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General Questions about x230 FHD mod, coreboot, ME cleaner, etc

X230 and later series specific matters only
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TheToeNail
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Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:15 pm
Location: New Haven, CT USA

General Questions about x230 FHD mod, coreboot, ME cleaner, etc

#1 Post by TheToeNail » Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:36 am

Ive been waiting to do anything to my x230 because I have concerns about what these upgrades will do to my system (or negative side effects)

So to break it down by each mod and each issue heres what im worried about:

1 Full HD mod - board purchased from taobao. 13.3" screen from win0win on ebay. new bezel from superbuy
  • Do I need the sense wire with my board? (I heard mine doesnt need it)
    If I dont need it, will I have weird issues with lid closing, etc
    How hard is the initial solder? I have basic soldering skills and thats about it
    Will my dock still work?
2. Coreboot
  • Will this break any compatibility with anything? Will I really even notice it after booting?
    Will it affect my FHD mod?
    Is there a good guide out there to walk through it (ive flashed libreboot before - same thing?)
    Should I update my current bios and ECfirmware before flashing?
    will I be able to switch to the x220 keyboard after doing this? Or should I do this and flash ECfirmware before flashing coreboot?
    Do I have to do anything else to get rid of whitelist? Or does it just happen with coreboot?
3. ME cleaner
  • Do I do this while flashing coreboot? Or can I do it before/after
    Is there a guide out there to walk me through
    Will this have any noticeable effects (will anything be affected/broken)

What order should I do all 3 (or 4 counting the keyboard upgrade)? After doing this, this will pretty much be my optimal thinkpad. I think the only thing else Id want is maybe a brand new OEM battery? Got one off ebay thats decent, but not sure if a new one would be better.

Thanks.

ThinkRob
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Re: General Questions about x230 FHD mod, coreboot, ME cleaner, etc

#2 Post by ThinkRob » Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:49 pm

Will this break any compatibility with anything?
Not if done right, although this depends on the payload you choose and how you configure it.
Will I really even notice it after booting?
Aside from faster boots and fewer backdoors, probably not. ;)
Will it affect my FHD mod?
It shouldn't, although my latest coreboot usage has been with Linux (which in my experience is more tolerant of screen swaps.)
Is there a good guide out there to walk through it (ive flashed libreboot before - same thing?)
The Coreboot wiki is what I used. And libreboot *is* Coreboot, just from a more ideologically-hardline group and with less hardware support.
Should I update my current bios and ECfirmware before flashing?
EC yes, BIOS it shouldn't matter.
will I be able to switch to the x220 keyboard after doing this? Or should I do this and flash ECfirmware before flashing coreboot?
Good question; I didn't try on mine. If I had to guess I'd say that it's technically possible, but I haven't heard of anyone doing that.
Do I have to do anything else to get rid of whitelist? Or does it just happen with coreboot?
The WLAN/WWAN whitelist is implemented by the Lenovo BIOS/UEFI implementations. Run a third party BIOS/UEFI and you'll have no whitelist.
Do I do this while flashing coreboot?
Yes. You have to flash the ME image as part of the BIOS/UEFI image (when you put coreboot on the machine), but you can neuter it first.
Is there a guide out there to walk me through
The Coreboot wiki should at least mention me_cleaner and describe what you're doing. The most up-to-date info on the tool itself will be on me_cleaner's wiki page.
Will this have any noticeable effects (will anything be affected/broken)
Well, you'll break the backdoor that can allow access to your system behind your OS's back.

But aside from that, no, the X230 should be fine. Again, the me_cleaner docs + issues pages will probably have more specific info. Some machines will break with certain me_cleaner flags -- but as I recall, the X230 should be good with just the "strip and set HAP bit" flag.

---

Oh yeah, and remember to lock your flash once you've got an image you like. You *really* don't want it to be writable from the OS once you're done with your testing.
Need help with Linux or FreeBSD? PM or catch me on IRC: I'm ThinkRob on FreeNode and EFnet.
Laptop: X270, running Fedora
Desktop: Intellistation 285 (currently dead)
Workstation: owned by my employer ;)
Toy: Miata!

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