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Posts: 13
Member Since: ‎02-15-2010
Message 1 of 21 (89,796 Views)

Fixing A laptop which had had a bad BIOS upgrade

For anyone who 'bricked' their HP laptop while attempting to upgrade the BIOS, the following may be useful to you.  HP laptops have Phoenix BIOS which allow you to enter a special 'crisis recovery mode' (CRM) if there ever is a bad BIOS upgrade and allows you to rewrite the BIOS with a good ROM file.  This won't work for everyone, but if your laptop is dead and not responding, give it a go - you never know if it will save you sending it back, as you can bet this is the first thing the techs who get it are going to try.



1.  First, you need to get the Crisis Recovery Disk Tool. Google 'Phoenix Crisis Recovery' to find a disk maker - they are free and readily available.

2. Use WINCRIS.EXE or the CRISDISK.BAT (both part of the crisis recovery disk maker package), to create a floppy that you will be able to use to recover the BIOS.

3. Find your BIOS file in the current BIOS update on the HP support site.  Run the update on another computer, don't install it obviously - cancel before it actually flashes the BIOS, and then find the WPH or ROM file that was in the packaged file and rename it as BIOS.WPH.  Some HP BIOS updates ask where you want to decompress the files - find the WPH or ROM file there.  Some just decompress to a temporary folder in the C: drive - look for a newly created folder that is just a collection of numbers and letters - you should see WINFLASH and other files there along with the BIOS ROM you need.  This file needs to be copied onto your newly created crisis recovery floppy.  Note you MUST rename it BIOS.WPH. Changing the name and extension may be necessary.
4. Remove the battery from the laptop, and unplug the AC power cord. Then plug in your USB floppy drive (with the Crisis Recovery Disk in it and ready to go). Next, With the AC still unplugged, press and hold the Windows and B keys. While still holding them, plug the AC power in, then press the power button.  

5. The system should power on, but there should be no LEDs lit up, and the fan should not slow down like it normally does. If that is not what happens, and you get LEDs that light up, and the fan slows like normal, or nothing happens at all, unplug the AC power and try using the Fn (function) and B keys instead. Once the system has booted into the BIOS recovery mode, the floppy light will flash as it reads the BIOS file from the disk. You can then release the Win+B or Fn+B keys. After a minute or two, the floppy light will stop flashing.

6. DO NOT shut the computer off, as the process is only half complete - the machine has read the BIOS but it still needs to write them. Wait while the system flashes the BIOS.

7. After the floppy light goes off, leave the computer on for five minutes, or more if you want to be sure, and if the system does not reboot itself (many do not), unplug the AC power.

8.  Plug the AC power back into the laptop and fire it up - if all goes well, you'll have made a very expensive doorstop into something useful again.

This works for most all newer models of laptops with Phoenix BIOS.  All HP's have Phoenix BIOS so it should work on most.  You will also find some laptops have other key combos to enter the CRM (crisis recovery mode).  If this doesn't work try Googling a bit and see if you can find a key code for your specific laptop.  That being said sometimes it is a problem with the motherboard and you will not be able to recover with CRM.

I am posting this to help out the many people who I found today while searching these forums who are having failed BIOS upgrade issues.  I had a bad BIOS brick my HP laptop.  I am able to enter CRM, but even after it appears to successfully read and write the BIOS on my laptop, it still does not work.  I have found a hald dozen people who are having the exact same issue - even with the Phoenix BIOS recovery mode appearing to work, it does not fix their HP laptop after a bad BIOS upgrade.  I am guessing either the version of PHLASH16.EXE needs to be HP specific, or HP has put some other file marker on their CRM system so anyone else other than HP techs cannot use CRM to fix a BIOS issue and you will be forced to send your laptop back to HP for (costly) repairs.

If anyone else has experienced this or found a way to get a HP laptop which refuses to take a new BIOS even after a successful CRM please let me know!

Thanks in advance!

Posts: 13
Member Since: ‎02-15-2010
Message 2 of 21 (89,795 Views)

Re: Fixing A laptop which had had a bad BIOS upgrade

Sorry, posted this in the wrong forum.  Please reply over at the notebooks forum!

Posts: 8
Member Since: ‎02-14-2010
Message 3 of 21 (89,766 Views)

Phoenix? Re: Fixing A laptop which had had a bad BIOS upgrade

My Pavilion dv8t does not use a Phoenix BIOS....great discussion on crisis recovery, though!

