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EdwinDL
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HP Z420 BIOS Upgraded - Now workstation will not start

Z420 Workstation
Microsoft Windows 8.1 (64-bit)

I have upgrade the BIOS to latest version on my Z420.   I did this from Windows itself 8.1 Pro.   Everything looked ok.  When it was done I got message about reboot required, so I did.  It hang at that point.  Power cycled and nothing.   I am not able to do anything.   This is what it does after unplugging power cord and plugging back:  Blue light in fron turns on.  Fans working; nothing on screen; the monitor does not even detect a connection; then after a few minutes fan star "screaming".

 

 Is there a way to restore BIOS?   I have looked and have not found anything on this.  The filename for the BIOS upgrade applied is sp71579.exe

 

Any suggestion will be trully appreciated!  

 

THanks in advance!

 

Edwin

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Granroyal
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HP Z420 BIOS Upgraded - Now workstation will not start

 

HP bonged the newest Bios sets.

 

Had the same issue with my z840 from "upgrading" 1.53 to 1.55.

 

Problem was the USB Keyboard!

Unplug it and it's booting well. Found out that changing the Bios from Legacy to UEFI Boot solved the Problem.

 

Unplug your USB devices and try it out. Even the mouse or keyboard can hang up your Workstation.

 

 

Hope that helps...

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EdwinDL
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HP Z420 BIOS Upgraded - Now workstation will not start

Than you for your post.  I tried it, no luck.

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Skylarking
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HP Z420 BIOS Upgraded - Now workstation will not start

If I Recall Correctly, the firmware can not be updated from within windows due to a hardware controlled write inhibit being enabled by the CPU on the BIOS flash chip itself. The windows flash tool makes it seem that the firmware is updated within windows but this is not the case.

 

IIRC, within windows the flash tool actually sets up a RAM drive, copies the old ROM from the BIOS flash chip to this RAM drive and also copies the new BIOS ROM and flash tool from HDD to this RAM drive. The windows flash tool also sets some CPU registers that results in a special reboot condition. When the reboot occurs, the flash tool on the RAM drive starts the real firmware update of the BIOS chip since the hardware write inhibited has not been set in this special reboot mode. Once complete, i think the system again reboots and then Windows starts up with the BIOS flash chip being write inhibited. 

 

So you must be very patient when the 1st reboot occurs as it can take more than a few minutes to do the real writing of the new firmware to the BIOS flash chip. If you pull the power part way through the write proces before the ROM has been written fully, the contents of the flash chip could be such that a boot will not work and the recovery process will also not work. In such sutuations the worksation behaves like a brick.

 

So never pull power during a reboot associated with a BIOS flash...

 

To compound the problem, HP BIOS (spxxx.exe file) may on rare occassions be faulty, as indicated earlier, but in such cases HP pulls the update from their servers rather quickly. 

 

I'm not sure of the BIOS recovery process but for some PC's i think 8 beeps occur and on next boot the system looks to the USB port for a Fat32 formatted thumb drive with a specifically named ROM file on it. The ROM file name is system specific. Such methods may or may not be relevant to worksations.

 

In any case, remove all USB devices, try a reboot and hopefuly it does something more than a black screen. Try again with only the HP keyboard and mouse connected. If no luck, then you need to talk to HP support and tell them the BIOS flash failed and hopefully they know the BIOS recovery process for your worksation or will replace the motherboard under warranty.

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Skylarking
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HP Z420 BIOS Upgraded - Now workstation will not start

[lost my post  - grrrr]

 

I extracted the contents of sp71579.exe  to a folder on my desktop using 7-zip and found BIOS Flash.htm within. Double clicking the htm file yield interesting info so i suggest you read it :TongueOut:

 

In futer use F10 bios update method as it's safer. Of interest to your possibly bricked workstation is the following from within that doc:

 

Fail-safe Boot Block Recovery Mode

HP Workstations include 64 KB of write-protected boot block ROM that provides a way to recover from a failed update of the system BIOS ROM, for instance in the event of a power loss.  Fail-safe BootBlock Recovery Mode will detect that the BIOS is unusable and boot the workstation in a recovery mode and search the root folder of any FAT/FAT32 filesystem on any USB media source (hard drive, flash drive, etc.) for a compatible binary image. The binary (.bin) file in the DOS Flash folder should be copied to the root of the desired storage device, and the system powered on. Once the binary image is located, the BIOS recovery process will be attempted. The automatic recovery will continue until the BIOS is successfully updated or restored.

 

So try it and hopefully your brick will again become a workstation.

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