Question HP envy 17" laptop black screen. Corrupt bios?

diskman50

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Sep 29, 2006
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I use Acronis True Image on a fairly regular basis to image my HD in the laptop. Acronis also creates a restore CD which I was trying to validate before I actually needed it in an emergency. In order to boot from the CD you need to access the bios and enable legacy support and change the boot order to load from the CD Rom drive first. After making the bios changes I "saved and exited". I rebooted from the CD and Acronis loaded and worked fine. For some reason I went back into the bios just to verify the boot order again (don't really know why since the CD booted fine) which was correct so I exited without saving this time since I didn't make any changes. The next boot resulted in a black screen and a dead computer.

Here's what I've done to try and resolve the issue:
Watched the HP videos on recovering the bios with windows key + B key or the V key depending on the laptop model. There is some HD activity for a few seconds then nothing.
I downloaded and created a bios update USB drive to attempt to flash the bios, still a black screen. The bios update screen never appeared.
I removed the cmos battery for a short period of time hoping that cmos would clear and I'd get a different response during the reboot. No difference.
I disconnected the internal HD jus in case I made an error on he boot order, same problem.

So I'm out of options and ideas at the moment and before I started looking for a new laptop I thought I'd see if anyone has my suggestions

Thanks,
Joe.
 

AlHuneke

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Jul 7, 2020
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Congrats on keeping backups and checking to make sure they actually work! I hope your experience doesn't discourage others from doing the same. Just FYI--I always leave my USB as the first boot device so I don't have to change it (slows down boot by a tiny amount). I also leave secure boot off, taking a very small risk. The change to legacy support would not have let you reboot from the internal drive, but you still should have been able to get back to the BIOS to change this back. Actually, I don't know of any BIOS change that would lock you out of the BIOS. Even setting passwords should create a prompt.

I can't see how what you did could have resulted in your problem. I don't have an answer to your issue but do have a few suggestions.
  • Try to call HP support. If your machine is out of warranty, they may charge you but usually if the problem is not fixed, the charge is refunded. The HP support forum would also be a good place to post a question.
  • Consider sending the machine back to HP for repair. Don't know how old it is, but may be worth it. They will likely replace the MB. You will likley lose your data and programs, but you already have a backup! My one experience sending my HP machine back (under warranty) resulted in a one week turnaround and a fresh SSD without my stuff.
  • It may be that your machine just picked this time to actually break. Again, I don't know how you could caused it but it could happen,
  • The last thing I can think of is unlikely, but I have been reading lately about firmware viruses being the current attack point for the bad guys. These viruses are very difficult to detect. Who knows...
 

diskman50

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Thanks for the quick reply. The laptop is about 6 years old and is an i7 with 16gb of ram. The weak spot in the system is the sata hard drive. An ssd drive would be a big improvement but they wasn't readily available when I purchased this laptop. Back to the problem at hand.

When the laptop was under HP's warranty I had this exact problem of leaving the bios without saving . I was also verifying that my Acronis recovery CD was operational at that time. I had to send the laptop to HP and they replaced the motherboard. I've always had the suspicion that my bios updates weren't being applied even though the correct bios level showed up in the system info. The reason I say this is the bios update always ended up doing what appeared to be a reversal of the update before it rebooted. I don't remember the exact message but the system info always showed the current bios Rev. There are hundreds of posts on forums with this exact problem and with very few successful resolutions. Considering the age of this laptop sending it to HP would probably not be my first choice. It would make more sense to apply the money that HP would charge for the repairs to a newer laptop.

Thanks again,
Joe
 
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