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.


3. Enter the following command.


4. The code looks like this:

if ERRORLEVEL 1 goto mismatch
goto cleanup

REM ------------------------------------------------------------------
REM Found discrepancy in the DMI. Notify the user with the localize
REM message via lg.ini, then shut down the system immediately.
REM ------------------------------------------------------------------
echo - Mismatched DMI - >c:\hp\support\CodePurple.log
echo DMI from Master UUT: >>c:\hp\support\CodePurple.log
type DMIinfo.ini >>c:\hp\support\CodePurple.log
echo ---------------------------------------------- >>c:\hp\support\CodePurple.log
echo DMI from This UUT: >>c:\hp\support\CodePurple.log
type DMIofUUT.ini >>c:\hp\support\CodePurple.log
echo ---------------------------------------------- >>c:\hp\support\CodePurple.log
del DMIinfo.ini DMIofUUT.ini
start /w c:\hp\bin\MsgAction.exe "%title%: %message%"
shutdown.exe /s /t 0
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.

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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50 Responses to “HP/Compaq System Configuration Error (code purple) Windows Vista”
  1. Dave O says:

    This is an amazing fix .. thanks a million .. i never thought it would be this simple..
    I’m just NOW learning SQL and commands like this. Never thought it would be as easy as swapping out the logic .


    purehate Reply:

    Thanks for the feedback, I always appreciate it when people tell us we actually helped them. Its the whole point of the site.


    kayem Reply:

    However, instead of going to down to where the errorlevel is compared in the code, type “goto cleanup” at the begining of the file and press enter. Then save the file


  2. scottroybtw says:

    im only 17 so not the best with this but after you get the command box how do you navigate to the folder? i dont know if im doing it right? i keep getting told its not recognised as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file. HELP! D:


    alex Reply:

    Hello scottroybtw,

    No worries. There were some errors in the article because back slashes were not showing up. You might try following the steps again to see if you are able to complete them now that we have corrected the errors in the article. If that doesn’t help then let us know where you are having a problem.



    Drunkengardengnome Reply:

    Hi there Alex i’m just going thru the steps above and i get the same error as scottroybtw was so i checked the back slshes and all that but still no luck any help?


    alex Reply:

    Hello Drunkengardengnome,

    Are you able to change directory to the checkdmi folder? If so is the checkdmi.cmd program located in that directory?



    JoAnne Reply:

    I am having the same problem. My pc says “is not recognized as an internal or external command”


    alex Reply:

    Hello JoAnne,

    You might start by answering the questions I asked the people above. It becomes really frustrating when the person with the problem isn’t even trying to put forth any effort but expects me to spend time helping… I would also suggest reading all of the comments for feedback as well.


    JoAnne Reply:

    Thank you for your patience with us dummies Alex.
    here is the steps I had to take in order to fix my computer:
    at the error box – shift F10
    at the c prompt type: chdir C:\hp\bin\CheckDMI (make sure you put a space after chdir)
    Next type dir
    you will see that there is a file called CheckDMI.cmd
    at the prompt type: rename CheckDmi.cmd CheckDMI
    press enter

    to make sure the file name was changed type dir

    FIXED !

    Relieved! Reply:

    your solution worked perfectly for my HP Pavilion a6200n. Thanks!

  3. demontrucker says:

    brilliant advice altho my hp pavillion running vista needed a slightly different approach.i navigated to c:\hp\bin\checkdmi but it wouldnt let me run th e command without immediately shutting itself down again so i took the plunge and deleted the cmd altogether and so far its working a treat


    alex Reply:

    Hello demontrucker,

    Awesome. Thanks for taking the time to post the difference in steps that helped you resolve the problem!



