Cannot get in the BIOS after installing EasyBCD 2.1.2 - ASUS eeePC 1011PX

#1
Hi all, thanks for reading.
I have a ASUS eee PC1011PX, which has the ExpressGate (Android version OS) and W7 basics.
My intention was to install a dual boot to have Windows XP or W2k as well as W7. I am not familair with Linux.
The ASUS has a strange booting procedure. First thing which comes up is the ExpressGate screen, then (if choosing Windows) one briefly sees the BIOS screen (press F2 for setup, Tab for POST infos), then it loads Windows. (This after disabling Boot Booster which hides the BIOS screen). The HD already has 4 partition, C: (system, W7) and D: (Data), both NTFS, but also a hidden Primary (second partition after C:, FAT32) with Expressgate, W7 recovery and maybe other stuff) and at the end a 4th small partition (16Mb) with a ESP file system.
Basically I installed EasyBCD 2.12.
First thing I tried to do was to Backup the existing boot. That FAILED and produced a report "EasyBCD first crash while backing up original data before even looking.saencryptedreport" (I just tried to attached that file, "invalid file" so I saved in a zip/rar, but it still has a strange extension ".saencryptedreport").
So I copied what EasyBCD said on the screen (normal and debug) in Notepad (but that was after I tried to save the existing boot settings, the operation that failed). I copied it below, in BOLD, just in case.
I did not do anything else, did not save or execute any command, apart from opening the Add menu (but I did not add anything, as I was looking at NeoGrub, then I started reading about it, started reading about hide'nSeek etc.).

This morning I tried to enter the BIOS to check some Bluetooth settings, as I may have BT hardware but it is disabled in the BIOS.
I can't. After hitting the F2 key (or the Esc or Del) I get the same as the F8 key (actually I have not tried to hit F8 instead of F2, I'll do it after posting this message). I also tried the TAB key to get the POST infos, that does not work either.
So I uninstalled EasyBCD and tried again. Nope, same thing.

There are operation which I could consider, but flashing a BIOS is one thing which I am NOT very keen of doing ("if ain't broke, don't fix it" - ok, maybe it is broke, but I don't have a brick yet): I had a bad experience, long ago, 10y or so: I installed a BIOS upgrade but I had to revert back to some previous BIOS version to make it work again, and I ended up exactly where I was in the first place and it felt risky all the time. Besides, I have done no research on this yet, and I don't know if it could be performed without accessing the BIOS; also netbooks do not have floppy drives or CD drives (but there is a SD card reader, which MAYBE used for this purpose, and I think that I already have changed it to be the first booting device "if recognised").
Any thoughts or suggestions?
Thanks, berillio


BCD as found - in Bold

There is one entry in the Windows bootloader.

Default: Windows 7
Timeout: 30 seconds
EasyBCD Boot Device: C:\

Entry #1
Name: Windows 7
BCD ID: {current}
Drive: C:\
Bootloader Path: \windows\system32\winload.exe

BCD 'Detailed-Debug' as found

Windows Boot Manager
--------------------
identifier {9dea862c-5cdd-4e70-acc1-f32b344d4795}
device partition=C:
description Windows Boot Manager
locale en-US
inherit {7ea2e1ac-2e61-4728-aaa3-896d9d0a9f0e}
default {af991468-632c-11f5-8fe9-a880512ea686}
resumeobject {af991467-632c-11f5-8fe9-a880512ea686}
displayorder {af991468-632c-11f5-8fe9-a880512ea686}
toolsdisplayorder {b2721d73-1db4-4c62-bf78-c548a880142d}
timeout 30

Windows Boot Loader
-------------------
identifier {af991468-632c-11f5-8fe9-a880512ea686}
device partition=C:
path \windows\system32\winload.exe
description Windows 7
locale en-US
inherit {6efb52bf-1766-41db-a6b3-0ee5eff72bd7}
recoverysequence {af991469-632c-11f5-8fe9-a880512ea686}
recoveryenabled Yes
osdevice partition=C:
systemroot \windows
resumeobject {af991467-632c-11f5-8fe9-a880512ea686}
nx OptIn
 

Attachments

Ex_Brit

If you're going through hell, keep going.
Staff member
#2
Just a thought until an expert comes along from another ASUS motherboard (P6T Deluxe V2) user. Have you tried hitting Del during bootup up? Delete is the normal key that interrupts the boot cycle and tells it to display BIOS instead. Also try F1.

