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My HP Laptop's BIOS Settings Are Fudged, What Do? Update : Got an ASUS Notebook, need opinions on the old laptop.

#1 User is offline .Luke 

Posted 10 July 2014 - 03:37 AM

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I know what you're thinking, yeah, HP sucks balls, but this laptop has been good to me for 2 years, until it didn't suspend right last night, and now the bois settings are corrupt, so it doesn't boot past the non-blinking underscore.

I've tried all the obvious solutions online, and it's still not doing anything. I even took it apart and removed the CMOS battery, then plugged it back in and reassembled; no results.

So I got on the Wii and decided to ask if anybody here on Retro could provide any insight. Any help is greatly appreciated.
This post has been edited by .Luke: 06 August 2014 - 07:36 PM

#2 User is offline TmEE 

Posted 10 July 2014 - 04:53 AM

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Remove charger and battery, then hold down power button for 30 seconds.

Also how long was the CMOS battery removed ? You should count to 30 or so, slowly, before putting it back in. Just a couple second removal often has no effect.

#3 User is offline GerbilSoft 

Posted 10 July 2014 - 09:24 AM

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That doesn't really sound like BIOS settings being corrupt. (A failed S3 suspend usually doesn't do that.)

If the HP startup screen at least shows up, see if you can get a boot menu and try booting to a USB device.

#4 User is offline .Luke 

Posted 10 July 2014 - 03:14 PM

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I don't even get the initial splash screen of the bios, just the non-blinking underscore. (_) This is why I'm so freaked out, GerbilSoft.

And I've only left it removed for 15 seconds, TmEE, so I'll leave it out for a whole minute when I take it apart again. I hate that HP removed the convenient little slot for the CMOS battery in this newer 2000 series model.

Edit : Also forgot to add exactly how it happened. Ubuntu hanged while suspending, (So the HDD was unmounted, the screen was blank, and the wireless card was off.) and it seemingly took forever to actually shut down. I figured I would shut it off manually, and all I was met with was a non-working bios. Could that have corrupted my settings?
This post has been edited by .Luke: 10 July 2014 - 07:00 PM

#5 User is offline .Luke 

Posted 11 July 2014 - 06:09 AM

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Well, I left the CMOS battery out for two hours before putting it back in and reassembling, and that made no difference.

How exactly does the bios behave without a battery? I'm beginning to think the CMOS battery is probably dead, because even the simpler solutions online should have worked. I wouldn't have seen it coming since I always let the time sync with Ubuntu's servers.

Also, I edited my last post with how this happened in the first place.

#6 User is offline .Luke 

Posted 13 July 2014 - 11:40 PM

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Okay, now I'm thinking my laptop model, hp 2000-299WM, has UEFI, and its splash screen is blank before letting the BIOS boot anything. Maybe that's why this battery stuff doesn't work.

How screwed am I right now? I've never dealt with UEFI before, and didn't know I most likely have it. I'm a little scared since this is totally new territory for me, and the lack of answers is frustrating. Anybody who can provide me a few pointers about UEFI would save me a lot of torn hair.

#7 User is offline winterhell 

Posted 14 July 2014 - 12:47 AM

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If you don't know what to do, get the hdd out and back it up, then go to a computer service.

#8 User is offline GerbilSoft 

Posted 14 July 2014 - 10:05 AM

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UEFI... that may be a problem.

A few years ago, there was a bug in some Samsung laptops with UEFI where Linux would set an NVRAM variable longer than the firmware could handle, resulting in bricks. And as an added bonus, the NVRAM is EEPROM or Flash ROM, not battery-backed RAM, so it's impossible to wipe by simply pulling the BIOS battery. https://bugs.launchp...ge/+bug/1040557

You'll probably need to have the motherboard replaced, which might be expensive if the system is out of warranty.

#9 User is offline .Luke 

Posted 14 July 2014 - 09:07 PM

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Thanks your posts, the both of you. I read about that bug last night, and it sounded terrifying. I never had a problem using Ubuntu on this laptop for two years, so bumping into it now is insane. The sign of a corrupted bios through the caps lock LED test makes this sound more likely.

The only ray of hope I have is to try something somebody on Ask Ubuntu suggested. He believes the laptop is stuck in suspend mode, and waiting for the wake up signal from the OS, (Which likely didn't get committed to the kernel before I shut it down.) like his laptop was. If I could get the laptop to boot from a CD, I could commit the appropriate kernel values and get it to wake up. It's clearly a long shot, but kinda makes sense, since my screen is black exactly like this when it's waking from suspension.

Does it even sound plausible? I doubt it would work, since it's probably "stuck" in this mode, or the CMOS memory actually got corrupted, like the LED test says it is.

I had no idea modern bios' work this way. It sounds so fragile and backwards compared to the old way of storing everything by battery-backed memory. But this wouldn't be a bad thing at all if I could find a jumper for resetting the CMOS on the motherboard. I don't think my model even has one.

