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Flashing BIOS with no battery

T60/T61 series specific matters only
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FheKodfPdq
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Location: Brunswick, GA

Flashing BIOS with no battery

#1 Post by FheKodfPdq » Sat Dec 28, 2013 4:20 pm

First post here.
I have a T61p on a 64 bit Vista. The battery died ages ago and won't accept a charge (shows up as 0%). I've used it plugged in all the time without the battery put in.
I want to update to an SSD and W8.1. With that I am trying to flash the Middleton BIOS.
Can't update it within Windows since it is 64 bit. I burned it to a DVD and reboot. It returns Code 14 Low Battery.
Without the battery in place it returns a different code and won't flash.
Tried using the HP USB Disk Utility to create a bootable USB but I can't get it to run/don't know the correct command to use after I get in the directory with the ISO.

Is there anything I can do to flash the BIOS?

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Re: Flashing BIOS with no battery

#2 Post by rkawakami » Sat Dec 28, 2013 5:59 pm

Welcome to thinkpads.com!

A little searching on this forum (Google: middleton bios without battery site:forum.thinkpads.com) yields this thread:

http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=103189

which in turn references this post by Middleton at NBR:

http://forum.notebookreview.com/lenovo/ ... ost7558752

Note that you do undertake some risk of bricking the motherboard if you lose power in the middle of the update. My suggestion would be to source a used, but chargeable battery from here in the Marketplace, or from eBay. Barring that, you might be able to borrow one locally for the few minutes it takes to update the BIOS.
Ray Kawakami
X22 X24 X31 X41 X41T X60 X60s X61 X61s X200 X200s X300 X301 Z60m Z61t Z61p 560 560Z 600 600E 600X T21 T22 T23 T41 T60p T410 T420 T520 W500 W520 R50 A21p A22p A31 A31p
NOTE: All links to PC-Doctor software hosted by me are dead. Files removed 8/28/12 by manufacturer's demand.

FheKodfPdq
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Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2013 4:03 pm
Location: Brunswick, GA

Re: Flashing BIOS with no battery

#3 Post by FheKodfPdq » Sat Dec 28, 2013 7:26 pm

Thank you for the welcome and quick reply. Didn't think of using Google to search the forum, just tried using the search function at the top and didn't find much.
I followed this guide to make a flashable USB:
http://forum.notebookreview.com/alienwa ... r-dos.html
I put all the files (ISO plus 32bit folder contents [minus the old flash.bat]) in the root of the USB drive.
Whenever I try to flash it following the instructions in your second source, I get "Bad command or filename - 'PHLASH16'"
You wouldn't happen to know what is happening? I'll make the same post in the thread you referenced as well.

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Re: Flashing BIOS with no battery

#4 Post by rkawakami » Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:26 pm

From the sound of it, there needs to be an executable file (.exe) on the media named PLASH16.EXE. The "Bad command" error typically comes from DOS when it can't find the file it's supposed to run.
Ray Kawakami
X22 X24 X31 X41 X41T X60 X60s X61 X61s X200 X200s X300 X301 Z60m Z61t Z61p 560 560Z 600 600E 600X T21 T22 T23 T41 T60p T410 T420 T520 W500 W520 R50 A21p A22p A31 A31p
NOTE: All links to PC-Doctor software hosted by me are dead. Files removed 8/28/12 by manufacturer's demand.

FheKodfPdq
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Re: Flashing BIOS with no battery

#5 Post by FheKodfPdq » Sat Dec 28, 2013 9:53 pm

This is all the executable files that came in the 32 bit non Ctrl-FN swap folder.
Image

The flash.bat also says this
@echo off
echo Updating BIOS. Please wait...
winuptp.exe /s
echo BIOS flash completed. Reboot your machine now.
pause
Looking at the original method:

1) Windows way:
- Run WinPhlash.exe;
2) DOS way:
PHLASH16 /mode=2 /mb /vcpu /p /s /cs /x /exit /i /vbl $01AF000.FL1

WinPhlash looks like it is used in Windows, PHLASH16 in DOS (which isn't in that list of executables). If I were to substitute WINUPTP.exe in the custom flash.bat, would that brick my motherboard? I don't think the exe required is wininfo or winhlp32. Also WINUPTP requires admin privilege.

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Re: Flashing BIOS with no battery

#6 Post by rkawakami » Sun Dec 29, 2013 4:36 am

That I don't know. I've not attempted this battery bypass before or fiddled around with the executables; I've only applied the Middleton BIOS upgrade on some X61 and X300 systems the "normal" way. I would recommend waiting for an answer at NBR.
Ray Kawakami
X22 X24 X31 X41 X41T X60 X60s X61 X61s X200 X200s X300 X301 Z60m Z61t Z61p 560 560Z 600 600E 600X T21 T22 T23 T41 T60p T410 T420 T520 W500 W520 R50 A21p A22p A31 A31p
NOTE: All links to PC-Doctor software hosted by me are dead. Files removed 8/28/12 by manufacturer's demand.

Tito_V
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Re: Flashing BIOS with no battery

#7 Post by Tito_V » Wed Jun 22, 2016 1:32 pm

I have scanned all these answers without finding out how to flash my X61T rom with the Middleton version. The issue I had is that I had already installed Windows 10 64 bit, and the Middleton ROM Flasher will only work with 32 bit installs. The X61T is a spare that I'm experimenting with, so I just made a wild guess and it seems to have worked.

