Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


HELP BIOS screwed up - 0x000000f

  1. #1


    Posts : 40
    Windows 8 x64

    HELP BIOS screwed up - 0x000000f


    I have a Samsung Series 5, NP550, that was making me very happy until about a week ago when I accepted the Windows 8.1 upgrade that was pushed to me from Microsoft. After installing that, I had some misbehavior of my ethernet card, so I installed Samsung's Software Update to get new drivers and so forth. One thing I accepted was a BIOS update. After installing all the stuff, the PC began to tell me that my boot sector was bad, about every other startup, so I did a system restore back to the point before I installed all the software updates. It did not fix the BIOS misbehavior. I made the mistake of doing what a Samsung tech support agent suggested on chat, which was to reset the BIOS to 'factory' settings - this wiped out the contents of my BOOT tab in the BIOS (P05something, which I guess is Phoenix... and UEFI). Up until then I could boot from a recovery USB, but now I cannot do that no matter what key I tap (F4, F8, F12...), I still get the same error: 0x000000f Your PC needs to be repaired - Tap F2 to enter UEFI settings.

    If I cannot get past this with a bootable USB drive, how will having a recovery CDROM from Samsung (which is coming in the mail) help me?? Either the BIOS is corrupt, or I need to find the mysterious setting that is disabling the whole thing. I can easily remove and slave my C drive to recover any files that I hadn't backed up - my fear now is that I won't even be able to recover because I have hosed the BIOS.

    Can anyone make any suggestions about how to cure my BIOS problem? The only thing I have NOT done is pulled the battery and drained the CMOS battery so the BIOS forgets itself. Should that help? Should I remove the hard drive and start the computer, so it forgets the hard drive, then put it back so that it treats the hard drive as a new system device? Should I throw the computer out the window? I have been struggling with this for four or five days and gotten nowhere. I would be very grateful for any sensible suggestions. I cannot post screen shots, obviously, but if would help I will take pictures of my BIOS screens with my phone so all settings can be seen. Thank you!


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  2. #2


    Posts : 40
    Windows 8 x64


    I would like to share an update, in case it helps anyone. As a last ditch thing before attempting to drain the CMOS battery, I changed a setting (forget what it is called) from "UEFI" to "UEFI and CSM", and it will now boot to the C drive if and only if I press F4 to attempt to recover. It then flashes the message 'invalid recovery partition' and then boots to Windows 8.1 normally. If I don't press F4, it says 'NTLDR is missing, press Ctl-Alt-Del' on a black screen. I am hesitant to mess further with the BIOS unless there is an obvious thing that I need to tweak to get past it looking for NTLDR - I didn't think Win 8 used NTLDR. The BIOS appears to be Samsung BIOS P05ABI (it also says MICOM version with the same number).
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  3. #3


    Posts : 5,139
    Win8.1Pro - Finally!!!


    NTLDR was last used in XP, I suspect that the switch to CSM has something to do with this - but it would require other XP type files to generate this error. If the system hasn't had them installed, then you have to wonder where they came from. This presumes that the system came with Win8 installed - which requires UEFI (and doesn't have a BIOS).

    Where/what is this bootable USB drive you're referring to?
    I've had difficulties with the "recoverydrive" that Windows will make on some systems.

    If unable to use UEFI without the CSM enabled - I have to wonder how seriously the system is damaged.
    The DVD that you're getting may enable you to boot to a Windows Recovery Environment which can run Startup Repair (which your current USB drive doesn't seem capable of.

    I would first try it with the CSM setting turned off. If it doesn't work then, then try it with CSM on.
    CSM is just a way of fooling the UEFI that you're using BIOS instead of UEFI: Unified Extensible Firmware Interface - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Frankly, it it was my system, I'd:
    - slave my drive to another computer and save my files
    - reset the UEFI to default values (CSM/Legacy stuff = Off)
    - wipe the hard drive (a single pass with DBAN/KillDisk would do) - you can also just create delete the old partitions when installing Windows (in most cases)
    - run the DVD from Samsung to restore everything to factory default state.

