Tag Archives: automation

SCCM – Updating and configuring HP BIOS/UEFI in a task sequence – An update

Lately I’ve bee working on a little more SCCM operating system deployment work and I’ve got an updated toolset for configuring and updating UEFI firmware for HP machines easily in a task sequence. This is a reasonably long post, so bear with me.

A lot of the same techniques from my earlier posts on the subject apply. We are still using HPBIOSUPDREC, BiosConfigUtility and an SCCM package for the source files. I’ve updated the batch files to take an argument for the configuration or update file, as well as the previous architecture detection. The good thing about this method is that it supports all current HP laptop, desktop and workstation models with no change, you just give the update file, or the configuration as an argument and away you go.

I considered using PowerShell for this, however it takes a little while to start in WinPE and unless I add more logic to the process for particular models or action types, I don’t see the need to convert it yet.

I’ve set up the package for HP machines I need to configure and update as follows:

SCCMPackages\HP-UEFI\
    68ICF.CAB (UEFI firmware - EliteBook 8x70p)
    BiosConfigUtility.exe   (BIOS config utility - x86)
    BiosConfigUtility64.exe (BIOS config utility - x64)
    BIOSPW.bin              (Encrypted BIOS password)
    ConfigureUEFI.cmd (UEFI config command file)
    EliteDesk800G2-Win7.cfg (UEFI configuration - Win 7)
    EliteDesk800G2-Win10.cfg (UEFI configuration - Win 10)
    EliteBook8x0G3-Win7.cfg (UEFI configuration - Win 7)
    EliteBook8x0G3-Win10.cfg (UEFI configuration - Win 10)
    EliteBook8x70p-Win7 (UEFI configuration - Win7)
    N75_0110.bin (UEFI firmware - EliteBook 8x0 G3)
    N21_0219.bin (UEFI firmware - EliteDesk 800 G2 SFF)
    UpdateBIOS.cmd (UEFI update command file HPqflash models)
    UpdateUEFI.cmd (UEFI update command file HPBIOSUPDREC models)

A sample set of files for all of this can be found on GitHub, except the HP binaries and firmware, which need to be downloaded from HP.

You can follow the larger package format, with all models together, or spread the update and configuration files over multiple packages, whichever suits your requirements best.

You may notice that I’ve included an odd DLL file ‘oledlg.dll’. This is needed to make HPqflash work on WinPE 10 (10.0.10586.0). If you run HPqflash in WinPE 10 without it, you get an exit code of -1073741515 (0xC0000135), which means a DLL needed for the program is missing.

I did a bit of investigation with procmon on a full windows system and found oledlg.dll was required, but missing from WinPE. I put this DLL in the same folder next to HPqflash and all was good!

Both ConfigureUEFI.cmd and UpdateUEFI.cmd are general for all models using HPBIOSUPDREC and the HP BIOS config utility and look like this:

There’s also a slightly different version for deploying updated firmware, if you’re still using HPqflash:

We can use the same SCCM ‘Run command line’ task we used in the past for this, with a little tweak to run the command file with the right update or configuration. This is done in the same way as before, with the extra exit code for successful completion.

This is the configure command line:

command-line-configure

Followed by the update command line, along with the success exit codes shown.

command-line-update

update-exit-codes

The update command line needs to follow the configure step if as it requires a password bin file.

Hopefully this has been helpful updating things in the journey to support newer HP models.

SCCM 2012 R2 – Updating and configuring HP ProBook 650 G1 BIOS in a task sequence

This post is mostly a follow up to my guide on updating other HP ProBook BIOS in a task sequence. If you haven’t read that, this might not be of too much use to you!

The Problem

When updating a HP ProBook 650 G1 BIOS, I ran into a couple of small issues. This mostly related to an undocumented switch being required for the HPBIOSUPDREC tool. The BIOS update would always cause the computer to perform an unexpected reboot, which would break the task sequence.

The command line I was using was:

HPBIOSUPDREC.exe -s -pBIOSPW.bin -fL77_0120.bin

This would cause the BIOS to update, but then the computer would reboot without returning an exit code to SCCM, causing the task sequence to fail. Searching around, I found this post on the HP support forums, which pointed me in the right direction. Thanks

The Solution

The correct command line to update the HP BIOS for the ProBook 650 G1 is as follows:

HPBIOSUPDREC.exe -s -r -pBIOSPW.bin -fL77_0120.bin

This -r switch appears to be undocumented, which is a shame really, but this prevents the reboot without exit code. The command now returns a correct exit code and lets SCCM reboot the computer gracefully.

Putting it into Practice

In the SCCM package, I’ve placed both the HPBIOSUPDREC tool and the BIOS binary file. The task sequence runs it as shown below:

650G1-1

650G1-2

The WMI query makes sure it only runs on the selected/supported HP ProBook 640 G1 and 650 G1’s we have in our environment. There’s no danger in making this query less specific, as the update tool will only flash machines that the update is applicable to. I have also added the exit codes 273 and 282, which are exit codes for “BIOS is already same version” (273) and BIOS installed is newer than the one set to install (272).

