BIOS Upgrade/X Series

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X Series Thinkpads do not have an internal drive. If there is no Windows installed, the BIOS must be updated by booting from an USB drive or a drive that is integrated in the docking station. Since a while Lenovo provides BIOS updates in form of bootable CD images. Unfortunately, these images are intended to be used with the docking station's CD drive. If you do not own such a drive, things get complicated.

The problem is that current BIOS updates are quite large, about 3 MB in size. Booting from CDs typically works like booting from a 1.44 MB or 2.88 MB floppy disk. The floppy image is stored on the CD and is referenced in the CD's boot record. Because the BIOS update file are that large, they do not fit on such a floppy image. Thus, they must be stored on the CD outside the virtual floppy image. To access these files a driver for the CD drive has to be loaded. Since Lenovo's CD images are intended to be used with a docking station's CD drive, it is not possible to use them for BIOS updates by booting from an USB CD drive.

Another problem is that older X Series (like the X32) don't have bootable iso images at all. They have only two options: 1. update from Windows, 2. update using a diskette updater, which requires you to have a real floppy disk drive.

But there is hope. This page describes some approaches to solve the problems above.

Approach 1: Use larger boot image and create virtual CD drive

The CD images provided by Lenovo can be modified such that a BIOS update is possible -- without loading any drivers. I (Joachim Selke) successfully updated my Thinkpad X60s using the following method.

My first idea was to take Lenovo's ISO CD image and modify it such that a USB CD drive can be used instead the CD drive in the docking station. Unfortunately, simply replacing the drivers is not enough. While doing the BIOS update, the USB ports seem to get disabled or something like that. To circumvent this problem I tried to create a RAM disk, copy the needed files to this RAM disk, and then use this RAM disk as some kind of virtual CD drive. However, there were some problems with this approach as reported below. For a description of this old approach see the section "Approach 2: Load an USB driver, create RAM disk and copy the files to the RAM disk" below. I developed a new approach to solve this problem and will describe it here.

The idea is to create a new bootable ISO image that is large enough to hold the original ISO file. This can be done by switching from the virtual floppy drive used by Lenovo's update disk to a virtual hard disk drive (for details, see the El Torito standard). Instead of loading the CD drive driver provided by Lenovo we load the [SHSUCD drivers]. This driver enables us to create a virtual CD drive from Lenovo's original ISO file.

I wrote a script to automate this steps and create a new ISO file from Lenovo's ISO file. This new ISO file can directly be used to update the BIOS. My script takes four arguments:

  1. the filename of Lenovo's original ISO file (e.g. /home/selke/Desktop/7buj23uc.iso)
  2. the filename of the new ISO file to be created (e.g. /home/selke/Desktop/out.iso)
  3. the location of shsucdrd.exe (e.g. /home/selke/Desktop/shsucdrd.exe
  4. the location of shsucdx.com (e.g. /home/selke/Desktop/shsucdx.com

Both shsucdrd.exe and shsucdx.com can be downloaded from [1].

To sum up, an example call of the script would be convertlenovo.sh /home/selke/Desktop/7buj23uc.iso /home/selke/Desktop/out.iso /home/selke/Desktop/shsucdrd.exe /home/selke/Desktop/shsucdx.com

Note that you need recent versions of the following tools:

  • mkdosfs (for Fedora users: contained in the package dosfstools)
  • mkisofs

The script runs perfectly on my Fedora 8 system (it should also run without problems on Fedora 7 and other popular distributions). If there are problems, please tell me (Joachim Selke).

Further note that the script at some point requires you to enter the root password since it must mount a disk image. As far as I know, this cannot be done without root privileges.

What does the script do? I will give a short overview:

  1. Extract the boot floppy image from Lenovo's bootable ISO file.
  2. Create a new boot hard disk image and copy both the boot sector and the files from Lenovo's boot floppy image to the new image.
  3. Copy Lenovo's ISO image to the new hard disk image.
  4. Also copy the SHSUCD drivers to the hard disk and change autoexec.bat and config.sys accordingly. When booting this hard disk image a new virtual CD drive will be created by SHSUCD. This virtual CD drive will have Lenovo's original ISO disc "inserted."
  5. Create a new ISO file that only consists of the boot image given by the bootable hard disk image just created.

