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SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,264
Registered: ‎06-13-2013
Location: US
Views: 5,697
Message 1 of 32

P70 (950 Pro NVMe0 boot) BIOS update to 1.21: can no longer boot, and ENTER/F12 both fail to work

Well, I really should have left well enough alone. But I'd been running 1.15 on my P70 (with no problems) and decided enough time had gone by that the latest 1.21 update was probably stable and usable, and should be problem-free.

 

Unfortunately, now that I've updated the BIOS (successfully) I can no longer boot. The process just hangs at the "press ENTER to interrupt the normal boot process".  ENTER doesn't work, nor does F12.  Nothing works.

 

Of course the original 500GB HDD spinner boot drive on my P70 has long ago been replaced with two 512GB Samsung 950 Pro NVMe drives in the M.2 bay (with NVMe0 set as the boot drive in the BIOS STARTUP list), and a 512GB 850 Pro SSD in the primary 2.5" bay.  950 Pro NVMe1 and 850 Pro SSD are both for "data".

 

Now the last time I did a BIOS update from the original 1.11 which arrived in the machine to 1.15, I had the same hang at boot time.  And ENTER didn't work.  But F12 did work, and I was finally able to get into the "choose boot drive" dialog of the BIOS and specify NVMe0, and it took off and I was back operating again.  I then re-entered the BIOS to specify that NVMe0 was the boot drive, and from that point on everything worked properly and normally again.  Didn't need to use ENTER or F12, it just booted properly again from NVMe0.

 

Well, this doesn't work now that I've updated from 1.15 to 1.21.  BIOS does not boot (it's probably reset the STARTUP boot order to default, and I guess is not falling through to NVMe0 where Boot Manager lives), pressing ENTER does not work, and pressing F12 does not work.

 

Now last week I had updated my BIOS setting for keyboard, to enable F1-F12 to be those functions, rather than the engraved functions.  I want F1-F12 to be the default behavior, requiring that I also press the Fn key if I want to get the engraved function.  So I thought perhaps this is what might be interfering with why F12 is no longer working as it did back with 1.15. Don't know. All I know is I can't do anything now.

 

So, the 1.21 BIOS doesn't boot, as it's obviously not going to NVMe0 first nor is it starting with the 850 Pro (where there is no boot partition) and falling through to the next drive (NVMe0) where it would find a boot partition.  And ENTER doesn't work, and F12 doesn't work, and Fn+F12 doesn't work.

 

NOTHING WORKS!!!

 

Why should a BIOS upgrade destroy crucial boot-drive-sequence settings?  Why can't it just leave them alone?

 

And why doesn't ENTER work?  This is completely unacceptable.

 

And why doesn't F12 or Fn+F12 work either?

 

I need to be able to enter the BIOS, and nothing a BIOS update does should interfere with this basic function.

 

Am I really going to have to order a replacement motherboard and start over?  This is just unacceptable.  I really am not looking forward to calling Lenovo Support tomorrow, and am hoping someone can suggest something I can do that can get me back into the BIOS to reset the proper boot sequence to have NVMe0 first again.

 

As I said earlier, with the 1.15 upgrade from 1.11, ENTER didn't work but thankfully F12 did.  But with 1.21 upgrade from 1.15, now F12 doesn't work either.

 

GRRRR....

 

NOTE: there is NO Thinkpad logo presented.  I have previously disabled "quick boot", because I prefer to always see the complete full diagnostic output at boot time.

