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dandreye
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Posts: 37
Registered: ‎09-01-2012
Location: GB
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Message 1 of 5

BIOS chip swapping

Hi All,

 

Apologies for this dilettante's question... While thoroughly preparing for BIOS upgrade in a couple of my X61s laptops I came across a few messages reporting failed attempts leading to bricked PCs needing BIOS chip reprogramming using special equipment, or its replacement. Just wondering if making BIOS chip swappable would have been easy to implement? (i.e. soldering in a socket for the chip into the MB instead of the chip itself)  There'd hardly be any revenue loss for Lenovo anyway as I can't imagine many post-warranty PC owners willing to pay several hundred bucks for the repair (cheaper to buy a used MB) while such feature would undoubtedly please the unfortunate end users who happened to brick their PCs.

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Dmitriy

______________________________________________________________________________________
X1G1 3460-1F4, 2x X61s 7667-34G, X61s 7667-Y24, X61s 7667-WQ8, X61s 7666-34G, X61s 7666-AA5, X60s 1702-W96, T43 2669-YJ6, T42 2373-Q91
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Message 2 of 5

Re: BIOS chip swapping

Hi,

BIOS chip replacement and reprogramming are not unusual services for laptop out of the warranty. And not expencive. Everything you need is compatible chip and SPI programmator ($50...60).

"Bricked laptop" doesn't mean "BIOS chip should be replaced" in any case. Thinkpads allow to fully reprogramm the chip via JTAG, "Golden Finger" interfaces. Also Phoenix BIOS (and others) are capable to boot from external media and reflash almost bricked laptop.

Implementation of swappable BIOS chip at the development stage presently is impossible because of security protection.



x220 • Gobi 2000 3g | hdd, msata ssd, wwan, wifi, gps -- unique hand-made config
ThinkPad 25 Special Anniversary Edition. #retro. Signed by D.Hill
T470p | X1 Carbon Gen3 | Miix 2 10" | Yoga Tablet 2-1050F (Android) + BT Keyboard
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dandreye
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Posts: 37
Registered: ‎09-01-2012
Location: GB
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Message 3 of 5

Re: BIOS chip swapping

x220forMe:

 

Bolshoe spasibo za informatsiu! I didn't realise that that "special equipment" is so cheap. 

 

May I just ask you to point me to some good howto on booting Phoenix BIOS from external media, ideally for ThinkPads? 

 

 

Many thanks!

 

D.

______________________________________________________________________________________
X1G1 3460-1F4, 2x X61s 7667-34G, X61s 7667-Y24, X61s 7667-WQ8, X61s 7666-34G, X61s 7666-AA5, X60s 1702-W96, T43 2669-YJ6, T42 2373-Q91
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Message 4 of 5

Re: BIOS chip swapping

Even transliteration from native language looks nice here. Thanks Smiley Happy

It's one of the biggest "secrets" of laptop manufacturers from end users how to force laptop to boot in such cases. It's a "knowledge" for service companies.

Every vendor realizes such task [bricked laptop boot] in different manner even for different laptop lines. Some IBM/Lenovo laptops can boot up after key combinations release Win+B, Win+R, Fn+B, Fn+R, Fn+Esc, Win+Esc in combination or w/o power button.

But it's not enough for success. You need external media with Phoenix file named "BIOS capsule". When laptop boots into such capsule that one emulates (almost) chip-based BIOS and allows to reflash real BIOS and even to boot into the OS. How to prepare that capsule is another story out of public manuals.

To be honest I offered Lenovo idea to provide for customers like you, who has old but lovely laptops, information just about key combinations and capsule. No responces. I'm not alone, just google "Phoenix capsule", not only for Lenovo laptops.



x220 • Gobi 2000 3g | hdd, msata ssd, wwan, wifi, gps -- unique hand-made config
ThinkPad 25 Special Anniversary Edition. #retro. Signed by D.Hill
T470p | X1 Carbon Gen3 | Miix 2 10" | Yoga Tablet 2-1050F (Android) + BT Keyboard
ThinkPad Stack • 2.4/5 Wireless Router, HDD 1 TB, BT Speaker, Power Bank, Mobile Projector

Do it well, worse becomes itself

Communities:   English    Deutsche    Español    Portugues    Русскоязычное    Česká    Slovenská    Українська   Moto English

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Message 5 of 5

Re: BIOS chip swapping

To be honest, capsule itself is the easiest part for me in this case. Do not spent your time, no problem for help.



x220 • Gobi 2000 3g | hdd, msata ssd, wwan, wifi, gps -- unique hand-made config
ThinkPad 25 Special Anniversary Edition. #retro. Signed by D.Hill
T470p | X1 Carbon Gen3 | Miix 2 10" | Yoga Tablet 2-1050F (Android) + BT Keyboard
ThinkPad Stack • 2.4/5 Wireless Router, HDD 1 TB, BT Speaker, Power Bank, Mobile Projector

Do it well, worse becomes itself

Communities:   English    Deutsche    Español    Portugues    Русскоязычное    Česká    Slovenská    Українська   Moto English

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