Samsung Series 7 - NP700Z5C-S03CA: My Last Hope

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

  1. allrejoice

    allrejoice Newbie

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    6

    Hi all!

    I just wanted to verify this solution works, and thank everyone who has done so much leg-work in figuring this out! You guys are so dedicated and so helpful for brazen idiots like myself. (This is actually my first internet forum post EVER, so that's how much I feel I need to thank you =D)

    I have a Series 3 NP300E5C laptop (for reference), and I began installing Linux on a separate SSD. Completely disregarding anything I've read regarding that and Samsung notebooks, I decided to boot using EFI =P. After installing Linux, tried to boot with the original windows HDD and my laptop was bricked up.

    So reading through the hundreds of posts on the topic - including Dannemand trying to help people through this for like 2 years now - I finally came across this one...so good...so, so good. Consolidates exactly what needs to be done!


    I could not access BIOS or Boot menu, but I could access the recovery partition (crtl+alt+F10 for CMD prompt).

    I did take the laptop apart to remove the CMOS battery, but that did nothing.

    I had also already been messing around with trying to install windows on the SSD (failure), so I had a Samsung AdminTool USB (access CMD Prompt), and had set boot priority to USB and DVD devices for that and for Linux. To load from USB I had to hit F9 repeatedly for it to boot off the USB. This is all just to say, I didn't need WinPE.

    To figure out my BIOS I got to a CMD Prompt and entered wmic bios get smbiosbiosversion, then proceeded to downlaod ALL BIOS version using the BIOS ItemList downloads from the link above.

    I had the downloaded BIOS on a separate USB stick, but was able to navigate to it through the cmd prompt (DISKPART list vol). I also had 2 versions of SFlash (sflash32 and sflash64), and ended up having to use sflash32 /cvar /patch as the command - even though I run a 64bit OS.

    So thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Also, is there also a method to clear the NVRAM using WinFlash? My laptop being a few years old only had 1 BIOS release with SFlash, but if others don't have sflash, or don't download all BIOS versions, it may be useful.

    Anyways, thanks for everyone's navigating through the convoluted mess that are Samsung laptops.

    Now it's back to being brazen and irresponsible now that I have a quick fix =P.

    Paul
     
    Dannemand and Fitztorious like this.
  2. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

    Reputations:
    11,309
    Messages:
    4,394
    Likes Received:
    2,071
    Trophy Points:
    231
    Hi allrejoice, welcome to NBR.

    That's great! Thanks a lot for sharing your story here and for confirming that this approach worked for you as well -- though you did it a bit differently :)

    In particular, thank you for mentioning the wmic bios get smbiosbiosversion command as a way to identify the BIOS family and version. I was not aware of that. It made me wonder if some of the other wmic bios commands (such wmic bios create or wmic bios delete) could be used to clear or change the corrupted NVRAM entry directly (so users wouldn't have to locate, download and extract a BIOS update first). But I didn't find enough information to pursue this any further.

    I wonder why you had to use SFlash32, that's puzzling. What happened when you tried to use SFlash64? That said, SFlash32 may be the better general recommendation, since it should work on both 64-bit and 32-bit versions of Windows and WinPE.

    I don't know if WinFlash provides a clearing command or can only be used to update/flash a new BIOS.

    As I am sure you gathered, Neither John nor I have had to do this unbricking ourselves (and we have no intention of performing any risky experiments on our smoothly running Sammies). So our role is purely one of trying to keep track of useful information shared by other members (like Fitztorious and yourself) and point to it when needed. This thread is becoming better and better, and is now our preferred resource for unbricking, listed in the Samsung forum sticky list.

    Thanks again!
     
  3. evilsheep23

    evilsheep23 Newbie

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Hey guys,

    I have the Series 7 Chronos NP700Z5C-S01UB, and was/am running MBR Windows 7. It seems to be one of the least common models that people have had problems with, but this story should help people with the


    1) I was trying to boot Linux Mint on a 32gb flash drive. To do so, I had to go and play with the EFI settings and the fastboot, and turn them off of factory defaults. This was the beginning of my problems.

    2) When I had Linux Mint running on the flash drive, I decided to do the install option, installing it permanently on the flash drive. This, however, also installed Grub2 over the Windows bootloader. After a whole day of writing Grub scripts to try to get it to find windows, I found numerous threads about how using UEFI or EFI on these Samsungs could brick them.

    3) I decided that I would use my Windows disk to reinstall Windows 7, but needed to change the boot order. This is when I learned that I could not F2 into the bios screen. Eventually, playing with Grub got me to the point where I was just in a BIOS spiral: power up, see splash screen, power down. I thought that it was totally done-for. I saw someone suggest elsewhere that disconnecting the CMOS battery would resent the BIOS to its original settings. So I did that. I cracked the case and disconnected the batteries for 5 minutes. I put it all together, and hit the power button: still no F2 into bios, but goes directly to my Windows install. Since I thought I had lost everything, I just let it run this way for about 4 months.