Here is the complete script (save it as convertlenovo.sh):

#!/bin/bash

# Written by Joachim Selke (mail@joachim-selke.de), 2007-12-28

# Known bugs:
# - spaces in file names make trouble at the moment (so try to avoid spaces),
#   I will fix that later
# - some users seem to have problems with some of the sed statements,
#   I currently have no idea what is wrong there ... (please report those bugs)

CDIMAGE=$1       # location of Lenovo's CD image
NEWCDIMAGE=$2    # filename of ISO file to create
SHSUCDRD_EXE=$3  # location of shsucdrd.exe
SHSUCDX_COM=$4   # location of shsucdx.com

MB_HDD=50  # HDD image size in megabyte (base 1000)

TMPDIR=`mktemp -d`
ISODIR=`mktemp -d`

HDDIMG=$ISODIR/hdd.img  # filename of HDD image to create
FLOPPYIMG=$TMPDIR/floppy.img # filename of floppy image to create

##############################################################################

# This script extracts the floopy boot image from bootable ISO images
#
# Written by Joachim Selke (mail@joachim-selke.de), 2007-04-07

ISOFILE=$CDIMAGE
IMAGEFILE=$FLOPPYIMG

if [ ! -r $ISOFILE ]; then
        echo $ISOFILE: file does not exist or is not readable
        exit 1
fi

if [ -z $IMAGEFILE ]; then
        echo Error: no image file specified
        exit 1
fi

ISOFILESIZE=`stat -c %s $ISOFILE`

# collect El Torito data
# see http://www.phoenix.com/NR/rdonlyres/98D3219C-9CC9-4DF5-B496-A286D893E36A/0/specscdrom.pdf for reference

BOOTCATALOGPOINTERBYTE=$((17 * 0x800 + 0x47))

if [ $ISOFILESIZE -lt $(($BOOTCATALOGPOINTERBYTE + 4)) ]; then
        echo ISO file is too short, possibly damaged
        exit 1
fi

# absolute pointer to first sector of boot catalog:
BOOTCATALOG=`od -A n -t x4 -N 4 -j $BOOTCATALOGPOINTERBYTE $ISOFILE | tr -d [:blank:]`

BOOTCATALOGBYTE=$((0x$BOOTCATALOG * 0x800))

echo Boot catalog starts at byte $BOOTCATALOGBYTE

if [ $ISOFILESIZE -lt $(($BOOTCATALOGBYTE + 32 + 2)) ]; then
        echo ISO file is too short, possibly damaged
        exit 1
fi

# media type of boot image
# only floppy disk images are supported by this script
BOOTMEDIATYPE=`od -A n -t x1 -N 1 -j $(($BOOTCATALOGBYTE + 32 + 1)) $ISOFILE | tr -d [:blank:]`

if [ $BOOTMEDIATYPE -eq 1 ]; then
        echo Boot media type is 1.2M floppy disk
        IMAGEBLOCKS=$((1200 / 2))
elif [ $BOOTMEDIATYPE -eq 2 ]; then
        echo Boot media type is 1.44M floppy disk
        IMAGEBLOCKS=$((1440 / 2))
elif [ $BOOTMEDIATYPE -eq 3 ]; then
        echo Boot media type is 2.88M floppy disk
        IMAGEBLOCKS=$((2880 / 2))
else
        echo Boot media type is $((0x$BOOTMEDIATYPE)). This type is not supported yet.
        exit 1
fi

# absolute pointer to start of boot image
BOOTIMAGE=`od -A n -t x4 -N 4 -j $(($BOOTCATALOGBYTE + 32 + 8)) $ISOFILE | tr -d [:blank:]`