  4. Drunkengardengnome says:

    Hi there Alex i’m just going thru the steps above and i get the same error as scottroybtw was so i checked the back slshes and all that but still no luck any help


  5. carmen says:

    hey im having the same issue as scottroybtw where it reads (is not recognised as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file)
    i typed this in n hit enter C:\hp\bin\checkdmi\
    then i typed this checkdmi.cmd

    what do i do n dont understand what someone was talking about the backslashes can someone please help me


  6. hpbusinessmodel says:

    Thanks for the post and forum. I’ve purchased 2 desktops and 3 Notebooks from HP for me and my wife over the past five years. Each time we’ve “upgraded” it had been in response to a crash that I couldn’t recover (I’m not a computer SME). The techies (GeekSquad, etc.) each time recommended purchasing a new mother board, which in the end was not the best course of action for us since a new computer cost only a few hundred more than the “necessary” upgrade. It wasn’t until today after getting a “code purple” on my desktop that I researched and understood that HP (under a MicroSoft thumb) actually incorporated code (antipiracy) that would disallow modifications or upgrades…not even additional memory!!! And so today I lost a ridiculous amount of work and had to purchase then install (actually re purchase and re install) multiple programs after doing a system restore. During my two hours on the phone with HP tech support I was finally able to get them to understand that all I wanted was a phone number to lodge a formal complaint…I ended up having to spell each letter of each word of each sentence using alpha-numeric designation (gotta love outsourcing). They only continued to quote that my warranty had expired and there were no other numbers for customer service. Of course the “error” has nothing to do with the warranty and HP is required to fix the problem as a result of a lawsuit. I got nowhere. Wow!! HP Customer No-Service (to quote Clark Howard). I wish I’d known years ago that HP had lost a lawsuit over this…I’d have never continued to do business with them. And now I will tell everyone to steer well clear of HP. Five computers in five years and the two we have left are still subject to HP’s hugely successful business model: sell systems that require frequent updates which when installed damage the hardware or negates the operating system forcing the consumer to purchase additional hardware that shuts down the entire system requiring the consumer to purchase a complete new system…rant over.


  7. Raul says:

    this forum helped me a lot and saved my money. i don’t have to bring my pc to “techies”
    the info that helped me was from demontrucker, thanks buddy!
    I was trying to delete the cmd’s all together but “access denied”
    so what i did was, i made a directory & move it there. & presto! it’s operational again!

    thanks again!


  8. Devinder says:

    Hi Purehate buddy thanks infinite times. I was not able to open checkdmi.cmd file and then I delete the whole checkdmi.cmd file. and it works. Thanks again all of you for your hard work. I appriciate it…..

    Thanks again…….


  9. christine says:

    what works for windows XP I started to do system recovery, when it finished and it started up I got a code purple now I cant do anything in command please help


  10. mark says:

    Their piracy solutions always punish their customers and they just don’t seem to care!

    I don’t need this “fix” currently but it would be a good thing to know should I ever need to replace my motherboard. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be set up the same on all HP computers using Vista. Like some of the previous posts there is no checkdmi folder or checkdmi command file on my computer. I even used two search programs and included system and hidden files and searched the registry.

    It looks like it may be done a different way. There is a precmdline.cmd file that looks like this:

    if exist c:\hp\hpqware\preuser.cmd c:\hp\bin\commands /c c:\hp\hpqware\preuser.cmd
    if exist c:\hp\bin\CheckDMI\CheckDMI.cmd c:\hp\bin\commands /lw:c:\hp\bin\CheckDMI\lg.ini /WW /c c:\hp\bin\CheckDMI\CheckDMI.cmd

    I’m not sure how it works but it does check for checkdmi.cmd in the checkdmi folder so I’m guessing that if the preuser.cmd file exists (it doesn’t on my computer) then the commands application creates the checkdmi folder and command file. If anybody figures it out please post it here for everyone. Thanks.


  11. NajeraE says:

    Thanks for these man! I own a Hp Media center M8200n i love these machine ,but eventually the OS just doesnt start up. Whenever itt happens i run system restore, and when that doesnt help, i just run the original factory format.
    However a year ago one of the ddr2 ram memories failed y i put another one, so i got the code purple thing, i found this post and understood all the hp situation for non piracy non mod of the equipment, but come on i live in central america, how am i susposed to call hp support? through skype? no way.
    So it was difficult for me to navigate to the folder you were specifying, and didnt work on any way, then found that if you hit the “Tab” key you are able to navigate through the file on the system32 folder, so i execute this
    1. on the error message i pressed shift+f10
    2. on the cmd prompt i type after the usual line that appears there “notepad.exe”
    3. on notepad you can use your mouse to navigate like if you are on the windows explorer, the trick is to change the file type on the lower right corner of the open file window, and set it up to “all files”
    4. on the “find” line where the magnification glass appears just type “dmi” so windows can find the checkdmi.cmd archive, select it and open it.
    5. then you’ll find the code thats had been mention above, just changed the lines where the level code is from “1″ to “0″ and the line where saids “goto mistmatch” to “goto clean up”
    And then just like magic, it worked once again like the way i purchase originally.
    I purchase this pc on late 2007 and this is the second time i have to go trough the factory status format.
    Thaks a lot and i hope this can help more people who are unable to navigate trough the command prompt just like me….


