your computer. If a BIOS category is listed, click BIOS.
  6. Click Details to view more information about the BIOS update package.
  7. If multiple BIOS files are available, select the most recently released file, or select the one you need (if a specific BIOS file was recommended for restoring your computer). Click Download and save the file to a convenient location on your computer.
Step 2: Creating the BIOS recovery media
Once the BIOS file is downloaded, create the BIOS recovery media using the following steps:
  1. Connect a blank USB drive to the computer.
  2. Double-click the BIOS file that you downloaded and saved.
  3. In the InstallShield Wizard window, click Next.
    Figure : Click Next in the InstallShield Wizard
    Click Next in the InstallShield Wizard
  4. Select I accept the terms in the license agreement, and then click Next.
    Figure : End User License Agreement
    End User License Agreement
  5. In the Location to Save Files window, click Change.
  6. Select the USB storage drive, click OK, and then click Next.
  7. The HP System BIOS Update Utility opens. Click Next.
    Figure : HP System BIOS Update Utility
    HP System BIOS Update Utility
  8. Select Create Recovery USB flash drive, and then click Next.
    Figure : Create Recovery USB flash drive
    Create Recovery USB flash drive
  9. Select your USB drive, and then click Next.
    Figure : Select your USB drive
    Select your USB drive
  10. 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
    Click Finish
  11. The recovery BIOS is saved on the USB drive, renamed HP_TOOLS. Click Cancel to close the window.
    Figure : HP System BIOS Update Utility
    HP System BIOS Update Utility
  12. Remove the USB drive from the computer.
Step 3: Installing the BIOS on the computer that is not running
Restore the BIOS on the notebook that is not running using the following steps:
  1. Shut down the computer completely and wait a few seconds.
  2. Plug an AC adapter into the notebook.
  3. Insert the BIOS recovery USB drive into the notebook.
  4. With the computer off, press and hold the Windows logo key and the B key at the same time.
  5. Still pressing those keys, press and hold down the Power button on the computer for 2 to 3 seconds, and then release the Power button but continue to hold the Windows and B keys until the BIOS update screen is displayed or until you hear a beeping sound (usually 8 beeps).
    The HP BIOS Update screen displays the update progress.
    If the HP BIOS Update screen does not display after repeated attempts, your computer might not support this function, or there is a hardware problem preventing the tool from opening. For further assistance please Tweet us @HPSupport, or for additional support options contact HP Customer Support .
    Figure : Progress of the HP BIOS Update
    Progress of the HP BIOS Update
  6. After the BIOS is installed, a Continue Startup button displays and a restart 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
    The System BIOS recovery is complete
  7. When the computer restarts, a message similar to the following displays: A system BIOS Recovery has occurred. BIOS Recovery (500) Enter – Continue.
    This is not an error message. The message indicates that the BIOS update has completed. Press the Enter key to proceed.
     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 the HP support document HP BIOS Application Selected is Corrupt or Missing.
  8. 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 the BIOS menu or boot into the Windows operating system after recovering the BIOS.

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