    4) A couple of weeks ago, Microsoft pushed a Windows Update that required a restart. The computer shut itself down, and instantly went into the BIOS spiral again. F2 still wouldn't get me to the BIOS screen, and F10 took me to the one-time boot menu, but it was blank. Surprisingly enough, F4 did launch me into Samsung Recovery Solution 5.

    5) Once I had access to the Recovery Solution, I backed up my files with the backup tool, and I restored Windows (I figured maybe their update did something to the boot record or something. This restore did not work. Then I learned about the admin tools in Samsung Recovery 5, which is Shift+Ctrl+F10, and the password is "secclx" (without quotes), which takes you to a place where you can do a handful of things, like (what I assume is a graphic interface for) diskpart, and go into a command prompt.

    6) None of the .exes for flashing bios that come from the Samsung Mobile site that is in this thread run in the Recovery version of Windows at that point. Plus, anything with dependencies on the OS are probably not there. Also, no WI-FI, but I'm not sure if you can use ethernet connections there (wouldn't have helped me anyway).

    7) Doing the rollback style BIOS flash from the command line works. My BIOS, for NP700Z5C-S01UB, is P00AAS. There are no revisions, and it is the only thing that I've seen that uses AAS series. You can get the ITEM_.... from isosunrise's method. I had to unpack the .exe on another computer because you cannot do this step in Recovery. I moved the files to a flash drive, and ran them from there (Recovery Solution does support USB and DVD, you can just navigate to them in the command prompt). This model uses Winflash.exe for its flashing, and I flashed it about four times with isosunrise's flags:

    Code:
    WinFlash.exe P00AAS.rom /v /cs /sd /sv /svs
    This did not work. It seemed as if it was actually writing it and verifying it, but it didn't help. I looked at all of the flags in by doing
    Code:
    Winflash.exe -help
    I hadn't read this thread, with its discussion of /cvar yet, and I saw it on the list. I saw somewhere that afuwin had a similar flag that was supposed to clear the settings that are in the BIOS as part of the flashing process. So I ran this:
    Code:
    WinFlash.exe P00AAS.rom /v /cs /sd /sv /svs /cvar
    ...that was the trick. This is flashing while not checking for versions or dates and then setting all of the BIOS variables back to default. As soon as I did that flash, the computer powered down and went right into Windows on my C: drive. I restarted, F2 went right to the BIOS screen, was already on factory defaults. Restarted again, F10 goes to the one-time boot menu, and lists my HDD and my optical drive as options.

    I hope this helps a few of you. I've been running the machine for the past five days and everything is working great, restored back to the factory image in the recovery mode and got back to worrying about other things in my life.
     
  4. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

    Reputations:
    11,309
    Messages:
    4,394
    Likes Received:
    2,071
    Trophy Points:
    231
    @evilsheep23: Thank you (again) for sharing this report. Particularly for the information about /cvar working with WinFlash, since that answers a question for those who are not able to run SFlash32/64.

    One question: Did you try using using WinFlash without actually flashing a new BIOS, ie with just the /cvar parameter (similar to what member Fitztorious posted here using SFlash64). Ideally, we want as "light" a solution as possible, that still solves the problem of corrupted NVRAM.
     
  5. evilsheep23

    evilsheep23 Newbie

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    6
    I did not try it without doing the full flash. It is entirely possible that /cvar without flashing would have fixed it.
     
    Dannemand likes this.
  6. sean2012

    sean2012 Newbie

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    Hello everyone, I have a bricked NP700Z7C. Here is a link for a post I made earlier.

    I am not able to get into Samsung Recovery Solution. I believe I formatted over that a while a go if that is possible?

    I cannot boot from a usb with WinPE for windows 8.

    I have tried to boot from the Windows cd that was given to me with the laptop, which still did not work.

    This is what my laptop does when I turn it on. Displays the Samsung bios screen (with the F2/F4 keys at the bottom) then reboots, displays the Samsung bios screen again and then displays the boot menu with no options to select from.
     
  7. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

    Reputations:
    7,177
    Messages:
    28,836
    Likes Received:
    2,048
    Trophy Points:
    581
    Did you try removing the internal storage drive which might force the computer to try to boot from USB?

    John
     
  8. sean2012

    sean2012 Newbie

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    Yes I have removed the internal HD.

    EDIT: Would it matter what port I used? I am using a USB 2.0 on the right side.
     
  9. Fitztorious

    Fitztorious Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    155
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    6
    I used one of the USB 3.0 ports on the left side but I don't think it should matter - I would try the USB 3.0 port too just to be safe. If the internal HDD is removed and there are no other storage devices or USB devices connected to the laptop then I believe the issue lies in the WinPE USB assuming all hardware is functioning properly.

    When you used Rufus to create the WinPE bootable USB what partition scheme did you use? I would try creating the bootable WinPE USB again using one of the other partition scheme options (MBR, GPT for UEFI computers, ect.).
     
    Dannemand likes this.
  10. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

    Reputations:
    7,177
    Messages:
    28,836
    Likes Received:
    2,048
    Trophy Points:
    581
    It would also be worthwhile creating a bootable flash drive of a different brand.

    I recall that the Samsung notebooks get confused by one or more brands of flash drives but can't remember the details.

    John
     
Loading...

Share This Page