Samsung laptops bricked by using UEFI

Discussion in 'Samsung' started by yknyong1, Jan 30, 2013.

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  1. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    Use the BIOS update program (link in first post of this thread) to download the latest BIOS update file for your notebook.

    Then look at the date code in the BIOS name. The latest BIOS for the Windows 8 version of the NP900X4C is called "ITEM_20131114_21268_WIN_P10ABK.exe" which means it was released on 14 Nov 2013. Does your BIOS have a similar or more recent date? I suspect that a BIOS update a year after the notebook itself was released was to fix a residual UEFI issue. I would expect that the same fix would be applied to all the BIOSes of the same era and updates issues.

    John
     
  2. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    The UEFI bug was (and is) nasty for sure. Samsung generally took responsibility in most of the bricking cases reported here, and replaced the motherboard free of charge -- even in a few cases out of warranty. The Swedish case you linked is indeed disappointing, particularly since that laptop was still in warranty.

    I have to wonder if Samsung knew that the pc consumer business was becoming unattractive for them and had started their exit strategy already at the time of that Swedish incident (fall 2013). Certainly UEFI, Win8, and now Win8.1 must have cost them a fortune in driver/firmware development, support, returns/refurbs and warranty repairs (from re-imaging messed up disks to replacing motherboards).

    Anyways, our recommendation here has generally been to keep UEFI disabled on Win7 models and the early Win8 models (which were just hacked conversations of Win7 models) until Samsung got their UEFI implementation working properly. Starting with their 2013 models, UEFI seems to be safe -- as far as I can tell from reports here.
     
  3. opablo

    opablo Newbie

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    Long story short...

    Have a Samsung NP300E4C-AB1AR originally with BIOS+Win7... Switched to UEFI... Switched HDD to SSD... Fresh Win 8.1 install... KALI (a kind of debian) on top of that... and I was happy. Everything worked fine.

    I discovered afterwards that the F2 was not getting me access to the SETUP but didn't bothered too much about it... I was using a time-bomb for a few months without noticing...

    Broke my Win 8.1 installation... Wasn't able to boot from my Win 8.1 USB drive... Tried to access setup without googling... Removed the SSD to try to access the SETUP... and BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM...

    Now it boots into an console window that has 2 tabs: BOOT MENU: empty list.... APPS MENU: empty lists... and I have tried all this:

    #) booteable usb drive... nope... #) boot without ssd... nope... #) booteable cd and no ssd... nope... #) any F1-12... quick, once, repeatedly... nope... 3) battery pull, ac pull, power to drain caps... nope #) shorted RTC RESET jumper contacts... nope... #) shorted BIOS CRISIS jumper contacts (next to the previous ones; next to the mem sockets)... nope... #) dissasembled notebook and remoed coin cell battery for 5 minutes + RTC RESET + BIOS CRISIS + screaming at it... nope...

    Now I want to try pressing the power button -while- shorting the BIOS CRISIS and having prepared a Phoenix BIOS Criris Recovery usb drive with a tool called wincrisis.1.0.0.4.zip that I was able to found online....

    only one piece missing for my new appempt.... a file with my current bios... where can I download it ? the samsung page only gave me a BIOSUpdate.exe that I can't run on the samsung notebook and running it on another notebook doesn't work.. so... how can I get my hands on an image of the latest firmware of the Samsung NP300E4C-AB1AR ?

    If you help me with that I promise to update my findings here and if I manage to fix the notebook make a video tutorial for you guys...
     
  4. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    There's a program near the end of this thread that will help find a BIOS. However, that can only be used if you know the BIOS family you are looking for. The BIOS name takes the form PNNLLL where NN is two numbers and LLL is three letters (eg P06AAC) or possibly only two letters.

    You need to find another NP300E4C owner. They can then give you the BIOS name. They could also download the latest BIOS file using the standalone BIOS Update program (link in first post of this thread).

    John
     
  5. opablo

    opablo Newbie

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    With Johns pointers and a bit (a lot) of investigation I was able to get my hands on the latest bios of my machine... the P09RAP bios. (If at the end everything works I will explain what's the technique that I used... Once you have to start the Wireshark you know sh**-just-got-serious :) )

    I created the crisis recovery usb drive but I'm not being able to make it boot in crisis recovery mode... and one of the suspects is the possibility that the Usb drive is not made properly.... and reviewing again and again my steps I got the following question:

    Is there a significant difference between a bios file in "cap" format from a "wph" format ?

    From samsung I have managed to get the P09RAP.CAP of around 6MB of size... but the Phoenix crisis recovery software expect me from naming it BIOS.WPH and maybe there's a format conversion step that I'm skipping ?

    I did a quick hexdump review/comparisson of the P09RAP.CAP against an example BIOS.WPH file and their formats seems completelly different.
     
  6. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    Congratulations on tracking down the appropriate BIOS.

    My Series 9 uses a Phoenix BIOS and the BIOS file in the update is .cap.

    However, the guidance here suggests that the .wph file should be made by backing up the BIOS on a working computer while the guidance here suggests that the BIOS file in an update package could be renamed.

    I can't provide any specific guidance since I fortunately haven't been in this position.

    John
     
  7. jxb934

    jxb934 Newbie

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    opablo, Did you ever resolve your problem? I'm in the same boat. I've tried all of your tactics as well. I expect I'm going to have to sink a few hundred more dollars into this thing to replace the motherboard if I can't re-flash the bios.
     
  8. RasmusRaccoon

    RasmusRaccoon Newbie

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    I have a Samsung NP900X4C and had the 'almost bricked' issue with the UEFI. Couldn't load Windows, just restarted over and over again (at the early stage where only F2 or F4 can be pressed).

    However, I FIXED it and by using no 'hacking' or anything the like. Only Samsungs own tools. If anyone is still interested and still have bricked Series 9's out there, then let me know and I will post the solution.

    Rasmus
     
  9. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    Hej Rasmus, velkommen til NBR!

    Sounds like you did a good job there. I would like to hear the details ;)

    As long as F2 and F4 keys are still working, there are several options. The safest approach in that case is usually to reset BIOS settings to default (after using F2) then restore to factory (after using F4).

    Many members who posted in this thread had completely dead laptops or ones that just barely came up then turned off. Another common infliction is one where the F-keys do NOT work during startup, although Windows may boot fine, so that many users don't notice it till long after. This prevents the user from entering BIOS with F2 (and thus from changing important boot settings to allow Windows re-install) and/or from entering Recovery with F4 (and thus from restoring to factory). The thread linked below has a few recent cases of such semi-bricking.

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/samsung/755985-how-boot-bios-when-function-buttons-not-showing.html
     
  10. dp3000

    dp3000 Notebook Evangelist

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    I believe my laptop has also been bricked. What number can I call in the uk to reach Samsung about this?
     
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