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Can I install Middleton BIOS on T61p with Ubuntu Mate?

T60/T61 series specific matters only
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boognish
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Can I install Middleton BIOS on T61p with Ubuntu Mate?

#1 Post by boognish » Sat May 05, 2018 11:54 am

Hi,

I just bought a used T61p Thinkpad with the hope of installing the Middleton BIOS on it. It had no OS when I purchased it so I just installed Ubuntu Mate on to its hard drive.

Can I install the Middleton BIOS on my laptop with Ubuntu Mate or must I install a 32-bit version of Windows on it to do so?

Thank you.

Cigarguy
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Re: Can I install Middleton BIOS on T61p with Ubuntu Mate?

#2 Post by Cigarguy » Sat May 05, 2018 12:10 pm

Sure you can. The best way to update BIOS is via CD and bypassing the OS. Middleton is no different. Read the instructions or the many thread on this and other forums.

boognish
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Re: Can I install Middleton BIOS on T61p with Ubuntu Mate?

#3 Post by boognish » Sat May 05, 2018 1:38 pm

Thanks for the response. I am just a first year computer science student and not very tech savvy. Someone stated here http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Middleton%27s_BIOS that, "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". So how do I flash the BIOS? Do I simply burn the ISO files to a DVD and then Boot from it? Do I have to make the DVD Bootable first or will the ISO file do that by itself? Thanks

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Re: Can I install Middleton BIOS on T61p with Ubuntu Mate?

#4 Post by Cigarguy » Sat May 05, 2018 1:54 pm

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.

This statement from the ThinkWiki is pretty straight forward. If you don't know how to boot from CD/DVD, now would be a good time to Google "how to boot from CD". This is a good method of updating BIOS and firmware to learn as it is applicable for many computers, laptops and devices.

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Re: Can I install Middleton BIOS on T61p with Ubuntu Mate?

#5 Post by boognish » Sat May 05, 2018 2:02 pm

Cigarguy wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 1:54 pm
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.

This statement from the ThinkWiki is pretty straight forward. If you don't know how to boot from CD/DVD, now would be a good time to Google "how to boot from CD". This is a good method of updating BIOS and firmware to learn as it is applicable for many computers, laptops and devices.
Thanks.

I do know how to boot from a CD.

I just read the README.txt file and it says that LOGO.BAT will only work in a Microsoft Operating system DOS window. Will this affect my flashing of the BIOS using Ubuntu?

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Re: Can I install Middleton BIOS on T61p with Ubuntu Mate?

#6 Post by boognish » Sat May 05, 2018 2:34 pm

UPDATE: I just burned 7luj27uc.iso to a disc using a Windows computer.

I will try to boot from this disk in 60 - 120 minutes if there are no objections from anyone here. Assuming the disk is now bootable, I hope it will not brick my machine.

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Re: Can I install Middleton BIOS on T61p with Ubuntu Mate?

#7 Post by madicetea » Sat May 05, 2018 2:45 pm

boognish wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 2:34 pm
UPDATE: I just burned 7luj27uc.iso to a disc using a Windows computer.

I will try to boot from this disk in 60 - 120 minutes if there are no objections from anyone here. Assuming the disk is now bootable, I hope it will not brick my machine.
Ok, I wish you luck. Just make sure to follow the instructions and make sure you have charged battery and access to the electrical mains.
I remember my first time flashing a BIOS to a machine fondly, probably two years ago. I've flashed over a dozen in the last two months now...
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Re: Can I install Middleton BIOS on T61p with Ubuntu Mate?

#8 Post by boognish » Sat May 05, 2018 2:47 pm

Icewobs wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 2:45 pm
boognish wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 2:34 pm
UPDATE: I just burned 7luj27uc.iso to a disc using a Windows computer.

I will try to boot from this disk in 60 - 120 minutes if there are no objections from anyone here. Assuming the disk is now bootable, I hope it will not brick my machine.
Ok, I wish you luck. Just make sure to follow the instructions and make sure you have charged battery and access to the electrical mains.
I remember my first time flashing a BIOS to a machine fondly, probably two years ago. I've flashed over a dozen in the last two months now...
Yes, I am a bit frightened, ha ha. The only instructions I have to follow are burning the ISO to a disc and then booting from it at start up. If there are any other instructions, I don't know where they are.

Bringing old machines back to life seems like fun. I just hope that I don't kill the first one that I try to revive. But as someone else has already said, this is a good learning experience.