BOOTIMAGEBYTE=$((0x$BOOTIMAGE * 0x800))

echo Boot image starts at byte $BOOTIMAGEBYTE

if [ $ISOFILESIZE -lt $((0x$BOOTIMAGE * 0x800 + $IMAGEBLOCKS * 0x800)) ]; then
        echo ISO file is too short, possibly damaged
        exit 1
fi

echo Extracting boot image ...

dd if=$ISOFILE of=$IMAGEFILE bs=2K count=$IMAGEBLOCKS skip=$((0x$BOOTIMAGE))

echo Finished

##############################################################################

NO_HEA=16    # heads
NO_SECT=63   # sectors per cylinder/track
B_SECT=512   # bytes per sector

B_CYL=$(($NO_HEA * $NO_SECT * $B_SECT))  # bytes per cylinder/track

NO_CYL=$(($MB_HDD * 1000 * 1000 / $B_CYL))  # cylinders/tracks per head

echo -n -e "Cylinders: $NO_CYL\nHeads: $NO_HEA\nSectors per track: $NO_SECT\nBytes per sector: $B_SECT\n"

echo Creating empty image ...
dd if=/dev/zero of=$HDDIMG bs=$B_CYL count=$NO_CYL >/dev/null 2>&1

echo Creating partition structure ...
echo -n -e "o\n n\n p\n 1\n \n \n t\n 6\n a\n 1\n w\n" | /sbin/fdisk -b $B_SECT -C $NO_CYL -H $NO_HEA -S $NO_SECT $HDDIMG >/dev/null 2>&1

echo Writing master boot record ...
echo -n -e "\
\xFA\xB8\x00\x10\x8E\xD0\xBC\x00\xB0\xB8\x00\x00\x8E\xD8\x8E\xC0\
\xFB\xBE\x00\x7C\xBF\x00\x06\xB9\x00\x02\xF3\xA4\xEA\x21\x06\x00\
\x00\xBE\xBE\x07\x38\x04\x75\x0B\x83\xC6\x10\x81\xFE\xFE\x07\x75\
\xF3\xEB\x16\xB4\x02\xB0\x01\xBB\x00\x7C\xB2\x80\x8A\x74\x01\x8B\
\x4C\x02\xCD\x13\xEA\x00\x7C\x00\x00\xEB\xFE\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\
\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\
\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\
\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\
\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\
\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\
\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\
\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\
\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\
\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\
\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\
\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\
\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\
\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\
\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\
\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\
\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\
\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\
\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\
\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\
\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\
\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\
\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\
\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x00\x52\xF9\x06\x00\x00\x00\
" | dd of=$HDDIMG bs=1 conv=notrunc >/dev/null 2>&1

echo Creating primary partition ...
# extract partition, create FAT16 filesystem and copy back
PARTFILE=${HDDIMG}-PARTITION
SECT_PARTTABLE=$NO_SECT
B_PARTTABLE=$(($SECT_PARTTABLE * $B_SECT))
dd if=$HDDIMG of=$PARTFILE bs=$B_SECT skip=$SECT_PARTTABLE >/dev/null 2>&1
/sbin/mkdosfs -F 16 -h $NO_SECT $PARTFILE
# Correct physical drive number (set to 0x00, should be 0x80)
echo -n -e "\x80" | dd of=$PARTFILE bs=1 seek=36 conv=notrunc >/dev/null 2>&1
# Correct sectors per track (set to 0x0020, should be $NO_SECT)
NO_SECT_HEX1=$(echo "ibase=10; obase=16; $(($NO_SECT / 256))" | bc)
NO_SECT_HEX2=$(echo "ibase=10; obase=16; $(($NO_SECT % 256))" | bc)
NO_SECT_HEX=$(echo -n -e "\\x$NO_SECT_HEX2\\x$NO_SECT_HEX1")
echo -n -e $NO_SECT_HEX | dd of=$PARTFILE bs=1 seek=24 conv=notrunc >/dev/null 2>&1
dd if=$PARTFILE of=$HDDIMG bs=$B_SECT seek=$SECT_PARTTABLE >/dev/null 2>&1
rm -f $PARTFILE