SCCM 2012 R2 – Updating and configuring HP ProBook 6470b/6570b BIOS in a task sequence – Part 3

If you’ve come to this post directly, it’s probably useful for you to read through both part 1 and part 2! If however you’ve already got that under your belt, read on…

As a recap, you’ll remember that I decided to set up two packages for the configuring and updating of the BIOS. Just in case you want a reference for the BIOS update portaion of the structure, here it is again.

SCCMSources\OSD\Packages
    BIOSUpdate\HP Probook
        BIOSPW.bin              (Encrypted BIOS password)
        HPBIOSUPDREC.exe        (New BIOS update utility)
        hpqFlash.exe            (Old BIOS update utility)
        ProBook6x70bBIOS.cab    (HP Probook 6x70b BIOS file)

Updating the BIOS

This time, most of the hard work is actually done in the Operating System Deployment (OSD) task. The task needs to be set up to call the BIOS flash tool (Either HPBIOSUPDREC.exe or hpqFlash.exe (depending on the BIOS you need to flash). For the 6x70b’s, hpqFlash.exe is the one to use! The call to the BIOS flash tool follows the following syntaxes.

hpqFlash

hpqFlashhelp

As you can guess, the most interesting command line switches to me are -s -p and -f. Please note, I have not tested and am not 100% sure of the other switches. I can imagine -a could be especially dangerous, so please take care!

HPBIOSUPDREC

HPBIOSUPDREChelp

You can see that the switches are exactly the same here, minus the microcode update switch. This is good, as it will make things easier if we automate the selection of flashing tool to use in the future.

biosupdateprops

This is run in the SCCM task sequence, just after the reboot for configuring the BIOS, but again before provisioning or enabling Bitlocker. Again, there should be a “Restart Computer” task directly after this to finalise the update procedure. As you can see, hpqFlash is called directly with the BIOS password and the cab file to install, as well as the silent switch.

biosupdateopts

As per the BIOS configuration task, it is based on the computer model name, so that we dont try to flash an incompatible BIOS. If inconsistencies were found that required a different BIOS for the same model, a seperate task could be created with an additional WMI query to obtain another identifying value. You may also see that an additional success code is added (273) this is the code returned by hpqFlash if the BIOS is already up to date and no action is taken. This allows the task sequence to continue as normal if the BIOS is already up to date.

Again, I hope this has been a helpful guide on your path to automating some of the more annoying parts of the imaging process, usually left as manual tasks. As I’ve said before, please let me know if you’ve got a better way of doing things, or have found some innacuracies with my posts and I’ll sort it out.

SCCM 2012 R2 – Updating and configuring HP ProBook 6470b/6570b BIOS in a task sequence – Part 2

If you’ve come to this post directly, you may want to read through part 1! If not, read on…

In this part, we’ll cover putting the files we’ve got together in a couple of packages and putting them into a task sequence. We’ll also be using WMI to query the computer model, so we don’t try updating the BIOS on a machine it certainly won’t work on.

I’ve set up the files I need in the following hierarchy, and spread the BIOS configuration and update over two packages. You may decide to do it differently.

SCCMSources\OSD\Packages
    BIOSConfig\HP ProBook
        BiosConfigUtility.exe   (BIOS configuration utility - x86)
        BiosConfigUtility64.exe (BIOS configuration utility - x64)
        BIOSPW.bin              (Encrypted BIOS password)
        ProBook6x70bConfig.cfg  (BIOS configuration settings)
        ProBook6x70bConfig.cmd  (BIOS configuration command file)

SCCMSources\OSD\Packages
    BIOSUpdate\HP Probook
        BIOSPW.bin              (Encrypted BIOS password)
        HPBIOSUPDREC.exe        (New BIOS update utility)
        hpqFlash.exe            (Old BIOS update utility)
        ProBook6x70bBIOS.cab    (HP Probook 6x70b BIOS file)
NOTE: “SCCMSources” is my network share I store the SCCM source files to use as the content location for applications and packages. I then have “OSD\Packages” to differentiate these packages as being primarily for OSD task sequences. Hopefully the “BIOSUpdate” and “BIOSConfig” folders will eventually house many folders for different types of laptop, but at the moment it’s a bit bare.

Configuring the BIOS

Most of the magic for configuring the BIOS is done in the file “ProBook6x70bConfig.cmd” (shown below).

This batch file picks the correct version of BiosConfigUtility to run (x86 or x64), then runs it with the configuration file. It runs it first, attempting to get access to the BIOS using a blank password, then set the password along with the configuration. If this completes successfully (exit code 0), that’s it!

