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The HP team allegedly blames Microsoft’s Windows Update as the ProBooks firmware builder

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Firmware and BIOS updates are always dangerous, and caution is always advised when installing one. When things go south for whatever reason, they can lead to bricked computers and other issues. Although HP ProBook 445/455 G7 (launched in 2020) owners say they did nothing wrong while a new update was pushed to their systems, they found themselves with laptops that no longer work.

The firmware causing these problems is version 01.17, and currently, it has been removed from the HP support site, with the latest version available being 01.16.00 Rev.A. The following email was allegedly sent by HP to a service center in response to reports (via KnutD):

We encountered an issue where HP removed the BIOS from hp.com/HPIA. As a result, please refrain from updating additional computers until further notice.

To assist in our investigation, we would like to request two PCs to be sent to our lab in the US. If this is possible, could you please provide the following information:

Contact person with phone number and email address
Complete collection address
Serial numbers of both computers

Please make sure the customer packs the computers in appropriate boxes. I will send DHL personalized shipping labels and papers to facilitate collection as soon as possible. Remember to remove the SSD to ensure no customer data was shipped with the PCs.

We aim to send both computers to our lab in Houston, USA as soon as possible for further analysis.

Apparently, an HP service and repair technician blamed Windows Update for offering and delivering the buggy firmware. However, This seems unlikely as several HP customers say they got it from other channels, such as HP’s Support Assistant app or the official support website.

user Wojtek0586 In the HP support forum he writes:

.. we have the same problem. Currently, 6 computers are broken in this way. HP authorized service suggested that the BIOS in the Windows Update patch is broken, but installing version 1.17 directly from the BIOS, via the web, or via Support Assistant has the same effect.

The service technician replaced the motherboard and updated the BIOS from version 1.14 to version 1.17. Upgrading from versions 1.15 and 1.16 causes the problem.

However, this does not mean that the fix was not delivered by Windows Update as a different user, Fiwkfcw434 Evidence, though it has also since been removed by Microsoft:

Here’s another one. After updating Windows (required to restart) and upgrading the bios a black screen is displayed with a noisy fan. HP ProBook 455 G7 laptop.

Regardless, the good news is that HP seems to be well aware of the issue, but the bad news is that they apparently want to charge people €400 for it (will be different in the US). Ginstatt Author:

I opened a ticket with HP to request a repair. They then sent me a quote of about 400 euros to replace the motherboard, which I refused because I’m not going to pay for HP’s mistakes. They don’t want to know anything because my computer is no longer under warranty, leaving the consumer to pay for the damage caused by HP. I find this unacceptable for professional machines. At this point, I can no longer trust HP, especially with the updates they provide.

We will have to wait and see how the situation develops and if HP offers free replacements for those who are no longer under warranty.

Source: HP forum (1, 2, 3)

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