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Samsung BIOS Update Problems

Discussion in 'Samsung' started by John Ratsey, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    A few people have reported problems with the latest BIOS updates causing their computers to hang. Here, here and here for example.

    *** Please read the PPS at the bottom before proceeding. ***

    So I think it could be beneficial to start a specific thread to try to identify the causes of the problem and the solutions.

    First I should note that I have, with a little trepidation, updated the BIOS on both my NP900X3B and NP900X4C today, but it went smoothly. However (and this may be the reason) I downloaded the BIOS updates using the BIOSupdate.exe program (called "Update Software") which is available from the Samsung download centre. This program provides the option to run the update or download it. I opted for the latter. I then ran the update (right-click As Administrator) within Windows. The update then opens a DOS window showing a simple progress graphic. After this there is a prompt to restart the computer.

    How have those people who have had BIOS update problems done the updates? Is is using SW Updater? And how does the BIOS update process in SW Update work: Does it run within Windows or reboot the computer first?

    John

    PS: And for those whose computers with internal batteries which won't start after a failed BIOS update, there is a battery reset hole.

    [IMage=240]http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/ratseyj/Batterydisconnect.jpg[/IMage]

    PPS: The new BIOS should have the same last 3 letters in the name as the old one which normally don't change during the production of a particular model (there are exceptions - Windows 7 NP900C4Cs have P**AAC while Windows 8 NP900X4Cs have P**ABK). It seems that the BIOS Update program occasionally finds the wrong newer BIOS. This is what it offered me on 1st April:

    View attachment 110714

    Re-running the BIOS Update program resulted in the correct BIOS being offered.

    PPS: There is a report here of BIOS Update.exe finding the wrong BIOS several times. Please check whether the last three letters of a new BIOS name match the last three letters of the existing BIOS before proceeding with an update. From what I've seen the new BIOS installer checks whether the letters match before loading a new BIOS but it is best to not run the wrong BIOS in case the check doesn't work.
     
  2. shaggyskunk

    shaggyskunk Notebook Enthusiast

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    I used samsung's sw updater.
    I've repeatedly had problems with it - telling me that an update was available - but then the update failed, it's often taken several tries to get the update to succeed - it's really too bad, because it's a beautiful machine.

    Sent from my SGH-I727 using Tapatalk 2
     
  3. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    Failed updates is a separate issue. I also encountered that problem today and it was a serious problem about a month ago. I think the guy whose job is to stoke the boiler that runs the engine that powers the server has taken some holiday. Or maybe they just didn't anticipate the traffic arising from a million Samsung notebooks concurrently trying to download bloated (they tend to include 32 and 64 bit) update installers.

    My recommendation for the BIOS update is to use the separate BIOS update program. However, there's no easy alternative to using SW Update for most updates because they aren't on the download pages for most of the notebooks (but this is an exception).

    John
     
  4. belzebutt

    belzebutt Notebook Consultant

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    I just tried updating the BIOS on my NP900X3C using SW Update and it failed 3 out of 3 times, each time freezing at a different spot when showing the progress display in the DOS window. I had to stick a pin in the reset hole each time to recover.

    Then I tried BIOSUpdate.exe like John suggested and it worked the first time.

    After the BIOS update my U100 wouldn't boot anymore, although it was showing up as the only boot device in the list. I had to re-enable UEFI mode in the BIOS (it gets reset to default after the update) in order to get it to boot again. I enabled UEFI before I did a clean install of Windows 8 and it's required in order to boot now. Still not sure what it does...
     
  5. shaggyskunk

    shaggyskunk Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the information! Samsung needs a swift kick! You can decide where :p

    It's unconscionable that the tech that I spoke to - had only two options - power button or ups! I'm happy that I figured out that tiny reset hole ;-)

    Sent from my SGH-I727 using Tapatalk 2
     
  6. isosunrise

    isosunrise Notebook Evangelist

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    I've used Samsung's BIOSUpdate.exe at least half a dozen times, both as install and download, and never had issues with either. Have never tried updating through the SW Update.
     
  7. Chyaddo

    Chyaddo Notebook Enthusiast

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    I updated my Series 7 bios through SW Update in windows 7 in anticipation of installing windows 8 on 11/26. The update bios update went fine. I installed windows 8 and all the other drivers through SW Update the same day. Anyway, today, SW Update is failing on everything saying there is a problem with the network.
     
