Samsung Series 7 - NP700Z5C-S03CA: My Last Hope

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

  1. Nomad

    Nomad Notebook Consultant

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    Well sorry but his method didn't work for me.

    I'm collecting information to perform a roll-back BIOS.

    I've already identified and download all the BIOS for my system and luckily the first BIOS, P00ABP, has a .ROM file instead of a .CAP file. Although I still don't understand properly the difference and how to install the "Micon"

    Very sorry to mess up this thread.

    Anyway I'm positive with the roll-back and many thanks! :)
     
  2. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    Don't worry about the thread, I consider this a work in progress to gather knowledge about unbricking Samsung laptops.

    And you are right, I thought that "Failed to detect phoenix BIOS" error only came when you tried to flash a .ROM file when there was no .ROM file (only a .CAP file). I didn't realize it also happened when you did the SFlash64 /cvar /patch command. So none of the commands "took".

    I am quite surprised that that /cvar command doesn't work. When you ran SFlash64 /cvar /patch you had an Administrator Command Prompt and were in the folder with the BIOS files, right? (I am sorry, I do notice that your last screendump with the WinFlash was correct, I just had to ask).

    In your last screenshot, WinFlash complains about a missing SMM Service, which is System Management (ACPI). Did you install Intel ME (Mangement Instrumentation) driver in this Windows installation (Samsung calls it HECI)? Not that I would think it should be necessary... How about Chipset drivers (those ARE necessary)?

    If you cannot get any of these commands working in your Windows installation, NOR the roll-back to P00ABP, my only other suggestion is to go back to WinPE, but this time try a Win8 PE image (since you are in UEFI mode). I realize that requires unplugging the HDD, again :eek:

    I'll be very interested to hear how the P00ABP roll-back goes.

    Edit:

    Micon is "the other half" of your BIOS, handling various peripheral devices (such as keyboard and touchpad). According to isosunrise (here) it will NOT be rolled back when you force flash P00ABP. That is why you must update again immediately after to a newer BIOS version, by running the updater directly (ITEM_20130314_695_WIN_P03ABP.exe in your case). That updater should now work, and will flash both BIOS and Micom to the new version.
     
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  3. Nomad

    Nomad Notebook Consultant

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    Yes like you said any of those SFlash64 commands worked for me. So that why now I'm going to roll back the BIOS, although the first attempts were not successful.

    I've also later check those Intel ME drivers/programs but I think that I didn't installed them. The other hand yes the chipset drivers were the 1st thing installed in this system.

    To summarize, I really messed up.. but NOT now in the last 20 days but from the very beginning of the system installation. I'm almost certain that the system has been in this state since the last 9 month.
    Just I didn't realize till "I've tried to install a new windows swapping another HDD" that really woke up the "virus" :S

    So hopefully to everybody collaboration and Dannemand I'll fix the bios some other way.

    And don't worry about me unplugging the HDD for the WinPE (any Win8 PE image will do?), I took the bottom of the laptop away since these problems started... lets say 20 days ago :D

    I'll be away for the weekend so I'll be not able to make any update till next Tuesday evening!

    Thanks all.
     
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  4. Fitztorious

    Fitztorious Notebook Enthusiast

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    Everything works! :D

    All the function keys work and all the drivers seem to be cooperating correctly. Windows 8 installed from the DVD perfectly. I didn't even have to do any pre-install drive formatting, I just let the Windows install do it automatically for me.

    Thanks for all you help Dannemand!! :thumbsup:

    So for people who:
    • can boot into WinPE
    • can't get into their bios and need to clear their bios NVRAM
    • have sflash64 & a .cap file in their __Samsung_Update folder

    Use sflash64 /cvar /patch to clear and reset your NVRAM to get into your bios.

    I'll come back and see if I can offer any more advice to you guys when I have more time.
     
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  5. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    @Fitztorious: That's awesome! Once again very well done, and thank you for sharing your results here. This will be of great help to others. As you've probably noticed, we almost constantly have one or more cases of this ailment going on here.

    Strangely, Merlok's computer (whose BIOS updates contain .CAP files like yours) does NOT want to accept the same SFlash64 command, acting as if it cannot really communicate with the BIOS. We have yet to find out why. If you have suggestions, I am all ears.

    @Merlok: You worked hard, have a good weekend now! I look forward to hearing back if you manage to roll back to P00ABP. Since it has a .ROM file, we can hope MeGuinness' command will work.
     
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  6. Fitztorious

    Fitztorious Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hopefully Merlok found a solution to his issue. Unfortunately, I don't have any advice to offer if the sflash64 commands are giving errors. If I understand correctly he had Windows 7 pre-installed while I had Windows 8 and he has a .rom bios file while I could only find .cap bios files. This could be why the commands worked for me but not for him. Maybe someone has found a command that works in the bios rollback thread.

