Secure Boot Won’t Stay Disabled

secure-bootLet me just state from the start – as an IT tech I *loathe* Secure Boot. I understand the goal is to strengthen the security of boot time when rootkit viruses can really cause problems. But it is SUCH a hassle when trying to troubleshoot and debug systems that are having problems.

Obviously the thing to do is just disable it. Want to boot into a Rescue CD? Secure Boot won’t let you. I have a system in the shop now that passes all HW tests. But the operating system will NOT boot. Auto repair fails. Attempting a refresh fails immediately. So deeper debugging is warranted. All I needed to do was disable Secure Boot. Easy enough usually…

  1. Go into BIOS and find the Secure Boot and Legacy Boot settings.
  2. Disable Secure Boot/Enable Legacy Boot.
  3. Apply settings to BIOS and Reboot
  4. Hit ESC to bring up the HP Startup Menu and select the LiveCD

Simple enough, right?


  • Filed under: Miscellaneous
  • HP Fingerprint ScannerYou startup your HP laptop with a fingerprint scanner, and suddenly you get the following error trying to login:

    HRESULT Error 0x8007ffff

    You never setup the fingerprint scanner, and you most likely don’t have (or never set) a password. I’ve run into this problem a couple of times and a number of suggested solutions online are overkill.

    Here is how I’ve run into this before:

    1. User forgets their login password. You use WinPE or another rescue CD to clear their Windows Login Password and restart. You get this error immediately or when you try to login to that account.
    2. You reinstall windows on the laptop. To save time, you don’t set a password given how many times it’ll restart. After installing the latest HP updates using HP Support Assistant, you restart and get this error, unable to login.

    The solution is fairly easy. Restart into safe mode (Press F8 during bootup) and open the User Accounts tool in the Control Panel (Start->Control Panel->User Accounts). It should allow you to set a password. Save it and restart. Now you should be able to login properly.

    If this doesn’t work, then you may need to uninstall HP Protect Tools, restart and set a password, then reinstall HP Protect Tools.


    If the computer is using the HP encryption to encrypt files, then you probably will lose access to those files if you mess around with HP Protect Tools. Of course, if you cleared the Windows password, you may have lost access already. Recovering from a corrupted encryption setup is beyond the scope of this. But make absolutely sure you haven’t encrypted anything before clearing passwords or uninstalling Protect Tools!

  • Filed under: Miscellaneous
  • HP PrintersI’ve had a few clients with HP Printers experience a problem where the printers just ‘disappear’ or drop offline and you cannot get them back online. The causes seem to vary, be it network ports that stop working, installed printers suddenly switching to USB, or general network connection errors.

    HP has had a few tools to try and fix this so they’re clearly seeing a number of support calls related to printer connectivity. They’ve released a new tool called the HP Print and Scan Doctor, which is a swiss army knife of a tool designed to fix most common problems with network printers. This tool apparently supersedes all the others. It can even login to many common routers to understand your network and wireless configuration – allowing it to attempt even more repairs. It’s worked for me a few times quite nicely. So certainly try this first – though it seems to start based of the currently installed printer – which can be corrupted already.

    Sometimes it simply cannot get the printer working again. In this case, uninstalling the HP print driver suite and reinstalling will usually help. But more often than not, you get stuck in an endless loop of install errors. To counter these situations, HP also has a cleanup tool, but finding the right one you need can be difficult as they are customized to each printer, family, and/or version (not sure which exact combo it is – but there is no universal removal tool that I know of). Instead, it is usually included in the print driver suites. Here is how you can utilize it to get your printer working again…


    HP’s Code Purple Configuration Error

    purplehpMotherboard replacements are usually straightforward repairs. Pull the cables, CPU, and memory. Swap the boards. Reinstall and reconnect. Re-activate Windows with Microsoft, and you’re done. At worst I’ve occasionally had to call Microsoft because the online activation didn’t go through – but it’s always a simple process and the MS folks are very helpful.

    But recently, I encountered a business practice that blew me away and soured me on a company I’ve always thought highly of and frequently recommend to my clients.

    A customer brought in a HP Pavilion desktop (p6110y w/Vista) with a dead motherboard. They had purchased a new laptop and we grabbed the data off the old computer. But they still wanted the desktop operational and wiped clean, so we ordered a refurbished motherboard for it, installed it, and ran the factory install from the recovery partition on the HD. When it finished, the system rebooted and I saw this:

    HP Code Purple Error

    Puzzled, I tried the recovery reinstall again. Same result. Before I was sitting in a call queue to HP, I did a little research, and found that HP was not playing fair…


    Getting HP Support Assistant Installed

    HP Support AssistantIt took entirely too long for the computer manufacturers to start including an application to update the hardware drivers and firmware on their systems. But with Windows 7, most seem to have finally gotten on board with ensuring their hardware is using the latest software. (Except for Dell. Akami Netsession that auto starts plus some unstable browser based analyze tool?? Embarrassing!) One of my favorites is HP Support Assistant. It’s very easy to use, automates the updates if you want, and updates *everything*.

    But occasionally I have seen it get corrupted and either crash often or fail to completely uninstall, preventing a reinstall. This is not a common problem, but once it does happen, many forum posts indicate it can be difficult to get around.


  • Filed under: Applications