• D*** hate updating BIOS on PCs

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    #2394032

    If it wasn’t for the upcoming Win11 push, I would not have.  Thought I bricked my new Minisforum X400.   Still have my old PC so did some diving and low and behold, someone here there had the exact same issue as I have to include it first requiring me to update my Win10 login PIN upon initial restart.  After I restarted again (like having bootup password), it bricked.   Anyway, that thread didn’t have any solution but another thread there at their forum board, did.  You have to unplugg the CMOS battery and fully discharge (using the external reset button; when you have the PC out, it’s much easier.   lol).  and voila.  Sucks to high Heaven.   At least it appears my system is back up.  I just had to spiel some, so my apologies.   The guy there that had the solution said the BIOS update is great; it’s the Miniforum’s hardware that wasn’t robust enough.  He even said he had to do this more than once; hope that doesn’t happen to me.  Never had to do this before.  Not hard to take a PC apart (but looks like I pulled one of rubber foot gaskets off; may try to put it back on later; too fustrated at the moment) but all’s now well (even did a power down re-start test).   Had some weird issues with my system not recognizing my Display Port connection too; had to pull connector off and back on a few times.  Strange.  Hope that issue goes away as well.  Time will tell.   🙂

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by lylejk.
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    • #2394090

      Over the years I have found that business-quality PCs like Dell Optiplexes will update their BIOSes without problems and fairly rapidly.  With some consumer-grade PCs you may not even get the offer of a BIOS update, and you have to stick with what came with the box.

      BATcher

      Plethora means a lot to me.

    • #2394093

      Never had problems updating BIOS on Lenovo laptops in the last 20+ years.
      I download the .exe file from Lenovo support site to the desktop, and install.
      Never used Lenovo utilities to install BIOS.

    • #2394095

      If you run a UEFI machine the BIOS update happens “in memory”, as part of the boot process. The “in Windows” updates simply station the program and firmware image and set a flag for the BIOS utility to take over at reboot (at which point the signing of the update and update program are pretty closely scrutinised). It’s also protocol to station the bios images on the boot partition should recovery be required (Dell usually have that option, HP and the like also leave the images in place at least until Windows has booted properly). I would wonder if the BIOS provider forgot to toggle the bit to take you into the BIOS settings to save changes due to a significant code rewrite, and as the machine was in UEFI mode it just went straight to trying to load Windows with bios settings which didn’t marry with the BIOS code?

      I suppose the alternative is you’re in MBR mode and the BIOS update instead used the alternative “load defaults” method of getting the BIOS settings and BIOS code in sync, and in doing so flipped to UEFI mode (so the machine is trying to secure boot, which would explain disturbance to the security credentials), in which case removing the hard disk and booting to a boot failure before putting everything back was also likely to effect start-up, as it would have forced a HSTI fail state.

      Either way, it seems a lack of planning on the part of the BIOS update creator left you dealing with the side effects of a technical issue you didn’t know existed..

       

      • #2397731

        If one has an ASROCK Desk Mini X300 and wishes to boot any AMD Ryzen APU newer than the 4000G series then a newer UEFI/BIOS is needed and there is no UEFI OS based BIOS Shim that will help you there. One needs to Update the BIOS/UEFI Firmware on that Mini-PC or any Ryzen 5000G series APU will not Post/Boot using the older firmware.

        Really most Gaming Motherboards come with Dual UEFI/BIOS hardware and on some they offer UFFI/BIOS flashback capability and the MB’s BIOS can be updated without any processor in the MB Socket. I’d gladly pay more for any Laptop/Mini PC that shipped with a Dual BIOS/UEFI as then the end user is protected from any bricking there.

