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Removing fingerprint sensor hardware from x230

X230 through X280, plus X390 series specific matters only
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Wwuoo
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Removing fingerprint sensor hardware from x230

#1 Post by Wwuoo » Fri Sep 04, 2020 6:42 am

Hello, I am just about to purchase an x230 with ok specs incl IPS for about 170€ (200$) – only thing is it has the fingerprint reader which I don't really care for:

Is it possible to just replace the palmrest – if not is it then possible to abuse the sensor with a file or rasp until it fits?

atagunov
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Re: Removing fingerprint sensor hardware from x230

#2 Post by atagunov » Fri Sep 04, 2020 7:50 am

My understanding is that the palmrests are entirely interchangeable. I would think that just cutting the cables leading to fingerprint reader might work too. Though what is your specific concern? Touching it unintentionally? I don't use these readers either because indeed I don't trust operating systems at all - even if it's Ubuntu - to be fully secure and I don't want anybody to have my fingerprints that way. But hey - I just ignore them, don't use them. If you're ready to use a file you could as well put a small piece of some kind of packaging tape over the tiny sensor. I believe it should disable it as well. Besides at least in Win10 I think you need to go for special effort to make it work - install a special driver etc. Perhaps deleting the said driver/disabling the device in the OS would satisfy you too?
X220, 2 *T520

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Re: Removing fingerprint sensor hardware from x230

#3 Post by RealBlackStuff » Fri Sep 04, 2020 8:03 am

You can try an X220 palmrest without FPR, p/n 04W2183.
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Wwuoo
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Re: Removing fingerprint sensor hardware from x230

#4 Post by Wwuoo » Fri Sep 04, 2020 2:34 pm

atagunov wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 7:50 am
My understanding is that the palmrests are entirely interchangeable. I would think that just cutting the cables leading to fingerprint reader might work too. Though what is your specific concern?
Great! I thought it was like a melded hard bump on the mobo.. The reasons are purely cosmetic! = )

Wwuoo
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Re: Removing fingerprint sensor hardware from x230

#5 Post by Wwuoo » Fri Sep 04, 2020 2:35 pm

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 8:03 am
You can try an X220 palmrest without FPR, p/n 04W2183.
Cool, is the non fpr x230 also possible then? My original plan was to eventually get that palmrest and squeeze in a x220 keyboard, even though it seems to be a little bit more tricky?

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Re: Removing fingerprint sensor hardware from x230

#6 Post by TPFanatic » Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:18 pm

The fingerprint sensor is held to the palmrest by a bracket which is screwed in, and once unscrewed just pops out. I've replaced the readers out of **20 series palmrests with the more aesthetically pleasing **30 readers.
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Re: Removing fingerprint sensor hardware from x230

#7 Post by atagunov » Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:07 pm

Wwuoo wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 2:35 pm
Cool, is the non fpr x230 also possible then? My original plan was to eventually get that palmrest and squeeze in a x220 keyboard
Yes as far as I know X220 palmrests fit X230 just fine. Still haven't done this myself but I also read that it's less work to fit a X220/T420/T520/T510/.. keyboard (yes they are all the same) into an X230 if you also fit an X220 palmrest at the same time. All these guides online show how to remove "tabs" from keyboards - e.g. cut off small bits of plastic to make kbd fit. I'm under impression you have to do less of this - or none at all - when you fit both an X220 keyboard and an X220 palmrest together onto an X230.

Also note this outcry about water drain ducts. The first point is that X220 palmrest + X220 keyboard supposedly give you better spilt liquid protection/drainage on an X230 than an X220 keyboard alone. The second point is that it's preferable to purchase an X220 palmrest with that water duct present. I've seen both kinds on offer - with and without. Often the one missing foil on the bottom side of palmrest will also miss water duct. On the other hand those having foil will often have water duct too.
Wwuoo wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 2:35 pm
even though it seems to be a little bit more tricky?
Main link
Note: that page points to a list of FRU-s for these keyboards per layout and per manufacturer (NMB/Chicony/ALPS)

Auxiliary link
This one shows which pins to isolate with Kapton tape
Note: it can be tabs don't need to be cut as in this link because you're replacing palmrest as well

One thing that doesn't work with X220 kbd on X230 is CapsLock led

I understand we'll need thinkpad-ec to update EC (embedded controller) code to work with classic keyboard. You can choose to remove battery whitelisting at the same time. You can also swap Fn and Ctrl keys at this stage if you like. Battery white-listing (X230 refuses to charge X220 batteries, X230 refuses to charge some of the non-Lenovo batteries) and working with keyboard is implemented in EC code. It is a bit confusing because you modify EC code by flashing a cunningly customised version of standard BIOS. This is what "thinkpad-ec" does. It helps you prepare such cunning version of BIOS.
I think "thinkpad-ec" needs to be done while X230 is still on a stock version of BIOS and probably on a particular stock version. Pls. see readme in "thinkpad-ec" on github referenced earlier.

IVprep - this is one way to down/upgrade your BIOS to a specific version of stock BIOS, as needed before using "thinkpad-ec".
Another way to do the same

Only after you've sorted EC you can apply https://1vyra.in/ aka https://github.com/n4ru/1vyrain or anything similar.. If you wan them :) Remove WiFi card white-listing, more control over Fan speeds etc. These features are implemented in BIOS itself not in EC. It is my understanding 1vyrain installation will not undo EC mods.

So it seems the order of using software is: IVprep, thinkpad-ec, 1vyrain.

A further note on classic keyboard itself: for one extra-special machine I'm building I ordered a new NMB keyboard with UK layout from AliExpress (link). This is a rare treat for me, normally I'm content with Chicony ones that I get from ebay.co.uk. This one was more expensive if you count delivery in. It is also worthy of note that this seller declared customs price above UK £15 tax-free limit so I paid not only the 20% import VAT which I don't mind but also the £8 handling fee to Royal Mail.
X220, 2 *T520

Wwuoo
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Re: Removing fingerprint sensor hardware from x230

#8 Post by Wwuoo » Fri Sep 04, 2020 6:13 pm

atagunov wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:07 pm

So it seems the order of using software is: IVprep, thinkpad-ec, 1vyrain.
Hey thanks for the link collection! Will make it breezier further on.

Now in the mail so I guess the first thing will be to change the cooling paste and try out the spillage function, it´s also a coaster you know = )

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Re: Removing fingerprint sensor hardware from x230

#9 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sat Sep 05, 2020 12:57 am

atagunov wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:07 pm
...I ordered a keyboard from AliExpress.
...this seller declared customs price above UK £15 tax-free limit so I paid not only the 20% import VAT which I don't mind but also the £8 handling fee to Royal Mail.
If they put their mind to it, Aliexpress can also be VERY affordable, see: viewtopic.php?p=849052#p849052
Lovely day for a Guinness! (the Real Black Stuff). And pigs CAN fly!
Check out The Boardroom for Parts, Mods and Other Services.
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