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Old 01-18-2020, 12:25 PM   #1
Dannyx
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Unhappy HP DV6-6120us blinking cursor on black screen (BIOS ?)

Good day folks. A former colleague of mine asked me for my opinion on this HP laptop which is not booting. The model is DV6-6120us (see picture). When you press the power button, all you get is a blinking underscore in the top-left of a black screen, which is what you normally see on all machines just before the HDD takes over and starts to boot the operating system. This one does nothing: no startup logo, no text, no options to press a key to do something, nothing - just this one dash. It also seems to double-boot: after you hit the power button, the power light comes on, then it goes off and comes back on after a few seconds before displaying the aforementioned screen. I think it's a BIOS issue.

What I tried so far:

-THIS method which worked before on another HP laptop: I tried unpacking the official BIOS from HP's support page for this model to get the BIN file, which I then copied to a flash drive and tried the WIN key + B trick to try and flash it - it didn't work: no matter how many times I tried it, the laptop would never get into the flashing mode and would just go straight back to the blinking cursor. I was also unlucky to have a blank "MODEL" field in the .ini file of this particular BIOS, though I tried several variations of the same file, even changed the extension, but it didn't work.

-I then tried it the old fashioned way by directly writing the BIN to the 25q32 IC on the board. I removed it, backed up its contents, erased it, loaded the "new" BIN onto it and tried writing it: it didn't work either because the file is 4.44 Mb and the chip is only 4Mb so the tail end got "cut off". Because of this, the laptop no longer started AT ALL: the power light would just go on for a second, then off - nothing more ! To confirm, I put back the original BIOS I backed up from the IC when I first desoldered it, which just brought me back to the white dash again, so it's the BIN file that is at fault - not the chip. I think it's because it's not an actual DUMP, but an UPGRADE, hence those extra 0.44Mbs which keep it from fitting on the IC...I would therefore like to request a dump for this, or at least any other suggestion in case anybody has one. Thank you !
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File Type: zip EXTRACTED.zip (4.58 MB, 5 views)
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Old 01-19-2020, 03:37 AM   #2
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Default Re: HP DV6-6120us blinking cursor on black screen (BIOS ?)

try...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wb4ez9-hwJM
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Old 01-19-2020, 04:02 AM   #3
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Default Re: HP DV6-6120us blinking cursor on black screen (BIOS ?)

Interesting. Unfortunately my BIN is larger than the one shown in the video - his is 4.12Mb, mine is 4.44Mb, so I don't know where the EC region starts and where I should start "chopping" the file...

Last edited by Dannyx; 01-19-2020 at 05:23 AM..
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Old 01-19-2020, 01:51 PM   #4
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Talking Re: HP DV6-6120us blinking cursor on black screen (BIOS ?)

Ok guys, here's the situation in case someone is still following this thread. I made some good progress in the meantime: after a bit of digging, I managed to find some tutorials on how these HP BIOSes actually work and some of the problems you may face. Turns out the BIN file you get when extracting the installer is encrypted, which makes it useless for writing directly to the chip. It gets decrypted by the InsydeFlash utility when it's time to upgrade the laptop, but of course this tool doesn't run on any platforms other than HP......unless you use a very specific version which does ! Once you open it, you use it to create a local BIN file which is now decrypted (instead of selecting the option to upgrade the BIOS directly). You're STILL not done yet: the resulting BIN file is too big to fit onto a chip directly. You need to extract the EC and MAIN regions out of it so you end up with two files, precisely 64Kb and 4Mb respectively....to do this, you need to figure out where each of them starts and where it ends, which you'd never figure out without a little handy-dandy table which does just this: it acts as a map and tells you where each region starts and ends. Once you have that info, you copy and paste those blocks to individual files and there you go: you now have an EC and a MAIN....

The ultimate question is: does it work ? ? ? This is the sucky part: I haven't actually tested, since I don't have the laptop with me, but I WILL report back as soon as I try it out. I'll also write a dedicated thread where I'll be including all the relevant tools and info, specifically for this purpose. Cheers.
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Old 01-20-2020, 07:45 AM   #5
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Default Re: HP DV6-6120us blinking cursor on black screen (BIOS ?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyx View Post
Ok guys, here's the situation in case someone is still following this thread. I made some good progress in the meantime: after a bit of digging, I managed to find some tutorials on how these HP BIOSes actually work and some of the problems you may face. Turns out the BIN file you get when extracting the installer is encrypted, which makes it useless for writing directly to the chip. It gets decrypted by the InsydeFlash utility when it's time to upgrade the laptop, but of course this tool doesn't run on any platforms other than HP......unless you use a very specific version which does ! Once you open it, you use it to create a local BIN file which is now decrypted (instead of selecting the option to upgrade the BIOS directly). You're STILL not done yet: the resulting BIN file is too big to fit onto a chip directly. You need to extract the EC and MAIN regions out of it so you end up with two files, precisely 64Kb and 4Mb respectively....to do this, you need to figure out where each of them starts and where it ends, which you'd never figure out without a little handy-dandy table which does just this: it acts as a map and tells you where each region starts and ends. Once you have that info, you copy and paste those blocks to individual files and there you go: you now have an EC and a MAIN....

The ultimate question is: does it work ? ? ? This is the sucky part: I haven't actually tested, since I don't have the laptop with me, but I WILL report back as soon as I try it out. I'll also write a dedicated thread where I'll be including all the relevant tools and info, specifically for this purpose. Cheers.
Yes, it works and this process is well known.PHOENIXTOOL V 2.50 does the job of decrypting the web update which then has to be splitted as you learned the hard way. This apllies to only older hp models and new laptops bios updates are quite different.
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Old 01-24-2020, 02:54 AM   #6
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Default Re: HP DV6-6120us blinking cursor on black screen (BIOS ?)

Yes - it worked. Laptop is now up and running again ! Thank you all
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Old 01-24-2020, 10:16 AM   #7
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Default Re: HP DV6-6120us blinking cursor on black screen (BIOS ?)

After you fix the BIOS, if you still get that blinking cursor on the top left:

The blinking cursor on the top left, means a corrupted boot sector. You need to wipe the drive.
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Old 01-24-2020, 11:10 AM   #8
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Default Re: HP DV6-6120us blinking cursor on black screen (BIOS ?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJARRRPCGP View Post
After you fix the BIOS, if you still get that blinking cursor on the top left:

The blinking cursor on the top left, means a corrupted boot sector. You need to wipe the drive.
No - it's working, so it wasn't necessary. It wouldn't boot off of USB either, so it wasn't the OS that was causing the issue
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