NP530U3B-A01UK Can't access BIOS through F2, F4

Discussion in 'Samsung' started by beardefool, Sep 29, 2017.

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  1. beardefool

    beardefool Newbie

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    Hi,

    Had this working with SSD through UEFI but the battery (3rd party I'm afraid) became disconnected. I've reattached it (and subsequently disconnected and reattached the CMOS battery during testing) but I can't access the BIOS through the options listed (F2 for Bios or F4 for recovery), or through other common BIOS buttons (tried ESC, F10, F12)

    So far I have:
    Attached external keyboard
    Removed extra RAM
    I've rebuilt the machine with a new hard drive using MBR and can boot windows 10 on that. (Installed through usb stick so I'm lucky enough to be able to do that)

    I've downloaded the Biosupdate.exe in the hope of reflashing the BIOS to 13XK - but it won't do that as "The system BIOS is newer than the update".
    It's actually the same version - Biosupdate confirms this.

    Is there anyway to force the flash anyway?

    Is there any risk of doing this. I know the machine is old and meant for windows 7 and I'm using that version of the Biosupdate app from the machine's download page.

    Is anyone aware of any programs that force a reboot to BIOS from windows (or any usb bootable ones) - I know I can do this on other machines but I guess that may be specific to those motherboards (Asus rampage V in that case). I've no problem if they're nix based as I may dual boot that anyway.

    Any suggestions of the next steps please.

    Ultimately it works so I may just leave it as it is, but not being able to get to BIOS isn't ideal. I'm equally conscious I could be very close to bricking it by trying anything else.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    Welcome to NBR,

    We have a thread specifically for that: Check the Samsung Forum Sticky list on top of the Samsung forum. Under the Bricking heading, look for the link that says "F-keys don't work to enter BIOS..."

    I would give you the link, but I'm currently on Tapatalk.

    Basically you don't have to force flash the BIOS, you can use the flashing utility to directly clear the NVRAM, which is what's causing the problem.

    The fact that you are able to boot windows makes this much easier. Just know that after this, your laptop will prolly default back to UEFI mode, so it won't boot your MBR installation. You can change OS Mode Selection, or reinstall Windows in UEFI mode.

    Let's know how it goes
     
  3. beardefool

    beardefool Newbie

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    Thanks so much for coming back to me so quickly

    I'm pretty sure you mean
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...00z5c-s03ca-my-last-hope.762595/#post-9793018

    Had found that after posting and just reading the whole thread, and some of the other stickies. May take a little while so apologies if I'm repeating something there...

    It was actually your fine self that writes in there..
    My only concern (and warning to any who might try this) is that we don't know with certainly what is wiped by that SFlash /cvar command

    I'm presuming that, as that is a few years old we're 're reasonably more confident of this process now.
    Looks like I'm getting sflash from that bios, rather than a newer version being better?

    The uefi isn't a problem, running off more than one disk but thanks for heads up.

    Do we know causes for this.? I'm happy to put it down to the battery being disconnected but one thing I didn't mention, I did run a recent livecd of linux (arch). I know there were once problems with some versions but understand it shouldn't be a problem know.

    Great forum and happy to have found it. Thanks again
     
  4. beardefool

    beardefool Newbie

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    Still reading but would appear that this BIOS only comes with winflash.
    It doesn't recognise the /patch variable and won't accept just /cvar.
    Options for that (http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=2rgdn37&s=9) but can't seee a similar one, unless the /ro backup still performs the /cvar (doubt it somehow)

    So, unless the further reading helps me, I could
    1) Winflash trying the actual whole rom, rather than just clearning the cvar

    looks like the command would be
    WinFlash.exe 13XK.rom /cvar /v /cs /sd /sv /svs

    2) Try and get sflash from another image to use.

    Neither are ideal at present.

    The reading continues.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
  5. beardefool

    beardefool Newbie

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    Ran the winflash command to reflash to bios and it's worked. I can breath now.

    Huge thanks to all on this forum

    For anyone that comes along this later I'd be very careful about the install of windows 10
    For for this model, I'd read carefully into the problems with installing windows with the onboard SSD drive.

    I suspect, if I'd allowed windows to install the bootloader onto that (as it does by default) whilst this error was occuring, then I'd have a bricked laptop on my hands.
     
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  6. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    Well done! Glad to hear you got it fixed.

    I am surprised that you were unable to clear NVRAM directly with WinFlash, but force flashing will do it as well.

    As for what triggered the corruption, it usually (but not always) occurs after changing OS Mode Selection and/or performing Windows or Linux installations.

    And you are right that installing any version of Windows can be tricky on laptop models with ExpressCache (the small iSSD). This problem occurs when installing from a USB stick, which causes Windows Setup to get confused about drive numbers and assume the iSSD is the boot drive (it cannot be booted). The easiest solution is to install from DVD drive instead, that usually avoids the problem. In cases when users must install from USB (or insists on it) posts #1 and #2 in this thread contain workarounds -- but only for BIOS (CSM)/MBR installations, not for UEFI installations.