  8. texqas

    texqas Notebook Enthusiast

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    My series 9 15 got stuck while updating the bios too. Disconnecting the battery using the pinhole and re plugging the power cable solved the problem. Looks like Samsung built some kind of internal mechanism to restore the bios.
     
  9. shaggyskunk

    shaggyskunk Notebook Enthusiast

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    It seems so - But it REALLY *BLANKS* me OFF on at least two levels! 1)That Samsung is releasing the bios update in it's current state 2)That they are NOT informing ALL of their tech support of the possible solution - I wonder how many pcs have been shipped back to Samsung for needless warranty claims?
    For an otherwise terrific company, this is beyond inexcusable!

    I've sent Samsung an email, followed up with a phone call - I would urge all that have experienced frustration / errors to do the same :thumbup:

    Sent from my SGH-I727 using Tapatalk 2
     
  10. Mervyn Peake

    Mervyn Peake Notebook Consultant

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    What is the current BIOS running? I haven't seen any new BIOS updates released through SW update.

    Edit: I just ran SW Update and found the new BIOS update. I restarted the computer before opening SW update again and then updating the BIOS. It downloaded and installed promptly. Then it prompted for a reboot. Windows initialized and after logging back in SW Update finished the BIOS flash. I am now running version P05AAC. I'll respond with any issues if they pop up, but the computer is running fine. I did have to turn the Battery Life Extender back on.

    I am running windows 8.
     
  11. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    This post points to UEFI as a possible cause of BIOS update problems.

    John
     
  12. Chyaddo

    Chyaddo Notebook Enthusiast

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    Just a warning to anyone trying to do this, your computer will fail to boot if you just change it in the bios without converting the disk to MBR first. I don't know how to convert it so i'm just going to install windows7 again with uefi disabled.

    Here was the original thread where i found this... http://forum.notebookreview.com/samsung/695000-cant-update-bios-series-9-np900x3a.html
     
  13. gadgetrants

    gadgetrants Notebook Deity

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    John, thanks for setting up the thread -- I wanted to note that there may be a "third" way to download software/drivers: in particular, there is the "Find Model" option in SW Update, which allows the user to enter any model number, and it pulls up an apparently complete list of downloads for the corresponding machine. One caveat, though -- it doesn't seem to include a BIOS download option.

    EDIT: I mean this as an alternative to having SWUpdate automagically decide which files you need. This is also a nice way to get everything prior to a wipe/resintall.

    SWUpdateScreenshot.jpg

    -Matt
     
  14. Chyaddo

    Chyaddo Notebook Enthusiast

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    Update!

    I can confirm, using UEFI was indeed my bios update issue! Bios update installed fine as soon as i reinstalled windows 7 using MBR.
     
  15. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    Were you using the BIOS update within SW Update or the separate BIOSupdate.exe program?

    John
     
  16. shaggyskunk

    shaggyskunk Notebook Enthusiast

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    I remember when flashing a bios update - took all of 30 seconds. What a PITA!

    Sent from my SGH-I727 using Tapatalk 2
     
  17. Chyaddo

    Chyaddo Notebook Enthusiast

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    I have updated/downgraded several times but i initially used sw update within windows 7 without uefi and was successful. I would image it would have failed if i had been using uefi because i speculate that sw update downloads and runs the exact same files in the background as running the exe would. My problems started after that when i installed windows 8 and thought now would be a good time to enable uefi. That was a choice that ended up costing me hours of time because i had no idea this mattered at all to a bios update.
     
  18. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    Enabling UEFI should not matter if Samsung have set things up correctly. One purpose of this thread is to try and find out what method of doing a BIOS update works as well as what doesn't work.

    John
     
  19. shaggyskunk

    shaggyskunk Notebook Enthusiast

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    Precisely!

    Sent from my SGH-I727 using Tapatalk 2
     
  20. someone57

    someone57 Notebook Enthusiast

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    I've tried the bios update 4 times now, using SW Update and BIOSUpdate.exe (both options) and its failed all 4 times...(and had to reset the battery 4 times). I'm really not sure what to do next.
     

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