The HP 8200 Elite SFF bios has quite a number of bugs, mostly involving boot configuration. Note that these bugs seem present on the latest 2.21 as well as the previous 2.15 versions (the two that I tested).
Problem #1) The USB hard drive option in the legacy boot order is a sub category and thus CANNOT be automatically saved to a configuration file or restored from one. Its listed under Legacy Boot sources, then under Hard drives. Normally the two options there are USB Hard Drive and SATA0. Neither of these can be configured or the order changed outside of the bios.
The options in an exported config file are things like:
Legacy Boot Order Hard Drive ATAPI CD-ROM Drive Network Controller
Nowhere is it shown that one can configure legacy SATA0 or USB hard drives in the boot order. One can manually do this within the BIOS, but not from using replicated setup, or the BiosConfigUtility. In other words there are settings in the boot order that do not properly export.
This makes it impossible to configure our 400 of these computers in an automatic fashion to NOT boot to USB flash drives (but yet have that option available by hitting F9 for when IT needs it), because most employees are just going to leave their flash drive in the computer overnight and then get an error about booting if we don't change the boot order.
Solution: Move USB Hard drives in legacy to its own category, not a sub category (which apparently can't be set or imported automatically). Or, enable editing/auto setting/importing of options like that and SATA0, etc, in the sub categories. Info thats not normally saved to config files.
Problem #2) The "Replicated Setup" option on the bios doesn't properly work. I can save the setup on one machine, but when I restore to another, it doesn't correctly update all the options, specifically the boot order. (I know the setup file went through, because my setting of num lock on DOES come through). I've verified these options are saved by looking at the text file.
This happens regardless of if I use the full saved config file, or use a partial only the settings I want changed setup file (I'd prefer that method, so it wouldn't save things like an incorrect asset tag). The num lock setting always comes through, the boot order settings NEVER properly do).
Solution: Fix the replicated setup restore functionality (the save part seems to work fine).
Problem #3) The biosconfigutility (latest version 2.60.3) doesn't work on this computer in default created windows PE boot disk. This PE is intended for windows 7, and is made with the WAIK (specifically from the KB3AIK_EN.iso). This happens with both 32bit and 64bit versions of the boot disk and the normal and 64 bit versions of the BCU. It generates a warning "BCU Return Value" of 16 when trying to do operations like /get or /set (the output txt ends up a 0 byte blank file). There's nothing about error codes in the BCU PDF.
Solution: Fix the BCU to work properly under windows PE with this HP model so its compatible like it claims .
Problem #4) The same default win PE boot disk, when its a 64 bit default version, causes the HP 8200 Elite fits. Whenever a drive with win PE 64bit inserted into a USB slot, it stops the normal boot process, even if all EFI boot options are disabled, and if the hard drive is manually set to boot first in legacy (with USB hard drive after). Boot stops and it comes up with a Windows Boot Manager error that says 0xc0000225 "the boot selection failed because a required device is inaccessible." I remove the USB drive and everything works again.
If I go back into BIOS, guess what? In the EFI boot order settings, the USB Hard Drive has been magically re-enabled. If I disable it again, it works without problem... until I try the flash drive in another USB slot. Then it happens all over again with the boot error and EFI re-enabling.
I played around with the winPE boot flash drive, and it turns out if I delete this file from it:
Everything is back to normal (well as normal as this bugged bios gets anyway). Since I'm using legacy booting, I don't care about EFI, yet the mere presence of this file causes problems. So this HP bios has serious problems.
Solution: When EFI boot sources have been disabled... they should STAY disabled. Regardless of what EFI setups have been inserted in the flash slots. As well, if this boot option has been disabled, it should NEVER disrupt normal booting.
Problem #5) A default created win PE 64 bit boot disk with a MS created bootx64.efi won't work properly on this machine. Not only won't it work properly, but it stops all normal booting to the hard drive while its inserted. Note that if F9 is hit while booting, the legacy option on this flash drive can be chosen and it will boot ok. If the EFI option is chosen in the F9 screen, it has the same boot error message. See rest of post for the details.
Solution: This should be fixed, at a minimum it should legacy boot without a problem to this 64bit default win PE. It should also be able to boot as an EFI source, or a compatible EFI boot disk should be provided.
Note that the default windows PE boot image that was used was created with everything default according to the step by step instructions from microsoft about "Building a Standard Image of Windows 7: Step-by-Step Guide":
Added more bugs, found more as I was trying to automate things for the 400 computer deployment I'm working on.
This is the first time I've used HPs for a large deployment, and so far this has been giving me a very negative view of them. I could understand having to use workarounds, but to literally have NO way to automate the bios config to do what's needed for this deployment?
Problem #3) The biosconfigutility (latest version 2.60.3) doesn't work on this computer in default created windows PE boot disk. . . .
Solution: Rebuild WinPE image to include WMI support
BCU requires WMI support in order to communicate with the BIOS. Rebuild the WinPE image to include WMI.
This is not a bug with BCU. WMI support is a requirement for all versions of BCU.
Beginning with version 220.127.116.11 BCU will now report failure to communicate
through WMI using a specific return code.
Text from SoftPaq # sp62273:
- Added additional return codes when encountering WMI errors. Return code 23: "System not supported. Unable to connect to WMI HP_InstrumentedBIOS." Return code 24: "System not supported. Unable to connect to HP WMI namespace." Return code 25: "System not supported. Unable to connect to PUBLIC WMI namespace."
Note: Code attempts to connect in following sequence: 1) Public WMI namespace 2) HP WMI namespace 3) HP_InstrumentedBIOS
I work for HP but am not a company spokesperson. Participation in the community forums is voluntary.
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