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edhasted
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HP Z240 spontaneoulsy goes into BIOS update loop!

HP Z240 spontaneously goes into Bios Upgrade loop. Once in this loop it will dutifully try to update and reboot ad infinitum - see the attached screenshot. There is nothing you can do. There appears to be no trigger - it just happens. You can be typing, you might come back to it in the morning if you left the machine running overnight...
This has happened 7 times in the last 24 months. Each time HP have sent an engineer who dutifully replaces the motherboard.
They have occasionally replaced the PSU. The unit is UPSed and the Z440 that sits off the same UPS never has any problems what-so-ever.

Effectively the machine is unworkable.

So the questions are:
  • Does anyone else have this type of problem with the Z240?
  • Do you know of a fix without replacing the motherboard (CMOS reset does nothing)?
  • What happens the Carepack runs out?

HP's approach has been, you have to wait and see as this motherboard might fix it. They clearly know nothing of how computers behave, to type.
BIOS_Upgrade_Loop.jpg
* BIOS* HPEHardware* Z240

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Last Comment
nobus

8/22/2022 - Mon
andyalder

It can't be pulling the BIOS from thin air, so I would delete all HP BIOS packages from the machine, they're all called SPxxxxx.exe

No hardware problem could cause a BIOS update program to start if the OS is left running overnight, it has to be triggered by software - maybe an HP background program that periodically checks their website for updates.

I don't know why HP keep replacing the motherboard, it can't kick off the update itself although on reboot if it has a hardware update stored in the motherboard EPROM/CMOS it will try to install it. The last few "BIOS" updates haven't been real BIOS updates anyway, they have been microcode updates for the CPU.

If you are typing when it happens does it just reboot or is there a message first? Rebooting due to flakey PSU could make it try to reapply any update left behind in from last time, there may be a way of clearing all updates stored on the mobo but I don't know how.
Dr. Klahn

andyalder is quite right.  This problem is unlikely to be hardware; something is running to attempt a BIOS update.

I'd start by disabling all unnecessary startup-time software, much of which is started behind your back at system startup.  I think you'll probably find some kind of HP maintenance software, and disabling that will likely deal with the issue.  To locate and disable startup software, use Microsoft Autoruns.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/autoruns
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nobus

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edhasted

ASKER
More news :-(

This has been going on for a couple of years and HP always replace the motherboard as when it goes into this "System BIOS Update" loop go can't get out of it without installing a new motherboard.

So yesterday the dutiful HP engineer replaces the motherboard for the 7th? time. It was on BIOS 1.76. Couldn't upgrade to the latest as the HP web site was down for maintenance. After he left upgraded BIOS to the latest 1.78. Rebooted etc, all fine.

Turned machine off over night and when it tried to restart it this morning it went straight into the System Bios Update loop.

This was initiated very, very early on in the boot sequence. I think this is the common thread that it happens most often when the machine is being turned on.

All overt HP upgrade tools have been removed but I will go through your cull list when the machine is next conscious.

Is there a way around this without replacing the motherboard?

Many thanks.
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rwheeler23
andyalder

You can try powering off, holding Windows key plus B and then holding the power button for 3 seconds to power it back on. Not sure that works with the specific machine though.
edhasted

ASKER
Will try this evening, thanks.
andyalder

I was wrong about it storing the update on the motherboard temporarily, instead the BIOS (or pre-BIOS if you like) knows how to get the update off the disk without the OS loaded. Yours must be pulling a duff update off your disk so that update has to be removed from your disk or it will keep bricking your motherboards. If you can find out from HP support where BIOS looks for the updates then you can remove it, HP pulled some updates from their website because they were incompatible with certain CPUs but you may have one of those. Safest way would to mount the disk on another machine, HP engineer may have to use a laptop and USB caddy to avoid yet another dead mobo.
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edhasted

ASKER
HP ended up giving me a replacement machine. It's a bug in the way they update their BIOS...
nobus

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