Take a look at our
ThinkPads.com HOME PAGE
For those who might want to contribute to the blog, start here: Editors Alley Topic
Then contact Bill with a Private Message

updating T480 bios without Windows (I use Linux)

T430-T490, T530-T590 Series
Post Reply
Message
Author
redglow
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:47 pm
Location: Stella, TN

updating T480 bios without Windows (I use Linux)

#1 Post by redglow » Fri Nov 03, 2023 3:15 am

I bought a set of three t480 laptops from an auction. They didn’t come with any hard drive. I have an SSD that runs Linux. How can I update the BIOS/firmware without Windows?


I’m on https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/us/en/prod ... 7A93E0428C

I click the blue Download button on the “BIOS Update (Bootable CD)” row. It downloads https://download.lenovo.com/pccbbs/mobiles/n24ur36w.iso. In my Linux Mint, I run “USB Image Writer” and use that to put that iso onto a USB thumb drive. I restart the computer, then press f1, then choose to boot from a different media/device. I choose the 8GB thumb drive, but it doesn’t work. Can someone please help?

RealBlackStuff
Admin Emeritus
Admin Emeritus
Posts: 23762
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Location: Loch Garman, Éire

Re: updating T480 bios without Windows (I use Linux)

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Fri Nov 03, 2023 6:40 am

Either use a CD/DVD-drive or use geteltorito to make a bootable USB stick.
And see this: https://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=18&p=873556
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)
Lenovo: X240, X250, T440p, T480, M900 Tiny.

PS: the old Boardroom website is still available on the Wayback Machine
.

axur-delmeria
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 3780
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: updating T480 bios without Windows (I use Linux)

#3 Post by axur-delmeria » Fri Nov 03, 2023 6:59 am

There's Fwupd for updating firmware on Linux (needs UEFI mode): https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Fwupd
Planned Purchase: T480s i5-8350 FHD Touch
Impulse Buy: Thinkpad not named for safety reasons :lol:

Old Faithful: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

redglow
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:47 pm
Location: Stella, TN

Re: updating T480 bios without Windows (I use Linux)

#4 Post by redglow » Fri Nov 03, 2023 8:40 pm

axur-delmeria wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2023 6:59 am
There's Fwupd for updating firmware on Linux (needs UEFI mode): https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Fwupd
hi axur-delmeria,
I ran a fwupd command on my linux, but i think it's just to update the Intel. this is the command i ran:

Code: Select all

 sudo fwupdmgr --allow-older --allow-reinstall install Lenovo-ThinkPad-T480-ConsumerMEFirmware-11.8.93.4323.cab
I'm guessing you're not talking about updating the intel device, right?

redglow
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:47 pm
Location: Stella, TN

Re: updating T480 bios without Windows (I use Linux)

#5 Post by redglow » Fri Nov 03, 2023 8:41 pm

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2023 6:40 am
Either use a CD/DVD-drive or use geteltorito to make a bootable USB stick.
And see this: https://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=18&p=873556

Is the method axur-delmeria suggested (fwupd) better than the geteltorito method?

axur-delmeria
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 3780
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: updating T480 bios without Windows (I use Linux)

#6 Post by axur-delmeria » Fri Nov 03, 2023 11:43 pm

Lenovo-ThinkPad-T480-ConsumerMEFirmware-11.8.93.4323.cab
That's the Intel Management Engine firmware update. If that's the only one that fwupd found, then you probably have the latest BIOS.

You can go to fwupd.org and check it yourself: https://fwupd.org/lvfs/search?value=thinkpad+t480
Planned Purchase: T480s i5-8350 FHD Touch
Impulse Buy: Thinkpad not named for safety reasons :lol:

Old Faithful: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

RealBlackStuff
Admin Emeritus
Admin Emeritus
Posts: 23762
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Location: Loch Garman, Éire

Re: updating T480 bios without Windows (I use Linux)

#7 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sat Nov 04, 2023 2:04 am

I don't use Linux, so don't know which method is better.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)
Lenovo: X240, X250, T440p, T480, M900 Tiny.

PS: the old Boardroom website is still available on the Wayback Machine
.

redglow
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:47 pm
Location: Stella, TN

Re: updating T480 bios without Windows (I use Linux)

#8 Post by redglow » Sun Nov 05, 2023 1:33 am

axur-delmeria wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2023 11:43 pm
Lenovo-ThinkPad-T480-ConsumerMEFirmware-11.8.93.4323.cab
That's the Intel Management Engine firmware update. If that's the only one that fwupd found, then you probably have the latest BIOS.