        It’s just too bad that AMD never released its Ryzen 4000G series Processors to the Home system builder market as the ASRock Desk Mini X300 has out of the Box Support for all Ryzen 4000G series Desktop APUs. But I’m running a Ryzen 3400G/Zen+ Based APU in my ASRock Desk Mini X300 and I’m trying to decide if I’ll even attempt updating the BIOS with that for Ryzen 5000G series Desktop processors. I really Wish that AMD would have released its Ryzen 4000G/Zen-2 based APUs in some boxed retail packaging but that entire generation of desktop APUs was only available to the OEMs and System Integrators(SIs) and one can purchase the 4000G processors on the Gray Market but that’s sans warranty there as the parts are for OEMs/SIs only.

         

    • #2394098

      I update BIOS by downloading the new version and running it.  I don’t use any OEM update checker/installer utilities.  The only issue I’ve had was very long boot times after one Dell upgrade that resolved itself after a few days.  Guess it finished looking for the security issue it fixed.

    • #2394125

      Yeah; the procedure for UEFI update was to format at thumb drive with the name WINPE and copy files to it from a zip file then reboot pressing F7 key several times.  Didn’t work for me so had Win10 boot from thumbdrive option.   That worked.    Wish there was a Windows executable way to update BIOS like my old PC had.   Regardless, again, all appears well now.   Hopefully the last time I update this BIOS (had done so twice now; last time it wasn’t an issue as I recall).   Both were for Win11 compatibility.  Not sure what addition bells/whistles were added for this on the second update.   lol

      🙂

    • #2394156

      @lylejk, I’m glad you created this topic.

      Fortunately, I haven’t had any problems over the years in updating BIOS on my PC’s but the possibly of bricking my PC was concerning especially since I had read from some PC users who did run a BIOS update and did end up bricking their PC.

      It flabbergasted me on what you had to do to recover but the good news is, you succeeded.

      Did you run the Windows 11 compatibility tool before updating to Windows 11?
      — If you did, did it point out whether or not the BIOS had to be updated?

      For my part, I volunteer at our Senior Center & when a person brings in their PC or laptop to update their BIOS, I don’t do them & recommend they go to one of the computer shops in our area.
      — Unfortunately, the person doesn’t understand why I won’t do that.

      Moving on I have thought that if the PC’s original factory settings are available or a system image backup had been created back in the beginning or to a previous time in which the PC worked fine, would it be possible to recover the PC to include the BIOS to the version it was on?
      — Maybe you or someone can answer my concern.

      HP EliteBook 8540w laptop Windows 10 Pro (x64)

    • #2394183

      Have not run the compatibility tool, yet, nor do I actually plan up upgrading until next year.  lol

       

      Still, my hardware supposedly is compatible after the bios update and I don’t have anything but a USB switch and on it, my wireless keyboard/mouse installed as a peripheral; speakers are connected straight into the headphone jack so that should not be an issue.  Have heard that external devices have been a headace for those upgrading to Win11; don’t think that will be my issue.  Regardless, unlike Win10 which I upgraded my old machine after 1 month (lots of birthing pains on that one; lol), I am not going to do so so quickly with my new PC to Win11.   🙂

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    • #2394199

      cmptrgy,

      To the best of my knowledge I don’t know of any Imaging program that backups the BIOS. The BIOS is stored in EPROM (a chip) and NOT on a magnetic storage device.

      On UEFI/Secure boot systems the EFI partition is stored on one of your magnetic storage devices but you still need a BIOS to kick off the code in the EFI partition.

      HTH 😎

      May the Forces of good computing be with you!

      RG

      PowerShell & VBA Rule!
      Computer Specs

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    • #2394214

      cmptrgy,

      To the best of my knowledge I don’t know of any Imaging program that backups the BIOS. The BIOS is stored in EPROM (a chip) and NOT on a magnetic storage device.

      On UEFI/Secure boot systems the EFI partition is stored on one of your magnetic storage devices but you still need a BIOS to kick off the code in the EFI partition.

      HTH 😎

      I was under that impression but I needed it verified. Thank you.

      HP EliteBook 8540w laptop Windows 10 Pro (x64)

    • #2394216

      To the best of my knowledge I don’t know of any Imaging program that backups the BIOS.

      You can both backup the BIOS and restore it or a previous version.

