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HP Recommended
HP Z440
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

Dear Forum,


I might have messed up big time. Let me just give you a short walk through of my problem.


Until yesterday I had a Z440 system with a Xeon E5 1620 V3 CPU, 64 GB of RAM (6 banks filled, no RAM cooling kit, that just came in the post this morning) and a Windows 10 system. There never was a Bios Update done on the system, so no Info there on the BIOS version (read on why)


And yes, now I know that I should have upgraded to a new BIOS before upgrading to a new CPU, so please don´t bash me there as I´ve suffered the consequences (read on).


Yesterday I upgraded to a E5 1680 v3 CPU. No problem there, removed the cooler, cleaned the paste off, applied new CPU and cooling paste. After booting up, the machine showed me a Post error of 973 - DRAM corruption.


So I removed all RAM blocks except for one, rebooted, got the 973 error again, entered BIOS and checked the system. CPU test and RAM quick test passed. So I had the BIOS do a component test and went home.


This morning I got back and the Test got stuck, so I rebooted the system. Could load up BIOS, selected System diagnostics...black screen and reboot...Now the system wouldn´t even boot up to the BIOS, but reboot every few seconds.


So then I switched the BBR jumper to the the two pins pointing to the back of the workstation, prepared a USB stick on another machine with HPBiosupdrec.exe (v 2.48) , applied the USB stick to the workstation rebooted and...it didnt work, it beeped 8 times, and after 30 seconds or so the cpu cooler would get real loud. After 10 minutes I rebooted the system and tried again..nothing. Curently its been running for 30 minutes with the coolers very loud and no response, just a black screen.


Did I brick the motherboard with my behaviour? What are the neccessary next steps to get a ne BIOS up and running? Clearing the CMOS would be my next bet.


Currently I´ve lost a bit of hope and am open to any suggestions.


Best regards






HP Recommended

i don't understand why when people are having issues/problems with booting they think

I know.... a bios update will fix everything!  only to realise after the fact they now have a bigger or multiple issues


as aFYI, early bios releases did not support some v3 cpu's this was added in bios updates


if you had simply reinstalled the original cpu and done a bios update all would have been fine. you appear to have learned this lesson so i will not dwell further on it


since you tried to do a bios update while having a major problem you may now have other and more severe issues try the steps below and hope for the best




i recommend you reinstall the original cpu


then do a full factory reset by removing the power cord, pressing the pwr button for 15sec then removing the "cmos" battery and then pressing the small cmos reset button on the motherboard for 3-5 sec


now, reinstall the cmos battery, pwr cord and power on if you get to the bios screen STOP do not try to flash instead note the current installed bios revision some systems require you to perform a intermediate  bios update before the latest bios can be installed (checking the hp docs on your bios does not show this is required)


once you know the current revision, you can then update to the current bios using the existing bios's update feature

this requires you to have the new bios on a fat32 usb key and the needed bios image can be found in the extracted bios SP file in the dos folder copy the xxx.bin (or .rom) file to the root of the usb stick


if you can not boot into the bios, note any system beeps/flashing light sequence and post them here




SDH has posted a crisis bios recovery procedure, search this forum for it also note the current HP recovery docs you have might be wrong in how/where to place the recovery bios file, again SDH has noted the correct procedure to follow on this forum

HP Recommended

Hey DGroves,


thank you for the advice. I followed the first part of your instructions to the letter and I was successful:


  • I unplugged the power
  • pressed the power button to release residual electricity
  • replaced the CPU
  • removed the battery
  • pressed the CMOS button


Now when I booted up, I still got 8 beeps, but I thought maybe I have to set the BBR jumper back. It worked.


Now I am staring in bewilderment at a BIOS message that tells me I have a BIOS version of M60 v02.48, which is the current version I was trying to install from this link:




I put my Turbo Drive back in and it just booted up my Windows 10 system.


Now...You know what they say, making a mistake falls under experience, twice is just plain stupid...I learned from my mistakes. I am not touching anything anymore right now until I know what to do.


What are my next steps? I guess I could try to update my BIOS from within my OS to make sure it is running correct, right? Will I need to do anything else to install the E5 1680 v3 CPU after that? Are there any steps I have overlooked?


Best regards,




HP Recommended

if your current bios shows 2.48 then you are already on the current version, and there is no need to reflash the bios.


you can now power off, pull the pwr cord and press the pwr button for 10 sec and then install the new cpu, and power back on


all should be fine, if you have a no boot replace cpu and confirm new cpu is correct version (v3 or v4) and a known good cpu


the xeon1680 cpu may require a upgraded heatsink, check the hp specs to see if this is the case before installing the 1680



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