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Re: Can I install Middleton BIOS on T61p with Ubuntu Mate?

#9 Post by boognish » Sat May 05, 2018 3:44 pm

UPDATE: I just tried to flash the BIOS with my CD but I got the following message...

Checking for files and environment... Done.
Start flashing ...
Error during flash. Error code = 99 ( 179 )
!!! Updating your BIOS while Microsoft(R) BitLocker (TM) drive encryption is enabled will cause subsequent boots of the encrypted drive to fail. If you are using BitLocker, please refer to BitLocker help for information on how to temporarily disable BitLocker before updating your BIOS. !!!

C>_ (the _ is flashing on and off)


I bought the laptop used and didn't even know that it had BitLocker. Now what do I do? Should I just return the laptop?

boognish
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Re: Can I install Middleton BIOS on T61p with Ubuntu Mate?

#10 Post by boognish » Sat May 05, 2018 3:56 pm

I simply had to disable the security chip.

I now have a BIOS version of 2.29 (7LETC9WW)

I think it worked :)

I enabled the security chip again.

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Re: Can I install Middleton BIOS on T61p with Ubuntu Mate?

#11 Post by Cigarguy » Sun May 06, 2018 1:35 am

Good job, well done. It's not that difficult once you know the methodology. Similar principle applies to updating firmware/BIOS for a T61 or as I did recently my home theater receiver.

You can use almost any version of Windows (32 or 64 bit) or most any Linux to burn a disc image (.iso file) to CD/DVD. There's 2 ways to install Middleton's BIOS 1) is WinPhlash but that requires Win 32 or 2) via bootable CD. IMO, bootable CD is safer as one not need worry about Windows crashing, therefore one less thing to worry about. Also updating BIOS via CD bypasses the OS so you don't even need to have a HDD installed.

Next I recommend upgrading to a SSD instead of a HDD and upgrade the memory to 4 GB. 8 GB would be nice but 2x4 DDR2 Sodimms are expensive. Don't know what you have for CPU but recommend a T9300 for that machine. Upgrading the CPU will force you to take everything apart, clean and reapply new thermal paste. Upgrading the wireless card to an Intel 6300 or Atheros AR9380 is also nice. If you do all these things, not only will you have a nice running machine but you'll learn a whole lot too. Being that this is an old and popular machine all this info is available here, research, read, do, repeat. Again all of what you learn will be applicable to many other machines and devices so long as one can do it. I.E. a soldered in CPU is a little bit beyond the tools that I have.

boognish
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Re: Can I install Middleton BIOS on T61p with Ubuntu Mate?

#12 Post by boognish » Sun May 06, 2018 7:17 pm

Cigarguy wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 1:35 am
Good job, well done. It's not that difficult once you know the methodology. Similar principle applies to updating firmware/BIOS for a T61 or as I did recently my home theater receiver.

You can use almost any version of Windows (32 or 64 bit) or most any Linux to burn a disc image (.iso file) to CD/DVD. There's 2 ways to install Middleton's BIOS 1) is WinPhlash but that requires Win 32 or 2) via bootable CD. IMO, bootable CD is safer as one not need worry about Windows crashing, therefore one less thing to worry about. Also updating BIOS via CD bypasses the OS so you don't even need to have a HDD installed.

Next I recommend upgrading to a SSD instead of a HDD and upgrade the memory to 4 GB. 8 GB would be nice but 2x4 DDR2 Sodimms are expensive. Don't know what you have for CPU but recommend a T9300 for that machine. Upgrading the CPU will force you to take everything apart, clean and reapply new thermal paste. Upgrading the wireless card to an Intel 6300 or Atheros AR9380 is also nice. If you do all these things, not only will you have a nice running machine but you'll learn a whole lot too. Being that this is an old and popular machine all this info is available here, research, read, do, repeat. Again all of what you learn will be applicable to many other machines and devices so long as one can do it. I.E. a soldered in CPU is a little bit beyond the tools that I have.
Hi, and thanks.
The machine came with 4gb so I lucked out.
Current CPU is T7700. I was thinking about getting the T9500 but you recommended a T9300. Is there a reason why you recommend the T9300 over the T9500?
Is the Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 the wireless card that you are referring to?
I do plan on upgrading to a SSD. Is there one that you recommend? I only need 100 - 256gb.

