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HP/Compaq System Configuration Error (code purple) Windows Vista

I am not sure how I have been lucky enough never to encounter the HP/Compaq booby trap but until today I was so fortunate. Apparently HP Tattoos a number in the bios of their motherboards so that when you try to use the factory recovery, it checks to make sure the stock motherboard is in place. If it is not in place you get the following error:

Your system has detected a configuration error. Please report this error to Customer Care using the phone number found in the Warranty and Support Guide that came with your PC. Unless corrected, this error will prevent your PC from operating properly. Turn off your PC by pressing and holding the Power button. After a few seconds your PC will automatically turn off. (Code Purple)

I mean seriously? HP does not want you to be able to change the motherboard in their PC’s. I am guessing this is some idiots solutions to piracy somehow but in any case I will stop complaining and get to the solution.

It took some searching but I finally found a solution to this problem.

There are a few ways to do this but basically there is a script in the recovery image of the operating system which checks the bios for the correct motherboard code. It is a pretty simple batch script which says if the numbers don’t match return a exit status of 1 and give the code purple error and if it does match give a exit status of 0 and move on to the clean up phase.

I will say that normally you would have to mount the drive on another computer or boot a rescue disk of some sort in order to do this but it turns out that HP was nice enough to give us access to a cmd.exe window even when receiving this error.

1. Once the error box comes up press shift and F-10 to get a command line.

2. Navigate to the following folder.


  1. C:\\hp\\bin\\checkdmi\\

3. Enter the following command.


  1. checkdmi.cmd

4. The code looks like this:


  1. if ERRORLEVEL 1 goto mismatch
  2. goto cleanup
  4. REM ------------------------------------------------------------------
  5. REM Found discrepancy in the DMI. Notify the user with the localize
  6. REM message via lg.ini, then shut down the system immediately.
  7. REM ------------------------------------------------------------------
  8. :mismatch
  9. echo - Mismatched DMI - >c:\\hp\\support\\CodePurple.log
  10. echo DMI from Master UUT: >>c:\\hp\\support\\CodePurple.log
  11. type DMIinfo.ini >>c:\\hp\\support\\CodePurple.log
  12. echo ---------------------------------------------- >>c:\\hp\\support\\CodePurple.log
  13. echo DMI from This UUT: >>c:\\hp\\support\\CodePurple.log
  14. type DMIofUUT.ini >>c:\\hp\\support\\CodePurple.log
  15. echo ---------------------------------------------- >>c:\\hp\\support\\CodePurple.log
  16. del DMIinfo.ini DMIofUUT.ini
  17. start /w c:\\hp\\bin\\MsgAction.exe "%title%: %message%"
  18. shutdown.exe /s /t 0
  19. goto end

5. All I did was change the line “if ERRORLEVEL 1 goto mismatch” to “if ERRORLEVEL 1 goto cleanup”

6. Save the file

7. Reboot with the following command.


  1. shutdown -r -t 0

8. Once the system comes back up you should move past the dreaded “code purple” error with no problem.

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