Tablet shuts down on Windows startup/Battery won't charge (HP Stream 8)

The HP Stream 8 (2014), aside from its usability flaws, had several issues with sleep, charging and battery life when it was initially released with Windows 8/8.1. Users who upgraded from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 may also encounter serious issues in terms of operating system startup and battery charging. Forums are filled with discussions regarding teething issues after upgrading to Windows 10 or long-suffering problems with Windows 8/8.1. Some of the issues you may encounter with HP Stream 8 are the following:

1. Battery will not charge no matter how long you connect the Stream 8 to the HP official charger and USB cable.
2. Battery symbol does not stay lit when charging and shows empty.
3. Tablet can boot to BIOS and HP System Diagnostics but shuts down when attempting to perform an "Automatic Recovery" or attempt to start up to Windows 10.

Unfortunately, HP doesn't provide very clear details regarding specific issues with the Stream 8. HP's enterprise roots make them dependent on the preinstalled HP Support Assistant, which doesn't really address problems that prevent the user from getting to the Windows desktop. On the other hand, the UEFI firmware and System Diagnostics do serve to confirm if problems are from a software issue rather than a hardware issue. If you think you bought a lemon from HP, run the hardware diagnostics first.

To run the System Diagnostics on the Stream 8:

1. With the tablet powered off, press the power button and the Down volume key at the same time. If you view the on-screen options without your system shutting down then your hardware, particularly the battery, display and motherboard, are more likely still functioning.

2. Tap F2 > System Tests > Quick Test. Pay attention to the battery and motherboard results.


 

I had already noticed battery issues with the Stream 8 out of the box and the issue was still evident even after upgrading to Windows 10. Perhaps due to a recent cumulative Windows 10 update, however, the Stream 8 refused to start up despite having adequate battery. When plugged in, an empty battery icon would appear for 8 seconds then disappear. The tablet still failed even after charging overnight. I was determined to do a full operating system reinstall of Windows 10 via a USB flash drive or an external optical drive and even searched for steps to install Android or Cyanogen Mod but I was unable to get the tablet to get past the BIOS.

The issue, thankfully, was solved by updating the firmware.

HP publishes a fairly lengthy process for updating the BIOS for their products but it's aimed at laptops and PCs. 90% of the steps in the support page for the section Updating the BIOS when Windows does not start (Windows 10, 8, 7) apply but a few considerations should be added for HP tablets, particularly the amazingly fragile HP Stream 8.

To update the BIOS on the HP Stream 8 if the tablet refuses to power up:

1. Ensure that the HP Stream 8 has enough power.

Note: This is difficult to tell especially if you encountered the flashing empty battery symbol. However, if you left your device plugged in for a considerable amount of time using the bundled charger and ran a diagnostic test on the battery you should be fine. Since the HP Stream 8 has only one micro USB port which you'll be using for the USB On-the-Go adapter, you can't have the tablet plugged in while flashing the BIOS. In addition, remove the micro SD card since having the micro SD card inserted also adds to power consumption.

2. On a different PC, download the .exe BIOS file from the HP support site.

3. Double-click the .exe file and extract the contents to a temporary folder.

Note: Do not extract the contents of the .exe file to a USB flash drive. Wait for the prompt from the HP BIOS window.

4. Connect a blank USB flash drive to the PC.

4. The HP BIOS Update and Recovery window appears. Click Next > Create Recovery USB flash drive > Next.

6. Select your USB stick and click Next > Finish.

Note: The HP Support site provides steps for checking the System Board ID. You don't really need it to perform the update for the Stream 8.

7. Connect the USB Flash drive to the USB OTG adapter and the USB OTG adapter to the Stream 8.

8. With the tablet powered off, press the power button and the Down volume key at the same time.

9. Tap F2 > Firmware Management > BIOS Update > Select BIOS Image to Apply > HP_TOOLS - USB Drive > Hewlett-Packard > BIOS. Navigate to either the BIOSUpdate, Current, New or Previous folder.  

Note: As of this writing, the Stream 8 BIOS update is located in the Current folder and the BIOS update file is 08031.bin.

10. Tap Apply Update Now. Once BIOS installation is complete, the system will restart.


 


Note: One of the reasons I'm assuming it was a Windows 10 update that caused the problem is that after updating the BIOS and the system rebooted, I was immediately greeted with "Woking on Updates".


 

I must confess the combination of the power, charging and startup issues with the HP Stream 8 and Windows 10 was a thoroughly frustrating experience that convinced me I had bought a horrible device. I would have preferred to troubleshoot an Android or Linux system than undergo the Stream 8's odd problems.

Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and Windows 10 do a fair job of providing Mircosoft drivers for most PC and laptop hardware components in the market today, but the HP Stream 8 is one of the few products out there that require official drivers and an updated BIOS to work properly. The product is virtually unusable without installing HP's own touch, display, GPS, BIOS and audio drivers. After resolving the issues with charging, battery and startup, install the HP drivers and back up your system. 

Comments


  1. Wow thank you this is just what I have been looking for - great work :-) plz chek my blog


    Samsung Laptop repairs & Samsung tablet repairs & Lenovo Laptop repairs



    ReplyDelete
  2. Every problem you'd described, I'd experienced! The HP Stream 8 is a truly AWFUL tablet!😡

    ReplyDelete

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