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IanHas
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Solved!

Z400 Bios update 3.12 to 3.61 results in no beep and no screen.

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Z400
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

Did a bios update through the bios utility and loaded the bin file from a USB stick. After the update the computer did a reboot which resulted in a blank screen and no beeps. The fan is going. Tried the following

Removed power

Pressed power button to turn off the board LED

Removed CMOS battery

Pressed power button for over a minute

Press CMOS reset button

Applied power, but still a blank screen and no beeps. nay ideas what may be going wrong?

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IanHas
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Fixed. The crisis recovery mode allowed the bios to be reflashed and now it is at 3.61.  For those who may need it the procedure I used was a s follows

1. Burn the bios image onto a CD/DVD using the 7G3_0361.iso from the BIOS_CD folder.

2. Power up the Z400 and insert the CD/DVD with the bios image.

3. Power down the PC and remove the power cord.

4. Power on the PC to discahrge the power on the board.

5. Remove the side panel and jumper the crisis recovery pins. The pins can be located using the diagram on the inside of the panel.

6. Insert power cord. If the PC does not start siwtch it on.

7. The PC will beep 8 times and the power light will show red.

8. If all is well a screen will appear saying that the bios is corrupt and it is looking for a bios from either an optical drive or USB.

9. The bios will be flashed and you will be asked to remove the power cord for at least 5 seconds.

10. Before you re-insert the power cord remove the jumper from the crisis recovery pins.

11. Insert the power cord. If the PC does not start then press the power switch.

You could of course use the USB instead of the optical drive to reload the bios. See SDH's links above. Many thanks to SDH for pointing me in the right direction.

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SDH
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The link HERE  may give you some perspective though it does not deal exactly with the Z400.  Updating BIOS from anything other than from within BIOS is a big risk if you are running W10.

 

Take a look at that long topic, and my best advice is to give some of the ideas in there a try, but likely you will need to buy a used motherboard off eBay and replace the one that appears "bricked".  The later version of the Z400 motherboard is what you want, and it has 6 instead of 4 memory sockets.  So, one of the later better  versions of the Z400 is easy to identify.  The replacement project is not too bad... roughly 45 minutes.  Obviously something you would want to avoid, and you might wish to upgrade to a Z420 instead... make sure it is a v2 if so.

 

Learn how to update BIOS from within BIOS... it is easy and safe and has been posted about in the forum here over and over.  I am sorry you are having to deal with this.

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IanHas
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The board has 6 memory slots and I did the update from the bios as I read about the issues of updating it from W10. Were their any known issues with 3.61?

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SDH
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We still have some Z400 v2 and some Z600 v2 in service.  They now all are running W10Pro64, and all are running the latest BIOS (3.61) with no issues.

 

Was it the "Business Desktops BIOS Utilities" you used?    HP has that in the same "BIOS (2)" section for both the Z400 and the Z600 where you also can download the BIOS installer package.

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IanHas
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Thank for replying.

 

I downloaded the sp84161.exe file from https://support.hp.com/gb-en/drivers/selfservice/hp-z400-workstation/3718668 which created the 7G3_0361 bin file amongst all the other files. When I went into the bios, the bios recognized the file as 3.61 so I though it was ok. After the flash was complete the PC did a reboot and then nothing except for fan noise.

I look at the crisis recovery mode but that doesn't seem to do anything. I assume HP must have a way to programme the bare board bios. Has anyone done anything in this field?

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IanHas
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Fixed. The crisis recovery mode allowed the bios to be reflashed and now it is at 3.61.  For those who may need it the procedure I used was a s follows

1. Burn the bios image onto a CD/DVD using the 7G3_0361.iso from the BIOS_CD folder.

2. Power up the Z400 and insert the CD/DVD with the bios image.

3. Power down the PC and remove the power cord.

4. Power on the PC to discahrge the power on the board.

5. Remove the side panel and jumper the crisis recovery pins. The pins can be located using the diagram on the inside of the panel.

6. Insert power cord. If the PC does not start siwtch it on.

7. The PC will beep 8 times and the power light will show red.

8. If all is well a screen will appear saying that the bios is corrupt and it is looking for a bios from either an optical drive or USB.

9. The bios will be flashed and you will be asked to remove the power cord for at least 5 seconds.

10. Before you re-insert the power cord remove the jumper from the crisis recovery pins.

11. Insert the power cord. If the PC does not start then press the power switch.

You could of course use the USB instead of the optical drive to reload the bios. See SDH's links above. Many thanks to SDH for pointing me in the right direction.

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SDH
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Ian... that is great news, and I'm very happy for you!  These successes each add a bit of information to a process that HP never really has detailed.  I'm sure that is because there are quite a few causes of the problem, and that not each cause can be fixed.  Plus, there is some randomness to a successful crisis recovery.  I'd like to comment on some of your points:

 

1.  I agree that use of a CD may actually be better than use of a USB drive as a way to present to BIOS a clean BIOS.bin file.  There are more variables with a USB drive versus a CD-ROM, such as the type of format, and the basics of driving a CD likely are more constant than the use of a USB.  If the BIOS is programmed to drive a USB and a CD for this process (and it is) then CD actually may be a better choice when your back is up against the wall.

 

2.  Your point number 4... you are discharging the on-motherboard capacitors because in step 3 you unplugged the power.   At this point I'd also have the on-motherboard CMOS battery removed.  Pushing that on button is not really a "Power on..."  but I get what you mean there.  This is where I'd also be pushing the clear CMOS button too.  And waiting, and repeating, with the battery still out.  Then battery back in.

 

3.  Point 5... yes, the motherboard map HP provides is inside the cover, and it is more accurate than what HP has printed in manuals.  I forget the full details, but my recall is that some of the earlier workstations had a jumper across 2 pins that you removed to allow the crisis recovery process to work (or put on to allow it to work), and others had a set of 3 motherboard pins that you "shorted" by having the jumper on one set of two (of the 3) pins for normal position when running normally, and then if you needed to do a crisis recovery maneuver you shifted that jumper to "short" the other two pins.  Ian may remember the details of that on the Z400, and that should be the same on the Z600. 

 

To add to the mishmash the process was opposite for the Z620 vs the Z820:  Lets say you shorted pins 1-2 for normal running in a Z620... for the Z820 you shorted pins 2-3 for normal running.  Even the HP engineers got confused and baffled by this whole thing.  So, be careful to know what you started with, and end up back at that configuration when you're done.  Write it down..

 

4.  Point 10..."remove the jumper from the crisis recovery pins"    I cannot recall exactly... Ian may mean here to shift the jumper from the  crisis recovery pins position back to the normal running pins position.  I have seen jumper positions where instead of there being 3 pins there are actually only 2, and the storage position of the jumper is to have it slid over only one of the 2 pins for safe keeping.  These details all may have been in manuals only available to a HP FSE (Field Service Engineer).

 

Ian, thanks for persevering and adding to the knowledge base.

 

Scott

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IanHas
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Scott, sorry for the typos.

Point 4. I was going to go down battery removal, reset CMOS route if the crisis recovery did not work. However it turned out it was not necessary in my case.

Point 5. the Z400 has a 2 pin crisis recovery header and is open in normal operation. Shorting it enables the crisis recovery. I know this as I forgot to remove the link after the re-flash and when I applied power it went back into the crisis recovery mode so I had to re-flash the bios again. Hence -

Point 10. Remove the jumper before switching the PC on.

I found a jumper with a tab useful as the crisis recovery pins are in an awkward place on the board.

 

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