HP EliteBook 840 G3 BIOS PW / BitLocker Encrypted

Discussion in 'BIOS Mods' started by chrisj, Dec 29, 2017.

  1. chrisj

    chrisj MDL Novice

    Dec 29, 2017
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    Hi, Firstly, my apologies if this is the wrong place to post, please educate me.

    I have a HP EliteBook 840 G3 with passwd'd BIOS and BitLocker encrypted drive. I've been in touch with HP who have sent me a file - smc.bin which should clear the BIOS password and allow me to format and reinstall and OS.

    I've followed the instructions sent to me, at least those I could actually implement (see below) since I'm unable to boot the OS, which by the way is Win 7.

    I'm still trying to retrieve the encryption key but do not expect to get it any time soon. The data was already backed up so that's not important.

    The instructions below that are in bold are the parts I've followed, sadly, the mode didn't switch to clear admin passwd.

    Any suggestions would be helpful.
    I know @Mazzif is a bit of an expert at such things but any suggestions would be great. If I have to replace the BIOS chip or try re-programming the existing chip then so be it.


    [These are the destruction's HP sent to me with the smc.bin file]

    (Important!) If this notebook uses drive encryption, such as BitLocker, to encrypt the data on its drives, this process will reset the embedded security and make the data unusable. Remove any encryption BEFORE proceeding with this process.

    Please find attached the SMC.bin file. Use the instructions below to clear the BIOS password:

    PLEASE MAKE SURE DATE AND TIME IS SET CORRECTLY BEFORE RUNNING THIS TOOL .Please make sure USB key is formatted to FAT 32 and preferably on a blank drive.

    Please follow these steps to clear BIOS password:

    Save the attached file with this e-mail to the root of the USB key as SMC.BIN and insert to the system
    (or save the file to the root of drive D: HP_TOOLS)

    - Press (Windows Key + Arrow UP Key + Arrow Down Key) all keys at same time and turn on the system

    - Release all keys and press F10 at HP logo to go to F10 setup to (Reset BIOS security to factory default)


    SMC command failure reasons

    Wrong UUID is provided

    Try different brand and smaller size USB key

    USB key is not formatted FAT32


    Make sure to use USB 2.0 port and not USB 3.0 port on notebooks that have both types of ports.

    BIOS ,date and time should be current and updated.

    Use hard drive method by using HP_TOOL partition, if there is no HP_ tools partition, it can be created in either of 2 ways:

    or manually creating the partition as follows:

    1. Use a partition tool like Partition Magic to create a partition on a local hard drive that has a System partition with the following characteristics.

    Partition type: FAT32

    Partition size: 2 GB

    Volume name: HP_TOOLS

    2. In the new partition, create a folder called HEWLETT-PACKARD.

    Then copy the SMC.bin file to the root directory of the newly created HP_TOOLS partition.
     
  2. sebus

    sebus MDL Guru

    Jul 23, 2008
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    Mind attaching the .bin file?
    So I can try on actual hardware

    sebus
     
  3. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

    Feb 27, 2011
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    its for his UUID and wont work in yours.
     
  4. chrisj

    chrisj MDL Novice

    Dec 29, 2017
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  5. chrisj

    chrisj MDL Novice

    Dec 29, 2017
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    Update: so I was able to fit a hard drive with a Linux OS in to this Elitebook 840 G3. I don't have a spare running Windows. I fired up Virtualbox thinking perhaps I could run whatever from there. Of course VT-x is turned off in BIOS so now I have to download a 32-bit version of Win 7 to try again.

    I have no idea if I will be able to achieve this from within a VM but its worth a try. Failing that, I will resize the HDD and install Win7 to the HDD direct and try again.

    These smc.bin files are time dependant, apparently. I had 7 days to use it. This gives me until Friday. Anyone else who has advice, please don't be shy!
     
  6. sebus

    sebus MDL Guru

    Jul 23, 2008
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    Come on, just boot from USB (if not locked) any WinPE
    Do what you want with second partition D:
    Do not make that much story out of something that should take 10 minutes

    sebus
     
  7. chrisj

    chrisj MDL Novice

    Dec 29, 2017
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    Cannot boot from USB.
     
