I can’t access the BIOS setup using F2 key on Samsung NP270E5V laptop

secure-bootuefi

My Samsung NP270E5V laptop came with Ubuntu 13.04 installed on it, but I cant boot from a CD/DVD or USB flash drive to install Windows 7. Pressing F2 during boot doesn’t take me to BIOS menu so that I change the boot order; it just boots into Ubuntu.

Best Answer

Question:

How do you work around the UEFI BIOS issues present in Phoenix and Samsung devices where the boot process cannot be interrupted as expected with either the F2 or F10 Keys?

Context:

Also Effects: Phoenix BIOS P06AAE, Samsung NP700Z7C (NP700Z7C-S01US)

On Samsung computers, a Phoenix BIOS is present with the option to change the BIOS mode from legacy to UEFI.

However, changing to UEFI mode makes it impossible to interrupt the boot process and return to the BIOS configuration.

Normal interrupt keys don't work as expected: Escape, F1, F2, F5, F8, F10, F11, F12, Tab, etc.

Windows 10 may also get stuck in an endless Boot Loop -- if the BIOS is changed from legacy to UEFI. Windows 10 will be unable to fix its boot process, (a conflict between using the EFI system partition, and the MBR).

Resolution:

I resolved this issue by using an external keyboard:

In order to interrupt the boot process successfully, perhaps try:

At boot -- Spam the Keyboard's F10 and F11, (or: Esc, F1, F2, F10, F11, F12, Tab) ...

But use both keyboards -- the laptop keyboard AND the external keyboard -- simultaneously, alternately, repeatedly, fast --

However -- I was only able to get to the UEFI Boot Menu -- (I had an ArchLinux USB, (MBR Partitioned), and a Windows 10 Installation USB, (GPT partitioned).

I am unsure if this is simply a "timing issue" where I was able to "coincidentally" hit the right button, at the right time --

Or, perhaps it is a hardware interrupt issue -- where the external keyboard is necessary.

Issue Explanation:

Unfortunately, it does not appear that there is a new version of the BIOS released, (as of this post). And, there is not a way to get back into Legacy BIOS configuration from the UEFI menu.

Warning, Before Using UEFI on Samsung / Phoenix Laptops:

Obviously -- enable UEFI on Samsung laptops with caution.

This appears to be an issue with corrupted NVRAM in the BIOS, or just bad BIOS code.

Because there are no new BIOS updates regarding this issue -- I am apprehensive about re-flashing.

Note: Samsung's digital certificate for the biosupdate.exe utility is expired, and must be run from the command prompt. You can right click the .exe to view the certificate, and attempt to install into the trusted publisher store -- However, the utility won't overwrite / reset the current BIOS if it is the same BIOS version that it is being updated to.