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I can't upgrade firmware and have beep code errors in my BIOS

Posted on 2014-11-04
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Last Modified: 2014-11-09
Hi experts,

I have a Lenovo M91p Thinkcentre computer with a BIOS firmware which is over four years old. From what I can tell it is a Lenovo model.

About three days ago, I was unable to boot into Windows even into Safe Mode. After cloning its original SSD to a newer Samsung SSD and doing a couple of other things (I know that sounds lame, but I have lost track -- see previous EE question for more details) (It's rather long, so you may want to skip it), I have finally been able to get into Windows.

All of the troubleshooting by the experts and me have been related to the hard drive and a possible msconfig error, but it is still difficult to get past the BIOS issues.

When it boots up, there are two short beeps, which Lenovo claims is a POST error. There is also a 1762 error which justs indicates there has been some type of configuration change. Finally, it states that there is an erroneous boot sequence. I haven't been able to pause it, so it is hard to catch exactly what it says. The only thing set to boot is the CD drive, followed by the SSD/OS, and I get that message even when it is just the hard drive listed.

The weird thing is the following: I have eight Lenovos, all bought at the same time all with the same configuration with the exception of an i7 here and an i5 there and maybe more RAM in one than the other. In all the other computers, you can update the firmware either from Windows or a CD.

With this computer, if you try to flash from Windows, it states that the ROM is older than the present one, which is not true.

I have used the CD on four computers, and it automatically loads a file, then automatically updates the firmware to the latest version. When I try to use the CDiso in problem computer, you catch a glimpse of the screen that it updates the firmware from, but then instantly goes to a W:\ prompt. I have no idea what to do from there.

It won't let me upload a photo which I have saved as a jpg and png and is only 1 MB. I will try again in the next window. But, two of the eight files are Flash2 exe and Image9h rom which, obviously, is the firmware. Just not sure what to do, but even more, why it went to this screen.

So, in summary, soom boot issues that are mostly resolved with a Lenovo BIOS which has two short beeps on POST with two error messages listed above, and it won't allow me to update the firmware.

Thanks.

Bert

http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/Windows_7/Q_28545581.html

Just a reference if you are bored.
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Question by:Bert2005
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by:nobus
ID: 40423367
what happens if you try a fresh install?

did you check the bios battery?   normally a CR2032 type, should read 3 V

you can also test if the hardware runs ok from a live cd   - linux or knoppix
http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=knoppix
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by:Bert2005
ID: 40423427
Hi nobus,

Thanks for the help. I was trying to stay away from completely formatting it. But, things are just so weird with it, I may have to just bite the bullet. Unless you just meant put a different drive in and do a fresh install to it.

I will try the test and look at the battery. I did remove the battery on the motherboard and put it back after a minute. Can it actually go bad?

Just an example of a slightly weird thing. It will start, but every other startup I have done with Win 7 on other computers (hundreds), you always have the four Windows colors revolving around each other and then coalescing to form the Windows Logo, then you go into Windows. This one starts the revolving and almost gets to the logo, (the four colors are kind of in a straight line) then it goes into Windows. Maybe I am not explaining that very well or maybe it doesn't matter. I just have never seen it do that before.

Do you know what command I would type after the W:\> to try to update the firmware for the BIOS?

Thanks.
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by:nobus
ID: 40423742
>>   Unless you just meant put a different drive in   <<   that's your best bet, since you suspect the drive already.
in the mean time, hook it to another PC, as 2nd drive, and test it with the manufacturer's diag (post the model, then i can tell you which to use)
>>  Can it actually go bad?   <<  batteries go bad all the time - they loose their charge, or the chemical components wear out

 >>   (the four colors are kind of in a straight line)  <<  this semms to indicate a video problem; you can take a picture, and post it for better info

for the moment - i would keep the bios update as LAST resource; i would just not use it yet

a very good test is booting from a live cd, as i suggested above
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by:Bert2005
ID: 40424766
OK. Great advice. I took a great picture last night of something, and EE wouldn't let me upload it. Tried it with .png and .jpg, which EE takes, and it was only 1 MB. Maybe the server wasn't working properly on their end. It would blink "Uploading," then time out.
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by:Bert2005
ID: 40425395
I bought new batteries. Figured that would be easiest. Am downloading the .iso now. It's a 4 GB DVD, so it is taking a bit. Will likely burn tomorrow and try it.