# transfer floppy boot sector code
B_BOOTSECPARAM=62                            # length of parameter block in boot sector
B_BOOTSECCODE=$(($B_SECT - B_BOOTSECPARAM))  # length of code block in boot sector
echo Copying boot sector ...
dd if=$FLOPPYIMG of=$HDDIMG bs=1 count=$B_BOOTSECCODE skip=$B_BOOTSECPARAM seek=$(($B_PARTTABLE + $B_BOOTSECPARAM)) conv=notrunc >/dev/null 2>&1

echo Copying DOS files ...
CDIMAGE_BASENAME=$(basename $CDIMAGE)
HDDDIR=$TMPDIR/hdd
FLOPPYDIR=$TMPDIR/floppy
su --command="\
  mkdir $HDDDIR;\
  mkdir $FLOPPYDIR;\
  mount -oloop $FLOPPYIMG $FLOPPYDIR;\
  mount -t msdos -oloop,offset=$(($SECT_PARTTABLE * $B_SECT)) $HDDIMG $HDDDIR;\
  cp --preserve $FLOPPYDIR/ibmbio.com $HDDDIR;\
  cp --preserve $FLOPPYDIR/ibmdos.com $HDDDIR;\
  cp --preserve -u $FLOPPYDIR/* $HDDDIR;\
  cp --preserve=timestamps $CDIMAGE $HDDDIR;\
  cp --preserve=timestamps $SHSUCDRD_EXE $HDDDIR;\
  cp --preserve=timestamps $SHSUCDX_COM $HDDDIR;\
  cat $FLOPPYDIR/config.sys | \
    sed -e 's/A:\\\/C:\\\/' | \
    grep -v IBMTPCD.SYS >$HDDDIR/config.sys;\
  cat $FLOPPYDIR/autoexec.bat | \
    sed -e 's/LOADHIGH MSCDEX.EXE \/D:TPCD001/shsucdrd.exe \/f:$CDIMAGE_BASENAME\r\nshsucdx.com \/d:SHSU-CDR,R/' >$HDDDIR/autoexec.bat;\
  umount $FLOPPYDIR;\
  umount $HDDDIR;\
  rm -rf $FLOPPYDIR;\
  rm -rf $HDDDIR"

echo Creating ISO image ...
mkisofs -input-charset default -hard-disk-boot -b $(basename $HDDIMG) -hide boot.cat -hide $(basename $HDDIMG) -o $NEWCDIMAGE $ISODIR

rm -rf $TMPDIR
rm -rf $ISODIR

echo Completed!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. :-)

BTW: It would be much simpler if I simply could put the new ISO images for download somewhere. But I guess for legal reasons this will not be possible.

Approach 2: Load an USB driver, create RAM disk and copy the files to the RAM disk

I ( Joachim Selke) successfully updated my Thinkpad X60s using the following method.

My first idea was to take Lenovo's ISO CD image and modify it such that a USB CD drive can be used instead the CD drive in the docking station. Unfortunately, simply replacing the drivers is not enough. While doing the BIOS update, the USB ports seem to get disabled or something like that. To circumvent this problem I tried to create a RAM disk, copy the needed files to this RAM disk, and then use this RAM disk as some kind of virtual CD drive. However, there were some problems with this approach as reported below.