    Good luck!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 40
    Windows 8 x64


    Quote Originally Posted by usasma View Post
    Where/what is this bootable USB drive you're referring to?
    I've had difficulties with the "recoverydrive" that Windows will make on some systems.
    If unable to use UEFI without the CSM enabled - I have to wonder how seriously the system is damaged.
    The DVD that you're getting may enable you to boot to a Windows Recovery Environment which can run Startup Repair (which your current USB drive doesn't seem capable of.
    I would first try it with the CSM setting turned off. If it doesn't work then, then try it with CSM on.
    Frankly, it it was my system, I'd:
    - slave my drive to another computer and save my files
    - reset the UEFI to default values (CSM/Legacy stuff = Off)
    - wipe the hard drive (a single pass with DBAN/KillDisk would do) - you can also just create delete the old partitions when installing Windows (in most cases)
    - run the DVD from Samsung to restore everything to factory default state.
    Good luck!
    It is a USB drive that I created after my Win 8.1 installation but before installing all the drivers that ended up bricking me. So it doesn't surprise me it doesn't do anything.

    Now that I can boot if I press F4 at startup (even though it then says invalid recovery area), I did take backups of any files I'd changed since my last backup, and I can use the machine with the CSM and UEFI option available in the BIOS. I investigated the Boot directory, and there is no BCD in it, so there is no point in trying any bootrec repairs - they'd probably make matters worse. Down in there I found a file called bootmgr.efi. Given the bogus NTLDR error, I guess it's really booting with UEFI, it just needs to be fooled into doing it by pressing F4 and seeing the error message. I don't understand why!

    I'm going to use it as is, with its quirks (including not shutting down - after it's sat trying to shut down for 10 minutes I close the lid and put it to sleep) until I get the recovery disks at which point I will attempt a totally clean install of Win 8.0.

    Thanks for your response! I will post back here again if I observe anything else that might help other people googling my errors...
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  5. #5


    Posts : 40
    Windows 8 x64


    I just wanted to add - I believe I've narrowed down the source of my problem to a corruption of the boot manager files. Once I get my recovery disks (in case this does not work) I'm going to try the solution this guy ultimately came to:
    Qlik Tips: Fix a Windows 8 boot issue
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  6. #6


    Posts : 5,139
    Win8.1Pro - Finally!!!


    I would first try to run Startup Repair before doing the solution that you've found.
    Startup repair routines have the ability to repair a lot of the boot problems with Windows.

    The solution seems (IMO) mighty dangerous.
    Renaming partitions all willy-nilly just doesn't make good sense to me.
    But, if it works, I can't argue with it.
    Try it if you must, but be sure you can remember (or write down) everthing to back it out if it doesn't work for you.

    Good luck!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 40
    Windows 8 x64


    Quote Originally Posted by usasma View Post
    I would first try to run Startup Repair before doing the solution that you've found.
    Startup repair routines have the ability to repair a lot of the boot problems with Windows.
    The solution seems (IMO) mighty dangerous.
    FINALLY I have my recovery disk from Samsung! I've been getting along using the computer by pressing F4 at boot, letting it tell me the recovery partition is invalid, and then it boots. HOWEVER, of course the recovery disk is Windows 8 and it was the upgrade to Windows 8.1 that started this mess. I don't know if I can do Startup repair on Windows 8.1 from a Windows 8 disk?

    If not, I guess I have to try the dangerous solution, and if that fails, reinstall Windows 8 from the disk and begin again. Luckily I have good backups, and just turned on Skydrive to do a File History as an extra safety measure.
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  8. #8


    Posts : 5,139
    Win8.1Pro - Finally!!!


    If you can wait until Thursday, I can provide a link to an 8.1 repair disk that you could download.
    I'll make it at work then and will post it to DropBox

    It'll be a 64 bit version
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  9. #9


    Posts : 40
    Windows 8 x64


    Quote Originally Posted by usasma View Post
    If you can wait until Thursday, I can provide a link to an 8.1 repair disk that you could download.
    I'll make it at work then and will post it to DropBox
    It'll be a 64 bit version
    Oh I can definitely wait, I was not planning to do anything about this until Sunday at least, when I have time to do it with proper attention... Thank you!! and 64bit is correct.
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  10. #10


    Posts : 5,139
    Win8.1Pro - Finally!!!


    After a bit of research, I find that the 8.1 recovery drive is essentially the same as a repair disk.
    The only real differences are:
    - that it's on a USB drive rather than a CD/DVD
    - that you can choose to include a recovery partition or not
    - without the recovery partition you'll only need a USB drive of 512 mB or larger

    Go to the start screen and type in "recoverydrive" (without the quotes) and it'll take you to screen to create the drive.
    Good luck!

    PS - I am working on a copy of a repair disk, but it may not be done soon.
    I have to compare the files in a repair disk with those on a recovery drive, then I have to replace them in the ISO file that I have for the repair disk (with those from the recovery drive).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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