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T430 BIOS recovery?

T430 and later, plus T530 and later series specific matters only
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T i m
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Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:10 am
Location: Chestnut, UK

T430 BIOS recovery?

#1 Post by T i m » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:40 am

Hi all,

First post here (re-directed by a kind soul on a Thinkpad newsgroup) but have been a Thinkpad owner for some time. ;-)

I'm not sure if my question breaks any rules re Thinkpad security so if it does I apologise (and accept there will be no solutions offered online here if it does).

Bottom line. New to me T430, all running well but I thought I'd do as I do on most of my machines (and have done for many years), I'd update the BIOS. I did so using the Lenovo utility, fully charged battery, on mains power etc.

It seemed to go ok though the Windows bit, rebooted and seemed to go ok though the terminal screen bit, but after rebooting all I now get is the 5 beeps. ;-(

... Well, not now I don't as I've swapped out the mobo for a second hand one but I thought I might like to get the original board going again if I could. I've also got another T430 board (that's slightly damaged) that I believe to be working (I'll check first of course) that could be a donor for BIOS chips, if it was a solution?

I have some basic reflow kit and have been soldering for ~50 years (not constantly <g>) and I'm quite interested in seeing what can be done, partly for the S&G's etc so any thoughts and suggestions very welcome please. ;-)

Cheers, T i m

RealBlackStuff
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Re: T430 BIOS recovery?

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:24 am

Welcome to the Forum.

Which BIOS version did you use?
Do you know if the Security Chip in your BIOS is activated or not? (probably is activated)
Do you get 5 beeps only or 5 + 5 beeps?

Remove battery, AC, wifi, wwan, HDD/SSD, (re)attach keyboard and then hold down the Power button for about 20 seconds.
Put only AC in, boot, immediately press Enter a few times and then F1 to try going into BIOS.
If no luck, switch off and reboot, then immediately press F1 a few times.
If you manage to get in, press F9 to load Defaults, then go to Security/Security Chip and set it to Disabled.
Press F10 to save and reboot.
Any luck?

Most common solution with (the numerous) failed T430 BIOS-updates is to replace the mobo (darn you, Lenono).
If you have an SPI flasher, you should be able to read/save a working T430 BIOS from one mobo and flash that onto the 'bricked' one.
Depending on SPI you may have to remove the two BIOS chips (4MB and 8MB) first.

Failing that, replacing those two BIOS chips, OR the whole mobo, might be the only solution left.

But let's see first what you can come up with.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)

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T i m
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Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:10 am
Location: Chestnut, UK

Re: T430 BIOS recovery?

#3 Post by T i m » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:57 pm

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:24 am
Welcome to the Forum.
Why thank you. ;-)
Which BIOS version did you use?
Well, basically whatever version the Lenovo utility downloaded (assuming it was the latest) <checks>, would G1ETB7WW be the version, or g1uj44us?
Do you know if the Security Chip in your BIOS is activated or not? (probably is activated)
No, sorry, I don't. ;-(
Do you get 5 beeps only or 5 + 5 beeps?
Sorry again, it was probably the 5+5 (I couldn't remember if it was just the 5 beeps repeating constantly or 5+5 etc).;-(
Remove battery, AC, wifi, wwan, HDD/SSD, (re)attach keyboard and then hold down the Power button for about 20 seconds.
FWIW, I did remove the battery and AC, pressed the power for a few seconds then re-fitted the battery and re-applied the AC pressing and tried pressing Enter and F1 with no sign of the BIOS screen.
1Put only AC in, boot, immediately press Enter a few times and then F1 to try going into BIOS.
If no luck, switch off and reboot, then immediately press F1 a few times.
I'll have to find myself another CPU chip and some RAM and then I can run the old board up and do these tests.
If you manage to get in, press F9 to load Defaults, then go to Security/Security Chip and set it to Disabled.
Press F10 to save and reboot.
Any luck? ;
You will be the second person to find out RealBlackStuff. ;-)
Most common solution with (the numerous) failed T430 BIOS-updates is to replace the mobo (darn you, Lenono).
Is this specific issue *just* with the T430's? Do we know how / why thy are getting bricked like this?
If you have an SPI flasher, you should be able to read/save a working T430 BIOS from one mobo and flash that onto the 'bricked' one.
Depending on SPI you may have to remove the two BIOS chips (4MB and 8MB) first.
I only have a PicKit2 ATM but I'm happy to get anything that isn't too expensive if it means I can actually 'fix' it.
Failing that, replacing those two BIOS chips,
So, if they were being supplier by one of the BIOS specialists, should they know what each should contain to give me a working mobo again?
OR the whole mobo, might be the only solution left.
As mentioned, that was what I've already done, it just that I have anther board that is physically damaged (but should work) and the one with the (potentially) dead BIOS to play with (and two bases and lids with no screens or keyboards). If it was just a matter of having another board I could repair the damaged one. I was reading around to see if the screen from my T420 would fit the 430 chassis and mobo as then I could borrow that to do some tests?
let's see first what you can come up with.
I'll see what I can rig up re a test chassis as I don't really want to disturb my working machine for now. ;-)

Cheers, T i m

MikalE
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Re: T430 BIOS recovery?

#4 Post by MikalE » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:49 pm

I have a modified whitelist BIOS and get the 5+5 beeps every time I reboot the machine.
T500 T9600 2055-BE9
T510 i5 4384-DV7
T510 i7 4349-A64
T520 i7 4242-4UU(CTO)


T520: i7-2760QM(2.40GHz),16GB, 500GB SSD/500GB 7200 Drive, 1600x900, 1GB NVIDIA, DVDRW, Smartcard, media card, FPR, Win7 Pro64, whitelist BIOS, N 6300 AGN, German KB, BT 4.0.

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