  1. Download the ISO image style BIOS update from Lenovo's website. This file will be refered to as /tmp/bios-lenovo.iso.
  2. Extract the floppy image from this ISO image. You can use the following shell script for this task (or an alternative one from [2]). Simply save this code into the file /tmp/extractbootimage.sh, set the x-flag (chmod +x /tmp/extractbootimage.sh) and call it using the command /tmp/extractbootimage.sh /tmp/bios-lenovo.iso /tmp/bios-lenovo.img. The floppy image contained in the ISO image will then be saved to /tmp/bios-lenovo.img. Here is the code of the shell script:
    #!/bin/bash
    
    # This script extracts the floopy boot image from bootable ISO images
    #
    # Written by Joachim Selke (mail@joachim-selke.de), 2007-04-07
    
    ISOFILE=$1
    IMAGEFILE=$2
    
    if [ ! -r $ISOFILE ]; then
            echo $ISOFILE: file does not exist or is not readable
            exit 1
    fi
    
    if [ -z $IMAGEFILE ]; then
            echo Error: no image file specified
            exit 1
    fi
    
    ISOFILESIZE=`stat -c %s $ISOFILE`
    
    # collect El Torito data
    # see http://www.phoenix.com/NR/rdonlyres/98D3219C-9CC9-4DF5-B496-A286D893E36A/0/specscdrom.pdf for reference
    
    BOOTCATALOGPOINTERBYTE=$((17 * 0x800 + 0x47))
    
    if [ $ISOFILESIZE -lt $(($BOOTCATALOGPOINTERBYTE + 4)) ]; then
            echo ISO file is too short, possibly damaged
            exit 1
    fi
    
    # absolute pointer to first sector of boot catalog:
    BOOTCATALOG=`od -A n -t x4 -N 4 -j $BOOTCATALOGPOINTERBYTE $ISOFILE | tr -d [:blank:]`
    
    BOOTCATALOGBYTE=$((0x$BOOTCATALOG * 0x800))
    
    echo Boot catalog starts at byte $BOOTCATALOGBYTE
    
    if [ $ISOFILESIZE -lt $(($BOOTCATALOGBYTE + 32 + 2)) ]; then
            echo ISO file is too short, possibly damaged
            exit 1
    fi
    
    # media type of boot image
    # only floppy disk images are supported by this script
    BOOTMEDIATYPE=`od -A n -t x1 -N 1 -j $(($BOOTCATALOGBYTE + 32 + 1)) $ISOFILE | tr -d [:blank:]`
    
    if [ $BOOTMEDIATYPE -eq 1 ]; then
            echo Boot media type is 1.2M floppy disk
            IMAGEBLOCKS=$((1200 / 2))
    elif [ $BOOTMEDIATYPE -eq 2 ]; then
            echo Boot media type is 1.44M floppy disk
            IMAGEBLOCKS=$((1440 / 2))
    elif [ $BOOTMEDIATYPE -eq 3 ]; then
            echo Boot media type is 2.88M floppy disk
            IMAGEBLOCKS=$((2880 / 2))
    else
            echo Boot media type is $((0x$BOOTMEDIATYPE)). This type is not supported yet.
            exit 1
    fi
    
    # absolute pointer to start of boot image
    BOOTIMAGE=`od -A n -t x4 -N 4 -j $(($BOOTCATALOGBYTE + 32 + 8)) $ISOFILE | tr -d [:blank:]`
    
    BOOTIMAGEBYTE=$((0x$BOOTIMAGE * 0x800))
    
    echo Boot image starts at byte $BOOTIMAGEBYTE
    
    if [ $ISOFILESIZE -lt $((0x$BOOTIMAGE * 0x800 + $IMAGEBLOCKS * 0x800)) ]; then
            echo ISO file is too short, possibly damaged
            exit 1
    fi
    
    echo Extracting boot image ...
    
    dd if=$ISOFILE of=$IMAGEFILE bs=2K count=$IMAGEBLOCKS skip=$((0x$BOOTIMAGE))
    
