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Thread: How to Upgrade the Thinkpad x61 BIOS

  1. #71
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    Re: How to Upgrade the Thinkpad x61 BIOS

    Quote Originally Posted by rocksockdoc View Post
    I wonder which USB stick is booted from if I leave BOTH in the respective left and right USB slots?
    Hi Mike,

    I didn't want to risk both USB sticks being in at the same time so I turned the Lenovo X61 tablet off and stuck the smaller 250MB USB stick into the left USB slot and booted up the X61 (and did it again with the larger 4MB USB stick -- both worked fine to boot into the BIOS update program).

    There was a bit of ambiguity since the word "BIOS" was never mentioned ... here's what happened when I powered the X61 tablet up with one USB stick in the left-side slot:
    - First, the familar ThinkVantage screen popped up ...
    - Then a vaguely reminiscent (from long ago) blue Win98 screen flashed momentarily
    - Penultimately, a black screen asked me to "Type the name of the command interpreter" to which I responded with "command.com< enter >".
    - Lastly the "Main Menu" came up asking me to "Select One", of the three options:
    1. Read this first
    2. Update system program
    3. Update model number


    After reading the (nearly useless) information in option #1, I rebooted to Ubuntu and re-read all the posts in this thread and I realize that option #2 is probably the one that needs to be executed. (You might want to make it clearer which option to execute since NONE of them say anything whatsoever about the BIOS being updated.)

    Anyway, I tried this both with the smaller 250MB USB stick and the larger 4GB USB stick with the same results. It failed, but not due to a fault of yours or mine. It seems that the "update system program" command noticed the totally dead battery (which has been dead for quite some time) and will not execute for fear that a power interruption will cause a problem.

    Specifically, the system-program update stated:
    "ERROR: Your battery needs to be charged to avoid an accidental power-off during an update. Turn off the computer and connect the AC adapter to charge the battery".

    Of course, that won't work as the 14.4 volt 4300 Ah battery has been "charging" for months to no avail as I run off the 20 volt 4.5 amp AC adapter and the (dead) battery plugged in but useless; so I'm going to have to order a brand new battery to go any further. Thanks Mike for all your help. Sorry to be a pain. I hope other Linux newbies benefit from the specific steps I listed of your more general commands.

    I'll update this thread after I order a new battery and try it again when it arrives and is charged up.
    Last edited by rocksockdoc; August 24th, 2010 at 03:22 PM.

  2. #72
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Austin, TX (formerly D.C)
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    359
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    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: How to Upgrade the Thinkpad x61 BIOS


    After reading the (nearly useless) information in option #1, I rebooted to Ubuntu and re-read all the posts in this thread and I realize that option #2 is probably the one that needs to be executed. (You might want to make it clearer which option to execute since NONE of them say anything whatsoever about the BIOS being updated.)
    Oh, that's a good idea.

    Anyway, I tried this both with the smaller 250MB USB stick and the larger 4GB USB stick with the same results. It failed, but not due to a fault of yours or mine. It seems that the "update system program" command noticed the totally dead battery (which has been dead for quite some time) and will not execute for fear that a power interruption will cause a problem.

    Specifically, the system-program update stated:
    "ERROR: Your battery needs to be charged to avoid an accidental power-off during an update. Turn off the computer and connect the AC adapter to charge the battery".

    Of course, that won't work as the 14.4 volt 4300 Ah battery has been "charging" for months to no avail as I run off the 20 volt 4.5 amp AC adapter and the (dead) battery plugged in but useless; so I'm going to have to order a brand new battery to go any further. Thanks Mike for all your help. Sorry to be a pain. I hope other Linux newbies benefit from the specific steps I listed of your more general commands.

    I'll update this thread after I order a new battery and try it again when it arrives and is charged up.
    What bad luck! I'm not sure of any easy way to hack around this (there MAY be, but I'd be reluctant to start changing the files they provide). Good luck when the new battery arrives!

    Mike

  3. #73
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    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: How to Upgrade the Thinkpad x61 BIOS

    I'm not sure of any easy way to hack around this (there MAY be, but I'd be reluctant to start changing the files they provide)
    Hi,

    I'm in the same situation no working battery. Just wondering if anyone has found a way around this?

    I know its a long shot but has anyone found a hack to get this working without a battery? Mines completely dead!

    Great guide btw, Very well written. Thanks for keeping it updated you helped me back at post #16

  4. #74
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Re: How to Upgrade the Thinkpad x61 BIOS

    Doesn't sound like something, even if were possible, you should be doing. If your battery will give you at least 5 min, then it will probably be ok. Otherwise, you will need a loan of one, or will have to purchase a new one. Long shot indeed!

  5. #75
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: How to Upgrade the Thinkpad x61 BIOS

    Do I need to buy a genuine Lenovo battery if upgrading the bios?

    Or can I just get one from Hong Kong?

    I haven't got much money so would like to go for the cheapest option if It will work.