      Example : https://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/universal_bios_backup_toolkit.html

    • #2394276

      Indeed I might have to do so, Alex.  I came home from my part time job (full time job’s on weekends), and it wouldn’t post again.  Now my Displayport interface appears not to be working so had to plug in the HDMI cable (has a flicker occasionally).  Had all kinds of issues in getting it to work but finally it just did.   Disgusted at the moment, but at least it gave me an excuse to put the rubber grommet back on.   lol

       

      Going to soon power off and see if I can get displayport to work.   Hope that doesn’t cause my PC to tank once again.  Didn’t have any issue until I did the Bios update.   I did add password protection again and it did this, so, not editing the bios at all now and see if I can power up normally.   🙂

    • #2394277

      OK; was able to switch back to Displayport after power down and it worked.  Not touching the bios until they push another update.  Sucks not having bios password protection; oh well.   Talk about fast; I just posted my previous reply 3 minutes ago before starting to post this one.   🙂

    • #2394278

      Forgot to add, I had ot launch Virtualbox before posting the reply.  I only go online via a Sandbox for most things.   Power down, switched cables, powered back up and launched Virtualbox with my XP VM and did all of this and returned to this thread in 3 minutes.  If I just opened Edge and posted, it may have even been under 1 minute tops.   If only my old PC was this fast.   lol

       

      🙂

    • #2394398

      Can a computer automatically update BIOS?

      I purchased my Windows 10 Pro HP laptop in January of 2020, but under system information the date of my BIOS version is stated as July 30, 2020.

      I have never knowingly updated my BIOS so how can it be dated AFTER my purchase date?

    • #2394800

      As was recently confirmed by virtue of someone getting Microsoft catalogue to work for me, basically yes.. it can come with Windows updates..

      https://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=hp%20firmware

      The page will cap the results so of you’re more precise than in your old post about the model you can probably nail that down. Unfortunately “probook” isn’t there but you can narrow it down. Google isn’t at all helpful, almost as if HP don’t want you to know..

      Then again if they were too fussy about it the update could reveal they’re fixing a problem as dell have recently, and there could be a hint of software loaded through the platform binary table (recent exploit potential exposed, no CVE yet but maybe CPE?..) which if compromised could be used to aid malware persistence if the Windows software can be adjusted to get the embedded software to perform unintended actions (Lenovo got hit there as they shipped laptops with the UEFI area unlocked so malware could simply write to the area and had to release new BIOS code). A quick google reveals old habits die hard.. https://support.lenovo.com/gb/en/product_security/ps500426-lenovo-bios-vulnerabilities-july-2021

      They’re all playing catch up, as Windows is now secure the focus of malware creators has started to move to exploiting the underlying BIOS code the user can’t easily fix which is a bit worrying for those who might aim to repair PCs..

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    • #2394803

      Can a computer automatically update BIOS?

      Some OEMs assistant software when configured with auto-updates may update BIOS but this is unlikely.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2394825

      Alex, have you ever actually restored a BIOS with this program?

      Inquiring minds want to know!

      I did not. Never had the need.

    • #2394832

      old guy – At the bottom of the Microsoft catalogue page that you provided a link for there are two lines for HP firmware 1.12.0.0 dated July 27, 2020, which is almost identical to the BIOS for my HP ProBook 450 G6 which system information reports is:
      R71 Ver. 01.12.00 – 07/30/2020.

      I have never downloaded anything from the catalogue or knowingly updated the BIOS.

      Maybe this document on the HP website provides a clue to the reason the date of my computer’s BIOS is after the date I bought the computer.

      According to this document HP plans to push automatic BIOS updates through Windows Update. But HP also states on page 4 that even before implementation of their plans for automatic BIOS updates “Since 201X, HP has posted every BIOS update released so that it is available as a manual/optional update via WU.”

      So, maybe I got the newer BIOS when I hit the “Resume Updates” button in Windows Update not knowing then that “Resume Updates” means “get all updates” including optional updates which could have included a BIOS update.