SeniorGuru
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Location: US
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Message 2 of 32

Re: P70 (950 Pro NVMe0 boot) BIOS update to 1.21: can no longer boot, and ENTER/F12 both fail to wor

For reference, the following screenshot shows what was my previous boot sequence in the Startup tab:

 

hP64Ks

 

And here is what the Startup tab was, before the 1.21 update:

 

J7ynrJ

 

 

ThinkFollower
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Message 3 of 32

Re: P70 (950 Pro NVMe0 boot) BIOS update to 1.21: can no longer boot, and ENTER/F12 both fail to wor

you always can make a bootable cd bios upgrade with the ealier bios version and try if that will revive Your P70

 

SeniorGuru
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Location: US
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Message 4 of 32

Re: P70 (950 Pro NVMe0 boot) BIOS update to 1.21: can no longer boot, and ENTER/F12 both fail to wor


@ThinkFollower wrote:

you always can make a bootable cd bios upgrade with the ealier bios version and try if that will revive Your P70

 


Well, I'm sure that just as with my 1.15 upgrade from 1.11, it wasn't that the BIOS update itself had failed or been unsuccessful.  It WAS successful. It's just that the result no longer honored the boot sequence as previously specified in the STARTUP tab.

 

I'm sure the same thing has happened now, with my upgrade from 1.15 to 1.21.  The result is simply a non-functional unusable machine which is not running down the possible bootable devices eventually arriving at NVMe0 which is the boot drive in my configuration.  This could be evidence of the 950 Pro simply not being recognized at all by the BIOS as a bootable device (as has been reported in other threads by other users), although obviously it WAS recognized by 1.15 for the past two months, until tonight when I updated the BIOS until 1.21 and it no longer works.

 

As to why F12 no longer works either, well I have no idea there.  It's just not working, along with ENTER. So there's simply no way to get into the BIOS to do anything.

 

Anyway... I did try what you suggested, to see if the machine would at least boot automatically from a bootable CD.  So I downloaded the 1.15 CD-ISO version of the BIOS, burned it to CD, and tried to boot from it.  I did hear the drive being "examined" (or at least accessed) during the boot process but it never actually booted from it to run the BIOS update utility imbedded in that ISO.  Instead, it just did what it's been doing all night, namely just hanging up at the "press ENTER to interrupt..." and then being 100% unresponsive to ENTER or F12.

 

On a flyer, I tried to boot from a bootable USB drive (containing Macrium Reflect runnable from the USB drive), and the results were similar.  I did see the blue LED flash on the USB drive, suggesting the BIOS was at least looking at the USB drive for some reason.  But even though it WAS BOOTABLE (same as the BIOS update CD I just burned was also bootable), the BIOS simply hung at the "press ENTER to interrupt..." message being completely unresponsive to ENTER or F12.

 

So honestly, I don't think this issue is that the 950 Pro is not being recognized by the BIOS, as a possible boot device.  In fact, other truly bootable devices (CD and USB) are not booting either.  So the BIOS update obviously f'd something making the machine unbootable, and unresponsive to ENTER, and unresponsive to F12.

 

Tomorrow it's a call to Lenovo, either to replace the motherboard or replace the machine if that's what they want to do.

ThinkFollower
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Message 5 of 32

Re: P70 (950 Pro NVMe0 boot) BIOS update to 1.21: can no longer boot, and ENTER/F12 both fail to wor

if You have time and willingness You can try some other actions

1) removing the BIOS batery - this will cause the restoring BIOS to default settings

2) removing both 950 pro drives and see if anytjing changes with boot sequence

3) remove the additional ram sticks and see if anything changes

 

even if nothing changes You can try to boot from CD / USB after this atttemps

maybe something [950 pro or other ssd] is cossing this wierd behavior of Your P70

I have latelty find that "wierd coldboot behavior" of my P50 was caused by 850 evo FW [this is only data drive I also have win on 950 pro] after 850 evo fw update my P50 is booting normally as expected

SeniorGuru
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Location: US
Views: 5,618
Message 6 of 32

Re: P70 (950 Pro NVMe0 boot) BIOS update to 1.21: can no longer boot, and ENTER/F12 both fail to wor


@ThinkFollower wrote:

if You have time and willingness You can try some other actions

1) removing the BIOS batery - this will cause the restoring BIOS to default settings

2) removing both 950 pro drives and see if anytjing changes with boot sequence

3) remove the additional ram sticks and see if anything changes


I believe getting to the coin-cell battery (if that's what you mean by the "BIOS battery") requires removing the keyboard to get to it, which is something I really don't want to repeat having fought through it once to add my own second 8GB of memory.  

