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x230 bricked after bios update?

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bgravato
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:06 am
Location: Aveiro, Portugal

x230 bricked after bios update?

#1 Post by bgravato » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:49 am

Hi,

I bought a x230 second hand on ebay (from UK) an year ago. 2x4GB ram (samsung), IPS screen, SSD, 9-cell battery, wifi, fingerprint reader, english keyboard.
I installed both linux and windows 7 on it. On windows, Lenovo's software kept bugging me about updating the bios, so I did (from Windows yes) it got bricked. It powered, power button light on, thinklight flashed once, fan spinned for a couple of seconds then stopped, black screen all the time, no image on external screen, etc... dead.
Not sure what the original bios version was.

Meanwhile I bought a few second hand motherboards. The first two I got I replaced them but still no luck... same symptoms.
The third motherboard I got worked and I got my x230 up and running again. I wiped the disk and installed Win7 and Linux again, though 99% of the time I'm using Linux.
BIOS version was 2.02 and EC 1.10.

Yesterday I gained courage and decided to try to update the BIOS again. This time I played safe and decided to go with the bootable cd option... ("burning" it to an usb pen).
I also thought it would be a good idea to update one version at a time. I followed strickly the instructions on the txt file that comes with the bios update.

I downloaded the iso's from here: https://support.lenovo.com/pt/pt/downloads/ds029188
On linux, I used geteltorito to extract the image from the iso and "burned" it to USB with dd

I successfully updated from 2.02 to 2.06.
Then successfully update to 2.50, then 2.51, then 2.52, then 2.54.
All good up to this point. After each update I would reset bios to defaults (F9 on bios menu).
Then I decided to skip 2.55 update (it didn't change much) and go straight to 2.56 (changelog says it adds support for windows 8).

Booted from usb, run the the bios update, rebooted and BIOS flashing went through normally like the other times.
Then I got the "system will reboot in 5 seconds message" as usual, but when it restarted it didn't boot. Black screen, power button on, no reaction.

So I'm wondering if this might have been because I skipped the 2.55 update? Or maybe 2.56 and later versions introduce some change that is incompatible with my hardware, namely the IPS screen or the memory sticks?

If I remove both memory sticks and power on it starts beeping indicating a memory error as expected, so does that mean it's not completely bricked?

With previous motherboards I tried removing the WIFI, fingerprint, etc boards, but it didn't make a difference. So if it's some hardware incompatibility with the bios I guess it must be either the screen, the RAM or the keyboard.

Any thoughts?

Thanks.

GomJabbar
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Re: x230 bricked after bios update?

#2 Post by GomJabbar » Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:47 am

I have skipped BIOS update versions in the past and never had a problem with a BIOS update so far. I always update using the Bootable CD version.

You might try removing all power (AC, main battery & CMOS battery), hold the power button down for a minute or so, replace the batteries and AC power, and try booting up again.
DKB

bgravato
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:06 am
Location: Aveiro, Portugal

Re: x230 bricked after bios update?

#3 Post by bgravato » Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:01 pm

GomJabbar wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:47 am
I have skipped BIOS update versions in the past and never had a problem with a BIOS update so far. I always update using the Bootable CD version.

You might try removing all power (AC, main battery & CMOS battery), hold the power button down for a minute or so, replace the batteries and AC power, and try booting up again.
I did that, but still the same.

Tanbam
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Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:02 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Re: x230 bricked after bios update?

#4 Post by Tanbam » Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:50 pm

Old thread, but this happened to me yesterday. It’s probably the RAM. Lenovo apparently blocks 8500 sticks in the latest update. Try some different sticks. Worked for me as soon as I swapped them.

bgravato
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:06 am
Location: Aveiro, Portugal

Re: x230 bricked after bios update?

#5 Post by bgravato » Sat Jun 13, 2020 10:22 pm

Tanbam wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:50 pm
Old thread, but this happened to me yesterday. It’s probably the RAM. Lenovo apparently blocks 8500 sticks in the latest update. Try some different sticks. Worked for me as soon as I swapped them.
You were spot on!
A few weeks ago I got my hands on some compatible memory sticks (different brand) and tried them on the x230 and voila! It came back to life!!

I tried the "original" memory sticks on a different laptop and they worked fine, so it really seems like some weird incompatibility between recent firmware versions and some memory sticks.

The other replacement motherboards I got seem to be working fine as well... So instead of some bricks I now have (again) a fully working x230 plus a couple more working motherboards... which came with the bottom of the case + working fan, etc... and which can be turned into desktop computers by plugging them to an external monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc... Only thing I need to get is a spare power supply!
Main problem is that without the keyboard I don't have a power button... but I can turn them on with wake-on-lan, so not a big problem :D

cadillacmike68
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Re: x230 bricked after bios update?

#6 Post by cadillacmike68 » Sun Jun 14, 2020 12:02 am

I'm going to try new RAM with my T500s. That could be part of the problem.
600
760LD FUBARd
T21 2647 T22 2647 4@ 900MHz, 1@ 1GHz SXGA+; T23 2647 2@ 1.13GHz, 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+
T30 2366-88U 2GHz; 2366-83U 1.8G; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U; 2367-KU6 FUBARd
T41 T42 T43
T61 8897 2.4GHz SXGA+; 8898 2.4Ghz; 6463 2@ WSXGA+; 7658 2.5GHz; T61p; 6 more T61s
T500 2
T530 W530

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