Do you ever use Express Gate? If not you can disable it in the BIOS, likewise with Boot Booster although I'm not familiar with that. However Express Gate could leave your machine vulnerable as it gives Internet access prior to any software protection being able to kick in.

Also am not familiar with Bluetooth having any settings in the BIOS, it certainly doesn't on mine, so can't help you there. All I know is that EasyBCD should have no effect on BIOS access and it must be a coincidence.

One of the others will chip in here hopefully.
 
#3
Hi Ex-Brit, thanks for coming back to us
The ASUS support page
ASUSTeK Computer Inc. -Support- Troubleshooting Eee PC 1011PX

suggest to check the BIOS setting for bluetooth (after checking with the vendor, which I cannot do, as I bought it in Italy before xmas).
I did try the Del key, as I was aware that some ASUS machine use that to access the BIOS (I had to make some research to see the BIOS screen, as it was hidden by BootBooster). It does not work. The TAB key o show the POST infos does not work either (as I said already). Later in the evening I tried EVERY F key with the the following:
F1 to F7 Windows Boot Manager
F8,9,11,12 Load windows directly
F10 Edits boot option

I also double checked that it wasn't a keyboard issue: I can use the netbook keyboard or a usb keyboard (pugged in the right USB port, or in the left USB port); the problem is exactly the same

I tried to use the F10 key and edit the only one line which I can see (hoping that the windows editing would save and rewrite the code properly, if that was the issue). What I read is :
Edit windows boot options for: Windows 7
Path: \windows\system32\winload.exe
Partition: 1
Hard Disk: eeaa6e
[ /NOEXECUTE=OPTIN
]

I tried to edit OPTIN to OPT, and then OPTIN to NOEXECUTE ( I mean I had /NOEXECUTE=NOEXECUTE), pressed Enter to "Submit", and rebooted - nothing happened: infact when I reentered the Edit screen it seemed like I had done nothing (I mean my editing was not there, it said /NOEXECUTE= OPTIN like before I started.
Today (before seeing your reply) I reinstalled EasyBCD 2.12, I was hoping I could read that crash report file (I had a look in notepad, but, to my eyes, it is gobbledygook), but I cannot see an obvious way of doing it. So I tried what I did yesterday but in EasyBCD, i.e. saving a new copy of the boot file. I changed the radiobutton and edited the waiting time to 25 seconds, saved it and rebooted. It went straight to the boot manager and then it loaded windows (sorry I forgot to count to 25). I reloaded easyBCD, re-edited the 25 seconds to 30, swapped radiobutton (load windows immediately) saved exit rebooted and it worked fine, loading Windows directly... but still I cannot enter the BIOS using F2 or Del, nor I can see the POST infos (with TAB), for that matter.
I am toying with the thought of using (from Backup/Repair button) the reset or re-create/repair options, but I want to read a little more before doing so.
Sorry for being "verbose", I don't wish to forget something which might be a "clue" to the solution.
Many thanks, Berillio

Addendum:

Hi Ex-Brit, thanks for coming back to us
The ASUS support page
ASUSTeK Computer Inc. -Support- Troubleshooting
PC 1011PX&s=1&hashedid=U14ZT0P5tIpqG3N4&os=&no=1764
suggest to check the BIOS setting for bluetooth (after checking with the vendor, which I cannot do, as I bought it in Italy before xmas).
I did try the Del key, as I was aware that some ASUS machine use that to access the BIOS (I had to make some research to see the BIOS screen, as it was hidden by BootBooster). It does not work. The TAB key o show the POST infos does not work either (as I said already). Later in the evening I tried EVERY F key with the the following:
F1 to F7 Windows Boot Manager
F8,9,11,12 Load windows directly
F10 Edits boot option

I also double checked that it wasn't a keyboard issue: I can use the netbook keyboard or a usb keyboard (pugged in the right USB port, or in the left USB port); the problem is exactly the same

