HP employees allegedly blame Microsoft’s Windows Update service for blocking the ProBooks’ firmware
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HP employees allegedly blame Microsoft’s Windows Update service for blocking the ProBooks’ firmware

Firmware and BIOS updates are always risky and it is always advisable to be careful when installing them. When things go wrong for some reason, they can lead to broken computers and other problems. Although HP ProBook 445/455 G7 (launched in 2020) owners claim they did nothing wrong when the new update was pushed to their systems, they have found that the notebooks are no longer working.

The firmware causing these issues is version 01.17, which has now been removed from the HP support site, and the last available version is 01.16.00 Rev.A. The following message was apparently sent by HP to the service center in response to reports (via KnutD):

We encountered an issue where HP removed the BIOS from hp.com/HPIA. Therefore, we ask you to refrain from updating additional computers until further notice.

To assist in our investigation, we would like to borrow two computers and send them to our laboratory in the US. If feasible, please provide the following information:

Contact person with telephone number and e-mail address
Full pickup address
Serial numbers of both computers

Make sure the customer packs the computers in the appropriate boxes. I will ship shipping labels and custom documents by DHL as soon as possible. Be sure to remove the SSD to ensure that no customer data is transferred with the computers.

Our goal is to send both computers to our laboratory in Houston, USA for further analysis as soon as possible.

Apparently, an HP service and repair technician blamed Windows Update for offering and delivering faulty firmware. However, this seems unlikely as many HP customers say they received them through other channels, such as the HP Support Assistant app or the official support site.

User Wojtek0586 on the HP support forum writes:

.. we have the same problem. Currently, 6 computers are damaged in this way. Authorized HP service suggested that the BIOS in the Windows Update patch is faulty, but installing version 1.17 directly from the BIOS, via the Internet or using Support Assistant, the effect is the same.

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 patch was not delivered via Windows Update, as confirmed by another user, Fiwkfcw434, although it was also removed by Microsoft as of:

Here’s another one. After Windows update (required for reboot) and BIOS update, I get a black screen and a noisy fan. HP ProBook 455 G7 laptop.

Either way, the good news is that HP seems to be aware of the problem, but the bad news is that it apparently wants to charge people €400 for it (it will be different in the US). Ginestet writes:

I opened a ticket with HP to request a repair. They then sent me a quote for replacing the motherboard of around 400 euros, which I declined because I have no intention of paying 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 damages 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’ll have to wait and see how the situation develops and whether HP offers a free replacement for those who are no longer under warranty.

Source: HP forum (1, 2, 3)