This whole fiasco makes me NEVER want another laptop again, because all this stuff is standard on a desktop mobo, but hardware manufacturer thinks it's funny to leave even a simple jumper absent on laptops, don't they? Screw buying another motherboard for this one if it will eventually brick itself too.

#10 User is offline .Luke 

Posted 15 July 2014 - 12:06 AM

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I decided to look around again for reset jumpers, but I'm not sure if this is it. It's a printed battery-like shape under the RAM slots with two solder joints inside the lines. (Imagine a AA battery with + prongs on both ends.) Both joints expose a oval bit of copper parallel to each other, like a flathead screwdriver could be wedged between them.

It makes me recall a post where someone found jumper pins underneath their RAM cards on an older HP laptop, and it was labeled something along the lines of CMOS_CLEAR. Of course, my laptop is a newer model with all the cool features, like a bios battery slot, stripped out, so I'm not sure if if HP left the jumpers there in my newer model, but didn't label it. The whole thing is put together in such a backwards way already, so I'm not taking a chance until I'm certain, despite the bad pickle this thing's in to begin with.

Edit : So is there a good chance this is the jumper?

View Postwinterhell, on 14 July 2014 - 12:47 AM, said:

If you don't know what to do, get the hdd out and back it up, then go to a computer service.


I get a feeling even the local Geek Squad wouldn't know what's wrong with it, honestly. Not that I have any faith in them to begin with. The ones at the Best Buy near me couldn't even spot the bad RAM slot in my mom's Toshiba Satellite series laptop with their diagnostic tools. It took my dad checking if the RAM was shot afterwards to find that himself. The last thing I'll ever do is have a band of greenhorns kick the tires and hand me a bill. (I'm willing to be corrected there if I'm wrong, however.)

As for my data, all my important stuff is on a 16GB flash drive, so I've got nothing to salvage from either of my HDDs. The rest are all programs and games I'll have to redownload again, if I'm forced to buy a new laptop.
This post has been edited by .Luke: 15 July 2014 - 12:13 AM

#11 User is offline .Luke 

Posted 17 July 2014 - 12:28 AM

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I'm sorry I'm being so persistent about this, but my only PC for the moment being dead is driving me nuts. :argh: I refuse to give up on it unless I absolutely have to.

Would it also be possible to replace the BIOS or CMOS IC itself in an attempt to clear it? Some guys have done it to clear the bios password in their HP laptops, so I'm considering this avenue to clear the whole bios altogether, if the jumper pins I think I've found aren't what I think they are. (Which I don't even know how to use.)

http://h30434.www3.h...ent/m-p/2644701

Also tried playing around with the RAM cards, and I don't think I have dead memory slots. Not that there was sign of degradation, but I had to try.

#12 User is offline .Luke 

Posted 06 August 2014 - 07:31 PM

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I was just going to leave this topic to fall into the backlog, but I figured I'd ask for some advice on this from people that know their hardware.

Got a new ASUS notebook recently, (Pretty freaking nice too.) and I'm back to researching what's wrong with this laptop again. A guy on the Ubuntu forums is smelling a dead mobo, but the LED test is telling me BIOS corruption, otherwise I would have gotten more blinks, or no response at all. I'll either have to make a USB flash drive to restore the BIOS, or buy a preflashed BIOS chip on Ebay to solder in place of the old.

However, I'm noticing a HUGE difference in how this ASUS machine controls its heat, and how that HP laptop did it; I'm beginning think this sucker's not worth fixing. On the ASUS notebook, the fan's mounted properly at the CPU, it's not at the vent, and it stays quiet even while drawing in Krita, and I mean quiet. (I had to listen intently for a sign of the fan.) Whereas with my HP's fan, it was at the vent, which leaves the GPU and CPU to run hot while the fan plays damage control with internal temperature.

It's been that way since day one. The keyboard, and the area around the HDD as well as the CPU constantly felt warm or hot enough to melt candy. :specialed: Didn't matter if I was running Windows or Linux. Keeping a desk fan pointed at the laptop somewhat helped with this, but this ASUS notebook doesn't even need that to stay cool to the touch.

So, I'm concerned that, even if the mobo isn't fried and IS fixable, it'll probably die pretty quickly later down the road from how poorly it manages heat, electronic devices' worst enemy. I don't think I want a money pit for new CPUs and or soldering in new GPU ICs by hand every other year. It seems like a waste of time when my cousin has an Acer laptop that cools itself properly, and it's been working strong for several years under a lot of abuse. I only had to open it recently to install a new AC jack port, which wasn't the laptop's own fault for wearing out either.

Opinions? Should I fix the offending part, (Or replace the mobo if it's fried, which would actually be cheaper than buying a new laptop.) and use it only as a secondary machine, that way I won't kill it again with art software? Or just hang onto it for spare parts?

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