• Sometimes you need to pull the plug

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    #2461711

    This morning I had to run to the office to diagnose why a Windows 10 21H2 workstation was not booting. It had a black screen. Normally on the weekend
    [See the full post at: Sometimes you need to pull the plug]

    Susan Bradley Patch Lady

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    • #2461725

      Pucker factor when doing BIOS updates remotely for sure!

      Never Say Never

    • #2461767

      Who cares about the bios updates when you have a Peach and Blackberry pie like that? Lemmegeddadit 🙂

      Windows 10 Home 22H2, Acer Aspire TC-1660 desktop + LibreOffice, non-techie

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2461813

      I pulled the power plug, counted to five

      Try counting to seven or eight when things like that occur.
      Capacitors like those numbers to discharge when the power button
      is switched on whilst isolated from the mains supply.

      Cultural snippet:
      ‘Shichi’ or ‘Nana’ 7, is considered a lucky number in Japan and beyond…derives from ‘Shichifukuin’ – the seven gods of luck 🙂

      ‘Hachi’ 8, is also considered lucky in Japan as it represents a symbolic for prosperity and growth.

      Both are anchored to MSFT operating systems in my philosophical and computing experience.(not that I’m superstitious lol)

      Meshiagare!

      Keeping IT Lean, Clean and Mean!
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2461828

      “Now normally I don’t do bios updates automatically”

      Still don’t understand how BIOS update can be automated unless you run some vendor’s ‘management app’. I don’t.
      I always download and install BIOS manually.

    • #2461854

      ‘Undue issues’, not ‘undo issues’!

    • #2461930

      Microsoft wants to update my HP BIOS for me, as part of monthly updates.  It even tries to push BIOS updates that are already installed (by me, downloaded from HP’s server).

      Being paranoid of Microsoft’s abilities to cause no harm, I always hide these.

    • #2462087

      Now normally I don’t do bios updates automatically, nor do I do them at the same time as when I’m planning to do a security update so I’ll need to investigate why they both occurred at the same time, but I’m guessing having both occur at the same time caused the bios update process to freeze up.

      I was unaware that BIOS updates could be done on an automatic/unattended basis, so I’m now very curious to see just how that happened to that workstation in the first place.

      I’ve done a total of two BIOS updates from 1993 to now, and both went well by using the board manufacturer’s dedicated utility within BIOS to accomplish it with no issues.

      Overall, though, I’m in the same camp as @Alex5723 above…I don’t update BIOS unless it’s strictly needed, and I’ve only used the board maker’s utility within BIOS itself for it.

    • #2464181

      When I first read this post I was horrified. The idea of a remote, unattended BIOS update scared the you know what out of me. Now, however, I’m just confused.

      1) Are BIOS updates part of the Patch Tuesday process????
      2) If Windows provides BIOS updates, does it install them automatically?
      3) Do you have 3rd party software pushing BIOS updates?

      I’m assuming the workstation is your sacrificial lamb for testing purposes, but could you provide a bit of context? Inquiring minds gotta know …..

      (Just now as I’m writing this post, I received a replacement closed caption phone via Fedex. The reason was because of a failed BIOS update initiated remotely by the provider.)

      • #2464194

        Yep Windows will update your BIOS for you 🙁 On Dells I maintain I have disabled “UEFI capsule firmware updates” in the BIOS and also disable driver updates in group policy. Have not had any updates to BIOS with those settings.

        Never Say Never

    • #2464254

      Yep Windows will update your BIOS for you

      Never ever have I received a BIOS update via Windows update.
      BIOS updates can be installed automatically if the PC has a vendor’s shady ‘maintenance’ software running with automatic updates.

      • #2464311

        Never Say Never

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2464321

          The question remains, does

          [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate]
          “ExcludeWUDriversInQualityUpdate”=dword:00000001

          also prevent Windows 10 Pro from updating the BIOS/UEFI through Windows Update?

          My experience so far is yes on Dell.  We run a Dell utility to update the BIOS/UEFI instead.   The Dell utility does not have permission for automatic updates as well on our systems.

          In our case, “UEFI capsule firmware updates” remains enabled, so yes to BIOS updates from Windows Update.  Apparently, you can use either setting (BIOS or Windows Registry / Group Policy), to prevent Windows Update from updating the BIOS/UEFI on modern Dell systems.

          Windows 10 22H2 desktops & laptops on Dell, HP, ASUS; No servers, no domain.

          • #2464327

            [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate]
            “ExcludeWUDriversInQualityUpdate”=dword:00000001

            also prevent Windows 10 Pro from updating the BIOS/UEFI through Windows Update?


            @oldfry
            that has seemed to be my experience also, with one exception, but it was about a year ago and don’t remember the specifics, but even with group policy set I noticed the client’s machine updated the BIOS thru Windows Update. Fortunately no issues. I think setting a BIOS admin password also would prevent the update.

            When I do an update and machine is present I do it from a usb stick. If doing one remotely I gulp, say my prayers and run the exe as admin with everything I can turned off/disabled. I’ve read of too many issues with borked updates using Dell’s Support Assist software updater.

            Never Say Never

    • #2464353

      Re. remote updates, when you manage critical systems far away, employ remote power control. WattBox has saved my bacon on more than one occasion. Sometimes it’s the Windows box running the PBX software that fails to reboot. Sometimes a long power outage throws off the whole network because modem, router, and switches don’t come back up in a nice sequence. A tech might make a change to a switch that takes the whole switch offline. As long as the startup config isn’t saved, a reboot can fix it. And so on.

      Of course, things, or you, can still mess up in ways that power won’t fix. And there are more options, like out-of-band failover routers that connect to the cellular network and give you serial port access to equipment. But I’ve found that the remote power cycle covers most issues.

      For smaller, less-critical systems like a desktop, the inexpensive TP-Link Kasa outlets could work. Not as reliable, but at four for $25, it could give you more time for weekend baking.

    • #2464360

      “Dell provides an easy-to-use self-installing BIOS update utility.

      I use Lenovo laptop which also has “easy-to-use self-installing BIOS update” using its Lenovo Vantage app. Never installed, never used.

      I don’t let automatic updates with the exception on A/V, security (not windows updates) and browser apps.

    • #2465053

      I had this happen the other week, but fortunately, one process preempted the other and saved me.

      I nearly always try to separate a BIOS update from the rest of my software updates, but somehow this ended up in the same queue. I couldn’t agree with you more -backups, restore points, etc. are a good thing.

      We are SysAdmins.
      We walk in the wiring closets no others will enter.
      We stand on the bridge, and no malware may pass.
      We engage in support, we do not retreat.
      We live for the LAN.
      We die for the LAN.

    • #2465374

      “Dell provides an easy-to-use self-installing BIOS update utility. Critical BIOS updates are also pushed through Windows Update.”

      I have been around the block several times with BIOS updates, trying to figure out if I should or should not do them (prior posts here and on MS forums).  What is deemed ‘critical’ is questionable, IMHO.  You have to read each update carefully, understand fully and decide what, if any, you must install.  You cannot rely on the vendor’s (or MS’s) determination of what to install.  I totally agree that it’s not recommended to update remotely or use MS/vendor’s BIOS update tool (e.g. DEL, which I have).  I tend to be in the the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ camp with BIOS updates. I would much rather avoid them altogether, though I never have experienced a meltdown due to installing one.  All of this which reminds me, I have to check for BIOS updates!!!! That is the other side of the coin – you have to be diligent in checking and ensuring you really aren’t missing anything ‘critical.’

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