I made my boot USB following the instructions on this forum:

- Found an old 1GB USB Thumb Drive
- Downloaded the win98boot files and unzipped them into a folder
- Installed and ran the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool in admin mode.
- Formatted USB Flash Drive in FAT[16] as a Boot Drive, pointing it to the folder with the win98boot files.
- Downloaded Middleton's ISO file. (There are a variety for different machines) http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Middleton's_BIOS
- Opened Middleton's ISO file using an archive extractor and just copied the contents of the folder I wanted (not the disk images, in my case) over to the root directory of my newly formatted USB BOOT drive.

HERE'S WHERE WHAT I DID DIFFERENTLY FROM THE SOLUTIONS IN THIS FORUM
- I downloaded phlash16 v1.7.0.21 from https://www.wimsbios.com/phoenixflasher.jsp. This DOS version is essential, since we are working off a DOS boot.
- I copied PHLASH16.EXE to the root directory of the USB BOOT drive
- I opened FLASH.BAT from the USB root directory and changed it as follows:

Code: Select all

@echo off
echo Updating BIOS. Please wait...
PLASH16 $01B6200.FL1    [This starts Phlash16 for Dos and runs the ROM image file, in my case $01B6200.FL1]
echo BIOS flash completed. Reboot your machine now.
pause
- Changed my ROM startup to USB Drive

- Restarted. Boots into DOS.
- At the Command Prompt type "Flash" and enter to run the batch file.
- The system ran the ROM update process
- Let it run the process.
- It will restart, press F1 to enter BIOS. Check version number, if matches to Middleton's BIOS version then you successfully flashed to the modified BIOS.

I make no guarantees. Use this strategy at your own risk. Hope it saves someone the hours of trolling through forums finding hints on possible solutions. My thanks to all those who wrote about this process, including ScaryRaebbit, ThinkWiki, Ahmed Hossan, https://www.bios-mods.com/forum/Thread- ... OS-PHOENIX, and even though I didn't have time to try his method, pcapex.

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Re: Flashing BIOS with no battery

#8 Post by RealBlackStuff » Wed Jun 22, 2016 4:20 pm

Could have saved yourself all that hassle if you had used the ISO from the download, to make a self-booting CD for use with an Ultrabase or external CD-drive.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (the Real Black Stuff). And pigs CAN fly!
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Re: Flashing BIOS with no battery

#9 Post by cadillacmike68 » Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:13 pm

And spent $15 on a cheap battery. The trouble some folks go through to not spend a few $.....
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Re: Flashing BIOS with no battery

#10 Post by RealBlackStuff » Fri Jul 29, 2016 4:03 am

Not to mention that only the BIOS gets updated, and NOT the EC...
Lovely day for a Guinness! (the Real Black Stuff). And pigs CAN fly!
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Re: Flashing BIOS with no battery

#11 Post by Droider » Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:52 pm

Tito_V wrote:
Wed Jun 22, 2016 1:32 pm
I have scanned all these answers without finding out how to flash my X61T rom with the Middleton version. The issue I had is that I had already installed Windows 10 64 bit, and the Middleton ROM Flasher will only work with 32 bit installs. The X61T is a spare that I'm experimenting with, so I just made a wild guess and it seems to have worked.

I made my boot USB following the instructions on this forum:

- Found an old 1GB USB Thumb Drive
- Downloaded the win98boot files and unzipped them into a folder
- Installed and ran the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool in admin mode.
- Formatted USB Flash Drive in FAT[16] as a Boot Drive, pointing it to the folder with the win98boot files.
- Downloaded Middleton's ISO file. (There are a variety for different machines) http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Middleton's_BIOS
- Opened Middleton's ISO file using an archive extractor and just copied the contents of the folder I wanted (not the disk images, in my case) over to the root directory of my newly formatted USB BOOT drive.

HERE'S WHERE WHAT I DID DIFFERENTLY FROM THE SOLUTIONS IN THIS FORUM
- I downloaded phlash16 v1.7.0.21 from https://www.wimsbios.com/phoenixflasher.jsp. This DOS version is essential, since we are working off a DOS boot.
- I copied PHLASH16.EXE to the root directory of the USB BOOT drive
- I opened FLASH.BAT from the USB root directory and changed it as follows:

Code: Select all

@echo off
echo Updating BIOS. Please wait...
PLASH16 $01B6200.FL1    [This starts Phlash16 for Dos and runs the ROM image file, in my case $01B6200.FL1]
echo BIOS flash completed. Reboot your machine now.
pause
- Changed my ROM startup to USB Drive

- Restarted. Boots into DOS.
- At the Command Prompt type "Flash" and enter to run the batch file.
- The system ran the ROM update process
- Let it run the process.
- It will restart, press F1 to enter BIOS. Check version number, if matches to Middleton's BIOS version then you successfully flashed to the modified BIOS.

I make no guarantees. Use this strategy at your own risk. Hope it saves someone the hours of trolling through forums finding hints on possible solutions. My thanks to all those who wrote about this process, including ScaryRaebbit, ThinkWiki, Ahmed Hossan, https://www.bios-mods.com/forum/Thread- ... OS-PHOENIX, and even though I didn't have time to try his method, pcapex.
phlash16 v1.7.0.21 was the cure. Thank you !
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