    Again, good job fixing your laptop.
     
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  7. beardefool

    beardefool Newbie

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    Thanks for the help. Hugely appreciated and, having seen your numerous posts helping people, thanks from all the lurkers as well. . The sort of peorson that makes the interenrt great

    For future people, or me when it happens again, do you happen to know the command for winflash? May be worth editing that first linked post with it in?

    Likely me just not understanding all the options for winflash but i couldn't see how to only clear the nvram, it's not /patch for winflash
     
  8. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    Thank you for the nice words.

    I should point out that for many of the topics where I try to help, I have little firsthand experience myself, but am merely keeping track of, summing up, and referring to the experiences of other members. As my fellow (and far more experienced) moderator @John Ratsey pointed out to me long time ago, we mods are merely custodians of the collective knowledge posted on this forum.

    That is particularly true of this topic: I have never found myself in need of un-bricking my Samsung laptop, and so I have had no desire to experiment with BIOS force flashing or clearing of NVRAM. Of course should the need arise, I will know what to do (knock on wood).

    But after @Fitztorious courageously tested the sflash64 /cvar /patch procedure on his laptop three years ago, we have had many, many other reports of members using it to solve a number of problems with booting, Fn-keys, BIOS access and more. And with no ill effects reported so far. So I am confident to pass that recommendation on with the assumption that it does more good than harm.

    Again, I was surprised that you were unable to clear NVRAM with WinFlash because I remember reports of members doing that using the same /cvar /patch parameters.

    I downloaded and extracted your 13XK BIOS update file, and indeed, it contains only WinFlash.exe (which does not support the /patch parameter) and not WinFlash64.exe (which DOES support /cvar /patch). Presumably the members who reported successfully using WinFlash were using WinFlash64.

    Using the cached BIOSItemList in @isosunrise's BIOS rollback guide (here) I located the file names of several earlier XK BIOS versions. After extracting a few, I found that 09XK and 08XK DO contain WinFlash64.exe. So that's what I recommend using for NVRAM clearing on this laptop model and others using the XK BIOS family.

    For others looking for XK BIOS update files, following are the ones I tried, all of which can be downloaded using this link with the BIOS update filename added to the URL:

    ITEM_20120213_399_WIN_05XK.exe
    ITEM_20120323_446_WIN_06XK.exe
    ITEM_20120718_587_WIN_08XK.exe
    ITEM_20120809_619_WIN_09XK.exe
    ITEM_20130405_1079_WIN_13XK.exe

    All of these -- and more -- were easily located using the cached BIOSItemList and the links contained in the BIOS rollback guide.

    That guide of mine in the NVRAM clearing thread is in need of a serious update someday. "Someday" being the operative word here! Maybe I should just add links to all the more detailed discussions about this that have since taken place in other threads (such as this one). Hmm....

    Edit:
    It should be noted that some of these BIOS update files are difficult to extract with Win10, which goes out of its way to protect users from executing them. The trick I found is to right-click the ITEM file and select Troubleshoot compatibility, choose Worked in earlier versions of windows and select Windows 7. After this, they can be run from an Administrator Command prompt (NOT directly from Windows Explorer, not even As Administrator) and their contents can be copied from the C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Temp\__Samsung_Update folder WHILE the OK/Cancel dialog is still open. DON'T click OK. Once the files are copied, click Cancel to abort the update.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
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  9. beardefool

    beardefool Newbie

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    Thanks Danneman,

    Perfectly understand about your mod role. Mods come in all flavours though. I'm lucky enough to work in tech and it's sites like these with people helping each other and sharing knowledge that are a refreshing change from youtube comments and twitter battles.

    You going to the length of checking those other bioses for future people only confirms that.

    I'll leave you in peace now, but thanks once again. If you have the ability to lock the thread to keep it short for future viewers I'm good with that.
     
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  10. RomesInMil

    RomesInMil Newbie

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    First off, thank you guys for the help, and I would like to go on record and consolidate what worked for me for anyone trying to do this with a:
    Samsung NP530U4B - A02US
    I solved the same issue (F_ keys not sending me to BIOs on start up) with the steps outlined above. Dannemand's post, number 8 from the top, specifically the fact that WinFlash64 is required to run the /cvar /patch command for the 13XK versions of BIOs. Like the post says, the 09XK version is required since the 13XK does not come with the 64 bit version. The EXE can be found here:
    http://sbuservice.samsungmobile.com/upload/BIOSUpdateItem/ITEM_20120809_619_WIN_09XK.exe

    Then follow the instructions outlined above to extract the required files to finish solving the issue.

    And just a heads up, I found that a dual boot of Windows 10 and Ubuntu caused the problem in the first place.

    Again, Dannemand, thank you so much for the help, Samsung phone support had no idea about this, so I really do appreciate it since this is the first time I ever ran into an issue like this.

    Hope this can help someone in the future.
     
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