    • #2394886

      Here is the link to the HP document to which my post #2394832 above refers.

      http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c06696094

    • #2397768

      I share Iylejk concern about fooling around with things such as the UEFI, in my case being particularly weary of fiddling with things that include non-volatile persistent memory parts.

      Which is the reason that I never, ever, but never, ever, but never … have knowingly (*) updated a single time a single BIOS and, or UEFI, or whatever it might have been called in previous incarnations. And, as far as I have noticed, my various Windows PCs (98, XP, 7) have served me for many years (an average of 7+ and no less than 6) with great distinction, even so, over a total of 22 years. And I have never had to replace them because of a hardware failure, but because the technology, mainly for things done on the Internet, and my own increasing needs of greater computing speed made it necessary or convenient. Or because, earlier on, when available HDs were of just a few GB, I would run out, eventually, of enough space to do certain things, even after moving out of the HD to external drives as much stuff as practicable, leaving only the absolute essentials on it. That changed when I bought the Win 7 PC, that I ordered with 750 GB of HD, as that size had become finally available. And this, my last Windows PC, lasted me over 8 years, until March of 2020, when I decided to stop using it and keep going with the newer Mac only, but with no UEFI-related problems, at least that I would notice.

      And my present Mac has reached the 4+ year mark and sees to be going fairly strong even so. (Now, in the case of the Mac, I wonder if Apple might not be also sneaking UEFI updates with the OS updates? Hmmm … )

      (*) I think that oldguy has explained here ( #2394095 ) why I never, ever … had to bother fiddling with the BIOS, UEFI of my Windows PCs … and this, for all I know, might also apply to Macs.

      Ex-Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7); since mid-2017 using also macOS. Presently on Monterey 12.15 & sometimes running also Linux (Mint).

      MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
      Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
      macOS Monterey; browsers: Waterfox "Current", Vivaldi and (now and then) Chrome; security apps. Intego AV

    • #2397790

      Re: HP BIOS
      This might be of interest to those with HP computers.

      The HP Commercial Systems Automatic BIOS Update Through Windows Update Whitepaper was updated on September 8, 2021. On page five HP states, “HP will begin submitting updates to Windows Update that are marked to be Automatic Updates when the following criteria are met.
      o Fix high priority security issues
      o Fix critical customer and functional issues
      Automatic Updates via Windows Update Criteria
      • Microsoft will push the BIOS capsule package to client systems and perform the update without any user interaction. The customer doesn’t need to do anything additional to apply the update.”

      Here is the link: http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c06696094

    • #2397827

      Well, I did update A15 (the disaster) to A16.  unlike the previous 2 updates (A14 and A15), the A16 update was a bit out of my confort zone, but it did make my bios stable again (i.e, I was able to update bios settings without bricking the PC).    Not sure why they made the A16 update so complicated (requiring a lot of dos parameters and such).   Still, it wasn’t hard and it works better.  Still no Displayport (again) but I did buy a HDMI 8K capable cable on Amazon for a bit more than $9 and all’s now well with HDMI so I’m happy now without Displayport (just too hard to consistently get working; happened when I updated to A15 and issues carried over with A16).    Oh well.   Hope I never have to update the BIOS again, Oscar; hate doing so.   The MBs that I used in the past that had a Windows update feature was the best; this system not so much.   lol

       

      🙂

    • #2397847

      I never, ever, but never, ever, but never … have knowingly (*) updated a single time a single BIOS and, or UEFI

      I always, but always install new BIOS updates on all my PCs since Windows 95, always downloaded from OEM, and never had a crash, BSOD, PC not booting…
      BIOS firmware updates come with security fixes, support for new PCs, support for new hardware…

      Example of latest BIOS firmware update for my 3-years old Lenovo Y530 :

      Modified
      1) Enhancement to address security vulnerability LEN-48100;
      2) Enhancement to address security vulnerability CVE-2020-8694/8695/8696/8698;
      3) Enhancement to address security vulnerability CVE-2020-10255.

