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Paper Tape
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎07-10-2015
Location: US
Views: 5,362
Message 1 of 3

Need help booting from FreeDOS usb


Edit - my previous question no longer applies.  I have gotten a little further along and since nobody has had a chance to reply yet I figured that I would just edit my post):




I am trying to create a FreeDOS USB stick that will boot my 2014 X1 Carbon.  I am trying to boot it from the USB stick so that I can run the Thinkpad Drive Erase Utility before selling my machine for parts (the keyboard is loosing its mind and randomly sending keystrokes that make it mostly unusable). I do not have access to a Windows machine (the X1 is running Ubuntu).


I have created a bootable USB disk using my Mac that uses the Master Boot Record (mbr) format and has the FreeDOS setup files on it. (AUTOEXEC.BAT, COMMAND.COM, etc.)


The system seems to boot into the USB disk for a moment.  It says something about syslinux (?) and then it just reboots.  It does this endlessly. I am using the Legacy boot (vs. UEFI).  The computer WILL successfully boot into a different USB thumb drive that has Ubuntu on it, so I don't think it is a case of it not being set up to boot from USB.


Can anyone let me know what I might be doing wrong?


Alternatively, is there some other way to reset the cryptographic key and erase the SSD that doesn't involve booting from a FreeDOS USB drive?



Posts: 610
Registered: ‎12-30-2017
Location: PL
Views: 5,331
Message 2 of 3

Re: Need help booting from FreeDOS usb

Just checked it. First of all - download Rufus. Use it to create a bootable FreeDOS media. You don't need to download anything else - Rufus will do it for you.


After it, download floppy version of Thinkpad Drive Erase Utility:


Copy DrvErase.exe to root catalog on your FreeDOS media and reboot your laptop. Go to BIOS and disable Safe Boot. Change boot settings to Both and Legacy first. Then you should be able to boot FreeDOS.


Please check DrvErase.exe manual to learn how to erase your SSD.

Paper Tape
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎07-10-2015
Location: US
Views: 5,294
Message 3 of 3

Re: Need help booting from FreeDOS usb

Thanks for your help! 


Alas that method requires Windows which I don't have (this machine is only running Linux).


I did manage to complete the work though. On a Mac with a DVD drive I downloaded the Lenovo utility to reset the cryptographic key as an ISO. I then burned that to a DVD, and used that in an external drive connected to my ThinkPad.


Thanks again for taking the time to answer my question. I'm going to be getting a Windows machine soon and I'm sure the technique you taught me will come in handy.


I'm going to mark your answer as the solution though, because in any normal circumstance it would have been the right way to do it.

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