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conwaytwt
Token Ring
Posts: 126
Registered: ‎01-24-2015
Location: US
Views: 5,335
Message 1 of 5

Updating BIOS on E540 (and probably E440) from linux without Windows

As of 27 February 2015, the .iso file at Lenovo downloads for the E540 has been updated, and the new image seemed to work. I just tested this procedure (gleaned from the ThinkWiki site. Respond to this post letting me know if it works for you. [NOTE even though the update works now, the 2.17 BIOS does NOT fix the Suspend bug.]

 

UPDATE 2: Someone noted if you have a blank CD or DVD you can download the .iso and burn the image using Brasero (without going through all the steps below). Then you can boot your laptop from that disc to update your BIOS. If that works for you, go for it!

 

Here's a procedure that worked for me:

 

1) You need the geteltorito utility. In Ubuntu, it's in the genisoimage package and you might have it already. Verify it's installed using the whereis command. Here's what whereis looks like if you have it:

$ whereis geteltorito
geteltorito: /usr/bin/geteltorito /usr/bin/X11/geteltorito /usr/share/man/man1/geteltorito.1.gz
$ 

 

2) Download the bootable ISO image from the Lenovo web site. (For the 2.17 BIOS image, the file is named "j9uj17wd.iso" and you should be sure you downloaded the file dated 2/26/2015 -- February 26, 2015.)

 

3) Extract the bootable data from the Windows .iso file. Open a terminal and navigate to the directory where you downloaded the file, and extract the raw image from the iso using the geteltorito utility. I copied the image into a new file I named bios217update.img:

$ geteltorito j9uj17wd.iso > bios217update.img

(I wonder why "el torito"? It sounds like a fast food dish.) Smiley Wink

 

4) Insert the USB stick into a USB slot and inspect and prepare it for copying the file. I used the Disks utility in Ubuntu for this. (You could use the parted utility if you prefer to stay in the terminal, or gparted if you prefer it instead of Disks.) At the top of the Disks utility, I noted MY stick was named /dev/sdb and mine had a single FAT partition on it. VERY IMPORTANT: YOURS MAY BE DIFFERENT! VERIFY the /dev/ of YOUR STICK! You don't want to erase important data on your system! If you're not sure, use the disks utility to unmount the partition (by clicking the upward-pointing "eject" symbol), remove the stick, wait a few seconds and insert it again, and watch it appear in the menu again. 

 

5) Delete the existing partition(s) on your USB stick (using Disks or parted or gparted). If you're using Disks, click on the dark rectangle representing the partition on the stick, and then click the "-" (minus) symbol below it. Be CERTAIN you are deleting the partition(s) on the right device! (I know from sad experience you can sometimes recover from a mistake here but it's not easy or pleasant!)

 

6) In the terminal, in the same directory where you extracted "bios217update.img" above, type the following command very carefully [Substitute the correct device for your USB stick. MY /dev/sdX is /dev/sdb ].

$ sudo dd if=bios217update.img of=/dev/sdX bs=512k

 

7) If the command succeeded, dd will report how many megabytes it copied. If it reports an error, figure out what went wrong and try again. [OR if the command seemed to finish REALLY FAST, check to be sure you didn't copy to /dev/sdX. I just did, and sure enough I had a weird /dev/sdX file. I deleted the /dev/sdX file and tried again using the right device and all was OK.] Smiley Wink

 

8) Reboot the laptop with the stick still in the drive, and choose it as your startup device. (On mine I start pressing Enter when I see the Lenovo ThinkPad logos on the screen, and then press F12 when I see the menu. But that' because I can never remember to press F12 to begin with, Plus it's MUCH easier to locate the Enter key on this laptop than the F12 key.) Smiley Tongue

 

9) The laptop will boot from the USB image, and present a short menu of items, including one to update the software on your computer. Press the keys as prompted, and do not turn off or reboot your computer until it finishes. The update process may take 2 or 3 minutes or so.

harr182
Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎08-29-2016
Location: ID
Views: 3,744
Message 2 of 5

Re: Updating BIOS on E540 (and probably E440) from linux without Windows

how if the battery is 0%, still works?

aconn91
Paper Tape
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎08-25-2015
Location: US
Views: 2,605
Message 3 of 5

Re: Updating BIOS on E540 (and probably E440) from linux without Windows

Hello, will this work with BIOS 2.18 as well?

wpyh
What's DOS?
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎04-07-2019
Location: ID
Views: 528
Message 4 of 5

Re: Updating BIOS on E540 (and probably E440) from linux without Windows

Hi, would you like to share this method on ThinkWiki? It would help people looking to update their BIOSes.
conwaytwt
Token Ring
Posts: 126
Registered: ‎01-24-2015
Location: US
Views: 398
Message 5 of 5

Re: Updating BIOS on E540 (and probably E440) from linux without Windows


@wpyh wrote:
Hi, would you like to share this method on ThinkWiki? It would help people looking to update their BIOSes.

Hi... I occasionally look at ThinkWiki.org but I have never been sure my E540 model "fits" there; I remember finding a tiny amount of information, but most of it isn't relevant. As for updating the existing BIOS procedures at ThinkWiki.org, I don't know enough about the models that ARE covered to presume to update the information.

 

If you know more about this and/or can recommend a place on ThinkWiki that covers the E540, please note it here, and I'll see if I can figure out where to put this.

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