    I want to say that my laptop is still running perfectly and that all the drivers are installed properly. The SSD I put in increased performance considerably. Cold boot to desktop is about 10 seconds now :thumbsup:

    I'm working on replacing more parts:

    • The DC jack is somewhat broken and won't hold the plug in tight anymore. I bought a replacement DC jack off ebay and took the motherboard out but my 30 watt soldering iron can't seem to get hot enough to desolder the lead-free solders so I'll have to bring it in to a repair shop and get them to de/solder the part if they don't charge too much. Update: Unless you have a high watt solder gun this won't be possible to do at home. I brought it to a computer repair shop and they did a good job for $25.

    • I found a bottom cover cheaper than ebay (shipping to Canada) here for those looking: FOR Samsung NP 700Z5A Z5C z5b plastic bottom cover case-in Laptop Bags & Cases from Electronics on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba GroupUpdate: Looks like they closed their shop =(

    • This is the only place I was able to find the top cover (Canadian version) at a really good price too: new!! For samsung NP 700z5c 700z5a ca Canadian language laptop keyboard with case Palmrest Touchpad BA75 03962j backlit-in Replacement Keyboards from Electronics on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group Update: Looks like they closed their shop =(

    • I also want to swap out the 4gb memory stick with an 8gb. Will the timings and frequencies of the new stick need to match what's currently in the system? I've read something about this laptop being particularly fussy with some memory and not even recognizing it. Update: An 8GB SODIMM DDR3 PC3-12800 1600MHz 1.5v CL11 will fit in my version of the NP700Z5C bringing it to an unnecessary 12GB.

    • Lastly, I need to replace some of the screws in the bottom cover. I measured them and they appear to be M2x6 screws but I'm not sure. Update: They are indeed M2x6 black nylon coated screws with Tuflok.
     
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  7. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    Hi Fitztorious, thank you for the update and confirmation that your computer still works correcly after the sflash64 /cvar.

    I have added this thread to the Samsung Forum sticky list as our now preferred thread about unbricking. In light of that, it would be better if you post about the replacement information and questions in another thread, so we do not attract other topics here.

    I suggest you post it in one of the threads linked below -- or feel free to create a new thread if you prefer.

    Samsung Series 7 NP700Z5C (15.6" Ivy Bridge) Owners Lounge

    Samsung Series 7 Chronos NP700Z5A Disassembly Guide

    Samsung Series 7 Chronos NP700Z5A Disassembled: Parts analysis
     
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  8. Fitztorious

    Fitztorious Notebook Enthusiast

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    Okay sounds good, Dannemand.

    I think you're right - keeping the focus of this thread on unbricking is a good idea.
     
  9. Taku62

    Taku62 Newbie

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    Hi everybody. I have a Samsung 770Z7E with Windows 8 and broke it trying to update to Win 8.1. It wouldn't boot any more, just display "Attempting Repairs". After about 5 minutes it would say "Unable to repair". There would be different options to proceed, like "Restore from a system
    restore point", "Refresh your installation" or "Reinstall your system". Refresh and reinstall
    worked at first, in that Windows booted, but on the first reboot it wouldnt work anymore and
    display the "Repairs" screen again.
    Upon finding this thread about the corrupted BIOS I was fairly sure I had not updated to the latest BIOS version yet. So I reinstalled Windows again (from the partition on the hard drive). When it booted I updated the Samsung SW Update Tool, ran it and was luckily able to update the BIOS to the newest version from there.
    And lo and behold: my laptop boots and works like normal again!

    I am really happy, because I like this laptop a lot and it runs great when it's not bricked...
    So thanks a lot for this thread!
     
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  10. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    Hello Taku62, welcome to NBR.

    Thank you for sharing your story. Good job salvaging your computer after the failed Win8.1 update.

    I would add that using SW Update to update the BIOS can be risky: We have had several reported cases of failed flashes this way, which is generally terminal and requires Samsung repair. A few members with access to EPROM burners have been able to re-flash their BIOS chip after such a failure, but that is rare.

    The safer approach is to use Samsung's BIOSupdate utility to download the BIOS file, then run it standalone. It is described in our BIOS Update thread.

    Also, for others who run into boot issues after a failed Win8.1 update due to their BIOS not being updated, member brainiak4431 posted a guide here using WinPE to update the BIOS. It only works in cases where there is a newer BIOS that can easily be updated, and does not address semi-bricking issues from corrupted NVRAM -- as discussed by member Fitztorious in this thread.
     
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