How to change the BIOS bootsplash screen

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Revision as of 11:28, 25 November 2004 by Akw (Talk | contribs) (added example image)
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This page describes how to replace the standard IBM BIOS Bootsplash (The one with the Thinkpad- and Pentium M-Logo), without access to Microsoft Windows or a floppy drive.

Getting the Files

You'll need the bios upgrade file from the IBM website.

Method 1: Using a Non-Diskette-File and cabextract

For ThinkPad R50/p, R51 (1829, 1830, 1831, 1836), T40/p, T41/p, T42/p this file is suitable:

There may be a more recent file on the IBM website.

Do this to extract the disk image from the file:

cd /tmp
cabextract -F 1RUJ27US.IMG 1ruj27us.exe
mv 1RUJ27US.IMG floppy.bin

Method 2: Using a Diskette-File and dosemu

Another option is to use the "Diskette BIOS file".
For ThinkPad R50/p, R51 (1829, 1830, 1831, 1836), T40/p, T41/p, T42/p this file is suitable:

The file is an OS/2 executables and don't run with wine, so you need to install dosemu to run it and create the image.

apt-get install dosemu dosemu-freedos

(for non-debian-users: Get dosemu and freedos somewhere and make it work somehow).

With dosemu, you can run this executable, but this program unfortunately needs a floppy drive to write to. So use the loopback device, to create a virtual floppy.

dd if=/dev/zero of=/tmp/floppy.bin bs=1024 count=1440
losetup /dev/loop0 /tmp/floppy.bin

Put this block device (/dev/loop0) into the dosemu configuration as the floppy disk device. Now you can run the extractor executable, which makes /tmp/floppy.bin the desired floppy image.

dosemu 1ruj27ud.exe
losetup -d /dev/loop0

Adding the custom image

Mount your floppy.bin as a loopback device.

mkdir /tmp/mnt
mount -o loop,umask=000 /tmp/floppy.bin /tmp/mnt

Create a 16 color 640x480 BMP (4 Bit/pixel) (for example with Gimp) and save it to /tmp/mnt/logo.bmp. You could use this tux image (logo.bmp, logo.mod) for example.
No prepare the image with prepare.exe using wine: (This does not work with dosemu!)

wine prepare.exe logo.scr

Now there should be a new logo.mod. If so, you are set, don't forget to unmount your loopback device:

umount /tmp/mnt

Fake a floppy

Now you need to put the image on a floppy and boot from it. Since recent Thinkpads don't have a floppy drive, we can use a CD-R (or a CD-RW, actually, for the cheap ones, like me) and burn it with the following command:

mkisofs -b floppy.bin floppy.bin | cdrecord dev=<device> -

(<device> being your cd writer device)

The exciting part

After this worked, reboot your Thinkpad from the cdrom by pressing F12 while booting and wait for the IBM tool to start. Be sure to have your Thinkpad on AC power and say Yes to the questions the BIOS Upgrade Tool asks. It will then flash the BIOS, which will take about a minute.

Suddenly the laptop turns itself off with two beeps. When booting, you'll have your bootsplash picture.

Unfortunately, you won't see it really long, but it's better than the standard one, so it was worth the action.

Have fun!