Question Bios update completly killed old laptop

May 11, 2019
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Preface:
I had an old HP dv6500 (amd) laptop laying around. It came with Vista but was updated to Windows 7. I wanted to play around with some Linux on it to learn, so I made a bootable drive to install a distro.
The USB would not boot (later it turned out to be a faulty USB drive), so I decided to see if I could find a BIOS update.
HP has removed the support site for this model, so a after long time searching I found the right bios update on HP’s FTP server.

The Disaster:
I ran the update from Windows 7 (I know now, that was a rookie mistake). The update progressed normally, erasing and reprogramming one block at a time. But then as the last block was erased and reprogram the computer turns off, out of the blue.
No windows shutdown, just a click and it was completely off. As if I cut power.
Only the charger light was still on. After 10 seconds I tried to press the power button and nothing happens. No beeps, no fans spinning, nothing. Completely dead!

Repair attempts so far:
Here are the other things i have tried, non of them as worked or changed the pc condition-
  • I have disconnected the CMOS battery hoping for some sort of reset.
  • I have measured the voltage of the power source and it’s working fine.
  • I have tried to boot without hdd, 1 ram stick, 0 ram sticks
Diagnosis:
I want to take this as a learning experience and try to fix it, but I don’t want to waste too much time going down wrong paths.
Right now by best guess is that the BIOS is faulty.

Can these symptoms be a faulty BIOS?
Charge light on, but not turning on at all with no beep or fan spin.

If it is a BIOS problem, I was thinking to attempt to re-program it with an Arduino or a RaspberryPi. Or replace it if it’s fried.
I have not tried something like this before, but since the pc is old it might be fun to try, even if i break it.

Any help or input is appreciated.
– Deltini
 
A bad BIOS flash is often fatal.

BIOS provides the very first instructions to a dumb hunk of metal and plastic what to do.

Some nicer Mobos have dual BIOS, so if something happens, can always boot from backup BIOS, and on older (way old) machines BIOS is actually on a socketed chip which can be pulled and flash applied externally via a dedicated chip flasher but vendors these days don't bother :(
 
May 11, 2019
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A bad BIOS flash is often fatal.

BIOS provides the very first instructions to a dumb hunk of metal and plastic what to do.

Some nicer Mobos have dual BIOS, so if something happens, can always boot from backup BIOS, and on older (way old) machines BIOS is actually on a socketed chip which can be pulled and flash applied externally via a dedicated chip flasher but vendors these days don't bother :(
Thanks for the information.
I have identified the bios chip on the board (Took me a long time, because i was looking close to the CMOS battery).
It's soldered on and has a lot of other small components close by. It will be very difficult to de-solder without damaging other components.
I'm looking for a clip to put on the sop-8 chip package so I might be able to re-flash it without de-soldering.
 
May 11, 2019
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Usually, no. A bad flash will usually leave you with no POST but allow the system to power on, however brief.

When you hit the power button, do any status indicator lights change?
No nothing happens or changes when I hit the power button.
I have light at the charger, but no other lights. When i disconnect the fan and connect power the sdcard and WiFi switch light up. But still nothing happens when i press power.
I checked the 3v pin at the bios at it measures 3v when the charger is connected.

Any ideas?
 
I think you may have a dead board. That it happened during flashing the system could be a coincidence; I don't typically see bad flashes result in sudden shutdowns and then zero response from the hardware. What on the board failed exactly is anyone's guess, though.
 
May 11, 2019
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I think you may have a dead board.
I really hope not. But I fear you might be right. I will order at test clip and try to re-flash anyway, maybe I will be lucky.
If not I will have to bust out a multimeter and see if I can find the fault, but I don't think I will have much of a chance.
Thanks for your input so far.
 

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