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X200: Does it matter if BIOS is locked if I plan on flashing a Libreboot BIOS?

X200/X201/X220 (including equivalent tablet models) and X300/X301 Series
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thinkpadfanman
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X200: Does it matter if BIOS is locked if I plan on flashing a Libreboot BIOS?

#1 Post by thinkpadfanman » Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:32 pm

Hi all,

I have seen advice online suggesting one to NOT buy a thinkpad with a locked BIOS since these laptops are popular corporate machines, which may suggest that it was stolen. Since I plan on flashing its SOIC BIOS chip with Libreboot and running a fully libre GNU/Linux operating system, maybe this doesn't matter.

I found one at a Goodwill store that was donated and on sale for a fairly cheap price. Would definitely like to buy it, if the locked BIOS is not an issue for me as a future Libreboot user.

Thank you all for your advice!

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Re: X200: Does it matter if BIOS is locked if I plan on flashing a Libreboot BIOS?

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Wed Jan 20, 2021 9:03 pm

If you know how to flash Libreboot, a locked BIOS is irrelevant.
OTOH, it's not that difficult to remove the password, just search online (but NOT on this Forum).
Still NOT a great day for a Guinness! (the Real Black Stuff).
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thinkpadfanman
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:28 pm
Location: Northfield, Minnesota

Re: X200: Does it matter if BIOS is locked if I plan on flashing a Libreboot BIOS?

#3 Post by thinkpadfanman » Thu Jan 21, 2021 11:26 pm

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Wed Jan 20, 2021 9:03 pm
If you know how to flash Libreboot, a locked BIOS is irrelevant.
OTOH, it's not that difficult to remove the password, just search online (but NOT on this Forum).
Ok! I'm glad to know that if I come across an X200 with a locked BIOS, then that won't affect the flashing process if I want libreboot on the computer as my BIOS instead.

I read on a reddit forum that someone who flashed their X200 with libreboot was complaining that their EC (Embedded Controller, I presume?) wasn't the latest version. So someone told them to flash their computer again with a stock BIOS in order to update their firmware.

How can I tell whether an X200 laptop I purchased received the most up-to-date firmware on the BIOS that originally shipped with the laptop?

RealBlackStuff
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Re: X200: Does it matter if BIOS is locked if I plan on flashing a Libreboot BIOS?

#4 Post by RealBlackStuff » Fri Jan 22, 2021 12:32 am

thinkpadfanman wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 11:26 pm
How can I tell whether an X200 laptop I purchased received the most up-to-date firmware on the BIOS that originally shipped with the laptop?
By DuckDuckGoing or Googleing for: lenovo x200 bios update it tells you BIOS/EC versions.
You may also be able to still LOOK into the BIOS (press F1 at boot), but not be able to change anything if there is a password.
Even on locked machines, if you can still run Windows on them, programs like HWINFO can tell which BIOS/EC it has.
Still NOT a great day for a Guinness! (the Real Black Stuff).
Ireland is on FULL lockdown until Easter 2021!
Covid-19: Stay safe, so Mask it or Casket!

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