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[SOLVED] X301 (near-)bricked :-( ?

X200, X201, X220 (including equivalent tablet models) and X300, X301 series specific matters only.
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PierU
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[SOLVED] X301 (near-)bricked :-( ?

#1 Post by PierU » Wed Jan 23, 2019 2:58 am

Hi,

Coming from this thread : viewtopic.php?f=43&t=127935

I decided at some point to erase the SSD, by using the Samsung utility maindiag.exe. The erase went OK (at least maindiag didn't report any error), but I have now a bricked X301 :( !

When I power it on, the LEDs are blinking as usual, I can hear the CD drive operating... and that's it. Nothing is displayed (not even the initial screen with "press the thinkvantage blue key to enter the BIOS utility" )and no sign that there is an ongoing boot on the plugged USB drive.

help.... :(
Last edited by PierU on Sat Jan 26, 2019 6:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
X60s - Intel x25 80GB SSD - Xubuntu 16.04LTS
X301 - Kingston 120GB mSATA SSD + 1.8" adapter - Xubuntu 18.04LTS

PierU
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Re: X301 bricked :-( ?

#2 Post by PierU » Wed Jan 23, 2019 3:34 am

Update :

I left the X301 unattended after powered on, and when I came back 15mn later it had finally booted from the USB drive... So, it's not bricked (ufff), but it takes an unusual long time (several minutes, before I left it) before booting... Have to go to work now, will see this evening.
X60s - Intel x25 80GB SSD - Xubuntu 16.04LTS
X301 - Kingston 120GB mSATA SSD + 1.8" adapter - Xubuntu 18.04LTS

skx
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Re: X301 bricked :-( ?

#3 Post by skx » Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:02 am

Your topics confuse me. Your laptop should not become a brick by attempting to flash SSD firmware. Did you try booting from linux live usb? Is/Was your bios password protected?

edit/ seems it boots from live usb

so remaining questions:
- bios password protected?
- did you neuter intelme? delayed boots are common with neutered intelme without having corebooted the laptop
ThinkPad X220: i5-2520M CPU 2.5GHz - 8GB RAM 1333 MHz - SSD 860 EVO 250GB - Debian - ME_cleaned
ThinkPad X230: i5-3320M CPU 3.3GHz - 8GB RAM 1600 MHz - SSD 860 EVO 500GB - Debian - ME_cleaned

PierU
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Re: X301 bricked :-( ?

#4 Post by PierU » Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:36 am

skx wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:02 am
Your topics confuse me.
Yes, I can understand that !

Summary of what I've done so far with this X301 (since I got it last week) :
  • I first installed xubuntu 18.04 (in place of W7) with a bootable USB drive. No problem at this stage, xubuntu was booting/working as expected
  • I then observed that the SSD was not supporting TRIM
  • I prepared a FreeDos USB drive with the maindiag.exe tool to try updating the SSD firmware. I could boot on it, but I could'nt update the firmware (I followed several different procedures read on the forums, without success).
  • Then I decided to update the BIOS, hoping it could help for the SSD firmware update (actually I didn't have too much hope, but anyway a BIOS update is not a bad thing).
  • I struggled to use the bootable CD image downloaded from Lenovo for the 3.16 BIOS update. I finally succeeded to boot from a burnt CD, and could update the BIOS. I checked that the X301 was booting normally after that and that the BIOS version was 3.16.
  • I tried again to update the SSD firmware with maindiag.exe, still without success
  • I then decided to erase completely the SSD with maindiag.exe (option 4). My intention was to partition it with 100Go only, leaving 28Go for overprovisionning.
  • The erase was surprisingly fast (1 or 2 sec), but maindiag.exe did not report any problem.
  • Then I powered it off and on, and I thought I had a brick (well, it's actually not, but it takes minutes before booting)
  • ...here I am...
skx wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:02 am
Your laptop should not become a brick by attempting to flash SSD firmware. Did you try booting from linux live usb? Is/Was your bios password protected?

edit/ seems it boots from live usb

so remaining questions:
- bios password protected?
- did you neuter intelme? delayed boots are common with neutered intelme without having corebooted the laptop
No BIOS password. And I didn't do anything with Intelme, at least intentionnally (I don't even know what is Intelme).
X60s - Intel x25 80GB SSD - Xubuntu 16.04LTS
X301 - Kingston 120GB mSATA SSD + 1.8" adapter - Xubuntu 18.04LTS

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Re: X301 bricked :-( ?

#5 Post by RealBlackStuff » Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:45 am

There are 2.5" to 1.8" adapters (I have 3 here gathering dust), such as this: https://www.ebay.com/itm/173711104378
Maybe get one of those and try it in a different laptop with 2.5" bay?
Possibly Maindiag doesn't know/like the 1.8" pinout.
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PierU
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Re: X301 bricked :-( ?

#6 Post by PierU » Wed Jan 23, 2019 9:52 am

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:45 am
There are 2.5" to 1.8" adapters (I have 3 here gathering dust), such as this: https://www.ebay.com/itm/173711104378
Maybe get one of those and try it in a different laptop with 2.5" bay?
Possibly Maindiag doesn't know/like the 1.8" pinout.
Apparently some users succeeded with maindiag on 1.8" drives in other PCs, but the X301 seems to be more recalcitrant.
https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/ThinkPad-T ... d-p/237421

So yes, plugging the drive into another PC may help. But at some point I will simply give up with this drive and order a msata one + adapter.
X60s - Intel x25 80GB SSD - Xubuntu 16.04LTS
X301 - Kingston 120GB mSATA SSD + 1.8" adapter - Xubuntu 18.04LTS

PierU
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Location: Paris, France

Re: X301 bricked :-( ?

