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Advanced Help Needed with BIOS Update


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#1 TSalarek

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Posted 16 August 2011 - 08:30 PM

Client machine

Compaq Presario C551NR laptop
Vista Home Basic SP2
1 GB RAM: 512 DDR2 "533 SO DIMM" + 512 DDR2 "PC5300" (533 is the factory stick, 5300 is upgrade)
all other hardware is original factory build


Issue (total Owner error, btw)

Factory BIOS
BSOD with 0x8e when attempting Normal Boot and Last Known Good
Safe, Safe/Cmd, Safe/network all run properly

Have updated all drivers (including network, processor, video, audio, CD, HD, and modem)
uninstalled and reinstalled fresh copies of Java, Flash, Shockwave, Quicktime, Adobe Reader
uninstalled Yahoo Msgr, Zoosk Msgr, Yahoo toolbar, Quizulous toolbar, corrupted MagicJack
installed Firefox 5 (I know: just got the flag for 6, but it can wait)
Ran RAM and Processor diagnostic in Safe and both checked out fine
Ran HD diagnostic from BIOS and it checked out fine


Spent the weekend manually cleaning the following infections:

Hotbar adware
clickpotato adware
Winlock trojan
VISTA Antispyware 2012
fake Windows Defender (pretty sure this was the vector of entry)
smitfraud.c
Revsci


using the following programs (and some old fashioned 'elbow grease'):

AVG 2011 (command line in Safe)
MBAM
SSD
CCleaner
ESET online
rkill (run in safe and safe/network)

I have a few other tools downloaded, but they will not run in safe. All of the above are currently scanning clean - not a guarantee of a clean system, I am well aware, but I'm limited now until I can get it into normal boot.


I've actually seen this issue on a few other older laptops and was able to Flash BIOS by burning an autorun CD and giving priority to the optical drive....that's not working in this case. Also tried setting rkill to Startup, again with no joy. Crash is occurring before anything can really launch.

I've done it once before, but I can't remember HOW I did it: I need to get to the text interface under VISTA (basically bypass VISTA completely) and launch the disk from there. How do I get into the interface without going through VISTA (since I can't use Normal at all and I can't Flash from Safe/cmd)?


fwiw: factory restore d: does not exist on this system and the disks are lost so a reinstall is not currently an option. Fairly certain a BIOS update will fix it, if I can only get it to Flash. Any ideas?



edit: wasn't sure where exactly to post this so put it here.
edit2: add hardware specs

Edited by hamluis, 18 August 2011 - 08:39 AM.
Moved from Vista to Am I Infected.


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#2 TSalarek

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 11:55 AM

I'm a software geek so I'm a bit out of depth with advanced hardware Dx, but a HW buddy of mine suggesting pulling the HD to verify the board....before doing so I swapped the RAM sticks (moved the original from bottom slot to top and new from top to bottom) and compressed air'd the entire section.

removed HD, blew out bay, and powered on. Displayed Compaq splash, auto refreshed to display splash again, auto refresh to solid black with rapid cursor at top left corner. Can hear and feel the fans spinning, but otherwise nothing. Does this confirm BIOS problem (as I suspected) or is it something else? (would call the buddy, but he's at the movies with his cell off :X)


edit: mep O_O f10 much? In BIOS with HD physically removed....factory is v F.14a, upgrade is v F.24a, right now it's showing v F.15 - now I really am lost.

Edited by TSalarek, 17 August 2011 - 12:17 PM.


#3 TSalarek

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 05:09 PM

5 hours later:

AVG rescue disk comes back clean. Reboot BSOD 0x8e.
Avira rescue nails 1 trojan, rescan was clean. Reboot BSOD 0x8e.

Took 3 tries to finally get Kaspersky Rescue Disk to run.

Kaspersky in text nailed 1 trojan, rescan was clean; boot scan was clean; startup scan was clean. Launched GUI without reboot.
Kaspersky in graphic is scanning now. I am able to access the exe for FlashBIOS from KAR GUI so as soon as scan is complete I'll be trying that.

Will advise if flash is success or fail.

2 hours later...."select an executable to open file with" O_O HELP!

Edited by TSalarek, 17 August 2011 - 07:09 PM.


#4 TSalarek

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 07:19 PM

history: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic414739.html

trying to flash from within Kaspersky Recovery environment as system will not boot normally (safe functions, but can't flash from there)

double clicked on exe and got "please select executable to open file with"....what path do I follow to find the correct executable?

pretty sure this is a normal KAR effect and not a WIN glitch, for that and because of required restart I'm leery of resetting registry though I will be shortly verifying that the "user choice" key is in fact not present.

I'm starting to get desperate. please follow the link above for updates to this issue (as it's easier for me to get at than this one).

#5 abauw

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 07:38 PM

Hello.
Its better to stick to one topic and please wait for someone help you in there soon.

:guitar: Take me to a place where time is frozen
You don't have to close your eyes to dream :busy:
You can find escape inside this moment :smash:
And I will follow  :whistle:


#6 TSalarek

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 08:07 PM

since it seems to be a BIOS issue and everyone in VISTA section is on about software I had some hope of getting help over here....

at this point I need to know what to open the stupid executable with and where to find that opener or get some kind of other method for Flashing this POS

#7 abauw

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 08:18 PM

Why you think it's was BIOS issue?
Honestly, I still dont know what is your problem was? but if you get infections you doesn't need to Flashing you BIOS.
Maybe request to moving your topic to another forum in BC will be great.

Edited by abauw, 17 August 2011 - 08:23 PM.

:guitar: Take me to a place where time is frozen
You don't have to close your eyes to dream :busy:
You can find escape inside this moment :smash:
And I will follow  :whistle:


#8 lti

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 09:17 PM

It is unlikely that the BIOS is the problem, but it is possible (my HP laptop would crash on a cold boot until I updated the BIOS).

The updating program will have to run from either DOS or Windows. If the program creator was smart, the tool can be run from a DOS boot disc or under Safe Mode with command prompt. Since the computer is a Compaq, there is almost no chance of that.

#9 TSalarek

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 09:52 PM

::snicker:: too right...won't launch at all under any safe boot...and right now it hangs when trying to boot to safe. I could probably boot from DOS if I could remember how to get around Vista and into the text layer O_o

Just called the owner and she ok'd the 30 to overnight the disks from HP...there goes my profit margin

#10 TSalarek

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 09:56 PM

because

1. I've seen this issue before it's been resolved by a BIOS update
2. Compaq says it should work
3. BSOD is hardware code
4. nothing else left to try


anyway it's now become moot as it BSODs on Normal and hangs on Safe. Will spend the weekend harvesting data from the soon to be slaved HD in preparation for the arrival of HP replacement disks.

goodbye profit margin

#11 julie kit

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 05:43 AM

Thanks for letting us know about Bios and software thingy.




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