What is error 3F0 on HP boot?

Error 3F0 is a common error code that can appear when booting up an HP computer or laptop. It indicates that the system BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) has become corrupted and needs to be recovered or updated in order to boot properly.

What Causes the 3F0 Error?

There are a few potential causes for the 3F0 error on HP devices:

  • Corrupted BIOS: The system BIOS has become damaged or corrupted, often due to a failed BIOS update or flash.
  • Hardware failure: There is a hardware component failure, such as the motherboard, hard drive, or RAM.
  • Incorrect BIOS settings: Settings like the boot order or drive configuration were changed incorrectly.
  • Virus infection: A virus or malware has infected the BIOS and changed settings.

The most common cause is a corrupted BIOS, where the data has become damaged and needs to be recovered. This can happen if there was a power failure or interruption during a BIOS update, for example. It can also be due to malware tampering with the BIOS.

How to Fix the 3F0 Error

There are a few methods you can try to resolve the 3F0 error and get the computer booting again:

BIOS Recovery

Many HP devices have a BIOS recovery or repair option built into the motherboard hardware. This allows you to reload the BIOS without needing files or a bootable USB drive.

To use the BIOS recovery:

  1. Turn off the device and unplug it from power.
  2. Press and hold the Windows key + B key while reconnecting the power cable.
  3. Still holding the keys, press the power button to turn on the device.
  4. Keep holding the keys until the HP logo appears, then let go.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the BIOS recovery process.

This should reset the BIOS back to factory defaults and allow the computer to boot up properly again.

BIOS Update from USB

If the built-in BIOS recovery fails, you can try updating the BIOS manually from a USB flash drive:

  1. Download the latest BIOS update file for your specific HP model from the HP support website.
  2. Copy the BIOS file to a blank USB flash drive.
  3. Insert the USB drive into your HP computer.
  4. Restart the computer and press F9 or F11 to access the boot menu.
  5. Select the USB drive from the boot menu.
  6. This will launch the BIOS update utility. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the update.

Updating to the newest BIOS can often resolve a corrupted BIOS issue and allow normal booting again. Be sure to avoid power interruptions during the update process.

Reset CMOS

Resetting the CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) can reset your BIOS back to factory defaults:

  1. Turn off the device and unplug all peripheral devices.
  2. Open the housing and locate the CMOS reset jumper on the motherboard.
  3. Use a jumper cap to short the CMOS pins for a few seconds.
  4. Remove the jumper cap and close the housing.
  5. Plug in and turn on the device to test if the reset worked.

Consult your motherboard manual for the exact location and pinout of the CMOS jumpers.

Preventing the 3F0 Error

Here are some tips to avoid a 3F0 error occurring in the first place:

  • Avoid interrupting BIOS updates – Never turn off the device during a BIOS flash.
  • Use a surge protector – Protect against power fluctuations corrupting the BIOS.
  • Keep BIOS up to date – Install the latest stable BIOS version from HP.
  • Careful with overclocking – Overclocking RAM or CPU can destabilize the BIOS.
  • Watch for overheating – High temperatures can cause BIOS corruption over time.
  • Keep good backups – Back up your critical data in case recovery methods don’t work.


The 3F0 error on HP computers is generally caused by a corrupted BIOS. First attempt the built-in BIOS recovery feature by pressing Windows + B on boot. If that fails, try manually updating the BIOS using a USB drive. Resetting the CMOS can also restore BIOS defaults. Avoiding interruptions during updates, overheating, and maintaining backups can help prevent the 3F0 error.

If the computer still fails to boot normally, the motherboard itself may need to be replaced by an HP repair center. The 3F0 error is difficult to resolve without professional service if BIOS recovery options do not work. Contact HP phone support for troubleshooting and next steps if you cannot resolve the 3F0 boot error.

Cause Solution
Corrupted BIOS BIOS recovery or update from USB
Hardware failure Motherboard replacement
Incorrect BIOS settings Reset CMOS
Virus infection BIOS update or replacement

Thank you for reading! Let me know if you have any other questions.