Middleton's BIOS

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This short description of Middleton's BIOS was written by Ali.dj, who also archived the files. Many thanks. We've also uploaded Middleton's BIOS to the Internet Archive, so they wouldn't get lost ever again.

Notebookreview.com-forum user 'middleton' created a modified BIOS which enables SATA II, disables the miniPCI Whitelist (allowing you to use any wifi card), and even contains an optional FN-Ctrl swap. Lastly, if you were brave enough to install an IPS SXGA+ screen on a regular X61, 'middleton' has a BIOS mod that enables it.

SATA II Mod: While the X61/T61/R61/X300 possess a SATA II-interface (up to 3.0 GBit/s) they were limited to SATA I (up to 1.5 GBit/s) in the BIOS to maintain compatibility with older drives. Normal hard drives will rarely max out SATA I speeds, but nowadays, SSDs can handle the full 3.0 GBit/s (and more).

Installation

The flasher is an EXE-file which updates the BIOS directly. Note that the BIOS flasher only works on 32-bit versions of Windows. If you use a 64-bit version or another operating system you have to burn the included ISO-file on a CD or DVD and boot from it. The following table shows the supported Thinkpad-models and the corresponding BIOS-update-files:

DISCLAIMER: Use these modified bios at your own risk!

These modified bios have been beta tested to confirm they do not brick the system after flash. However data integrity tests take time and it's up to the user to confirm there is no data loss due to the increased SATA-II interface speed. You will be solely responsible for any damage to your computer system or loss of data that results from flashing or using of the patched BIOS.

Lenovo has never tested or approved these patched bios and doesn't support them. They are provided "as is" without any warranties from Lenovo. These bios-es are completely unofficial releases.

Thinkpad model modfied BIOS file SATA II SLIC 2.1 whitelist removed Thermal sensing CTRL-FN swap
X61, X61s 2.22-1.03 + + + n/a +
X61/X61s SXGA+ 2.22-1.03 + + + n/a +
X61 Tablet 1.25-1.02 + + + n/a +
X300 1.10-1.01 + + + n/a +
T61, T61p, R61 (14.1" widescreen with IEEE 1394): 7732, 7733, 7734, 7735, 7738, 7742, 7744, 7751, 7753, 7754, 7755

R61i (14.1" widescreen with IEEE 1394): 7732, 7742

2.29-1.08 + + + + +
R61 (15" normal screen): 8942, 8943, 8944, 8945, 8947, 8948, 8949

R61i (15" normal screen): 8943

1.24-1.00 + + + n/a +
R61e/R61i (15.4" widescreen without IEEE 1394): 7650 2.23-1.08 + + + + +
R61 (15.4" widescreen): 8930, 8932, 8933, 8934, 8935, 8936, 8937

R61i (15.4" widescreen with IEEE 1394): 8932

2.24-1.08 + + + + +
R61 (14.1" widescreen without IEEE 1394): 7732, 7733, 7734, 7735, 7736, 7737, 7738

R61 (15.4" widescreen): 8914, 8918, 8919, 8920, 8927, 8928, 8929
R61i (15.4" widescreen): 8918

2.29-1.08 + + + + +

last update: 10-12-2012, archived by Ali.dj

SLIC 2.1

Stands for "Software licensing information code" which is a technique used by OEM-computerseller to execute Windows-installations without having to activate it (which is required from Windows XP onwards). SLIC 2.1 is required to use that feature with Windows 7. I don't really need that feature since Windows' product activation doesn't hurt, but especially Windows 7-users without internet-connection (or valid license-key) may appreciate it.

whitelist removed

If you try to use the MiniPCI Express-slot with Non-Lenovo cards you'll get Error 1802 after starting. This fix removes the whitelist so you can use cards of any manufacturer.

Thermal sensing

On a few models with Intel Core 2 Duo "Penryn" CPU the user gets a "Thermal Sensing error" upon starting the system which has to be canceled by pressing Escape. This fix removes the error-message.

CTRL-FN-Swap

You can find the CTRL-key on most notebooks in the bottom left corner of the keyboard. The special function-key (Fn) is on its right side. On Lenovo-notebooks this is interchanged. A lot of user with multiple notebooks don't like this so you can revert the order with this fix. You can choose this by using the other BIOS-update-files (which you find in the ZIP-package). I did it and after getting used to it for a while it is now more pleasant to have the same behaviour on all keyboards.

Acknowledgments

  • nando4 for providing all needed information on SATA-II mod. I knew nothing about this issue in 2010 and didn't plan to make any ThinkPad BIOS mods (except for CTRL-FN swap). It was him who convinced me to solve SATA-II problem. Also he literally forced me to add dual-IDA support (he knows what I'm talking about :)).
    andyp for his BIOS modding tools and other guys from forums.mydigitallife.info for making SLIC 2.1 integration possible.
  • Zender for finding the way of disabling wireless whitelist on ThinkPads. This significantly accelerated the work on the patch (otherwise I would have had to do it myself and it would have taken additional time).
  • Leokim for X61/X61s SXGA+ BIOS.
  • XStoneX for informing me about "Thermal Sensing Error".
    unclewebb for the ThrottleStop utility which makes dual-IDA possible and kizwan for the "EIST Unlocked Example" guide.
  • Brave ThinkPad owners for readiness to test intermediate BIOS versions.

Sources