You can go to fwupd.org and check it yourself: https://fwupd.org/lvfs/search?value=thinkpad+t480
You wrote " If that's the only one that fwupd found, then you probably have the latest BIOS. "
I neglected to mention that I did not use fwupd to search for all possible updates. Rather, I manually downloadaed that cab (packaged in a zip) from the thinkpad website https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/us/en/prod ... river-list

I don't think I have the latest BIOS.

TPFanatic
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 2183
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:29 pm
Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Re: updating T480 bios without Windows (I use Linux)

#9 Post by TPFanatic » Sun Nov 05, 2023 4:10 pm

If you go into BIOS setup you'll know for sure what version you have, then compare that to what's available on Lenovo.

Even then why not just use Windows or Hirens for the BIOS update? You can do it totally offline. Microsoft won't know anything or care.

redglow
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:47 pm
Location: Stella, TN

Re: updating T480 bios without Windows (I use Linux)

#10 Post by redglow » Mon Nov 06, 2023 4:19 pm

TPFanatic wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2023 4:10 pm
If you go into BIOS setup you'll know for sure what version you have, then compare that to what's available on Lenovo.

Even then why not just use Windows or Hirens for the BIOS update? You can do it totally offline. Microsoft won't know anything or care.
Thank you for your reply. My three t480 laptops did not come with any storage device. In other words it did not come with windows.
This is the first time I've heard of hirens. I'm willing to use that if it's much easier than trying to update the BIOS with Linux.
Last edited by redglow on Mon Nov 06, 2023 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TPFanatic
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 2183
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:29 pm
Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Re: updating T480 bios without Windows (I use Linux)

#11 Post by TPFanatic » Mon Nov 06, 2023 6:14 pm

If the laptops were ever originally equipped with Windows then they are still licensed for Windows and you could have that, if you wanted (I understand you do not). But even unlicensed Windows is capable of running a BIOS flash. You could even install a modified Windows eg. Tiny10 by NTDEV. Sorry I can't be any help on the Linux front.

redglow
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:47 pm
Location: Stella, TN

Re: updating T480 bios without Windows (I use Linux)

#12 Post by redglow » Sat Nov 11, 2023 6:00 pm

TPFanatic wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2023 6:14 pm
If the laptops were ever originally equipped with Windows then they are still licensed for Windows and you could have that, if you wanted (I understand you do not). But even unlicensed Windows is capable of running a BIOS flash. You could even install a modified Windows eg. Tiny10 by NTDEV. Sorry I can't be any help on the Linux front.
If I get Tiny10, does that mean it has to take over my Linux SSD (wiping all my files away)?

TPFanatic
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 2183
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:29 pm
Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Re: updating T480 bios without Windows (I use Linux)

#13 Post by TPFanatic » Sat Nov 11, 2023 7:22 pm

I think you can install on a USB. Can you use another ssd to be safe? Or just do Hirens. I successfully use Hirens on Ventoy. I tend to spit out options since there's just so many good ones. I'm surprised if there's no way to update bios in Linux. I believe Ubuntu does pull down the Lenovo BIOS flash downloads. You can try asking on reddit.com/r/thinkpad about Linux help, they're all over themselves with Linux over there.

RealBlackStuff
Admin Emeritus
Admin Emeritus
Posts: 23762
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Location: Loch Garman, Éire

Re: updating T480 bios without Windows (I use Linux)

#14 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sat Nov 11, 2023 9:54 pm

What's wrong with the geteltorito method?
You only need to make 1 USB-stick under Linux and use that on all T480 machines.
Here's another version: How to update Lenovo BIOS from Linux without using Windows
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)
Lenovo: X240, X250, T440p, T480, M900 Tiny.

PS: the old Boardroom website is still available on the Wayback Machine
.

axur-delmeria
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 3780
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: updating T480 bios without Windows (I use Linux)

#15 Post by axur-delmeria » Sat Nov 11, 2023 10:12 pm

TPFanatic wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2023 7:22 pm
I'm surprised if there's no way to update bios in Linux. I believe Ubuntu does pull down the Lenovo BIOS flash downloads.
I already mention fwupd in an earlier post. Ubuntu most likely uses Gnome's GUI which actually makes use of fwupd under the hood.
Planned Purchase: T480s i5-8350 FHD Touch
Impulse Buy: Thinkpad not named for safety reasons :lol:

Old Faithful: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

TPFanatic
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 2183
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:29 pm
Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Re: updating T480 bios without Windows (I use Linux)

#16 Post by TPFanatic » Sun Nov 12, 2023 6:18 am

I know but somehow OP is still asking for help

axur-delmeria
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 3780
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: updating T480 bios without Windows (I use Linux)

#17 Post by axur-delmeria » Sun Nov 12, 2023 7:15 am

He ran a specific fwupd command, one that updates the IME firmware. I don't get why he doesn't use it to check for BIOS/UEFI updates, since the Arch wiki page I linked to in my earliest post has the proper commands.

