HP all-in-one won't boot - need some advice

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting Help' started by mrgareth, Dec 29, 2018.

  1. mrgareth

    mrgareth Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I picked up a really cheap second hand HP all-in-one machine (HP 22-h010a). It was working fine at first, so I did a clean install of Windows 10 and realised the touch screen wasn't working - very very normal for Windows 10 apparently (only works with older drivers). I found the BIOS was really old so I put the latest one on.

    Everything was still working after that, including after a few reboots... then it just "locked up" during a reboot (the windows logo appeared but it just stayed like that).

    I can access the BIOS, change the BIOS settings etc. I've cleared the CMOS, replaced the CMOS battery, re-entered the settings etc. It can see the RAM, hard drive etc.

    If I attempt to boot my Windows USB stick (for a clean install), it sees the USB and brings up the Windows logo - but sits there. It can't get passed that.

    One thing I did find is that upgrading the BIOS removed all the machine ID's (i.e. serial number), which is a common issue with HP BIOS updates. I managed to fill in as much as I could, and I have no idea if this is what's causing my problem.

    If I put in a CentOS 7 bootable USB image, it will see the USB, bring up the usual menu (install Linux, verify media, troubleshoot)... but when I then select any of the menu items (i.e. to install Linux), the machine seems to lock up (the backlight remains on but nothing else seems to happen).

    if I put in a Memtest bootable USB image, it boots from that and will scan the memory! It works totally normally.

    I'm totally at a loss here. Usually with a BIOS issue the computer is dead from power-on, but I can get into the BIOS and do a few things.

    I've tried googling it, but pretty much everything is about a total BIOS issue (completely dead machine) but mine isn't.

    Does anyone have any pointers?

    EDIT - Also just tried the GParted live CD. It boots to the CD, brings up the pretty background and menu options - no matter what option I select, the menu disappears and I'm left with the background image (of CD's). But nothing actually loads.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2018
  2. philquad

    philquad Member

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    pull the hdd out, flatten it
    then install anything but 10 on it?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    mrgareth

    mrgareth Member

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    HDD is already out, swapped with another, then swapped with an SSD... all with the same results. The BIOS can detect the drive each time though, it knows what model is plugged in.

    My first thought was the hard drive, and that's why the machine is locking up. I also unplugged the DVD drive cable from the SATA port and plugged the hard drive into that, just in case.
     
  4. philquad

    philquad Member

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    have you tried booting from the dvd
    some pc's really dont like booting with a usb stick in
    otherwise, sounds like you bought a dud

    maybe roll back the bios
     
  5. de_overfiend

    de_overfiend Member

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    Could be a problem that the new bios doesnt have the machine info - i do remember that older hps and compaqs and packard bell machines need to be "tattooed" before installing windows otherwise you get a code purple (in xp and 7). not sure how windows 10 would react.
     
  6. wwwww

    wwwww Member

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    Flash to another BIOS.
     
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    mrgareth

    mrgareth Member

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    Alright everyone, I've finally solved this one! Just for completeness, and in case anyone else ever has this issue and googles it...

    Short version: It was the BIOS and a re-flash fixed it, but it was a HUGE amount of effort to figure out how to do it (and to figure out it was a BIOS issue, possibly related to flashing from Windows 10).

    Long version: After giving up for a while, I decided I wanted to give it another go. I found that the system would successfully boot ONLY when I inserted a single 2Gb RAM stick. I used combinations of 2Gb and 4Gb sticks, in both slots - but it would only boot from a 2Gb stick from either slot (all RAM sticks were 100% good though, so it was the machine, not the RAM).

    The BIOS update was meant to be run from Windows 8.1 (only appears in Windows 8.1 download page on the HP website), and I had done it with Windows 10 (with W8 compatibility mode turned on). The BIOS software can only run from within Windows (there's no way to directly update from within the BIOS), and the option to make a bootable USB stick from with the Windows BIOS software just doesn't work (yay for HP quality control).

    After figuring out I could boot with 2Gb RAM, I installed Windows 8.1 and tried to roll-back the BIOS to an older version - which wouldn't me (wouldn't go back). I tried multiple times to re-install the current BIOS without much luck as the Windows software is really buggy (it says there's no space left on the hard drive - !!!), but eventually it decided it would run and then rebooted into the actual BIOS firmware upgrade. And it worked!

    After the reboot, I tried various combinations of RAM and they all booted fine.

    So somehow when updating my BIOS from Windows 10, though the BIOS seemed to flash OK, and the BIOS menu worked... it would only boot with 2Gb RAM. And now the end result is my old machine is running Windows 10 and 8Gb RAM (2x4Gb sticks), with an Intel Pentium G3220T CPU (dual core 2.6Ghz Haswell CPU)
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2019
  8. power

    power Member

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    sounds like a HDD setting, check for IDE vs AHCI
     
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    mrgareth

    mrgareth Member

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    It was AHCI :) I didn't actually try to change to IDE (probably should have tried though!)
     
  10. power

    power Member

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    wait, so it's working now?
     
  11. OP
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    mrgareth

    mrgareth Member

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    Yes :) After a huge amount of effort, figuring out it would only boot with a single 2Gb stick and installing Win7/Win8.1/Win10 and attempting to install various BIOS versions... I got it working. I'm now running a clean install of W10 with 8Gb RAM on the latest BIOS. Next step is to install a cheap SSD.
     

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