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marko73
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Cannot turn off computer that is stuck in BIOS update

HP Recommended
250 G7
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

During the restart that followed a Windows update, the computer got stuck in BIOS update at block 1/4096 and at 0%. It is a HP Probook laptop (250 G7) with nonremovable battery. Holding the power button for 15 seconds does not affect the state of the computer and I am not able to turn it off. What am I supposed to do? Thanks.

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cwillis1337
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I have the same issue on the same laptop models. I can tell you what I've been doing, but as of today I am starting to question whether that has actually been successful or not, I fear the issue will pop back up again for the users I've applied this "fix" for. But here it is:

 

Stop the update services and delete update files, reboot, and then search for and apply all new updates. Here's how to do that:

Open cmd as administrator and run these two commands to stop the update services:

net stop wuauserv

net stop bits

Navigate to C drive > windows > software distribution and delete everything in this folder. If you are not allowed to do this it is because the services above have restarted themselves so you'll have to stop them again.

After deleting those files, start those services again in cmd by typing net start wuauserv and net start bits, and then restart the computer, search for updates, and apply updates.

I have my doubts that this above method actually resolves the issue.

 

The only known successful installation of this BIOS update happened in this precise scenario:

  • Hardwired to ethernet, I reinstalled windows10 via USB flash drive (chose custom install > erased the hard drive and all partitions). I then applied as many system updates as possible, restarting when requested. I DID NOT bind the computer to the network. During all of this the only account I was signed in with on the computer was the local admin account that I set the computer up with. At some point along the way during one of the restarts it went into that BIOS screen and to my surprise actually downloaded and installed the BIOS update. Out of maybe 5 or 6 laptops that have experienced this BIOS issue, this was the only once I've witnessed actually complete it. And it never got stuck at 0% either, it just immediately started downloading with nothing stopping it, and I wonder if not being bound to the network has something to do with it - I really am stumped.
  • For my 2nd laptop that I did side by side with the exact process as above, but I did bind it to the network at some point along the way. It was after that that it booted into the BIOS update page and got stuck at 0%. Maybe being bound to the network has nothing to do with this issue at all, but I'm just relating my experience moment to moment. Also potentially worth noting: prior to getting stuck in BIOS, I noticed Sophos had installed itself. I wonder if Sophos has anything to do with the stuck BIOS screen, like maybe it's blocking network traffic and not allowing the computer to download the update, and the BIOS screen itself will not allow you to "interfere", so it creates this issue where you are just stuck.

 

Additional notes:

1) During your troubleshooting you can actually spot when the computer is about to jump into the stuck BIOS update screen and stop it before it goes into it. Pay attention during the restart, if it looks like it's about to go into that BIOS screen, just press the power button immediately (ctrl+alt+del might also work). The computer should boot back up after that and not go into that BIOS screen anymore.

2) The only way to get the computer unstuck from the BIOS screen is to let it die out of battery. It may need to remain plugged in for about 5 minutes before powering back on. Also, you may notice that it will not power back on - if this happens hold the power button down for 10+ seconds and then try to power it back on after that.

 

When my other machine dies out of battery and I can actually boot into again, I'm going to first try unbinding from the network and restarting a few times to see what behavior comes from the BIOS. If my results are the same, I'll wipe it and set it up again and get all updates installed prior to binding to the network.

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cwillis1337
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EDIT: I was able to get it to work by updating to F.30, and then F.36. Just like the other laptop, F.36 failed on it's first attempt, and then I did it a 2nd time and it worked. So, I suppose this is the quickest path to success - update to the F.30 update, and then update straight to the F.36 update. (note, I did this from a starting point of F.28)

 

I believe this issue is resolved as easily as downloading all of the available BIOS updates from the HP 250 G7 drivers page, and installing them in order, starting with the oldest available BIOS update, which I believe is version F.30. You download the .exe's from the drivers page, and then simply run them as admin for install, and it will prompt for restart. Restart as it requests and let it do it's thing. Do this for each BIOS update all the way until you've installed the latest version. That way Windows/HP won't try automatically forcing a BIOS update. 

 

The issue I ran into doing the above is that all updates worked except for the last one - version F.36. The computer rebooted back into windows instead of installing the update. So I initiated it again, ran the .exe via admin, selected update, restarted, and this time it worked, 2nd time's a charm I guess. Not sure why F.36 is so picky.

 

Yeah, I think that's the issue, if you try to jump all the way from BIOS version F.28 to the latest (F.36) it will not work. You have to install in increments.  It would be nice if HP would tell you this, I'm sure they assume it's common knowledge. This is fairly common in the world of BIOS, having to work your way up, since the newer versions are often built on structure that the one previous introduced. Trying to install the latest BIOS from the oldest is like trying to build a house of cards starting from the top and working down. Which seems silly and disorganized. I imagine BIOS issues like this will be a thing of the past someday soon, one can hope.

One final word of advice: after each BIOS update, double check that it is in fact installed before moving onto the next version, You can check BIOS version in System Information.

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