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HP Recommended

Hello all, I wanted to inform the community that I also successfully revived a bricked Probook 455 G7 using a CH341A.

 

Now here's the catch. This whole mess of me trying to figure out how to flash that **bleep** BIOS chip was far from being a breeze.

 

First off, the clip leads that came with my programmer were total garbage and wouldn't attach to the chip properly. Both NeoProgrammer and AsProgrammer weren't able to read or write anything, and wouldn't unprotect either (NeoProgrammer would always say "IC not responding" regardless of what I tried).

 

I then decided to unsolder the BIOS from the motherboard using hot air (damaging a bit of that soft black plastic cover around it in the process) and put it on that little adapter PCB that came with the programmer. There is a spot with pads specifically designed for this kind of SOIC8 chip (you can choose to solder it on the pads for better reliability, I simply attached and held it in place with a spring clip in my case). The little PCB is then placed on the programmer socket in the correct orientation (as shown by NeoProgrammer).

 

Note: if you decide to remove the chip like I did, take note of its original orientation first (there's a little dot in one of the corners of the chip indicating pin 1), as it will serve for later when putting it on the little SOIC8 adapter PCB, and for putting it back on the motherboard afterwards. Also, you might want to remove the whole heatsink assembly for better access to the chip.

 

It's only in that configuration that both programs could operate as they should. I used NeoProgrammer (2.1.0.19) for the rest of my process. You first detect the chip using the question mark button. If you still get "IC not responding" then your connection to the chip isn't good. If the connection is good, you get a selection menu (to which I selected MX25L12872F in my case).

 

Once you selected the chip, try to read it using the Read IC button. Using NeoProgrammer, you see right away if you have a problem. The operation should complete until the progress bar is filled (if not, you get things like reading error at address blahblahblah, I can't remember the exact message).

 

If the chip reads successfully, try to erase it using the Erase IC button (the red X). This should take some time. If it's instantaneous, there's a problem or you didn't select the right chip from the IC detection menu.

 

Once it's erased, the contents will be filled with 00s and FFs (or just FFs, I can't remember). Now try to load your BIOS with the Open File button. In my case, I used the BIOS in post #4 from the "HP 455 G7, D0X9MMB8F0, rev.F" thread on the badcaps forum. The file is named "HP ProBook 455 G7.rar" and the BIOS file "HP ProBook 455 G7_BIOS.BIN" and is exactly 16,777,216 bytes in size.

Once the BIOS is loaded, time to write it using the "Program IC" button. If all goes well, you should see a progress bar. Wait until it finishes.

 

Edit: At this point you might encounter a "Verification error on address:" message while it's verfifying the chip before writing. In that case, click on the little arrow besides the Program IC button and untick "verify". Then attempt to write again. It should perform without issues.

 

Just to be sure, try to read the chip again and save the result to a file. You then compare your dumped file to the original "HP ProBook 455 G7_BIOS.BIN" that you've just tried to flash. They should match exactly.

 

Once all that is done, take the chip off that little adapter PCB and put it back to the motherboard. You might want to clean the solder pads with alcohol first before trying to solder it back (you don't have to remove the remaining solder, unless you really want to do it the right way, using fresh solder). Put you chip back and make sure its orientation is correct. Also make sure it's lined up perfectly. Now hold it in place with some adhesive tape covering only the ceramic surface and the other side, so one side reamains free.

 

Now, hold it a little more by pushing it with some tool while using your soldering iron (fine tip at 400°C) to heat one pin a time until the solder melts on the side that isn't covered with the tape. Once you did that one side of the chip you can remove the adhesive tape and do the other side the same way, one pin at at time. You don't have to put fresh solder as the remaining one should be enough. But if you totally cleaned the pads beforehand, then you'll need new fresh solder (but you'll have to be careful not to bridge two neighbouring pins).

 

Now it's time to power on the computer to see if you worked well (and put back the heatsink assembly before, if it was previously removed).

 

In my case, the computer was still dead. I thought that was a big fail and waste of time. But it took me 3 or 4 successive power cycle attempts in order to finally get something on the screen. First it will warn you about completing the BIOS upgrade and not turning off the power (indeed, you do all that plugged to the mains, not off the laptop's battery). Once it's finished, it may complain about loss of settings (especially if you tried to remove components like the coin battery). At this stage it would not let me push Enter and it wouldn't let me power off! So I yanked the charger, put it back and powered the laptop on again. And this time it was all good! And it booted Windows successfully.