  6. #76
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    Re: How to Upgrade the Thinkpad x61 BIOS

    Do I need to buy a genuine Lenovo battery if upgrading the bios?

    Or can I just get one from Hong Kong?

    I haven't got much money so would like to go for the cheapest option if It will work.
    I'm honestly not sure. Did you try it?

    Mike

  7. #77
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Talking Re: How to Upgrade the Thinkpad x61 BIOS

    worked like a charme! x61s now on bios 2.21.
    thanx, great howto!

    (tried with unetbootin before, but that didnt produce a bootable stick)

  8. #78
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Re: How to Upgrade the Thinkpad x61 BIOS

    trying on x60s now ...

    ..
    <it may take about 1 minute>


    ..
    ..
    [long time]
    ..
    ..

    << beeeeeeep >>

    <it may take about 1 more minute>

    ..
    ..

    << beeeeeeep >>

    DONE!!

    thx, quite nice

    now having 2.18 (7BETD7WW) aboard x60s
    (get it here: http://download.lenovo.com/ibmdl/pub...s/7buj27uc.iso)


    [SEO: thinkpad lenovo x60s x61s linux bios upgrade update usb stick flash drive]

  9. #79
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    Re: How to Upgrade the Thinkpad x61 BIOS

    Thanks for this interesting post. I just followed this instruction, tweaked it a little bit, and flashed the lenovo bios to a whitelist BIOS of the same version in my X61T

    After copying the lenovo BIOS image CD to a bootable pindrive, I replaced the lenovo Command.com with the original win98 DOS command.com.
    Also I edit the lenovo batch command, lcreflsh.bat in the pin-drive, delete the second line "flash2.exe /u"
    Download a white-list patched BIOS image file (*.rom ~4Mb) somewhere, and rename this bios.rom file to BIOS.WPH, save BIOS.WPH in this pin-drive
    x61t-bios_SLIC_sata_1802_1804.rom --> BIOS.WPH

    Before rebooting my thinkpad, the following file are in the pin-drive:
    win98 booting files, patched bios image file "BIOS.WPH" PHLASH16.EXE and other files form the lenovo CD image, command.com form the original win98 boot disk, and revised "lcreflsh.bat"

    In this way, my thinkpad will boot to a regular DOS, instead of the crippled lenovo bios interface.

    Under the regular DOS, knock in "PHLASH16.EXE", and run. PHLASH16.EXE will find the BIOS.WPH and flash the bios by itself. The laptop will reboot after the flashing.

    Here is my protocol.

    1, HPUSBFW.exe + WIN98 boot disk to make a bootable pin-drive
    2, download the BIOS cd image form lenovo.com, open the image file with 7-zip and copy them all to the pindrive.
    3, 7-zip open the image of win98 boot disk again, replace the crippled lenovo command.com in pindrive with the original DOS command.com
    4, google and download a patched ROM image, e.g. x61t-bios_SLIC_sata_1802_1804.rom , rename it to BIOS.WPH, save it to pindrive.
    5, edit the lenovo batch command "lcreflsh.bat" in pindrive, edit the second line, delete "flash2.exe /u" or replace it with "PHLASH16.EXE" save the change.

    after revision, lcreflsh.bat looks like
    @echo off
    PHLASH16.EXE

    or
    @echo off

    before this revision, lcreflsh.bat was like
    @echo off
    flash2.exe /u

    6, up to now, before rebooting this thinkpad, the following files are in the pin-drive:
    win98 booting files,
    patched BIOS image file "BIOS.WPH" from some amateur websites
    PHLASH16.EXE and other misc. files form the lenovo CD image,
    command.com form the original win98 boot disk,
    revised "lcreflsh.bat"

    7, check and charge the battery pack and check the power supply.
    8, reboot the thinkpad with this customized pindrive. If you deleted "flash2.exe /u",you will be led into regular DOS
    9, knock in PHLASH16.EXE, and run, PHLASH16.EXE will search for BIOS.WPH in the pindrive by itself. Once found it, it will flash bios automatically. While flashing, you thinkpad will make some noise and show the process on the screen. It took me around 3 minutes to flash my X61T. After flashing, the laptop rebooted by itself.

    10, If you replaced "flash2.exe /u" with "PHLASH16.EXE" in lcreflsh.bat. After rebooting, there is nothing you can do, but a cup of coffee. But I did it manually and listened to that monster's music.

    Now my x61t is running Ubuntu happily with a salvaged wifi card in the left PCI-E slot.
    Last edited by fastness; February 24th, 2011 at 12:51 AM.

  10. #80
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX (formerly D.C)
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    Distro
    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: How to Upgrade the Thinkpad x61 BIOS

    Thanks for this interesting post. I just followed this instruction, tweaked it a little bit, and flashed the lenovo bios to a whitelist BIOS of the same version in my X61T
    Wow, that's ballsy. I'm glad it worked, though! Where'd you find your modified BIOS, for future reference?

    Mike

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