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JeremyW
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎04-18-2012
Location: US
0

Re: WANTED: Thinkpad W510 BIOS FL1 or WPH Update Files

Yes, out of warranty.

802.11n
christopherlang
Posts: 501
Registered: ‎03-10-2009
Location: Chicago, IL
0

Re: WANTED: Thinkpad W510 BIOS FL1 or WPH Update Files

PS Jeremy.. There is nothing wrong with the .FL* files you are grabbing from the exe for the bios update that you downloaded for your laptop. Your issue is that you are missing an additional step to decompress the Lenovo bios image (you also need to determine which of the *.FL1 files is the BIOS update, one is for the BIOS, one of the files is for the embedded controller I believe). I suggest you do some research, sorry you're in this spot. Good luck.

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JeremyW
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎04-18-2012
Location: US
0

Re: WANTED: Thinkpad W510 BIOS FL1 or WPH Update Files

[ Edited ]

I really appreciate everyone's help, the response has been far better than I could have hoped for!

Unless someone knows the key sequence for a W510 to force a boot from a USB Floppy or USB stick I really have no other choice but to fix the problem via a hardware fix. While it is hard to tell if the USB stick is being read because I obviously don't have any screen display until a new BIOS is loaded... the USB floppy would be obvious because of the noise it would make when reading the floppy disk. So I think my options are:

1) My preferred method would be a software fix because the system was working fine before I decided to upgrade the BIOS. With the help of some of the forum members here I now have the raw BIOS flash files... but can't get the system to force boot/read/flash from them. The only key sequence that I have found reported to work on older models was FN+B but this doesn't work for this laptop. I have also tried numerous other key sequences to see if I would get lucky, but alas.

2) Pay a skilled repair shop to unsolder the old BIOS chip and solder on a new that has W510 flash loaded.

3) Pay for the replacement of the entire motherboard for a W510

4) Part out the laptop for the working parts and cut my losses

 

802.11n
christopherlang
Posts: 501
Registered: ‎03-10-2009
Location: Chicago, IL
0

Re: WANTED: Thinkpad W510 BIOS FL1 or WPH Update Files

[ Edited ]

Well, Seems option 1 is obviously your best option (hopefully you can get some more help with how to do a BIOS recovery on this machine), option 2 would be the best of the remaining options should option 1 not work out. I picked Option 2 because you say the machine is no longer in warranty. Not sure how long these w510 have been out but you have nothing to lose trying to see if a motherboard is available somewhere like ebay (you could probably use any model w510 motherboard you found, just make sure it has the hardware/features you want or keep it simple and try to find the exact same model number as your current motherboard. I assume you know how to replace the motherboard, if not option 2 might be best if you can't recover the machine. Compare costs between option 2 (couple hundred bucks?) and your Option 3. 4, would be a bummer but I think you'll figure this out. :-)

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JeremyW
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎04-18-2012
Location: US
0

Re: WANTED: Thinkpad W510 BIOS FL1 or WPH Update Files

[ Edited ]

Absolutely agree on all points.

 

1) I already have a new work issued W520 so I can afford to wait a little in case someone reads this thread and knows the secret to making the W510 boot from a Phoenix Crisis Flash Recovery stick/floppy. I find it hard to be believe that Lenovo's manufacturing wouldn't have a process to flash the BIOS without replacing the motherboard so I am still hopeful.

 

2) I have already checked into this and eBay advertises $30 for a new working W510 BIOS chip. Need high tech circuit board soldering tools and a local shop already quoted me $185 to complete the work if needed.

 

3) Online the motherboard is $1,000 and that is more than the laptop is worth. There are people selling comparable used W510 with factory warranties for $750. I am more than capable and comfortable taking apart the laptop, but the dollars don't make sense.

 

4) I could probably get $500 for the laptop IF I parted it out ($200 for 8GB RAM, $150 for the 1920x1080 screen, $50 for the HDD, $50 for the keyboard and case, $25 for the DVD ROM, $25 for the power adapter) and only $125 if I sold it as is.

 

It is such a **bleep** shame that an otherwise perfectly good laptop should have to be destroyed because of a BIOS upgrade issue. :smileysad:

 

802.11n
christopherlang
Posts: 501
Registered: ‎03-10-2009
Location: Chicago, IL
0

Re: WANTED: Thinkpad W510 BIOS FL1 or WPH Update Files

[ Edited ]

Hi. Why not just go ahead and have the bios work done? 185 does not seem bad. Well your not going to get 200 bucks for 8gb of ram. Lol I would buy the machine barebones (and as is so long as the BIOS issue were the only issue) from you for that price :-)

 

PS what about option 1?

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JeremyW
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎04-18-2012
Location: US
0

Re: WANTED: Thinkpad W510 BIOS FL1 or WPH Update Files

Option 1 is the secret key sequence to boot the laptop from floppy/USB, today still unknown. Waiting on enlightenment from someone in the know.

Yes, $200 isn’t bad but it is still a risk without any guarantees that it will work… just like any open heart surgery. Plus, there is potential for additional initially undetectable damage that I really am not excited about. It isn’t like I will be able to oversee the operation, so one slip of a tool scratching the motherboard, metal shaving fragments, a micro drop of solder can all create an micro arching or broken circuit that may not cause immediately seen problems.
802.11n
christopherlang
Posts: 501
Registered: ‎03-10-2009
Location: Chicago, IL
0

Re: WANTED: Thinkpad W510 BIOS FL1 or WPH Update Files

[ Edited ]

If I had the link I would give it to you but don't. I think info on creating a crysis disk and performing recovery steps on a Thinkpad (for UEFI Thinkpads) is out there....you may need to do some searching. --In fact I know there is a procedure out there....

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mcmnky
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎03-15-2012
Location: USA
0

Re: WANTED: Thinkpad W510 BIOS FL1 or WPH Update Files

3) Pay for the replacement of the entire motherboard for a W510

 

I recently went though this process with my W510, also hosed during the BIOS update process.

 

I was able to find a refurb motherboard (without CPU) on eBay for $310 after shipping.  Thsee don't show up often, but they are available from time to time.  I think I saw 2 other W510 motherboards for about the same price during the 3 or 4 weeks I was searching for my particular part number.

 

 

 

 

 

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lnguy
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎05-12-2012
Location: US
0

Re: WANTED: Thinkpad W510 BIOS FL1 or WPH Update Files

Try hold FN+R and press power button.