    echo Finished
    
  3. Mount the floppy image as root using the loop device:
    # mkdir /tmp/bios-lenovo.img-mnt
    # mount -o loop /tmp/bios-lenovo.img /tmp/bios-lenovo.img-mnt
    The image is now mounted as /tmp/bios-lenovo.img-mnt.
  4. Download needed drivers. First download some USB drivers from Panasonic Japan. Save the file to /tmp/f2h_usb.exe This file is a self-extracting EXE file, that can be executed under Linux using Wine:
    $ wine /tmp/f2h_usb.exe
    You will be asked where to save the extracted files. Choose /tmp. A new directory /tmp/F2h containing the needed drivers will be created. Additionally, you will need drivers for the RAM disk mentioned. Download them from the ReSizeable RAMDisk project. Unzip them to /tmp/srdisk.
  5. Let's modify the floppy image:
    $ cp /tmp/F2h/Usbaspi.sys /tmp/bios-lenovo.img-mnt/
    $ cp /tmp/F2h/USBCD.SYS /tmp/bios-lenovo.img-mnt/
    $ cp /tmp/F2h/RAMFD.SYS /tmp/bios-lenovo.img-mnt/
    $ cp /tmp/srdisk/srdxms.sys /tmp/bios-lenovo.img-mnt/
    $ cp /tmp/srdisk/srdisk.exe /tmp/bios-lenovo.img-mnt/
    Now add the following lines to /tmp/bios-lenovo.img-mnt/config.sys replacing the line DEVICE = A:\IBMTPCD.SYS /R /C:
    DEVICE = A:\SRDXMS.SYS
    DEVICE = A:\RAMFD.SYS
    DEVICE = A:\USBASPI.SYS /V
    DEVICE = A:\USBCD.SYS /D:TPCD001
    

    Finally, edit the file /tmp/bios-lenovo.img-mnt/autoexec.bat replacing the last line (saying COMMAND.COM) by the following:

    A:\SRDISK 10000
    COPY *.* D:
    D:
    COMMAND.COM
    

    Maybe the RAM disk gets a drive letter different from D: on your system. In this case, you have to change the above lines accordingly.

  6. Unmount the floppy image (as root):
    # umount /tmp/bios-lenovo.img-mnt
  7. Copy the content of the original CD image to a new directory and create a new ISO file:
    # mkdir /tmp/bios-lenovo.iso-mnt
    # mount -o loop /tmp/bios-lenovo.iso /tmp/bios-lenovo.iso-mnt
    $ mkdir /tmp/bios-new.iso-mnt
    $ cp /tmp/bios-lenovo.iso-mnt/* /tmp/bios-new.iso-mnt
    $ cp /tmp/bios-lenovo.img /tmp/bios-new.iso-mnt/boot.img
    # umount /tmp/bios-lenovo.iso-mnt
    $ mkisofs -relaxed-filenames -b boot.img -o /tmp/bios-new.iso /tmp/bios-new.iso-mnt/
  8. The file /tmp/bios-new.iso is the modified ISO file. Just burn it to CD and use this CD for updating your BIOS (boot from it using your USB drive). Please give some comments here if it worked for you.


Comments on Approach 2

  • I have followed your excellent instructions. The CD booted, the update program ran but stopped working and responding while updating. Luckily the BIOS was not destroyed. Since destroying the BIOS is a very high risk, I am going to recover the original Windows on an old HD and will run the update exe update program from there.
  • I followed these clear instructions, and like the comment above I ended up with a CD that booted but the update program stopped working and responding. An ALT-CTRL-DELETE rebooted my x60s, and it works so the BIOS must not have been damaged. I was trying to upgrade from version 2.08 to 2.11, I wonder if these instructions are somehow particular to certain versions? Latch 01:22, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
  • After following the above instructions, the program also stopped working while updating the BIOS. But after changing the drive letter from D: to C: (see code below), it everything worked fine. However, I had some trouble figuring out, which letter to choose over D: at first, as the BIOS Upgrade program started right away.
    A:\SRDISK 10000
    COPY *.* C:
    C:
    COMMAND.COM
    

    Mtx, 1 August 2007, Thinkpad X61s

  • Flashing the bios (2.12) works for me on a X60s (using drive c). Using the DVD-R on an USB-Hub did not work.
    Ra 00:15, 21 August 2007 (UTC)


Approach 3: Alternative method using a USB stick

Note: none of the above methods worked on my X60s. This method worked for me, however. PhilipPaeps 16:41, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

This method was surprisingly painless once I convinced my ThinkPad X60s to boot DOS from a USB stick. I used VMWare and some mystical tool to get DOS on the stick. If you can find another way to get a bootable DOS stick, please update this section!