I tried to use the F10 key and edit the only one line which I can see (hoping that the windows editing would save and rewrite the code properly, if that was the issue). What I read is :
Edit windows boot options for: Windows 7
Path: \windows\system32\winload.exe
Partition: 1
Hard Disk: eeaa6e
[ /NOEXECUTE=OPTIN
]

I tried to edit OPTIN to OPT, and then OPTIN to NOEXECUTE ( I mean I had /NOEXECUTE=NOEXECUTE), pressed Enter to "Submit", and rebooted - nothing happened: infact when I reentered the Edit screen it seemed like I had done nothing (I mean my editing was not there, it said /NOEXECUTE= OPTIN like before I started.
Today (before seeing your reply) I reinstalled EasyBCD 2.12, I was hoping I could read that crash report file (I had a look in notepad, but, to my eyes, it is gobbledygook), but I cannot see an obvious way of doing it. So I tried what I did yesterday but in EasyBCD, i.e. saving a new copy of the boot file. I changed the radiobutton and edited the waiting time to 25 seconds, saved it and rebooted. It went straight to the boot manager and then it loaded windows (sorry I forgot to count to 25). I reloaded easyBCD, re-edited the 25 seconds to 30, swapped radiobutton (load windows immediately) saved exit rebooted and it worked fine, loading Windows directly... but still I cannot enter the BIOS using F2 or Del, nor I can see the POST infos (with TAB), for that matter.
I am toying with the thought of using (from Backup/Repair button) the reset or re-create/repair options, but I want to read a little more before doing so.
Sorry for being "verbose", I don't wish to forget something which might be a "clue" to the solution.
Many thanks, Berillio
 
Last edited:

Ex_Brit

If you're going through hell, keep going.
Staff member
#4
Sorry I'm at a loss tghen. Hopefully someone else here will know something.
 
#5
Hi - sorry for the double posting :-/
I read the wiki, I don't think that the reset or re-create repair option apply to me. Basically, I think that the boot file is fine, but something else happened and caused the issue. Maybe I should look into updating the BIOS, problem is, I don't even know which version I have; also when I tried to download the BIOSes, the ASUS page gives me the BIOS for the 1015 (not 1011). It may be the same Bios.... but does not give me any confidence.
Thanks for your help anyway :smile:
 

Ex_Brit

If you're going through hell, keep going.
Staff member
#6
ASUS' website should list your board by number, exactly and then downloads for that board. It should also list under utilities the ASUSUpdate utility, which once installed will tell you what BIOS you have and install any new ones you've downloaded. It makes it really easy.
 
#7
OK - Problem solved..... but I never had any problem in the first place - it was a "feature". But ASUS support is almost shambolic (well, we have seen worse).


I decided to follow your encouragment and flash the BIOS. Hence the following:
a) the ASUS support page for BIOS download is (at least) confusing, as the owner of a 1011PX model is given a 1015PE file - not very conforting. I downloaded the 1015PE-ASUS-1401 (dated 17/10/2011) and the 1015PE-ASUS-1301 (20/05/2011), just in case.
b) there are no tools or suggestions on how to find out the existing BIOS on the netbook (see later)
c) there is an "uploader", but it comes with a text file which says that it need to run in a DOS environment (which DOS? Within Windows, from the command line, or a native DOS from a floppy/SD card/USB? )
Reading the manual in the BIOS section I discover that there is an handy ASUSUpdate utility (tho one you suggested, I guess) which I decide to try. This utility should save your old BIOS, flash your BIOS from one searched online, or download one for you, or install a previously downloaded one.

