How to change the BIOS bootsplash screen
Getting the Files
You'll need the bios upgrade file from the IBM website.
Method 1: Using a Non-Diskette-File and cabextract
There may be a more recent file on the IBM website.
Last version at 2006-01-04 :
- 1ruj33us.exe Released 2005-10-25 NEW!
You need the cabextract tool to extract files from the exe:
# apt-get install cabextract
Do this to get the ibm file and extract the disk image from it:
# cd /tmp
# wget ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/pc/pccbbs/mobiles/1ruj30us.exe
# cabextract -F *.IMG 1ruj30us.exe
# mv 1RUJ30US.IMG floppy.bin
Method 2: Using a Diskette-File and dosemu
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
For 2.6.12+ if you have dosemu error:
# echo 0 > /proc/sys/kernel/randomize_va_space
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.
When creating your image, keep in mind that on the T43p (and others??), regardless of your custom bootsplash screen there will be a superimposed black "Centrino" logo (~100x100 pixels) on the upper right of your display, so you might want to keep that area clear. You might also want to reserve the bottom 150 pixels for the "boot options" / "Entering BIOS setup" message(s) too, which will also be displayed.
Now prepare the image with prepare.exe using wine: (This does not work with dosemu!)
# wine prepare.exe logo.scr
The image must compress to <10k. If you receive an error, you can try reducing the number of colors in your image palette (step down to an 12 or 8 color palette for a very significant reduction in image size.) When successful, there should be a new logo.mod and your logo.bmp. 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.
BTW next time you have to flash the BIOS the IBM BIOS updater will detect a custom boot splash and ask you if you want to preserve it or restore the original.