Talk:BIOS Upgrade

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Revision as of 20:27, 15 October 2005 by Pebolle (Talk | contribs) (Reorganization suggestion)

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I have disabled the hidden partition to make more space for linux (24G). I still have Windows on the 14G partition. Is it safe to upgrade the BIOS without the hidden partition? I want to get a newer BIOS to fix the annoying fan issue. Thanks

- yes don't worry about it. bios upgrades have nothing to do with whats inside the harddrive.

BIOS upgrade over PXE


I have a Thinkpad X20 with a very early BIOS and Embedded Controller Program which I'd like to update. Currently, the only feasible way of doing this is over the network using PXE. I already have a fully functional PXE server using SYSLINUX, and have so far been able to boot the BIOS diskette image using MEMDISK, although I have not attempted to flash anything yet due to the warnings given on the page. Is there any safe way I can update both the Controller Program and the BIOS in the same session over the network in this manner? If not, what other methods would be suitable? I have a USB CD-ROM drive and could probably get hold of a USB floppy drive.


Update: I ended up burning CDs as described and successfully updated everything. I'd still like to know if there is a way I could do it entirely over the network, though.

RE: grub initrd

"Another possibility which works even without a CD-drive or network is to boot the disk image via the grub initrd mechanism."

0) Interesting suggestion. Might be better of in its own section.

1) Could you please elaborate?

2) My first guess (pending your elaboration) would be to "chainload" the first block of the diskimage using the grub commandline, like:

  blocklist (path)/to/diskimage
  chainloader blockvalue+1

But that's just a guess!

Paul Bolle Fri Jul 15 12:20:47 CEST 2005

bios/controller update sequence

The article says: "If you go through the readme's on the IBM site they'll cleary state that you must update the Control Program first, then imediately update the BIOS"

When I look at the IBM udpate instructions for the T23, it says: "If you need to update the BIOS as well as the Embedded Controller Program, update the BIOS first."


I would first contact IBM for clarification, but you should probably be following instructions specific to your model.

Firmware upgrade for Intel minipci combo card

I just purchased an Intel 10/100 Ethernet Mini-PCI Adapter with 56K Modem that has an ancient (2.0.6) firmware version. I Downloaded the update file intlbtag.EXE but cabextract was unable to find any cabfiles inside it. I tried running the program via wine and that didn't work either.

Finally I ran the program on a windows machine and created a boot floppy. Then I went through the the process of converting the floppy to a bootable cd via linux and that worked like a charm. The cd successfully updated the minipc card's firmware.

Everything worked but I ended up needing a windows box to do it. Could this have been done without windows?

Firmware upgrade for Wireless LAN MiniPCI COMBO Card using prism2_srec

The appropriate firmware installation program for the wlan card in my R32 can be extracted using cabextract as described in the article. It contains (besides some installation programs) a disk image (1awg06ww.IMG) that seems to be a simple dos boot disk. This image contains 3 .hex files (id010001.hex, pk010100.hex, sf010402.hex) that are recognized by prism2_srec to be "srec"-files. Trying to load them to RAM yields:

   # prism2_srec -v -r wlan0 sf010402.hex
   S3 CRC-16 generation record: start=0x007E1800 len=65642 prog=1
   Start address 0x00000000
   srec summary for sf010402.hex
   Component: 0x001f 1.4.2 (station firmware)
   Interface compatibility information:
   role=Supplier variant=2 range=1-9 iface=Station Firmware-Driver (4)
   role=Actor    variant=1 range=1-1 iface=Modem-Firmware (1)
   role=Actor    variant=2 range=1-1 iface=Controller-Firmware (2)
   role=Actor    variant=1 range=4-4 iface=Primary Firmware-Driver (3)
   Wireless LAN card information:
   NICID: 0x8013 v1.0.0
   PRIID: 0x0015 v1.0.7
   STAID: 0x001f v1.3.6
   Interface compatibility information:
   PRI role=Supplier variant=1 range=1-1 iface=Modem-Firmware (1)
   PRI role=Supplier variant=2 range=1-1 iface=Controller-Firmware (2)
   PRI role=Supplier variant=1 range=4-4 iface=Primary Firmware-Driver (3)
   STA role=Supplier variant=1 range=1-9 iface=Station Firmware-Driver (4)
   PRI role=Actor    variant=2 range=1-1 iface=Controller-Firmware (2)
   STA role=Actor    variant=2 range=1-1 iface=Controller-Firmware (2)
   STA role=Actor    variant=1 range=1-1 iface=Modem-Firmware (1)
   This image is not meant to be downloaded to volatile memory.
   Incompatible update data.

Has anyone tried to flash this device using prism2_srec yet? What bothers me is, that the upgrade is for many different parts of the combo card. Does anyone have an opinion on whether this could work?

OK, I took the risk and successfully upgraded my station firmware, BUT when I tried to upgrade the primary firmware the system froze!!! The thinkpad won't start up with the miniPCI card inserted and all efforts to reflash it using the original DOS boot image failed!!!

I'm quite sure the system freeze was not caused directly by prism2_srec, because I have noticed rare system freezes since I have been using my PCMCIA wireless card. Anyway, if anyone should own a TP R32, I'd be glad if he could tell me the base address of the Wlan card, or it's PCI address.

Reorganization suggestion

The Downloads section is rather long. Would it be an idea to put it on a separate, new page (say: BIOS_Downloads) and link to that new page from this page?

Paul Bolle 21:27, 15 Oct 2005 (CEST)