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I killed my laptop flashing its BIOS :(

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by 15th Warlock, Dec 7, 2004.

  1. 15th Warlock

    15th Warlock

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    I have a Compaq Presario 2100 Notebook, and I decided to check for new updates at the Compaq website.
    I found a new BIOS for it, and downloaded the windows flash program.
    I started the flash program and everything was ok until my laptop stoped working. I was so worried I left it on for half an hour waiting for the program to restart my laptop, but it never happened, then I decided to try my luck and turn it off my self, but the power button didn't work, so I had to disconnect the AC power from it and pull the battery because the laptop was getting very hot.
    Now it won't turn on at all, and not even the recharge light turns on when I plug the AC connector to it :(
    I know I killed it by disconnecting it, but I had let it on for more than 30 mins waiting for something to happen, but the flash program just froze the system and I wasn't even able to use the power button, besides, the laptop was getting very hot, it had never got so hot in all the time I had used it.
    Do you guys know if there's any hope for this laptop? The warranty expired on August, so I cannot RMA it, and I don't want to throw it to the garbage as it was working perfectly fine before the "accident" :(
    Funny thing is I didn't do anything wrong during the flashing program, it just froze all of the sudden.
    The notebook specs are:

    2 Ghz Celeron proc
    512 RAM
    40GBs HDD
    CD-RW/DVD drive
    Ati IGP Chipset

    Any suggestion will be greatly appreciated
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  2. wazzledoozle

    wazzledoozle New Member

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    Try and turn it on without the battery plugged in.
     
  3. 15th Warlock

    15th Warlock

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    Already tried it, no luck :(
     
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  4. wazzledoozle

    wazzledoozle New Member

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    Have you tried a different power supply?
     
  5. 15th Warlock

    15th Warlock

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    Yes, tried using my dad's laptop adapter, he has a HP laptop, but it uses the same adapter as mine, I think the bed BIOS flash is blocking my PC.
    I found the BIOS chip, but it's soldered to the motherboard, it has this printed on it:

    SST
    39SFF040
    70-4C-NH
    0321086-D

    Do you know if it can be replaced?
    Btw, thanks so much for your help :)
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  6. MikeS3000 New Member

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    Hey, I flashed my sister's gateway BIOS with a similar utility from Gateway and it froze in windows and cleared out the BIOS. After fighting with Gateway on several occassions I got them to cover this malfuntion under the warranty. The fix was replacing the motherboard (so Gateway said), thus having a fresh BIOS on the chip. I don't know of any other fix. May want to call Compaq and ask how much the replacement would be.
     
  7. 15th Warlock

    15th Warlock

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    Yes, a support rep from HP is telling me the same thing, he doesn't know how much the motherboard is though.
    Damn, this morning I had a perfectly working laptop, and now it's nothing more than a $1000 paper weight :( Worst thing is, the warranty ended on August :(
    I'm still wondering wtf went wrong with the flash procedure, I followed every step and downloaded the right BIOS image for my notebook, Damn you Compaq for posting bad BIOS images! :mad: :mad: :mad:
    Thanks for all your help anyway :)
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  8. SHIMIZU New Member

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    take a look at the processor, u said you note was very hot no? So the processor may be fried. Try another same processor on it.
     
  9. INSTG8R

    INSTG8R

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    just a thought, maybe pull the Battery to clear the CMOS completely (the Watch Battery)
     
  10. Urlyin

    Urlyin Senior Moderator

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    Did you use Winflash or Rompaq? I think there was some issues with Winflash and Antivirus programs running in the back ground. At this point you have a couple options, because unlike a desktop you can not do a boot block recovery from a floppy disk you'll need a crisis recovery disk and a boot block jumper, which is only available to a authorized service provider. So what your choices are first to find a local HP repair depot and ask how much to reprogram the BIOS or create your own boot block jumper by going to the service manual here ... let me know how you make out ... :)

    FYI ... should aways use Rompaq whenever possible ...
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2004
  11. 15th Warlock