 

I power cycled it multiple times after booting Windows and shutting off. No problems so far. One machine saved! Now a second one will await me unfortunately.

 

Please note that I never performed the 3.3V mod on my CH341A in order to complete this whole process. I even inserted the chip backwards on the programmer at some point which shut the USB connection off and made the chip burning hot! But it wasn't destroyed. Also not that flashing the BIOS didn't reset the machine's serial number.

 

My apologize if that post was pretty long, but I wanted to detail the process. I hope it will help the most of you ending up having bricked Probook 455 G7 in your fleet. In all cases, HP deserves a red flag for such careless and neglecting attitude of putting not thoroughly tested BIOS upgrades online and forcing them onto our machines.

HP Recommended

Hello, can someone place the file "HP ProBook 455 G7.rar" on google cloud and a link to all the files we need to flash the chip?

Thank you!

HP Recommended

I can link the file here for those who don't have (or don't want to create) an account on the badcaps forums. I hope the HP forums are OK with that.

HP Recommended

I managed to connect it through a clothespin, I had to connect the 3.0v bios battery, I didn't even connect the power to the board itself, everything was read, but neoprogrammer writes that there is write protection, how to remove it? because the removal function does not work at all, I remove the ticks, read again and they appear again

HP Recommended

@Ivan1264: If you can't unprotect with the clip leads attached to the chip on the motherboard, then it means you have no other choice than removing the chip. Check that NeoProgrammer can at least detect it. In my experience, the clip leads were extremely finicky, and I only managed to make NeoProgrammer detect the chip with the clip leads in a certain position, with me holding it. But once I remove my hand, it wouldn't work anymore.

 

Well, I don't like what I'm about to write. But I have some not happy news regarding my second bricked machine. I used the same process more or less, made sure the flashed data was correct at least 3 times before soldering the BIOS chip back. But now, the laptop is giving me the dreaded Caps+Num lock blinking 7 times error no matter what I try. Power LED doesn't lit anymore, but the battery/charge indicator stays on full white all the time.

 

The only difference being that I removed the black plastic cover before blowing hot air onto the chip. I might have damaged some neighbouring components that way (tiny resistors or caps). I have no idea. I might have been extremely lucky the first time.

 

So to those wanting to attempt what I did, it might be wiser to not remove the plastic cover while unsoldering the chip.

 

Also, on my first attempt, I had a maximum things disconnected from the motherboard (trackpad, CMOS battery, RAM, display, keyboard, fan were disconnected). I haven't disconnected anything on my second attempt, except RAM and HDD. It might have played a role in my demise.

 

My success rate at this point is 50%. I hope I won't have more affected laptops (I shouldn't, as HP deleted the faulty update).

HP Recommended

I did write new bin file with CH341 programmer by using a clipper without removing the Bios from board.
In the neoprogrammer, I did all of mentioned jobs for writing new file to bios very correctly, without a problem.
I tasted many times each step. I did it very carefully. but, still the problem exists.
I guess, some other Jobs are needed to solve the problem.

There is an IC near to bios. do I need to write other file on it as well.
Or may be the mentioned file is very old and not accepted by motherboard.
If a genius guy complete the solution will be helpful.

HP Recommended

I've done 3 in the end, 2 I used a BIOS I didn't think was correct (File length) and it still recovered and worked OK, the other I used the BIOS listed earlier and that flashed fine.

 

All 3 times I removed the laptop battery to ensure it didn't cause any issues with the process and it's worked, try removing the battery if you haven't already

HP Recommended

Thank you for files. I will try to flash. 

HP Recommended

I do not know how useful this is but there is a tutorial here that was nicely done.  I previously owned a similar system but never had a problem with the bios before I gave it away..  The last time I had to program a bios chip the motherboards were socketed and one could easily remove the rom chip.

 


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HP Recommended

I have the same problem with my HP Elitebook 845 G7. I am so disappointed how HP got to this point of bricking business grade Laptop. I guess I have to do BIOS flashing now as well.

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