Precision 7760 Bios Recovery Triggered

Discussion in 'Dell Latitude, Vostro, and Precision' started by summersun, Aug 15, 2021.

  1. summersun

    summersun Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    1
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I decided to test my backup tonight before installing the system for real since I haven't tested my backup routine recently.

    I ran into one somewhat alarming thing though: during this process, on a reboot I was prompted with the dell logo and a message that bios corruption was detected and bios recovery was triggered. It proceed to recover the bios (I had no option to do anything.) It then booted into windows normally. Rebooting again and entering bios, I see that there are two log entries:
    Alert! BIOS Recovery triggered
    Alert! BIOS Recovery completed successfully

    Here is what I did immediately before this happened:

    I used the control panel -> windows 7 backup -> create system image to save a system image on an external drive.

    I deleted a couple programs though programs and features to test.

    Then I went to settings, updates & security, recovery, advanced, restore image.

    At first, it wouldn't see an image on my bitlocker encrypted drive, so I chose to exit and go back into windows and decrypted it.

    Then I went to recovery, advanced, restore image again.

    I still wasn't picking up the image file since I had renamed it with the date; so I chose to exit and continue with windows 10 again.

    At this point I got the BIOS Recovery triggered.

    I hadn't restored anything at this point, and I'm at a loss as to figure out what happened to trigger a bios recovery.

    (after the bios recovered, it booted windows normally; I renamed the image backup folder on the external drive, ran through it again, and it restored the image perfectly so the laptop is the same as before I test deleted the programs.)

    So I made myself comfortable that my backup routine works, but created a big question on what triggered the bios recovery.

    Would entering and exiting the windows advanced recovery mode several times trigger a bios corruption detected / bios recovery? I wouldn't think so, but that's the only thing that I did.

    Any ideas, or anyone ever seen anything like this?
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2021
  2. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Notebook Prophet

    Reputations:
    858
    Messages:
    5,415
    Likes Received:
    1,930
    Trophy Points:
    331
    The BIOS recovery will automatically trigger if the normal OS fails to boot normally twice. Booting to a recovery environment will count as a "failure". I triggered this by "accident" multiple times while getting my system set up (moving over a previous Windows image which involved some trips to safe mode). You can configure this in BIOS setup (F2), under "Update,Recovery", at the very bottom ("Dell Auto OS Recovery Threshold"), either increase the threshold or turn the feature off.

    Also of note in the same area is "SupportAssist OS Recovery", which you can disable if you like, it will automatically trigger if the machine BSOD's. It basically just starts the hardware diagnosis.

    And yeah, the Windows 7 "image recovery" feature is very sensitive to what the folder structure looks like. Basically you cannot move or rename anything from how it is created when you create the image. And also it will not work if there are images for multiple systems in the "WindowsImageBackup" folder; there has to be exactly one subfolder under that. (I have successfully recovered an image on a BitLocker-encrypted drive before, though, normally it will ask for recovery keys for all drives before prompting to start the image recovery.)
     
    summersun likes this.
  3. summersun

    summersun Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    1
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Thanks very much!

    This actually went through the steps of the different parts of the bios and said "don't power off your machine" etc. -- it was like when you flash the bios. I thought I already had the Dell OS Recovery threshold set to off. Triple checking now. Question: you got the bios recovery actually going through each of the parts of the bios checking?

    I also had already set an admin password in bios so I don't think any automatic update could have updated (or failed) the bios as I should have gotten the bios admin password prompt for an update I would think (although I didn't get any password prompt for this bios recovery)

    I can't find a detailed log of what the bios recovery did - only the "Alert! BIOS Recovery completed successfully" so maybe it was just checking, but it was a bit terrifying to me to think the bios might be corrupted. Question: would I get any log anywhere if something had actually been corrupt in the bios?
     
  4. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Notebook Prophet

    Reputations:
    858
    Messages:
    5,415
    Likes Received:
    1,930
    Trophy Points:
    331
    Not quite sure what you mean here. When I first got the system, I did check all of the BIOS options. But I didn't pay particular note to this one until I did actually trigger it. I went and turned it off after that. I'm comfortable enough with troubleshooting that I don't need the BIOS automatically doing things (especially since I think the chances of it actually fixing something for me are pretty slim).

    The admin password is not needed for a BIOS update. (At least, I've updated the BIOS on my Precision 7530 many times — an admin password is set but the updater tool has never asked me for it.) However, an automatic update here seems unlikely, unless you did not update the BIOS at all since you got the system. Dell has only posted one BIOS update and it was available before the systems started shipping. A BIOS update shouldn't change the settings in any case. (Changing settings actually does require the admin password.)

    If you had the SupportAssist recovery feature turned off already, then maybe this is some other issue or "feature" that I am not yet familiar with.
     
    summersun likes this.
  5. summersun

    summersun Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    1
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I was wondering if when you triggered it if it looked like a normal bios update sequence screens.

    For me, I got the text that bios recovery was triggered and then a black screen with the round white dell logo on the top (like when the computer powers on normally) and below it I had the "don't power off your computer" and then a half dozen or so individual elements of bios that it went through one by one at the bottom of the screen. I was thinking the SupportAssist recovery would look different, but maybe not. If that's what I saw I'd feel good about it, but I wasn't sure if that's what I was seeing or not. I wish I would have videoed it, but I was so shocked to see an "issue" with bios that I didn't.
     
  6. summersun

    summersun Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    1
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    16
    In BIOS the following options were set:
    UEFI Capsule Firmware Updates = on
    BIOS Recovery from Hard Drive = on
    SupportAssist OS Recovery = off
    BIOS Connect (grayed out, on, but not selectable)
    Dell Auto OS Recovery Threshold = off

    BIOS version now shows 1.1.2. Windows Update nor Dell Command update shows anything under update history or log for bios update being applied or attempted. (I had dell command update to notify only and thought I'd run it on the shipped firmware for a week before updating.) I see there is a 1.2.2 bios available, so I'll try manually flashing that. Just hope that connecting a USB drive or something didn't trigger some weird hardware fault. Uncertain what the heck happened. Hoping it was just the Dell OS Recovery being tripped, but not sure.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2021
  7. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Notebook Prophet

    Reputations:
    858
    Messages:
    5,415
    Likes Received:
    1,930
    Trophy Points:
    331
    No, it didn't look like that. It looked more like the BIOS setup screens (white/light background).
     
  8. summersun

    summersun Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    1
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I think I'll try manually flashing the 1.2.2 bios now and see if that works ok and then if it runs fine for a while.
    It seems like something actually triggered the corrupt bios recovery function that recovered the bios image from the hard drive (SSD) to the bios chip; I'm not sure why the bios would detect something in it was corrupt, but probably the only thing I can do is watch it for a week or two and make sure it doesn't happen again... wish there were some log of what actually triggered the function.
     
Loading...

Share This Page