  • Tell VMWare to create a virtual floppy image for you and format it under Microsoft Windows and tell it to create a system disk. You can do this by clicking into "My Computer", then right-clicking on the "Floppy" icon and selecting "Format". In the box that pops up, you need to check the box that says "Create an MS-DOS startup disk" and then click "Start".
  • In a command prompt again: C:\DriveKey\HPUSBF.EXE E: -Q -B:A:\, replacing the E: with the "drive letter" associated with your USB stick (you can find this letter in "My Computer" under "Removable Storage"). WARNING: this wipes anything on the USB stick. You will end up with a USB stick which appears empty at this point, but there is DOS on it somewhere.
  • Now mount the BIOS update ISO image from Lenovo as a virtual CDROM using VMWare again and copy the files from it to the USB stick: copy D:\*.* E:\.

At this point, you may want to fiddle with the splash image, as described elsewhere on ThinkWiki.

  • Reboot and press F12, tell the BIOS to boot from your USB stick.
  • cd flash ; updtflsh.exe

Think happy thoughts. The ThinkPad will beep quite ominously (and loudly!) a couple of times. Do not let this worry you too much. After about three minutes, the program will ask you to press enter to restart and hopefully all will be well.

Approach 4: Alternative method to the above "alternative method"

This is based on the above "Alternative Method" and works on my X60.

1. Download the BIOS Update iso image and the USB Stick Formatter.

2. Now get access to Windows -- be it in an emulator, or a colleague's PC. Steps 3, 4, 5 needs Windows to complete.

3. Install the HP USB Stick Formatter.

4. Go to the directory where you installed the tool: e.g. C:\DriveKey and extract HPUSBF.EXE to HPUSBF\ (using WinRAR).

5. Run the HPUSBFW utility, selecting the location of system files as C:\DriveKey\HPUSBF, and format the USB stick.

6. Extract the iso image to the USB stick, for example to K:\7buj22us (K: being the USB stick).

7. On the target computer, boot with the USB stick and issue the commands "cd 7buj22us" then "command.com"

This brings up the BIOS flash interface and you can update your BIOS from here.

Approach 5: Using a USB stick to upgrade BIOS on older X Series Thinkpads

This method has been successfully applied for upgrading an X32 Thinkpad. The previous BIOS version was 3.00d, and it was upgraded to 3.02 . Below are the steps:

1. Download the new BIOS and EC Diskette-type upgrades.

2. Make a DOS-bootable USB stick. See the section above for instructions on how to do this.

3. Copy the upgrade programs to the USB stick.

4. Make two zero-files (using dd), each with the size of a floppy disk.

5. Boot up the USB stick using QEMU, with the USB stick as hda, and the two floppy disk images as A: and B: .

6. Run the BIOS upgrade program, and select the first diskette as its destination. This will not actually upgrade the BIOS; it will only fill up the disk image.

7. Run the EC upgrade program, with the second diskette as target. Again, this will only fill up the disk image, not upgrade the EC.

8. Make two directories, C:\1 and C:\2 .

9. Copy the contents of the first diskette to C:\1 and the second diskette to C:\2 .

10. Exit QEMU, use the USB stick to boot the Thinkpad which BIOS we are going to upgrade.

11. cd into C:\1 and run command.com inside it. This will bring up the BIOS update interface, so update the BIOS.

12. After updating the BIOS, the machine will turn off by itself. Now boot again, with the same USB stick.

13. cd into C:\2 and run command.com inside it. This will bring up the EC update interface. Update the EC and wait for the machine to shut down completely.

14. Remove the USB stick. Now boot into the machine and go into BIOS setup. Right now you should see the new BIOS and EC version. If not, then something is wrong; make sure you have followed the above steps properly. Please also discuss this.