Code: Select all

fwupdmgr refresh
Checks Linux Vendor firmware Service (LVFS) for updates

Code: Select all

fwupdmgr get-updates
Shows updates that are available for the system

And he still doesn't know whether he's on the latest BIOS version or not.
Planned Purchase: T480s i5-8350 FHD Touch
Impulse Buy: Thinkpad not named for safety reasons :lol:

Old Faithful: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

TPFanatic
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 2183
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 11:29 pm
Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Re: updating T480 bios without Windows (I use Linux)

#18 Post by TPFanatic » Sun Nov 12, 2023 9:03 am

Reminds me of that 90s-y2k infomercial about the woman who bought a personal computer and can't use it.

redglow
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:47 pm
Location: Stella, TN

Re: updating T480 bios without Windows (I use Linux)

#19 Post by redglow » Sun Nov 12, 2023 4:03 pm

TPFanatic wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2023 7:22 pm
I think you can install on a USB. Can you use another ssd to be safe?
I only have one internal storage: an SSD. I have two other storage mediums: an 8GB thumb drive and a 2TB external USB hard drive.
TPFanatic wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2023 7:22 pm
Or just do Hirens. I successfully use Hirens on Ventoy.
okay, I'll look up "hirens on ventoy".

TPFanatic wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2023 7:22 pm
I'm surprised if there's no way to update bios in Linux.
the official thinkpad website does use the word "Linux". https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/us/en/prod ... s/ds502355 says "BIOS Update (Utility & Bootable CD) for Windows 11, 10 (64-bit), Linux - ThinkPad T480".

I guess i just need to understand how to make it work.
TPFanatic wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2023 7:22 pm
I believe Ubuntu does pull down the Lenovo BIOS flash downloads.
what does it mean for ubuntu to pull down the bios flash downloads? i'm on linux mint, which is a derivative of ubuntu.

TPFanatic wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2023 7:22 pm
You can try asking on reddit.com/r/thinkpad about Linux help, they're all over themselves with Linux over there.
Thank you for suggesting this as a 2nd place i can seek help.

redglow
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:47 pm
Location: Stella, TN

Re: updating T480 bios without Windows (I use Linux)

#20 Post by redglow » Sun Nov 12, 2023 4:04 pm

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2023 9:54 pm
What's wrong with the geteltorito method?
You only need to make 1 USB-stick under Linux and use that on all T480 machines.
Here's another version: How to update Lenovo BIOS from Linux without using Windows
It sounds like geletorito is simple -- just one usb stick "flashed" in linux. perhaps I should look into this. thank you. sometimes i can get overwhelmed with all the options. thank you once again.

redglow
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:47 pm
Location: Stella, TN

Re: updating T480 bios without Windows (I use Linux)

#21 Post by redglow » Sun Nov 12, 2023 4:09 pm

axur-delmeria wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2023 7:15 am
He ran a specific fwupd command, one that updates the IME firmware. I don't get why he doesn't use it to check for BIOS/UEFI updates, since the Arch wiki page I linked to in my earliest post has the proper commands.

Code: Select all

fwupdmgr refresh
Checks Linux Vendor firmware Service (LVFS) for updates
~$ fwupdmgr refresh
Updating lvfs
Downloading… [***************************************]
Successfully downloaded new metadata: 3 local devices supported
axur-delmeria wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2023 7:15 am

Code: Select all

fwupdmgr get-updates
Shows updates that are available for the system
fwupdmgr get-updates
Devices with no available firmware updates:
• T-FORCE 1TB
• UEFI Device Firmware
• UEFI Device Firmware
• UEFI dbx
Devices not currently updatable:
• Embedded Controller — Cannot install update when not on AC power
• Intel Management Engine — Cannot install update when not on AC power
• System Firmware — Cannot install update when not on AC power
No updates available
axur-delmeria wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2023 7:15 am
And he still doesn't know whether he's on the latest BIOS version or not.
to find this latest bios, must i reboot and press Esc to enter BIOS? Is that the only way, or can I find this bios version while inside Linux Mint OS ?

axur-delmeria
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 3780
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: updating T480 bios without Windows (I use Linux)

#22 Post by axur-delmeria » Sun Nov 12, 2023 9:24 pm

System Firmware — Cannot install update when not on AC power
No updates available
System Firmware is the BIOS/UEFI.

