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

The BIOS is the first firmware 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 steps to restore the BIOS if the automatic BIOS restoration does not work.

If your computer enters the automatic BIOS recovery process, the screen either remains black or a pop-up window displays the progress of the BIOS recovery. If the restoration is successful, the computer displays the following message:

System BIOS recovery message

To dismiss the message, press enter.


If you do not press enter, the computer automatically restarts after 15 to 20 seconds.

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 is displayed

  • The computer stops at a black or blank screen when turned on

  • The computer turns on and you might hear the internal fan, but the display is blank and Windows does not start


For business computers, your IT department or local IT service might manage BIOS settings. Confirm this if you cannot access BIOS settings or restore the BIOS.

HP PCs with the HP Sure Start security feature do not support BIOS recovery using the manual, 4-in-1 USB key, or USB recovery drive methods. HP Sure Start automatically repairs HP BIOS and HP firmware corruption using the HP Endpoint Security Controller-isolated backup copy of the HP BIOS and HP firmware.

BIOS recovery options for PCs with HP Sure Start

PCs with HP Sure Start

PCs without HP Sure Start

CMOS reset procedure



Automatic BIOS recovery



Manual BIOS recovery (Windows + b)


4-in-1 USB recovery


USB recovery drive procedure


To determine if your PC was released with HP Sure Start, check the product specifications for the PC model. PCs with HP Sure Start indicate that it is enabled on the HP logo screen when the computer is started.

HP Sure Start was enabled for business notebooks in the following generations and later.

Business notebook generations with HP Sure Start

CMIT NB Series

Generation where HP Sure Start was enabled

400 Series


400 (ZHAN) Series


600 Series


700 Series


800 Series


1000 Series


Education Series


Perform a hard reset

Performing a hard reset erases all the information that is stored in your computer's temporary memory. This forces Windows to do a complete scan of the system, including the battery. Perform a power reset (or hard reset) of your computer to clear information from the computer memory without erasing personal data.

  1. Turn off the computer.

  2. Disconnect the AC adapter.

  3. Remove any discs from the disc drive.

  4. Remove memory cards from the card reader slot.

  5. Disconnect all nonessential peripheral devices, such as printers, scanners, external hard drives, and USB flash drives.


    Do not disconnect your mouse, keyboard, or monitor.

  6. With the AC adapter unplugged, press and hold the power button for approximately 15 seconds.

  7. Reconnect the AC adapter, and then turn on the computer.

Reset the CMOS

In some cases, the automatic BIOS recovery fails because the Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) data is corrupted. The CMOS stores BIOS settings. Use this procedure to reset the CMOS and recover the BIOS.

  1. Turn off the computer.

  2. Press and hold the power button for 25 seconds, and then turn the computer on.

    After the completion of a successful CMOS reset, a message similar to the following one might be displayed, depending on your system. As long as the system turns on, the CMOS reset was successful.

    Successful CMOS reset button message
  3. Press enter to restart the computer.

    If this does not recover your computer, see Recover the BIOS.

Manually recover the BIOS

If your computer BIOS still does not reset, you can try to recover the BIOS using a key press combination or a USB recovery drive.


These recovery processes are not supported on computers with the HP Sure Start feature.