  8. chrisj

    chrisj MDL Novice

    Dec 29, 2017
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    #8 chrisj, Jan 1, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
    (OP)
    However, it would seem that I didn't hit the initial HP keys in the right order. @sebus - I decided to download a WinPe ISO and just double check. It still wouldn't boot from USB.

    However, between cooking baked potatoes and just trying over those key sequences, with the SMB.bin - it suddenly decided it would change to the correct mode!

    I thank you profusely, I got a £1000 laptop back in service and it was your post that made it happen. Result!

    ty.
     
  9. Salimfahfouhi

    Salimfahfouhi MDL Novice

    May 10, 2018
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    Hello,

    I am in the same situation. I cannot boot from USB. Could you please tell me what did you to get the SMC.bin file working?
     
  10. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

    Feb 27, 2011
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    take hdd out. it should jump to next device in list.
    if its EFI and your usb is MBR.. no good
     
  11. Salimfahfouhi

    Salimfahfouhi MDL Novice

    May 10, 2018
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    Thank you for your reply. It seems USB ports are disabled in Bios. No luck then to boot from USB!!!
     
  12. silverplanet

    silverplanet MDL Novice

    Aug 21, 2018
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    If you just want to re-install Windows and don't need the data and can't boot from USB, you can use the hard disk switcheroo method. It involves moving the hard disk to a desktop computer, beginning a Windows installation and then switching the hard disk back to the notebook to continue the Windows installation. You could also do the switcheroo with a notebook instead of a desktop if you have another notebook that supports that type of M.2 hard drive.

    1) Transfer the hard disk to a desktop PC. If you your desktop can't handle M.2 hard drives and you don't have another notebook that supports M.2, buy an adapter for $20.
    2) On your desktop PC, boot into Windows setup (from USB/ CD/ DVD) and begin a Windows installation on the drive you transferred from the notebook. If the current partition has bitlocker, delete it during the Windows install and create a new partition.
    3) When the Windows installation exits to restart the desktop PC (the first restart), turn off the PC before Windows setup continues. Then transfer the hard drive back to your notebook. Windows will then continue installation on your notebook and when it completes, your notebook will be usable again.

    You will not be able to reset the BIOS password or access the BIOS after using this method, but at least you'll be able get a fresh copy of Windows running to be able to use the notebook.
    The later the version of Windows, the more likely this method is to work. Windows 10 recommended & confirmed working with this method.
    If the wifi isn't working after Windows is installed, download the wifi driver with another PC and transfer it via USB to the HP G3. Once you're online, Windows update should download all the other drivers.
     
  13. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

    Feb 27, 2011
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    he could just make a backup.bin with a programmer of his bios and we could search for the $VSS store to clear it then flash new.bin back and test.
     
  14. Qat

    Qat MDL Novice

    Aug 30, 2018
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    Same issue without Bitlocker?
     
  15. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

    Feb 27, 2011
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    TPM resets when bios reflashed with programmer.
    hdd needs to be wiped.
     
  16. dxbastos

    dxbastos MDL Novice

    Sep 8, 2018
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    Hello,
    i have HP elitebook 840 G3 BIOS administrator locked
    Ver Bios 1.18
    Need help thx
    i need SMC.bin file for test
    keep in mind im qn newbie
    best regards
     
  17. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

    Feb 27, 2011
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    nobody here making smc files..
     
  18. vicmark

    vicmark MDL Novice

    Dec 6, 2017
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    Has anyone tryed reflashing the BIOS-Chip for 850 G3 using mazzif's tutorial? I just got my hands on one of these with a BIOS password.
     
  19. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

    Feb 27, 2011
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    make a backup.bin .make 2 or 3 and compare with a hexeditor.
    i use flashrom with programmer ch341a.. but other programmers work.
     
  20. Tonymaccaroni

    Tonymaccaroni MDL Novice

    Sep 17, 2018
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    #20 Tonymaccaroni, Sep 17, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018