    15th Warlock

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    Thanks Urlyin, I tried building a boot block jumper myself, following the instructions found on the service manual you mention, but alas, it didn't work. The service manual states that the BIOS cannot be replaced, and that a flash gone wrong can only be fixed by changing the whole motherboard! :eek:
    And the BIOS chip is soldered, so I guess reprograming it is out of the question :(
    I found a place that sells BIOS chips, called Biosworld, but they don't sell any soldered chips like the one I need (a 32 pin SST chip)
    I found some used motherboards in eBay for about $300, so maybe I'll buy one of those.
    Btw, I was using winflash, and didn't have any programs running in the background, it just froze at the "Programming Block 1 of 8" part, and didn't do anything after more than 30 mins.
    A guy at the HP support forum told me that maybe I damaged a power circuit when I pulled the battery while the laptop was on, but I tried several times pressing the power button for more than 5 secs. to no avail.
    Shimizu, I don't think the proc burned, as there was no strange odor comming out of the notebook, and the fan was working, I think Winflash froze the proc at 100% usage, and that's why it got so hot.
    About removing the CMOS battery, it seems I would need to dissasamble the whole laptop in order to get to it, but I doubt it'll help as clearing the CMOS won't reprogram the faulty BIOS, thanks for the sugestion though Instg8r ;)
    I took it to the authorized HP/Compaq dealer today, and they'll tell me this afternoon what they found, but they told me that as I bought the notebook in the US, and its warranty ended last August, reparing it may be very expensive, as they'll have to ask for spare parts from the US :(
    I will go to Canada this friday, and hopefully, I will buy any parts the dealer tells me they need to repair it.
    Anyway, thank you all for your help, and I'll keep you posted on any new developements. Thank you all for your suggestions :)
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  12. Urlyin

    Urlyin Senior Moderator

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    Dang... first your Desktop( which appears to be working right now ) and now the laptop ... geezzz I feel for you bud ... So I assume from your message that the system is dead and is why the boot block jumper failed? It does state that you may be able to reprogram a malfunctioning BIOS .... I put out a couple of messages for a crisis recovery disk ... wish I could help ... :(
     
  13. 15th Warlock

    15th Warlock

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    Yes, I got out of one problem to fall right into another :D You already helped me a lot with the service manual, I don't know how to express my gratitude for your concern. Thanks so much. hopefuly there's some way to replace that BIOS chip without having to buy the whole mobo. :)

    P.S. I corrected my desktop problem by changing the ECS mobo for an Intel mobo (can't find any good mobos in El Salvador :p) Maybe the AGP slot was deffective.
     
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  14. yanfxl New Member

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    Hi 15th Warlock,

    Guess wat? I was trying to update the bios for my Compaq Presario 2132AC and am now in the same situation as you are.

    Just wondering if you managed to resolve your problem? It will probably cost an arm or a leg if I brought it back to HP/Compaq.

    My laptop is the onwe running with an AMD Athlon processor.

    Any help appreciated.

    Thx.
     
  15. 15th Warlock

    15th Warlock

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    I'm sorry to tell you this yanfxl, but unless you can find someone who can desolder the bios chip on your laptop, reprogram it and solder it again, the only way to repair it is replacing the whole mobo :(
    Urlyin showed me some mobos for my laptop that were on auction on ebay for less than $300, if you can get someone to install it for you, or you are willing to do it your self, it might be much cheaper than taking it to an authorized dealer, you wont get any warranty though...
    In my case, I was fortunate enough that the HP dealer in El Salvador was one of my father's business clients, so he got me a very good discount for the new mobo, labor and a 90 day warranty.
    Hope you know someone at HP that can help you or you can find a cheap mobo at ebay, I wish you the best of luck and please tell me how did everything go. :)
     
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  16. Nobru_rv New Member

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    Try opening your laptop and clearing cmos. That could help. Did u make backup of old bios before flashing? If yes,get someone to program your bios manually with backuped file on your hdd.
     
  17. 15th Warlock

    15th Warlock

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    The problem with these laptops is that once a BIOS flash goes wrong, they won't start no matter what, so there's no chance of using any backup BIOS.
    Clearing the CMOS won't do anything as the problem is in the BIOS ROM itself.
     
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  18. Nobru_rv New Member

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    Why no chance? Ima talking about getting out the backup bios from your HDD ( if u made one), cause hdd is easy to take out,and reprogram your bios chip. What chip u have PLCC? (Square one). I saw u have a SST 4mbit chip,and its easy to reflash it with an universal programmer that costs about 100usd.
    I would do it for you if u come here to Croatia :D :D
     
  19. warlock110 New Member

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    see that's why you buy from a place that you can call up if something goes wrong :), sorry to hear this but if you sale all the parts and stuff, you might be able to get a new laptop for cheap. Never flash a component in window that's running (like mobo, or graphic cards and stuff like that) things goes wrong more often than when you do it in dos :). btw why did you try and flash it for? if it was working, leave it.
     