Since it says no updates available, either the T480 BIOS update is not available in LVFS (AFAIK it is), or you already have the latest version.
Planned Purchase: T480s i5-8350 FHD Touch
Impulse Buy: Thinkpad not named for safety reasons :lol:

Old Faithful: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

RealBlackStuff
Admin Emeritus
Admin Emeritus
Posts: 23762
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Location: Loch Garman, Éire

Re: updating T480 bios without Windows (I use Linux)

#23 Post by RealBlackStuff » Mon Nov 13, 2023 12:47 am

Time to download the T480 Manual (HMM) and T480 Userguide, read them, PLUS go into BIOS to check your BIOS version and tell us.
You seem to be unwilling to do even the most basic things...
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)
Lenovo: X240, X250, T440p, T480, M900 Tiny.

PS: the old Boardroom website is still available on the Wayback Machine
.

axur-delmeria
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 3780
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: updating T480 bios without Windows (I use Linux)

#24 Post by axur-delmeria » Mon Nov 13, 2023 4:37 am

Besides the BIOS setup menu, there's a way to see the BIOS/UEFI version on Linux-- I usually install a "system information viewer" program named lshw-gtk (as the package is called in Debian). Its UI is a bit clunky but serviceable-- There are 4 columns, with the rightmost one showing the details of the particular item. The first three columns are for navigation, and are filled if the selected item has multiple contents (like going down a directory tree, honestly, I don't get why this program doesn't use a directory tree like Windows' Device Manager).

In my Thinkpad, it goes like Notebook --> Motherboard --> BIOS , and the rightmost pane shows the version number and other details.
Planned Purchase: T480s i5-8350 FHD Touch
Impulse Buy: Thinkpad not named for safety reasons :lol:

Old Faithful: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

rumbero
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 481
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 7:02 pm
Location: Barcelona, Spain

Re: updating T480 bios without Windows (I use Linux)

#25 Post by rumbero » Mon Nov 13, 2023 6:35 am

There is no need to use any specific program to find out the current BIOS version on any Thinkpad.
There is a wealth of information readily avaialble via the /sys file system:

Code: Select all

# ls /sys/class/dmi/id/
bios_date        board_vendor       ec_firmware_release  product_uuid
bios_release     board_version      modalias             product_version
bios_vendor      chassis_asset_tag  power                subsystem
bios_version     chassis_serial     product_family       sys_vendor
board_asset_tag  chassis_type       product_name         uevent
board_name       chassis_vendor     product_serial
board_serial     chassis_version    product_sku
# cat /sys/class/dmi/id/bios_release 
1.47
Hope this helps.
A few 14.1" and 15" T61+ Frankenpads and one T480

redglow
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:47 pm
Location: Stella, TN

Re: updating T480 bios without Windows (I use Linux)

#26 Post by redglow » Tue Nov 14, 2023 1:00 pm

rumbero wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2023 6:35 am
There is no need to use any specific program to find out the current BIOS version on any Thinkpad.
There is a wealth of information readily avaialble via the /sys file system:

Code: Select all

# ls /sys/class/dmi/id/
bios_date        board_vendor       ec_firmware_release  product_uuid
bios_release     board_version      modalias             product_version
bios_vendor      chassis_asset_tag  power                subsystem
bios_version     chassis_serial     product_family       sys_vendor
board_asset_tag  chassis_type       product_name         uevent
board_name       chassis_vendor     product_serial
board_serial     chassis_version    product_sku
# cat /sys/class/dmi/id/bios_release 
1.47
Hope this helps.

Here's my output:


ls /sys/class/dmi/id/
bios_date board_vendor ec_firmware_release product_uuid
bios_release board_version modalias product_version
bios_vendor chassis_asset_tag power subsystem
bios_version chassis_serial product_family sys_vendor
board_asset_tag chassis_type product_name uevent
board_name chassis_vendor product_serial
board_serial chassis_version product_sku


~$ cat /sys/class/dmi/id/bios_release
1.21

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “ThinkPad T430-T490 / T530-T590 Series”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 29 guests