d) the Utility looks on one server, but the most up to date BIOS it can find is the 801 (10/06/2010). No Good. I try the other two servers, but it can't connect (that may not be ASUS's fault)
e) I decide to gamble on the 1401 BIOS, even though is for the 1015PE, not the 1011PX. once I select it, the utility check the existing BIOS, which happens to be the same (Pfeehh), and allows it to be flashed (I could not find a way to save the old BIOS; in fact I should have done it first thing, but that is my fault).
f) the BIOS is flashed flawlessy, and afterwards it ask me to reboot.
g) after reboot, I am presented with the BIOS page which ask me to set the BIOS properly. So I hit F2 and HURRAY I am in. I set the BIOS (unfortunately I cannot find any bluetooth device - so my netbook does not have it - bummer!)
h) save the file, load Windows, everything is fine.
i) I reboot to see if I can re-enter the BIOS - yep, no problem, but strangely enough, the ExpressGate Menu (which was the first thing to come up, even before the BIOS screen, has disappeared. No problem, I should be able to renable it within Windows (shortcut on the desktop) so I do that.
j) I reboot and I can see the ExpressGate menu; but after choosing Windows (instead of Android) when I am presented with the BIOS splashscreen (or full version if Quiet Boot is disabled) I cannot enter the BIOS setup anymore
k) I reboot, disable the ExpressGate Menu, reboot, and the BIOS setup is available again


Moral:
I never had any problem. The BIOS setup screen is only availlable if the ExpressGate is disabled.
Ex_Brit, thank you very much for your support, and apologies if I wasted your time for a "non problem".
ASUS can feel really proud of offering to the public machines loaded with software which is full of "features" and of their "hit and miss" support.

I think that we can close this thread.... first time I managed to do so !
 

Ex_Brit

If you're going through hell, keep going.
Staff member
#8
So with Express Gate enabled it stymied your attempts at entering the BIOS, plus you have no Bluetooth...not a great day.

At least now you know how to get into the BIOS.

It's been a while since I updated my BIOS (none available at present) and I agree their website/support leaves a lot to be desired.

I found the ASUS Update software had problems searching online too so I downloaded whatever the latest BIOS was and saved it to my Desktop then had AU look there for it.

I'm glad you've sorted it out and sorry about your missing Bluetooth, not too sure what to advise there. Good luck. :wink:
 
#9
Hi Ex-Brit,
Nahh, we solved the problem (which wasn't one), so that is good news, it was a good day.
Bluetooth missing? I can use the little USB stick one, or a even smaller one (which I had for dad's pc, still in the plastic package). Pity, it will use one USB socket, one less for other things (like mouse), also the "built in" bluetooth may be better integrated. But I can live with that. I am just annoyed that, when I checked the specs of the various netbooks, I missed that.
Anyway, although I maxed the RAM to 2Gb, I still wish to have a double boot on the netbook (W7 and XP or w2k pro), as thi sis the reason why I installed Easy BCD in the first place, but I will start a new thread for that.
Thanks for help and support, Cheers, Berillio.
 

Ex_Brit

If you're going through hell, keep going.
Staff member
#10
Oh well, good luck :wink:
 
#11
I'm so glad I found this. This is very similar to a problem I've been having since day 1 with my 1011PX - Over 3 months now! The paper manual that came with it was useless, and the full version online was just as useless but more time-consuming.

Being the type to try as much as possible, I put Ubuntu on the netbook, and soon after I did, I was unable to access the BIOS!
On boot, I'd see a few seconds of a blinking _ cursor then straight to the Debian boot selection screen. Both Windows and Ubuntu would boot, but less could be said for the expressgate. I was hardly heartbroken by this since with a few tweaks, Ubuntu was just as fast but much more functional!

Another quirk of this netbook is that the BIOS seems to forget about usb drives in the boot order as soon as they're unplugged, and without access to the BIOS I couldn't change the boot priority, and could never run any live USB's of new operating systems to try, let alone install them!

Anyway, fast forward 3 months and I've run out of space on the netbook. I'm considering removing windows and attemtping to extend the home partition of Ubuntu. I thought I'd have one last go at looking for a way to fix this silly boot problem and here it is. Blindingly simple, but If I had deleted windows, I'd probably now have probably have deleted windows which was the only way available to enable/disable the expressgate! Such a simple thing here, I'm almost embarrassed that I didn't think of it myself!

Now I'm back to that comforting american megatrends splash on boot and I'll be able to make room for more storage in the knowlege I can just start over if anything goes wrong- Thank you for the fix, Berillo!

Close the thread if you will, but you ought to leave it here- There may well be other folks who have the same problem!
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#12
Nothing ever gets closed on here.
(except spam, or once iirc, when someone wouldn't accept the (correct) answer he was given, and persisted in posting his disbelief ad infinitum)