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cford15
Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎06-21-2018
Location: US
Views: 1,480
Message 1 of 2

Lenovo 720s-13ARR Manual Bios Update

I AM NOT A REPRESENTATIVE OF LENOVO IN ANY OFFICIAL OR UNOFFICIAL CAPACITY.

 

This post will show you how to manually upgrade your BIOS to V38 (or any other BIOS released for the 720s-13ARR). This assumes the user has working knowledge of the command line or terminal as well as Linux systems. NOTE: This is not a 100% comprehensive flashing guide. I only show you how to flash using flashrom. All other software is left up to you to figure out. This is a dangerous procedure and should only be used as a last-resort option.

 

If your here, you probably attempted to install V37 or V38 BIOS on a first generation 720s-13ARR. Again, do not install V37 or V38 BIOS on a laptop with V29 or below utilizing Lenovo's installer. The Insyde flashing software will hang when attempting to flash your EC firmware, rendering your laptop into a useless paperweight. The only way this would happen is if (like me) you modified the installer to force flash the update, otherwise the version check should prevent you from doing so.

 

This procedure is intended for the Lenovo 720s-13ARR only, do not attempt this on any other laptop. In addition, this process is only intended for people who have had their warranties expire or have had their warranties denied by Lenovo. If you are not in this category and the latest BIOS updates (V37, V38) have bricked your laptop, then PLEASE send your laptop in under warranty. Lenovo will most likely honor the warranty and replace your motherboard.

 

Requirements

You will need the following hardware:

  • Torx T5 Security Screwdriver
  • SOIC 8 Pin Test Clips
  • 24/25 Pin Serial Programmer/Flasher

You will also need the following software:

  • A Linux live CD/USB (Ubuntu or Debian work best)
  • Flashrom (If Ubuntu or Debian do not provide the latest version, you may have to build it from source. If so, I have provided instructions), can run on Windows, but I do not suggest it. The binary is super outdated, and you will have to compile it by hand. Easier to use a Linux live CD/USB.
  • The appropriate BIOS (Bios Respository - Generic BIOS for the 720s-13ARR hand extracted from the official updates using InsydeImageExtractor, Innoextract, and 7Zip. Also contains other useful software for the 720s-13ARR.)

Flashing

Once you meet all of the requirements listed above, you are ready to begin flashing a new BIOS.

 

1. Boot into the Linux Live CD/USB
Flashrom works best on Linux. If you are insistent on building from source on Windows you will require Cygwin/MinGW to do so. Trust me, use Linux. Flashrom will not be installed by default. To install flashrom, open a terminal and type "sudo apt install flashrom" (if on Ubuntu or Debian). Flashrom has not currently made it into the latest release of Ubuntu. As such you must manually download it and install it.
 
If you are using flashrom on Windows, the process is the same from step two down.
 
Download flashrom for your architecture from here
 
Install flashrom either by double clicking on its deb file in your downloads folder or by using the dpkg -i on it command in the terminal. The dependencies should automatically be pulled in either way.

 

2. Ensure the AC adapter is plugged in

Depending on your programmer, it may or may not power the flash chip. As a precaution, plug in the AC adapter for the 720s but do not turn on the power.

 
3. Removing the rear cover

There are a total of 10 T5 Torx Screws to remove on the rear cover. They are the only screws visible on the outside of the case. All must be removed to access the EEPROM chip.

 
4. Locating the EEPROM (BIOS) chip

The EEPROM Chip is located just above the NVMe slot on the motherboard, below the right fan.

IMG_20180621_142508.jpgEEPROM boxed in RED, your NVMe will have an EMI guard if never removed.
5. Attaching the test clips

The test clips should attach directly to the pins on the EEPROM chip.

 

NOTE: Any commands involving flashrom in the following steps may require prepending "sudo" to them before they will run. Udev will not let libusb read usb devices unless it has the correct permissions to do so. Rather than giving it the right permissions, which is a pain, just use sudo instead. Flashrom will not actually overwrite the contents of your chip unless you explicitly tell it to.

 
6. Ensuring a connection

When running flashrom, you must select the programmer to use by specifiying it with the -p flag. Running flashrom without any options specified will prompt your with this information as well as a list of supported programmers. When you specify the correct programmer, flashrom will then state the model number of your EEPROM chip. If it reads back, no flash chip found, or something similar, then the clips are not attached correctly.

 
7. Backing up your current BIOS

This step is recommended but not necessary. If you wanted to merge your SLIC table into the new BIOS, then this step is mandatory. Run flashrom by specifiying both the programmer with -p as well as the file name to save to with -r. This will backup your current BIOS from the EEPROM chip. There are tools that exist for extracting the SLIC table from it. I will not go into that here.

 
8. Flashing the BIOS

You are now ready to flash the chip with the new BIOS. To do so run flashrom specifying both the programmer with -p and the bios file with -w. Flashrom will first zero out your chip and then write the new BIOS, be patient and do not disconnect the power supply, close flashrom, or disconnect the test clips until it is completed.

 
9. Checking the flash

Unplug the test clips and replace the rear cover on the laptop, only fastening two or so opposing screws to keep the cover on. Power up the laptop. If you are greeted with a Lenovo logo or your desktop then the flash worked and you now have a working system. If you are greeted with a black screen, then the flash failed and you need to try again.

 

Hopefully, you found this helpful. Again, I will state that this is a last-resort option. You should only do this if your warranty is expired or Lenovo denied your warranty claim as this type of fix is likely to void your warranty.

 

I AM NOT A REPRESENTATIVE OF LENOVO IN ANY OFFICIAL OR UNOFFICIAL CAPACITY.

Lenovo 720s 13ARR | MSI GT62VR 7RE | B.S. CS
Coofer
Punch Card
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎06-09-2018
Location: DE
Views: 1,386
Message 2 of 2

Betreff: Lenovo 720s-13ARR Manual Bios Update

Update please

Requirements

You will need the following hardware:

  • Torx T5 Security Screwdriver
  • SOIC 8 Pin Test Clips
  • CH341A 24 25 Series EEPROM Flash BIOS USB Programmer 
  • 1.8V adapter for CH341A

Costs about 20 to 30$ including shipping.

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