    Rick Tatus Reply:

    Anyone know if this will work with Windows 7 Home Premium?
    Replaced the HP Pegatron Board with a Gigabyte as suggested on
    a HP forum by quite a few other disgruntled HP (Huge Pile) customers.
    Hate to throw good money after bad and spring for the 7 disc.
    Any input would be appreciated!!


    Stres'd Reply:

    Thanks heaps for the help!
    Thanks also to NajeraE!
    It’s amazing how little work went into fixing this (actually it took me an hour and a half but I got there in the end! I shudder to think how much money I would’ve been charged for this when it was pretty easy to fix!
    Thanx heaps you guys!
    PS: I’ve never replied to these things before but I told myself if your fix worked I’ll post a BIG FAT THANK YOU! so… A BIG FAAAAAT THANK YOU!!!


  12. James Just says:

    I just ran into this EXACT problem. It’s after midnight and I think I have found the solution—-yours.

    First light of day I am going to give this a try- Thanks for saving me a ton of time- not to mention money.



  13. Eric says:

    Great, great, great thanks for this information! My 4 year old HP crashed very frequently lately and when I today on top of that also donwloaded a visurs somehow that basically locked out my computer, I thought “what the heck, I will do a factory setting restore” (after backing up most of my data). When getting the “code purple” error after that I kind of regretted that:-( I spent half an hour looking for solutions but all others that I saw where quite complex (=too complex for me). The fix above worked flawlessly. Type edit checkdmi.cmd to get into checkdmi.cmd. The structure of my file was different than the one in the axample but I also only changed
    “if ERRORLEVEL 1 goto mismatch” to “if ERRORLEVEL 1 goto cleanup”

    Computer works like a champ again!


  14. Fred says:

    Fantastic, thanks for that. HP support is useless, they don’t even know what Code Purple is. I can now cancel the call.

    Thanks Again!!!


  15. Nick says:

    Thank you for this wonderful guide. Helped me through going past the purple code though when I opened the checkdmi.cmd it appeared different than the parameters above. So I just changed the word mismatch to clean up, “1″ to “0″ then deleted a long parameter that instructs the system to pop up the purple code message though the forgot the actual parameter but it has a part where it says shutdown -r -t 0. Then that does the job.
    To purehate and Narajae, thank you so much. Saves me so much time looking for answers.


  16. David says:

    What the Hell can we do about it. I put a HP MB back in my PC. HP said if I used the same chipset, no problems. Now, like someone else said, they have never heard of CODE PURPLE. Support just told me I destroyed my PC. I did what they told me to do. They just told me I lost all of my data. I don’t care about that. Can I get XP back on that hard drive? I bought a new one a while back and was going to upgrade my old one to give to my Son. Anything I can do to get it working again?


  17. The Pinckards says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your post guided me directly through this hardcore issue with no problem. I normally do not go out of my way to send a thanks but you much deserve it.


  18. chastity says:

    Never would have figured that out on our own. thanks alot, your the man. and please keep posting help, we all need it


  19. Mike says:

    Just reinstalled Vista on a HP a6650f and got the “code purple”. Went into the checkdmi.cmd file with notepad and simply changed the if ErrorLevel “1″ to “0″ and that is all it took. Computer is now up and running fine. Thanks for the post.


  20. Brian from Hermosa Beach says:

    WOW!! Thanks to all!! I’ve been going crazy. I replaced the burned out mainboard on my HP Pavailion and kept getting the code purple warning. I thought it was something I did wrong. Little did I know it was an HP issue with the software and not the way I installed the mainboard. fu HP. Well, I did what you guys said to do. I changed “1″ to “0″ and “mismatch” to “cleanup” and it worked perfectly. By the way, make sure you spell it “cleanup” not “clean up” as mentioned above. I feel so much better now. THANKS!!!!!!!