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      • #2397917

        Good for you, Alex. I prefer to stick with what works for me and has been doing so for 22 years without ever taking a break. Some day I’ll be punished for my sins. But not today. Thanks for the advice, anyway.

        And, if the BIOS, UEFI, whachamacallit is updated automatically anyways, as far as I know, or can guess, why bother fiddling with things not meant for mortal Man to fiddle with? Ah, I know! Because one is a fiddler!

        Ex-Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7); since mid-2017 using also macOS. Presently on Monterey 12.15 & sometimes running also Linux (Mint).

        MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
        Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
        macOS Monterey; browsers: Waterfox "Current", Vivaldi and (now and then) Chrome; security apps. Intego AV

    • #2397922

      And, if the BIOS, UEFI, whachamacallit is updated automatically anyways, as far as I know, or can guess

      BIOS never updates automatically, only manually, unless you run some OEM management software, which I don’t, and get notified about BIOS firmware update and acknowledge and agree.

      • #2397942

        BIOS never updates automatically, only manually, unless you run some OEM management software, which I don’t, and get notified about BIOS firmware update and acknowledge and agree.

        Please see my post #2397790 above. HP seems to be saying that they will be pushing some BIOS updates through Windows Update with no user interaction.

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        • #2397974

          Alex: “BIOS never updates automatically, only manually

          Thanks. It’s good to know this and I hope others pay attention. Me included, after over 26 years: 22 years with Windows and another 4.5 with macOS, without worrying one bit about any of this and being OK, as far as I’ve noticed, all the same. Another unfathomable mystery of computing and computers, I guess.

          Ex-Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7); since mid-2017 using also macOS. Presently on Monterey 12.15 & sometimes running also Linux (Mint).

          MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
          Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
          macOS Monterey; browsers: Waterfox "Current", Vivaldi and (now and then) Chrome; security apps. Intego AV

    • #2397950

      BIOS updates through Windows Update

      BIOS updates can’t be installed through Windows Update. BIOS updates run outside Windows OS in “DOS” mode.
      BIOS updates don’t install the way Intel/AMD micro-patch do.

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      • #2398195

        Here is how HP describes the process on pages 4 and 5 of their white paper.

        “How is BIOS Updated Through Windows Update?
        To update system firmware Windows Update leverages a mechanism built into the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) standard called UEFI Capsule.
        What is a UEFI Capsule?
        The UEFI capsule is the mechanism by which the firmware being updated is transferred from the operating system to the UEFI BIOS. Along with the firmware image and code to perform the update securely, the capsule contains a header used to identify device and content. It is delivered by device vendors to Windows systems via Microsoft Windows Update service or Linux® systems via Linux Vendor Firmware
        Service (LVFS). With UEFI capsule, firmware updates behave the same way as software/driver updates at the OS level, but the updates occur in the UEFI environment on the next reboot.”

        http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c06696094

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      • #2398219

        Haven’t Surface BIOS updates always been installed by Windows Update?

    • #2399423

      1. Get a dual-BIOS PC. BIOS 0 can be corrupt as a trump lawyer, and the system will boot from BIOS 1.

      2. Why not just run the board manufacturer’s BIOS update Utility? It’s just like updating Windows.

      3. Get locking displayport connectors. They just snap into he standard socket. DP is so much more robust than the HDMI connector that HDMI should never have been made. One of the guys decided to move my monitor and pulled my heavy desktop PC right off the desk by the DP cable (killing the HDD).

      4. What is D***?

      ==[ Know, when you see her, nothing can free her. ]==

    • #2399481

      2. Why not just run the board manufacturer’s BIOS update Utility? It’s just like updating Windows.

      Because that would be an update online and with windows running. Many avoid that like the plague (or a T Rump lawyer)

      🍻

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
    • #2399718

      “can be corrupt as a trump lawyer”
      “(or a T Rump lawyer)”

      I don’t see this as a political forum.
      If you want to be political, go to a political forum please.

      HP EliteBook 8540w laptop Windows 10 Pro (x64)

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