Samsung Series 7 - NP700Z5C-S03CA: My Last Hope

Discussion in 'Samsung' started by Fitztorious, Oct 3, 2014.

  1. rikspoutnik

    rikspoutnik Newbie

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    I made it through the upgrade to W10 now. Yes, I have access to the BIOS by pressing F2 :D. Never thought I'd be so happy to see a BIOS screen !

    I had done a clean install before I bricked my Samsung, but I had problems with the audio part, only my subwoofer was working and not the left and right speakers. Despite downgrading all the drivers I could, re upgrading and all, I could not solve that issue. Now it works in W10. Plus I already had a fresh instal on W7 and I know my disk is MBR. I'll check again if UEFI is disabled.
    That's why I don't think I'll be doing a clean install of W10, I'm listening to the good old advice that says : "As long as everything works, don't change anyhing".

    Same goes for the BIOS. John, do you really think I have to update my BIOS ? I think I'll keep the version I have now and if a problem occurs, just flash it using the method BIOSUpdate.exe described on John's thread, which I've read. Besides it makes things almost more simple than with the SWUpdate tool.

    Now I just have to fix a touchpad problem, which is a hardware issue more than a software one. Seems like my battery is too close to the touchpad, therefore it does not click as it should, sometimes double clicking, and the feeling is just not the same. I might have done that while I was opening and closing the bottom cover, removing HDDs, etc. 10 times a day for the past 3 days... If you remember any thread talking about that, or have an idea of how I could fix it, I'm all ears ! (I searched on google and NBR but nothing came up)

    I'll stop spamming this thread about other issues now. I thank you again 1000 times for all the help provided.

    Last question, what do you think about installing Linux on the second HDD as I did before the brick ? Dangerous ?
     
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  2. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    Well, I am glad you posted in this thread. It exists specifically for cases like yours where your Samsung laptop got (semi)bricked by UEFI.

    And you just added another successful case of unbricking :)

    I would add that usually there is no need to downgrade/re-upgrade the BIOS. Running sflash64 /cvar /patch (as first tested by Fitztorious and reported in post #6) has solved the problem in all cases where users were able to perform it.

    As for installing Linux, I don't have firsthand experience with it, but I would think you are safe as long as you keep UEFI disabled. You may still be able to have Linux on a GPT disk, as long as you boot (Grub) from an MBR disk. Whatever distro you chose, make sure it specifically mentions Samsung support. Linux installs were what first made us aware of the UEFI bricking risk, and I believe it was addressed in later updates.
     
  3. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    Maybe a clean install of Win 10 will automatically wipe the drive and try to follow the UEFI route. However, an upgrade on a non-UEFI installation which leaves open the option of reverting to the previous OS can't trash the existing installation.

    I don't think there were substantial changes in the most recent X4C BIOS updates. unfortunately, Samsung never publishes changelogs.

    If you keep away from UEFI etc (ie conditions are as per previous) then Linux shouldn't cause any issues. If you are going to try then now is the time to do it while the procedure for recovering from a nasty situation is still fresh in your memory.

    John
     
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  4. m4rtin

    m4rtin Notebook Enthusiast

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    My Samsung NP900X4D did not list any bootable devices in UEFI "Boot Menu" except "Windows Boot Manager":

    [​IMG]

    While my Windows installation was broken, I still had access to Command Prompt in Windows Recovery environment. Thus I was able to reset UEFI variables with Sflash64.exe utility:

    [​IMG]

    Upgrading the BIOS would have helped also. After that I was able to choose a boot device in UEFI "Boot Menu":

    [​IMG]

    All the details are in this thread.
     
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  5. dp3000

    dp3000 Notebook Evangelist

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    Hi forum. I wanted to confirm with you guys if the circled chip is the bios chip? I also need advice on which EPROM programmer I could use to flash the bios onto the chip?

    upload_2015-9-10_20-39-25.png
     

    Attached Files:

  6. t456

    t456 1977-09-05, 12:56:00 UTC Moderator

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    Possible, but there's more devices in that form factor and not all are eeproms. Try reading the markings on this chip and google that (+pdf) and you should have the spec. sheet.

    However, best would be the schematics (might be difficult to find with Samsungs?). For example, this is my bios:

    [​IMG]

    This is a PCT: PCT25VF032B.

    Going to use that information to make it read-only (WP-pin -> low and BPL = 1). That will safeguard it against nefarious agencies (skip to the large font <- effin' bastards) ... heck, this Samsung is bricked for a reason, isn't it? So ... after programming, maybe you'll want to consider write-protecting that thing as well.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. dp3000

    dp3000 Notebook Evangelist

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    Unfortunately there are no markings on that chip. The only chip that is marked is network chip which is located underneath the speakers
     
  8. t456

    t456 1977-09-05, 12:56:00 UTC Moderator

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    Well, the programmer can id it and by reading the data you can find out if it is, in fact, the bios eeprom. There's a dozen of similar-looking things, though ... and you'd better get an expensive programmer in that case; otherwise chances are the eeprom is not supported.

    There's a better option; detach all removable components from the motherboard and make good photos of the front and back. With the complete picture it shouldn't be too hard to nail the most likely candidates.
     
  9. dp3000

    dp3000 Notebook Evangelist

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    There's a computer shop nearby that may have a good eeprom reader. I'll pay them a visit before I completely strip down the laptop.
     
  10. dp3000

    dp3000 Notebook Evangelist

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    I've been able to find pictures for the motherboard

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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