Posts: 1
Member Since: ‎03-04-2010
Message 4 of 21 (89,415 Views)

Re: Phoenix? Re: Fixing A laptop which had had a bad BIOS upgrade

I have a Pavilion dv9700 (dv9925nr) that I was told to downgrade the bios due to "no tpm or tpm has problems".  Since doing the downgrade the system will not boot at all, no power.  Can anyone help.

Posts: 36
Member Since: ‎05-25-2010
Message 5 of 21 (88,161 Views)

Re: Phoenix? Re: Fixing A laptop which had had a bad BIOS upgrade

Is it possible to use this method with a CD or Flash Drive???



Regents Professor
Posts: 4,246
Member Since: ‎03-09-2010
Message 6 of 21 (88,094 Views)

Re: Fixing A laptop which had had a bad BIOS upgrade

"HP laptops have Phoenix BIOS"

Which laptops does have Phoenix BIOS??

Mine has Insyde BIOS and there is unfortunately very poor settings...

Dv6-7000 /Full HD/Core i5-3360M/GF 650M/Corsair 8GB/Intel 7260AC/Samsung Pro 256GB
Testing - HP 15-p000 Donated to the Cancer Research UK

HP ProBook 640, Core i7-4610M/HyperX 240GB SSD/Corsair 16GB DDR3 1800MHz/Intel 6235
HP Touchpad provided by HP
Currently on Debian Wheeze

*Please, help other users with the same issue by marking your solved topics as "Accept as Solution"*
Posts: 1
Member Since: ‎09-20-2010
Message 7 of 21 (85,956 Views)

Re: Fixing A laptop which had had a bad BIOS upgrade

I have a hp pavilion dv2123tu and did a BIOS upgrade and now i have a hung laptop, i tried this method using a flash drive but it didnt work, are there any other options i can try because i'd really just want to recover my files and programs and buy a new one.

Or is there a repair centre which does this cheaper than others?

Posts: 12,389
Member Since: ‎01-11-2010
Message 8 of 21 (85,887 Views)

Re: Fixing A laptop which had had a bad BIOS upgrade

[ Edited ]

Newer HP's have a UEFI bios beginning in late-2008., I have been told if you download and unpack the bios file from HP for your model, copy the correct bios file (eg:68YHV.BIN, not ROM.BIN)  to a floppy disk and use a USB floppy drive, USB keys won't work.


Connect the USB floppy drive to the PC, hold down all four arrow keys while you power up, Wait ~2, 3 seconds an release the keys. it will take 2~3 minutes to recover the bios, I have not confirmed this.


This 4 arrow method is documented by HP for a "Bios Authentication Failure" message,

pressing all 4 arrow keys wile you see this message will recover the bios, makes sense if you hold them down while powering up it will go to the A drive for a crisis recovery.


Hoping someone can confirm this.


Almost all PC bios have a bricked bios recovery method, the secret is knowing how.



If it is a partial bios flash failure you can sometimes recover by doing the following, remove AC power, and the main battery, locate and remove the CMOS (RTC) battery for 15 minutes, re-insert the cmos battery and AC , leave the main battery out, power up see if it is recovered.


Bios repair service





Posts: 1
Member Since: ‎11-02-2010
Message 9 of 21 (84,818 Views)

Re: Fixing A laptop which had had a bad BIOS upgrade

I have a dv6 3120us HP.  The auto update said the BIOS needed updating.   Once the update was completed, the screen froze.  Could not power down.  

Unplugged the computer, removed battery.   Waited 5 minutes, reinstalled the battery and applied power and nothing, no lights, no nothing.

So I tried your method of starting it,  Windows+d B keys, plugged in power and hit power button--- nothing

So then I tried ur next suggested method  Fn+B keys, applied power and pushed power on button and held for 5 seconds.  Lights started flashing.  It asked if I wanted to continue update or go back and I chose to go back.   It did the same thing again, loaded the software, verified software, then froze.

So I removed the power cord, unplugged the battery and started again....

This time I pushed the FN+B key and applied power and pushed the power on switch while still holding down the Fn+B key, once the keys on the keyboard lite I still held the Fn+B keys and the system come up with a message, last BIOS failed to load, restarting system.   

Now I have my computer back with the old BIOS.  

Thanks for your help.



Posts: 12,389
Member Since: ‎01-11-2010
Message 10 of 21 (84,815 Views)

Re: Fixing A laptop which had had a bad BIOS upgrade



Your method confirmed here


Question is does this work with the new UEFI bios by Insyde.



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