Thanks for waiting.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40425603
Bert, i always shrink the pictures so they are about 20-50kb; then you never have problems- and very fast

>>  I bought new batteries. Figured that would be easiest  <<  true - but you don't KNOW if they are low or not, that's why i always prefer measuring them; after all, you can buy digital  multimeters now for less than 20 $
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by:JohnnyCanuck
ID: 40425682
If you press F1 during the POST you can get into the CMOS setup program.  With Lenovos the first page is usually the information page and it should list the BIOS version and possibly the date of the BIOS release.  Compare that to the version you downloaded from Lenovo.
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by:Bert2005
ID: 40425909
Hi nobus,

Thanks for the tip on the pictures. I didn't know anything about the multimeters. The BIOS version and the date is the same as the download only on the ones I upgraded (obviously). Well, some don't take. The ones that were there previously were from 2010 and were not  up to date.
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by:nobus
ID: 40426288
what do you mean with  :  >>  Well, some don't take. The ones that were there previously were from 2010 and were not  up to date.   <<

i just don't understand
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by:Bert2005
ID: 40426935
When I first started the updates, all eight computers had the versions all had lower numbers and were from 2010. Using the Windows version and CD version, six of them easily upgraded to the latest version. Two of them, however, would not. They just stayed the same.

The "bad" computer we are working on now, will not update. If you use the CD BIOS update, it gets to the screen where you update on all the others, but it shows it for about 1/10th of a second and then ends up with the W:\> prompt. Running "dir" shows eight files, two of which are obviously the ones used in the update. The ROM file and one other. If you try to use the Windows version, you get a message that the 2010 version is newer than the 2014 version.

_______

I did run the Knoppix DVD. I guess I am not sure what I am looking for. There was quite a bit of info on the screen. It then ended up with the screen which shows the blue swirly picture, which was one of the screenshots on the site. There is an option to hit F2 in the beginning. You get about two seconds to select that.
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by:joinaunion
ID: 40427047
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by:Bert2005
ID: 40427066
Hi joinaunion,

Thanks. I did all that and used either the Windows method or the CD .iso method. The CD autoboots to the correct screen. It then updates the BIOS. On this computer it gets to that screen for less than a second and then looks like a command screen with the W:\> prompt. It may be able to update from there as all the files are there, but I don't know the command, and nobus suggested not trying to upgrade it right now.

On the knoppix boot disk, I am not sure exactly what I am looking for. It continues to do things that don't seem helpful like 20 different color boxes randomly flashing over the desktop and four squares containing DP2 in them on the screen.
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by:joinaunion
ID: 40427125
As per instructions here http://download.lenovo.com/ibmdl/pub/pc/pccbbs/thinkcentre_bios/9hj958usa.txt
it should just flash bios then it should reboot.

Are you sure you created bootable cd correctly?

Follow directions here to create proper boot disc from image.
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/32055-bootable-iso-create-installation-files.html
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nobus earned 500 total points
ID: 40427852
did you get this picture?  http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=knoppix

if yes - you can use the toolbar for trying different things; but if it runs already, that's a gpood indication the hardware is ok
here a discussion of how you can use it :  http://www.brighthub.com/computing/linux/articles/64736.aspx
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by:Bert2005
ID: 40428179
Yep, I did get that picture. I will look at the link you provided. Thanks nobus.
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by:Bert2005
ID: 40430816
Thanks everyone. So, the complete answer. I continued to research the beep codes. It just kept saying you would have error messages. Well, the only error message I had was 1762: BIOS has detected configuration change. So, I Googled that and came to a small forum where a group of people were discussing this error. One said he had found the answer which was to click F1, go to setup and hit F10 and exit.

So, I did this, and the beep codes went away completely and it booted up with no error messages. Now, I had gone into the BIOS setup a million times trying to fix this. I can't say for sure if I went in and never made a change and exited. Most of the time, I would make a subtle change. Anyway, the beep codes continued after each time. But, when I just did an F1, open BIOS settings, then exit, it went away. But, I still didn't have just one beep.

So, I figured the Lenovo BIOS gave that error because of a configuration change. Likely changing a boot order or something. But, I would love for Lenovo to explain why making a perfectly safe and normal change in the BIOS would not only result in an error message during the POST, but also give beep errors. The whole idea of being able to enter the BIOS is to change the configuration. To top it all off, I went back into the settings and found a setting for "Show message on configuration changes." Suffice it to say, I turned that off. And, guess what? I now get one beep code. Since I don't build my own computers, I am going to have to go back to Dell.

Oh, and I should add while there are no more errors or beep codes, I still cannot upgrade the firmware. It does boot to the upgrade disk, it does quickly show the upgrade screen (maybe 1/10th of a second), then it takes you to a W:\> prompt. You can get to the directory of eight files, and you can get to options and arguments. I just don't know which to do. Maybe I should just call Lenovo.
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by:nobus
ID: 40430917
tx for feedback
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by:Bert2005
ID: 40431680
Anytime. And, thanks for your help. And, love your Avatar.

Oh, and I should heed good advice I get on here all the time. I probably shouldn't worry so much about updating the BIOS if it is working.
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by:nobus
ID: 40432111
about the knoppix cd : don't throw it away; it's very useful for making backups of PC's that won't boot
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