  21. Jhonny says:

    bro… thanks for your time and pacience to help other like me to solve this trouble. i have been reseting my pc some times and never had a problem, but this time took me so long to find the solution…. and i fund thanks to you…
    thanks again bro.


  22. Tronnyk says:

    what do i do if i have a different hard drive ? i used the hp recovery manager & then after everything i got that same message


  23. ProStyle says:

    I am SO SO SO geftraul to you for this I had alreayd wasted a fretful hour when I found this posr. You would think win7 was smart enough to say please re-inset system boot disk what a pathetic annoying badly-thought out installation procedure! At leats mine is actually installing now!


  24. fabiano says:

    Hi, I have try to use the instruction on this page, but I can’t to repair the pc. When I insert that command, appare that it’s unknown. Can you help me ? Please . I have a Windows vista home premium x32 and the errot it’s ” code purple”. Thanks


  25. windows vista home premium says:

    Hello my family member! I want to say that this post is amazing, great written and come with almost all vital infos. I’d like to see more posts like this .


  26. Lindsay says:

    Once I get to the error screen, I try shift+f10 and… nothing happens. Any ideas on what to do then?


  27. jodybob says:

    Thankyou thankyou thankyou. You’re a real dude!


  28. pete says:

    I called hp they said they only support computers up to 5 years old. I told them that I purchase an OS that i can’t use and they own me one. They said sorry and i should buy a new computer. IT WON’T BE AN HP! Why can’t they just give us this fix?
    Also I have a dos background. For the regular Joe this need to be more detailed.
    thanks again


  29. Julius says:

    I cannot thank the author of this post enough. The solution works like a charm. The only missing step in his instruction is instead of executing the command “checkdmi.cmd”, you actually Ned to edit use the “edit” cmd to modify it and follow the rest of the steps. Again, thanks for the simple solution to a needless problem


  30. Rodney Gibbons says:

    My solution was to switch to Ubuntu Linux


  31. Jan says:

    You saved my life man! Thank you very much, great solution! :)


    Frank Reply:

    You saved my life too! Unbelievably easy! THANK YOU SO MUCH!

    After hitting shift+F10 to get to the command prompt and navigating to c:\hp\bin\checkdmi\, I copied checkdmi.cmd onto a USB thumb drive, edited the file on another computer, and copied the updated file back onto the system (thus overwriting the original).

    Note that my Windows 7 system had a different script than yours in the checkdmi.cmd file. Mine contained (among others) the following 4 lines:

    start /w c:\hp\bin\MsgAction.exe “%title%: %message%”
    shutdown.exe /s /t 0
    goto end

    I simply deleted the last three of these lines (leaving the “:mismatch” line in place).

    Worked perfectly, and was so easy to do!


    Mike O Reply:

    Also works with REM 1st lines 3 above. Last line change to “goto cleanup”


  32. Ryan says:

    This worked perfectly! I was rebuilding an HP desktop for a client and I ran into this error. The machine was store bought with no modifications so I am very disappointed with HP’s “anti piracy” checker. Anyway, I did the above but instead of deleting the aforementioned code, I simply REM’ed out the code for the “mismatch” procedure. Typing “REM” before each line tells the computer to skip the line and go past it. So if the computer detected a problem, it simply skipped everything and allowed Windows to continue loading without displaying the error.

    Original code

    start /w c:\hp\bin\MsgAction.exe “%title%: %message%”
    shutdown.exe /s /t 0
    goto end

    Altered code

    REM start /w c:\hp\bin\MsgAction.exe “%title%: %message%”
    REM shutdown.exe /s /t 0
    REM goto end


  33. matthew says:

    I just leleted the file havn’t had the error ever agian fuck you HP never ganna buy another one of your PC’s


  34. Devante says:

    Hi i tried to do this but it keeps on saying that it is not recognized. What should i do


    Devante Reply:

    Sorry also my command prompt doesnt just say c: it says c:/windows/system32>


  35. James W says:

    I’m using XP, and can’t get the Shift-F10 to work, I saw one other instance of this in an earlier comment. Has anyone solved this on XP? Is there some other set of keystrokes to get to the command line? Thanks!


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