  20. 15th Warlock

    15th Warlock

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    It's good you're telling me that now :rolleyes: :D
    But yes, that's exactly what I was telling yanfxl, that the only option besides changing the mobo, was to desolder the BIOS, reprogram it, and then solder it back again, it's just that nobody in my country wanted to help me with that, and I have no expertise whatsoever in desoldering and soldering things, (I'm a dentist :p ) But if someone is willing to help yanfxl by doing the reprogram thing then maybe he could save the laptop without having to spend lots of dough, wish someone would have offered me that option 5 months ago.... :( :p
     
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  21. yanfxl New Member

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  22. polarworks New Member

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    BIOS Misflash

    Sorry to hear your MB (motherboard) is toast 15th Warlock - I regularily flash BIOS(s) on many of our companies HP/Compaq laptops - I've used the flash 1.59 on many models and only ever had one go down on me due to processor failure - there have been times when I've let the machine sit there for 45mins to an hour before it finally shuts down. I know hindsight is always 20-20 - but number one rule of a BIOS flash - not matter what brand - never turn it off, especially by yanking the power and battery - yikes. It fries the chip - permanently and will sometimes also cause ESD - electro static discharge through other components. Even under waranty I have yet to come across a manufacturer who will repair that for no charge. On occasion, depending on how long the unit was out of warranty I have been able to convince HP to reduce the charges as they have two set rates for OOW repairs. But for my customers that are way out of warranty - buy new and get the extended warranty or buy the MB directly from their parts supplier and get a local computer tech to install it for you. You can purchase a new MB for your model for around $300.00 - good luck.
     
  23. polarworks New Member

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    Upgrade to a V2000

    yanfxl - an FYI for you - go to hp.com and click notebooks - take a look at their business models - a little more cost - but your get better components and way better support options like on-site as well as there is local ASP - authorized service providers - throughout the US who can repair it for you. Pavilions are cheaper - but the mail in repair warranty is a pain if your considering company downtime. It's scary when I get a business customer come in with a laptop an their entire business is on it with no backup - yikes - "what was that business name of yours again?" - thinking to myself - not a company I'll do business with!
    But even for home/business - if downtime is a concern - get a business laptop or buy two consumer models so you've got a back up machine. Happy hunting.
     
  24. Armada7800User New Member

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    Well what d'ya know, I have a Presario 2541EU and a 21114EA and both of them died after atempting a BIOS WINFLASH update...........
    I cant believe it takes 45 mins for a reflash of an eeprom. I always used rompaq updates on floppies for Armada 7800's and never had a problem, it was fast and reliable. Well I'm having the first one fixed by HP under warranty and the second under extended warranty, both laptops came from PC World and the BIOS chip is soldered to the motherboard instead of being in a 50p socket and I suspect that even if you could get a company to flash a new SST bios chip for you and solder it in using a micro iron with anti-static straps there would be a hidden code in the chip that ties it to the motherboard so the new chip wouldn't work !!!
    I recommend BIOS updates from floppy but a slight problem when the laptop doesn't have one and these models don't have a swappable multibay like the old Armada's.
    Steer clear of winflash, especially if its going to take 45mins and they don't tell you how long to wait for this proceedure............I suspect that a lot of people are throwing vasts sums of cash down the drain because of this new bios update facility, try searching about it with google like I did to find this site.
    Anyway I suggest the original poster of this thread goes after HP for the cost of repair as he/she did nothing wrong, a simple bios update shouldn't kill the PC if proper safeguards are in place as they always were when they written by Compaq (RIP).
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2005
  25. 15th Warlock

    15th Warlock

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    My thoughts exactly, how can anyone come and say that it was my fault to have finished the flash procedure AFTER WAITING MORE THAN 30 MINS, when the least Compaq/HP could have done is post this message at he BIOS download site:


    FLASH MAY TAKE 45-60 MINUTES, THIS IS PERFECTLY NORMAL


    Anyway, I paid for my laptop, and I'm not asking for any money back, my warranty had expired anyway, but if no one will respond for this kind of problems, all I ask for is that the people in charge of uploading the faulty BIOS to the servers (and I'm sure that any program that takes about an hour to flash a 512k BIOS must be faulty :mad: ) to take notice of all the ppl having this problem, I bet many users are throwing their laptops to the garbage because of faullty BIOSes.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2005
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