 

Trying to remove both 950 drives is pretty easy, so that experiment wouldn't be very hard to at least try.  The remaining 850 Pro in the 2.5"" bay isn't a boot drive, but maybe it's the presence of the two 950 NVMe devices in the M.2 bay which is a contributing factor to the boot hangup. It would let me try to boot from CD or USB again, to see if it still hangs at that "press ENTER" message or now does really boot from external bootable media as the machine is supposed to... even without any bootable internal drives.

 

But honestly, this is all just clearly wrong.  A BIOS update that goes successfully shouldn't prevent getting into the BIOS again, no matter what the configuration is.  There's no reason why the message "press ENTER to interrupt..." should not be responsive if the user presses ENTER, but instead should hang the BIOS completely at that point. There's no reason why F12 (as an alternative to ENTER) which is supposed to allow the user to then be able to specify the boot device should not be responsive.  Nothing works???

 

At least with 1.15 even though ENTER failed at least F12 worked, and somehow that "cleared things up" and from that point on booting to my NVMe0 950 was normal.  At that point I only had one 950, and still had the original HDD spinner.  Maybe that's relevant, although I can't see why the BIOS shouldn't still work and still talk to the user through the keyboard and screen no matter what the current drive configuration.  Ridiculous.

 

Thankfully, nothing on my P70 is critical or irreplaceable.  I still have my W530 and two desktop machines to do my work, and the P70 was in a sense an "unnecessary luxury".  So I can wait for Lenovo to replace the motherboard or the entire machine and I don't really care how long it takes.  I have external backups of my Win7 and Win10 partitions, as well as all data partitions.  I'm not going to lose anything, and it was all just a "duplicate" of my other machines anyway.

 

But this is just disappointing.  To not be able to reliably get into the BIOS makes diagnosis and service a real challenge.  The BIOS update didn't fail.  It was 100% successful.  It's just that what that "default result" of the BIOS update did was to make the machine unusable, apparently.  Might I have seen the same fatal result with 1.19 had I done this earlier than waiting for 1.21?  Perhaps.  Still not impressive.

ThinkFollower
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Message 7 of 32

Re: P70 (950 Pro NVMe0 boot) BIOS update to 1.21: can no longer boot, and ENTER/F12 both fail to wor

 in P50 the coin baterry is under the service cover near the hard drives

I had not thought that lenovo could design the BIOS batery under the keyboard in P70

I think tha bios reset is the best try

in P50 after service cover is removed there are only 3 screws and You can pull out the keyboard

P70 is bigger so I thought it should be even easier to get to it

 
 

 

 

SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,264
Registered: ‎06-13-2013
Location: US
Views: 5,606
Message 8 of 32

Re: P70 (950 Pro NVMe0 boot) BIOS update to 1.21: can no longer boot, and ENTER/F12 both fail to wor

fEYVC7

TdAqb8

 

Gotta remove the keyboard to get to the memory bay there, which it appears must also be removed, in order to get to the coin-cell battery.  But maybe just to disconnect and reconnect the cable going to the battery you don't need to actually remove the memory bay. Anyway, far more trouble than it deserves.

 

I'll let Lenovo deal with it.

ThinkFollower
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Message 9 of 32

Re: P70 (950 Pro NVMe0 boot) BIOS update to 1.21: can no longer boot, and ENTER/F12 both fail to wor

You do not need to remove the baterry itself

so the memory module bracket do not need to be remove at all

You only have to disconnect the batery connector that should be accessable after just removing the keyboard

 

AHahn
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Registered: ‎01-19-2016
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Message 10 of 32

Re: P70 (950 Pro NVMe0 boot) BIOS update to 1.21: can no longer boot, and ENTER/F12 both fail to wor

For the record I experienced the exact same issue on my system which I believe is very similar to yours. Heart stopping moment for sure.

 

In my naivete I simply turned off the machine, undocked it and started it up again under battery with no connection to the outside world. It booted normally at that point and continued to boot normally from then on.

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