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What's DOS?
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-08-2017
Location: SE
Views: 2,242
Message 1 of 4

Thinkpad X1 Carbon Gen4 SD-card boot

Hi all.


I am new to this forum, so I hope I don't break any rules.

I have 2 questions about the Thinkpad X1 Carbon Gen4 for you all;


1. Has anyone here successfully installed an operating system with legacy boot on an SD-card in the card-slot without touching the internal SSD:s boot block, and then be able to actually boot directly from it? In other words making it bootable only if you interrupt the boot sequence and manually choose another boot device.

2. Will the SD-card reader handle the relatively new 256GB capacity microSD-cards? Can anyone confirm? I am aware it can handle the new UHS-II rated low voltage cards, but I am unsure about the maximum storage capacity.


Any input on these matters will be greatly appreciated. I am having a hard time getting answers out of my buddy google on these issues.




Lenovo Technology Partner
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Registered: ‎07-07-2014
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Message 2 of 4

Re: Thinkpad X1 Carbon Gen4 SD-card boot

Hi rosselur, 

I was able to find a post about you first question, but have not tried it yet, maybe when I get home today I'll migrate my Ubuntu to one of my SDcard, or maybe create a win7 recovery disc.

Here's the post :

As for second question, sorry but I have not yet gotten my hands on those kind of SDcard. 

Hope this helps. 


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Community SeniorMod
Community SeniorMod
Posts: 7,127
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Message 3 of 4

Re: Thinkpad X1 Carbon Gen4 SD-card boot

Please keep us posted on how that works out.  I've never heard of a ThinkPad that can boot via the SD card slot.


You can certainly put a bootable image on an SD card and boot it via a USB card reader (I believe...) but I'm fairly sure ThinkPads don't present the card slot as a boot option.


That article linked may work as written for a flash drive in some cases, although I've sometimes had to format a Windows installer NTFS to boot and fully install in legacy mode.  That may have been with a pre-SP1 ISO.


If Win 7 is going to be  booted in UEFI mode it has to be SP1, the flash drive has to be FAT32, and the image has to be modified beyond what the author describes since there's no \efi\boot\boox64.efi file.  In BIOS Secure boot must be turned off and CSM support enabled.



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What's DOS?
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-08-2017
Location: SE
Views: 2,092
Message 4 of 4

Re: Thinkpad X1 Carbon Gen4 SD-card boot

Finally got my hands on a samsung 256gb uhs1 class10 card.

The X1 happily  accepts it in Windows (as it should)

Leaving my bios in boot mode "both", legacy+uefi, latest lts ubuntu at the time of writing will happily partition and install on the sd card, and put grub on it, but the X1 will not recognize it as a boot device. In fact, the ubuntu installation did not even see my uefi boot windows drive during this attempt.

Tried the same procedure with bios boot set to legacy only with the same result.


I am sure a dual boot setup is doable somehow, probably involves reinstalling windows in legacy mode first, but I am no expert at those things.


My goal was to be able to boot Linux from the sd card slot at will entering the boot device selection at startup, leaving the windows ssd drive untouched. This seems impossible with the current bios.


Booting from regular usb is ofcourse possible, i tried it with an adapter, but that's not what I set out to do.


If anyone gets this working with an updated bios in the future, please keep us posted.


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