For quite some time now my ultrabook couldn’t access BIOS any more. During startup I pressed the F2 key which normally should bring up BIOS, but nothing happened. It went directly to windows logon screen. Additionally pressing F10 did not bring up the boot selection screen which meant I couldn’t boot from any other media other than the hard drive.
Install windows using an external CD ROM
I tolerated this issue for at least a few years. I’ve had to reinstall windows at least twice during that time and the way I did it was using an external CD ROM. If I tried to install windows from a USB stick, it just didn’t work. So if you are simply trying to install windows, you might want to try with a cheap external CD drive from ebay.
Fixing the underlying issue
At one point, though, I needed to boot a live Linux distro from my USB stick. After a bit of searching I came across this thread on NotebookReview which talks about the problem in more detail. Apparently it’s quite common for these Samsung ultrabooks to get some piece of code in their BIOS corrupt. I also found this thread on CNET forums where a user by the name of prof_jrocha talks about a clever trick to get the BIOS update files from your Temp folder and then running some custom commands.
Here’s how I finally fixed the problem
First I downloaded BIOSUpdate.exe directly from Samsung.
This tool allows you to download the actual update to the same directory. In my case the file that was downloaded was: ITEM_20150810_21497_WIN_P15AAJ.exe
Next comes the “clever trick”. Execute the downloaded update file, but don’t click neither OK or Cancel. Instead go to your Temp folder located in: C:\Users\yourname\AppData\Local\Temp__Samsung_Update
Copy everything from that directory to somewhere safe like C:\update for example.
Once this is done you can close the updater altogether, we won’t be needing that any more.
Next open up command prompt (with admin privileges) and cd to your update directory (command: cd C:\update)
Once in the update directory run sflash64 /cvar /patch
This will reset certain variables in your BIOS according to Fitztorious from NotebookReview.
Once the command has run you should see a message telling you everything went fine so go ahead and restart your ultrabook and hopefully you can now F2 directly to BIOS. Make sure to reset to factory defaults too just in case.
In category: Technology
This post was written by ynef