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Re: Can I install Middleton BIOS on T61p with Ubuntu Mate?

#13 Post by Cigarguy » Mon May 07, 2018 12:03 am

T9300 over T9500 because of price. I do have a T9500 and like it.

Yes that's the Intel card.

I'm not that picky when it comes to a SSD. Having said that I do prefer a MLC vs TLC but unfortunately everyone is moving to TLC. Not a fan of Sandforce controllers even though the latest few Sandforce controlled SSD that I have works fine. Price is the biggest determining factor for me. Very few SSD have failed for me and when one do fail it's easily replace. I do backup everything, then backup the backup. All my bookmarks and contacts are cloud based at this point so those are easy to restore. I see laptops, smartphones and SSD/HDD as working tools and replaceable commodities therefore I have at least 1 backup of everything. For example, my primary T61 14" daily driver was bought for $30 Cdn without a HDD, low RAM, no battery and whatever it came with. Upgraded to SSD, RAM, CPU and wifi card. Then I have at least 1 spare of each. I also have 2-3 spares of T61. When one fail (haven't in about 4 years) then it's 15 minutes for me to swap a few things out and I'm up and running again.

99% of the time I swap daily driver laptops because I'm bored. Frequently I'll swap from a Thinkpad to a Lattitude to an Elitebook, etc. I have a HDD that contains all my data which goes from machine to machine via an adapter in the Ultrabay port. This HDD is backed up in triplicate. Windows and programs are installed on a $20 128 GB SSD that I bought used. If one SSD fail, not a big deal, 5 minutes to swap out the SSD with a cloned image.

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Re: Can I install Middleton BIOS on T61p with Ubuntu Mate?

#14 Post by Lindisfarne » Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:22 am

What a great thread! The questions and answers here have really helped me a lot in regards to my readiness to trying out the Middleton's BIOS on my T61 (running Linux Mint 19 (Xfce))
I want to do it to be able to upgrade my HDD to 320GB instead of the current 80GB

Can it be done from a USB also, or do I need to burn a DVD?

And: Will I loose Linux Mint after the switch etc. is done?

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Re: Can I install Middleton BIOS on T61p with Ubuntu Mate?

#15 Post by wujstefan » Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:53 am

1. You will not need your Linux installation, BIOS has nothing to do with the hard drive.
2. What's the problem swapping from 80Gb HDD to 320Gb HDD? Both will work just fine without middletoning.
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Re: Can I install Middleton BIOS on T61p with Ubuntu Mate?

#16 Post by Lindisfarne » Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:53 am

wujstefan wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 6:53 am
1. You will not need your Linux installation, BIOS has nothing to do with the hard drive.
2. What's the problem swapping from 80Gb HDD to 320Gb HDD? Both will work just fine without middletoning.
Great news! - So I can just pop in a Hitachi 320gb 7200 Rpm HDD, in place of the current 80GB one and be done with it?
I thought I needed it to go to that kind of Rpm

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Re: Can I install Middleton BIOS on T61p with Ubuntu Mate?

#17 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:03 am

But if you apply Middleton's BIOS, the HD/SSD speed will increase from SATA I to SATA II.
Not so much noticeably with rotary disks, but an SSD will be really flying!
So burn that CD using e.g. Imgburn, which runs fine under Wine.
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Re: Can I install Middleton BIOS on T61p with Ubuntu Mate?

#18 Post by Lindisfarne » Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:12 am

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:03 am
But if you apply Middleton's BIOS, the HD/SSD speed will increase from SATA I to SATA II.
Not so much noticeably with rotary disks, but an SSD will be really flying!
So burn that CD using e.g. Imgburn, which runs fine under Wine.
Ahaa - All of a sudden it all makes much better sense! Thank you very much! :D

I'll just leave it at the 320gigs for now, and see how much better things get. It's for an old T61 (T75800 cpu & 3 GB RAM) for my father to do all his browsing, emailing (of which he does a LOT) and image sorting/organizing (which he also does quite a fair bit) on.

Might give the ol' SSD and Middleton a go further on down the line, then.

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Re: Can I install Middleton BIOS on T61p with Ubuntu Mate?

#19 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:03 am

Have mercy on him!
After M's BIOS you can put in a cooler running Penryn CPU (T8100/T8300/T9300(recommended)/T9500).
That machine should run with a 64-bit OS and can have up to 2x4=8GB RAM (PC2-5300 or PC2-6400).

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