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HP Notebook PCs - Recovering the BIOS (Basic Input Output System)

This document is for HP notebook computers, including notebooks with HP SureStart architecture.
The BIOS is the first software to run after turning on the computer. If the BIOS on your computer becomes corrupted, the computer fails to boot to Windows. The BIOS can be corrupted during normal operation, through environmental conditions (such as a power surge or outage), from a failed BIOS upgrade or damage from a virus. If the BIOS is corrupted, the system automatically attempts to restore the BIOS from a hidden partition when the computer is restarted. This document covers other methods to restore the BIOS if the automatic BIOS restoration does not work.
If you experience any of the following symptoms after restarting the computer, recover the BIOS.
  • Windows does not start and the Caps Lock or Num Lock keys blink, or the computer beeps 2 times
  • Power light or charging light continues to blink
  • A BIOS APPLICATION ERROR 501 message displays
  • The computer stops at a black or blank screen when powered on
  • The computer turns on and you might hear the internal fan, but the display is blank and Windows does not start
note:
For business computers, your company IT department or local IT service might manage BIOS settings. Confirm this if you cannot access BIOS settings or restore the BIOS.

Recover the BIOS using a key press combination

Many HP 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 is corrupted.
  1. Turn off the computer, and then connect the power cord.
  2. Press and hold the Windows key and the B key at the same time, and then press and hold the Power button for 2 to 3 seconds.
    Keyboard highlighting the key presses for BIOS recovery
  3. Release the Power button but continue pressing the Windows and B keys. You might hear a series of beeps.
    • If the HP BIOS Update screen does not display, repeat the previous steps but press the Windows key and the V key. If the screen still does not display, your computer might not support the feature or there is a hard drive issue. Continue to the next section to Recover the BIOS using a USB recovery drive.
    • If the Power light turns off, the Power button was held too long. Repeat the previous steps, making sure to hold the Power button for only 2 to 3 seconds.
    • If a BIOS recovery message repeatedly displays, continue to the next section to Recover the BIOS using a USB recovery drive.
    • If a message that the computer improperly shut down or a boot problem is detected displays, follow the on-screen instructions to resolve the error.
    • If Windows starts, update to the latest BIOS version. Go to HP Notebook PCs - Updating the BIOS for more information.
    The HP BIOS Update screen displays and the recovery begins automatically.
    HP BIOS Update recovery in progress
If this recovery method fails, use another working computer to create a BIOS recovery flash drive to install the latest BIOS file.

Recover the BIOS using a USB recovery drive

If you are unable to recover the last working BIOS version, install a BIOS recovery file from the HP website using a USB flash drive.

Reset the CMOS

This only applies to consumer notebooks.
In some cases the automatic BIOS recovery fails because of corrupted CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) data. The CMOS stores BIOS settings. Try this procedure to reset the CMOS and recover the BIOS.
  1. Turn off the computer.
  2. Press and hold the Windows + V keys.
  3. Still pressing those keys, press and hold the Power button on the computer for 2-3 seconds, and then release the Power button, but continue pressing and holding the Windows + V keys until the CMOS Reset screen displays or you hear beeping sounds.
    At the completion of a successful CMOS Reset, a message similar to the one below displays:
    Successful CMOS reset button message
  4. Press Enter to restart the computer.

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