However if it fails for some reason (i.e. there’s a BIOS password set) It then runs the second command, which attempts to set the configuration, using the current password. I’ve yet to properly test a parameterized version of this, to allow the configuration to be specified outside of the batch file.

biosconfigprops

This is run in the SCCM task sequence, at the beginning, before provisioning or enabling Bitlocker, but after formatting the drive, so that on the reboot that occurs directly afterward, using an “Restart Computer” task, the boot image can be successfully staged to the hard disk.

biosconfigopts

The options base the running of this task on the computer model name, so that we dont try to configure an incompatible BIOS or some other crazy situation. It’s not too clear in the image, but I’m using the single character wildcard “_” in the model – “SELECT * FROM Win32_ComputerSystem WHERE Model LIKE “HP ProBook 6_70b””

Hopefully this has covered everything that’s needed for yourself to go forth and configure the HP ProBook BIOS in an unattended way! As with most of my posts, please let me know if you’ve discovered improvements or inaccuracies and I’ll attempt to right them!

Read on, where I cover the flashing of the BIOS in part three.

SCCM 2012 R2 – Updating and configuring HP ProBook 6470b/6570b BIOS in a task sequence – Part 1

Continuing my recent foray into System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2012 R2, I’ve been working on getting a task sequence to automatically update and configure the BIOS for our HP ProBook laptops. I’ve started with our most popular models, the HP ProBook 6470b/6570b. Fortunately, apart from their screen size, they are almost completely identical, which makes the job a lot easier.

Prerequisites

The first thing we’ll need to do is take care of the prerequisites and the downloads, so we’ve got all the files required to complete the work.

Files Needed

  • The HO ProBook 6x70b BIOS is available here and should work with both the 6470b and the 6570b.
  • HP BIOS Configuration Utility (HP BCU). I’m using version 3.0.13.1, there could be changes if you are using something newer.
  • HP System Software Manager (HP SSM). Again, I’m using version 3.1.10.1, so be aware.

First of all, we’ll get the BIOS configuration working and we’ll do the BIOS update second. This may sound backwards, but it simplifies things if you will be imaging a mix of factory fresh and pre-provisioned machines. This is because we’ll be setting the BIOS password in the configuration stage and putting the logic there to deal with whether the machine already has a password set. This means when we come to the BIOS flash, we can just run the tool in a straightforward way.

NOTE: If you’re not using a BIOS password, you can do this in any order, but I highly recommend you secure things properly. The last thing your service desk needs is someone changing the boot order and installing their own OS or something, because users.

Encrypting your BIOS password

Extract the HP System Software Manager download and install it. You’ll then have to browse to either “%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Hewlett-Packard\SystemSoftwareManager”, or “%ProgramFiles%\Hewlett-Packard\SystemSoftwareManager” to find “ssm.cab”. The files you need are in here:

  • “HPBIOSUPDREC.exe” (BIOS updater tool we may need later)
  • “HpqPswd.exe” (BIOS password encryption tool)
NOTE: For the ProBook 6x70b, we’ll be using the hpqFlash.exe utility that we’ll get later, as that’s the one that works with these models. If you are using newer models (like the EliteBook 840G1), you will need to use HPBIOSUPDREC.exe.

HPQPswd

If you run HpqPswd.exe, it will ask you for the BIOS password you wish to encrypt into a “.bin” file. Enter your BIOS password, then save the file somewhere useful, as this we will use this later to as the credential for configuring/updating the BIOS.

Preparing the BIOS configuration

Now, you’ll need a test machine of the right type to get a BIOS configuration from. You could in theory specify the configuration file from scratch, but that would take a while. The easiest way to do it is to set up a computer how you want it, export the BIOS config, tweak it to suit, then deploy!

To start this process, you’ll need to install the HP BIOS configuration utility, then browse to “%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Hewlett-Packard\BIOS Configuration Utility”, or “%ProgramFiles%\Hewlett-Packard\BIOS Configuration Utility” and get the following files:

  • “BiosConfigUtility.exe” (BIOS configuration tool, for x86)
  • “BiosConfigUtility64.exe” (BIOS configuration tool, for x64)
NOTE: Both of these files seem to work fine on x64 build of Windows 7, so I’m not too sure why there is a specific x64 version. The “BIOS Configuration Utility User Guide.pdf” is alo quite useful, so you may want to grab that too.

BIOSConfigurationUtilityHelp

If you take BiosConfigUtility and run it on the machine you’ve configured, you can get it to export the current configuration to file, using “BiosConfigUtility.exe /get:”ProBook 6x70b\BIOSConfig.cfg””

The file format for the BIOS configuration isn’t particularly great, with tab indented options, but with the export, the current settings are all selected for you, with an asterisk (*) denoting the active option.

Here’s an example of part of my config file:

Data Execution Prevention
    Disable
    *Enable
SATA Device Mode
    IDE
    *AHCI
Reset of TPM from OS
    Disable
    *Enable
OS Management of TPM
    Disable
    *Enable
Activate TPM On Next Boot
    Disable
    *Enable
TPM Device
    Hidden
    *Available
TPM Activation Policy
    F1 to Boot
    Allow user to reject
    *No prompts

You can tweak the file however you need, It seems the general recommendation is to remove anything you’re not actively going to set, as this provides a more concise config file and makes it easier to track down issues.

In the next part, I’ll cover setting up the SCCM side of things now we are nearly ready to deploy the new settings and upgrade the BIOS. Read on to Part 2!