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The HP Community is where owners of HP products, like you, volunteer to help each other find solutions.
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HP Compaq Elite 8300 SFF
Microsoft Windows 7 (64-bit)

HP Compaq Elite 8300 SFF

product number : A2K84ET#ABU

serial : CZC3304MY9


was updating the BIOS using the windows tool, it got to 99% then froze.

could only kill the power the reboot.

on post it just beeps 8 times and no video.


i've tried disconnecting all the internal devices (HDD, DVD etc) and also pressing and holding the CMOS reset button on the board, but no luck.


any suggestions what to try next?

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See the troubleshooting guide at the link below, appendix A, page 59 for how to troubleshoot the 8 beep code.




Here is the link to the Desktop Management Guide.



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the documents says the recommend action for 8 beeps is


1 "Reflash the system ROM with the latest BIOS image. See the “Boot Block Emergency Recovery Mode” section of the Desktop Management Guide for more information."


however point 2 says about the desired BIOS image file. which particular file do i need?
there any many download options for bios at https://support.hp.com/gb-en/drivers/selfservice/hp-compaq-elite-8300-small-form-factor-pc/5232852




Boot Block Emergency Recovery Mode says

To recover the system after it enters Boot Block Emergency Recovery Mode, complete the following steps:
1. Turn off the power.

2. Insert a CD or USB flash device containing the desired BIOS image file in the root directory. NOTE: The media must be formatted using the FAT12, FAT16, or FAT32 file system.

3. Turn on the computer. If no appropriate BIOS image is found, you will be prompted to insert media containing a BIOS image file. If the system successfully reprograms the ROM, the system will automatically power off.

4. Remove the removable media used to upgrade the BIOS.

5. Turn the power on to restart the computer.


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is it the "K01.cab" file or "K01_0304.bin" file or "ROM.cab" file?
all three of those are downloading when you download the ROM update pack.

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The K01_0304.bin file is the actual BIOS update file.


I don't know what the other two files are for.


They are cabinet files that may open if and when the binary file is found.

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OK this hasn't worked.


the troubleshooting guide says

Red Power LED flashes eight
times, once every second,
followed by a two second
pause. Beeps stop after fifth
iteration but LEDs continue
until problem is solved.

however mins doesn't stop after the fifth iteration, it just keeps going thru the 8 beep cycle continously.

i counted 10 times it did this before killing the power again.

this is what happens

i turn on the power.

the light flashed red 8 times and there are 8 beeps.

the unit then powers off and back on again.

this continually repeats until the power is manually cut.


i tried plugging in a USB sitck with the "K01_0304.bin" file on it (formatted to FAT32). but this made no difference.

at no point was i prompted to insert media containing a bios image file as per the instructions.


If no appropriate BIOS image is found, you will be prompted to insert media containing a BIOS image file. If the system successfully reprograms the ROM, the system will automatically power off.
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Then you go to the next step...replace the motherboard.

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which isn't an option.

if that is the only solution then this unit will need to be scrapped.


it's pretty poor that a BIOS upgrade tool supplied by HP can catastrophically damage a unit beyond repair.

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Yes it is pretty poor indeed that has happened.


I have never had to recover from a bad BIOS flash before, and I hope that I never will.

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@SimonGr, yes it is rather poor that a HP BIOS update executable trashes the firmware update process and in some cases the motherboard along with it but I would not give up just yet.


1. First, i'd clear CMOS.

2. Then i'd locate the smallest USB thumb drive you can get your hands on.


Don't use a thumb drive that has CDFS or U3 partition on it. You can identify CDFS/U3 partitions on thimb drives as you'll notice a CD with assigned drive letter show up when the thumb drive is inserted. This "CD" object on the thumd drive confuses the BIOS recovery process. 


3. Format the thumb drive using FAT/FAT16 with a 32k allocation size  (FAT/FAT16 shows up in Windows format if thumb drive <4G).


4. Save the BIOS bin file to the root of the FAT/FAT16 thumb drive.


The latest BIOS executable is sp63016.exe for v2.90 or sp77888.exe for v3.04 BUT NOTE, to update to v3 firmware you must already be at v2.99 according to HP yet there is no v2.99 on HP's download page! Guess it's just another instance of great documentation quality from HP !


In any case, in my experiance is that it is important to use the version of BIOS that was installed on the machine just prior to the borked update attempt on the thumb drive during the recovery process. So choose another service pack if it was some firmware other than what i have linked above.


Anyway, if you double click on the sp?????.exe and then cancel the update, you can find the firmware binary file located within  c:\swsetup\sp?????\DOS Flash\ where it was unpacked. It will be either K01_0290.bin or K01_0304.bin depending which sp.exe you selected from the links above, or something else if you had earlier firmware prior to the borked update.


Alternatively you can use 7-zip to look inside an sp.exe archive and select the file you want to extract withiout running the sp.exe itself.  the 7-zip method is useful when getting the files togethr on another machine.


Now that you have a small thumb drive appropriately ormated with the appropriate bin file placed on the root of the drive, insert it in a front usb2 port of the PC and power up the machine. If you're luckiy it will start the firmware update process so don't interupt it or power down.


Keep in mind that idealy, all firmware updates should be performed with the machine powered via a UPS as it removes the very smal risk that a power glitch borks the update process. And, though tempting in some instances, do not power off the machine if you suspect a flash failure unless more than an hour has passed (longer with servers).


Again, the important thing is:

 - clear CMOS,

 - use small thumb drive in FAT/FAT16 format

 - and place the bin file of the last good BIOS version running on your machine onto the root of the thumb drive

 - power up with thumb drive in front usb2 port


Be methodical and tell us exactly what you did and how it failed if you didn't have luck with the recovery process (which is rather poorly defined by HP).


Good luck.


[edited to add following]



many HP systems have commonality in their BIOS, so even though the Compaq Elite 8300 should automatically enter BIOS Recovery Mode when something is borked, you may also like to try a laptop styled method if you don't get joy with the above process. Try the following: Disconnect power and insert a thumb drive as before, then press and hold the Windows key and B key at the same time, reconnect power and press amnd hold the power button for 3 seconds while still holding Windows and B keys (yes you need three hands). I've had this process work when it was not ment to...  see here and here.

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