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neogenicy
Level 7

EEPC Smart Check breaks Panasonic ToughBook

Seeing a strange issue when using the Smart Check feature on a Panasonic T8 Toughbook. The Smart Check does what it is supposed to do - sometimes several reboots are needed after activation until it finds a "good" configuration that allows the laptop to boot. Things work well for a while but about 10 reboots later, the user onlly gets black screen with blinking cursor when trying to start their computer. We are using EEPC 7.0.3.

This is very consistent among all our T8 and T7 laptops, but we use several other models without any issue. It seems like smart check does it's job but the settings don't 'stick' and then revert after a number of reboots. Does anyone else use smart check and have any issues with it? I'm trying to keep these laptops from coming back with black screens

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5 Replies
foliveir
Level 11

Re: EEPC Smart Check breaks Panasonic ToughBook

Hello,

Most likely what is happening is the preboot smart check finds a configuration that works, after X reboots the BIOS changes its behavior, when that happens hte configuration that is being used is no longer valid and the preboot cannot load sucessfully.

A good proof of the pudding is if you know exactly the number of reboots it takes to reproduce the issue (X), reboot X-1 times, remove the battery and let it cool off for a couple of minutes to dissipate any remaining charge. Boot again, you most likely will not see the preboot hang.

HTH,

Fausto

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neogenicy
Level 7

Re: EEPC Smart Check breaks Panasonic ToughBook

It's not always the exact number of reboots to "break" the machine - it's usually somewhere between 5-15 reboots once the encryption has activated.

What exactly do you mean when you say the "BIOS changes its behavior"? I am not entering the BIOS and making any changes there - all modifications are made before our machines are imaged.

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foliveir
Level 11

Re: EEPC Smart Check breaks Panasonic ToughBook

Hello,

I mean the bios changes its behavior between reboots, it could be that a device power state is incorrectly set, the BIOS has some code that only gets execute if X reboots happen and Y is happening as well, etc.

The point I was trying to get accross is if a working configuration is found then the EEPC software configuration does not change therefore something else is changing and causing the behavior you are seeing. Note that I am not stating that EEPC may not have to do something differently to accomodate a hardware quirk.

A piece of the equation that is missing in your reply is what happens if the reboots are always done from cold boot, does it exhibit the same behavior ?

HTH,

Fausto

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neogenicy
Level 7

Re: EEPC Smart Check breaks Panasonic ToughBook

During my tested I've always done a restart - I will have to try the same with a full shutdown instead.

One question.. What event occurs that makes the machine aware it was a successful/working configuration?

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foliveir
Level 11

Re: EEPC Smart Check breaks Panasonic ToughBook

Hello,

To quote from https://kc.mcafee.com/resources/sites/MCAFEE/content/live/PRODUCT_DOCUMENTATION/24000/PD24867/en_US/... :

"

When you enable this feature, it modifies the Drive Encryption activation sequence and creates a
pre-activation stage. During this stage, a series of hardware compatibility checks are performed prior
to actual activation and subsequent encryption to successfully activate Drive Encryption on platforms
where BIOS issues might exist.

"

HTH,

Fausto

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