#7 Post by PierU » Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:35 pm

So, I'm stuck there :

Reminder : I tried to erase the SSD with maindiag.exe, and then all went ugly...

- After power on, the LEDs are blinking and the CD drive is operating during a few seconds
- Nothing more happens during about 10 minutes
- After 10mn some text if briefly displayed (2 seconds before it goes). I could take a photo and I can read :
"tpm tpm0: A TPM error(2B) occured continue selftest"
"tpm tpm0: TPM self test failed"

http://prntscr.com/mb9iro
- Then the live USB drive (the one with the xubuntu installer) is booting normally

During all this sequence there's no opportunity at all to enter the BIOS...

Once xubuntu has booted from the live UBS drive, the SSD doesn't show up at all, and if I try installing xubuntu the SSD doesn't appear in the available disks for the installation. However, if I boot from the FreeDos USB drive with maindiag (10 mn again before booting), the SSD is detected by maindiag.

Can the error messages above help to understand what's going on ?
X60s - Intel x25 80GB SSD - Xubuntu 16.04LTS
X301 - Kingston 120GB mSATA SSD + 1.8" adapter - Xubuntu 18.04LTS

shawross
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Re: X301 (near-)bricked :-( ?

#8 Post by shawross » Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:15 pm

Have you tired disconnecting from the mains and removing the main battery and then holding down the power button for 30 seconds?
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Re: X301 (near-)bricked :-( ?

#9 Post by TPFanatic » Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:01 pm

Does X301 boot normally without the SSD installed?
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PierU
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Re: X301 (near-)bricked :-( ?

#10 Post by PierU » Thu Jan 24, 2019 3:00 am

TPFanatic wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:01 pm
Does X301 boot normally without the SSD installed?
Nope... Same story with the SSD removed. That's what bother me above all : I don't really mind if the SSD itself is bricked, but but the problem now is the PC itself.
shawross wrote:
Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:15 pm
Have you tired disconnecting from the mains and removing the main battery and then holding down the power button for 30 seconds?
I didn't. But unfortunately it doesn't change anything. What is it supposed to do ?


By the way, here is the screen I get after 10mn if I don't plug any bootable USB drive or CD : http://prntscr.com/mbf0zp
X60s - Intel x25 80GB SSD - Xubuntu 16.04LTS
X301 - Kingston 120GB mSATA SSD + 1.8" adapter - Xubuntu 18.04LTS

PierU
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Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2019 5:28 pm
Location: Paris, France

Re: X301 (near-)bricked :-( ?

#11 Post by PierU » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:04 am

Some update...

I've replaced the original SSD by new one (mSata + adpater). I was hoing that it could solve the problem, but no... I could install xubuntu on the new SSD, all is working fine, except that the X301 still waits 10mn afer power on before booting something.

So it's not bricked, but nearly unusable...

Just something that I didn't notice before : if during the 10mn delay I press the ThinkVantage button, the X301 actually enters in the BIOS setup at the end of the 10mn (same thing if I press F12 I get the boot drive selection).
X60s - Intel x25 80GB SSD - Xubuntu 16.04LTS
X301 - Kingston 120GB mSATA SSD + 1.8" adapter - Xubuntu 18.04LTS

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Re: X301 (near-)bricked :-( ?

#12 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:22 am

Download and install this BIOS: http://www.mediafire.com/file/qgerfmcm1 ... LIC2.1.zip

Click on "continue without disabling" if an adblocker warning shows up.

PierU
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Re: X301 (near-)bricked :-( ?

#13 Post by PierU » Sat Jan 26, 2019 1:41 pm

Hurray !!!

Before reading your post, I found the older BIOS versions on the Lenovo site. My plan was to dowgrade to BIOS 1.08 before reflashing with BIOS 3.16.

After downgrading to 1.08, the problem was gone ! After power on the X301 was showing the usual startup screen, and was booting right after that ! Then I reflashed the 3.16 version, and the problem came back :-(. I don't remember what was the installed version when the problem appeared first (normally higher than 1.08 and lower than 3.16), and it doesn't explain why the problem appeared (this version was OK before I tried erasing the SSD).

Anyway, I've now reverted to BIOS 1.08 and I boot on a new Kingston mSata SSD, and everyting looks OK ! After all these problems I don't plan at all any BIOS update, and will carefully avoid to use the Samsung SSD :lol: !

That said I have two questions
1) During the first startup after the 1.08 BIOS update I have this screen : http://prntscr.com/mcjshc . Anything anomaleous there ?
2) what was supposed to do the mod BIOS you have proposed ? Was it just to be able to flash a new version over 3.16, or does it have something that could solve the problem ?

Thanks a lot for your help, anyway !
X60s - Intel x25 80GB SSD - Xubuntu 16.04LTS
X301 - Kingston 120GB mSATA SSD + 1.8" adapter - Xubuntu 18.04LTS

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Re: X301 (near-)bricked :-( ?

#14 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sat Jan 26, 2019 1:56 pm

You need to disable that spyware Intel AMT and ME.
Rather than me racking my brain over BIOS-mods, read this: http://x301.mcdonnelltech.com/

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