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Last BIOS update bricked my new T16

2020 New name Series after T430-T490 / T530-T590
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MikalE
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Last BIOS update bricked my new T16

#1 Post by MikalE » Wed Nov 02, 2022 11:30 am

I downloaded and installed the latest BIOS update for my T16. I think it was dated 28 or 29OKT. Can't remember exactly, but got around to doing in on the 30th.

I came home from work over 9 hours later and found the machine running, but with a dark screen and the three LED indicators on the number keys flashing in sequence. No BIOS update I've ever done has taken well over 9 hours to complete and reboot.

I attempted to reboot the machine but there was no change in status. I removed the extra 16GB of Crucial memory I installed thinking it may have been stuck in memory retraining mode but that did not change anything either. I removed the battery and AC power and held the power button for at least a minute and attempted to reboot, but still no change.

Lenovo was notified of the circumstances, attempted solutions, and current status. There were no error beeps and no screen messages.

An on-site repair is supposed to be done on the 9th. Waiting on the part, which I assume is going to be a new mother board as this one is nicely bricked now.

There will be no further BIOS updates on this machine. I hope the new MB comes updated.

I've been updating BIOS'es for nearly ten years after getting into into IBM and Lenovo machines. This is the first time this has happened.
A31p P-IV 2Ghz, 2MB, 2653-R6U
T500 T9600 2055-BE9
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Re: Last BIOS update bricked my new T16

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Wed Nov 02, 2022 12:14 pm

Sorry to hear of your mishap, but as most of you will know, you have Micro$haft and Windows 11 to 'thank' for that. :evil:

Next time, get the bootable .ISO and use a USB-stick.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)
Lenovo: X240, X250, T440p, M900 Tiny (all with W7/SP1)

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Re: Last BIOS update bricked my new T16

#3 Post by MikalE » Wed Nov 02, 2022 4:25 pm

I will remember that if I ever think I need to update the BIOS on the T16.

I've always been leary of performing BIOS updates, but never had problems until this time.
A31p P-IV 2Ghz, 2MB, 2653-R6U
T500 T9600 2055-BE9
T510 i5 4384-DV7
T510 i7 4349-A64
T520 i7QM 4242-4UU Highly Modified
T16 i7 1260P 21BV000SUS

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Re: Last BIOS update bricked my new T16

#4 Post by MikalE » Thu Nov 03, 2022 8:42 am

Lenovo has shipped the part, but did not specify what part it was. I am supposed to have a service tech visit on the 9th for the repair.

I'm assuming it is a new motherboard that was shipped, but I won't know that until the tech gets here.

Does anyone know if the technician's disc that is used to program the machine type model, serial number, and other machine information onto the new motherboard is O/S system specific, or will it work with any operating system?

I would love to have a copy of this disc and may ask the tech if I can make a copy.
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T500 T9600 2055-BE9
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Re: Last BIOS update bricked my new T16

#5 Post by RealBlackStuff » Thu Nov 03, 2022 9:16 am

You can download the HMD here: https://download.lenovo.com/ibmdl/pub/p ... tm38us.exe
However, some newer machines may need: https://download.lenovo.com/pccbbs/mobiles/n1ctm07w.zip
Run those programs from a USB stick.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)
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Re: Last BIOS update bricked my new T16

#6 Post by MikalE » Thu Nov 03, 2022 9:41 am

Thanks.
A31p P-IV 2Ghz, 2MB, 2653-R6U
T500 T9600 2055-BE9
T510 i5 4384-DV7
T510 i7 4349-A64
T520 i7QM 4242-4UU Highly Modified
T16 i7 1260P 21BV000SUS

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Re: Last BIOS update bricked my new T16

#7 Post by MikalE » Wed Nov 16, 2022 10:53 am

After much hassle and the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing, or has done, the Lenovo tech is sitting at my bench replacing the system board in my new T16.

The first part was sent Fed Ex on 2NOV, the day after I entered the service ticket. It arrived next day about 20 miles from here at a drop Lenovo field techs use to pick up sent parts. It sat there until the scheduled visit on the 12th came and went. No call, no show, no email, no text. No one could give me the tech's number to call and they wouldn't call him either. Because either (as they claim) they did not know who the tech was that was assigned, or they couldn't reach him.

After many phone calls on Monday, being hung up on four times total, I finally found a rep that assigned a new tech. I was told the original part got sent back because it sat at the drop for longer than five days.

The agent saw this on his terminal and dispatched anther mother board and Fed Ex screwed this up for the repair scheduled yesterday (15NOV). The part finally showed up this morning and the tech called and let me know he picked it up and was en-route. So he's finally here with BOTH system boards. The original part was still sitting at the drop with the one that was sent on Monday.

Unbelievable amount of hassle with me doing all of the phone work because Lenovo has no idea what is going on in their own service department.

Now we'll see if he can get this up and running. If he bricks the first board, there's always a second in this case.

Just heard it beep seven times (I think it was seven). I don't know if that's good or not. If he gets it running he still has to load all of the data to the new system board.
A31p P-IV 2Ghz, 2MB, 2653-R6U
T500 T9600 2055-BE9
T510 i5 4384-DV7
T510 i7 4349-A64
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Re: Last BIOS update bricked my new T16

#8 Post by MikalE » Wed Nov 16, 2022 10:56 pm

The system went through a couple of updates upon first power up. When starting the third update after a reboot, the system hung and would not boot. No beeps and no screen message. There was no BIOS update to perform at this time.

He turned the machine off and removed the Crucial 16GB memory card and the machine then booted. What neither of us could understand was why the machine ran perfectly from day 1 with the additional 16GB of RAM and then it wouldn't boot using that same RAM. We don't know if after one of the system updates the system is now rejecting the RAM, or during the previous BIOS update when it bricked the MB, the RAM was damaged. If the latter, you would think it would not have booted with the new MB either.

Either way, the RAM is now unusable in this system whether due to an update or damage to the module. I have no other machine to test this type of RAM so I ordered a 16GB Samsung module and I will see if this is compatible with this machine. I know some earlier Thinkpads were rather memory sensitive with regards to what memory they would boot with and what they would not boot with.

I would buy direct from Lenovo but they are asking a ridiculous price for 16GB of RAM for this machine.

I want that other memory module in there not only because of the memory increase, but in single-channel mode, the video reverts to UHD Intel graphics instead of using the Intel Iris XE graphics.

I hope the new memory works.
A31p P-IV 2Ghz, 2MB, 2653-R6U
T500 T9600 2055-BE9
T510 i5 4384-DV7
T510 i7 4349-A64
T520 i7QM 4242-4UU Highly Modified
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Re: Last BIOS update bricked my new T16

#9 Post by RealBlackStuff » Thu Nov 17, 2022 12:42 am

If that "technician" had been a real technician, s/he would have had some memory sticks with him/her.
Time to send yet another complaint to Lenono for sending unqualified, incompetent doer-uppers to their customers.
What about the old (or the 2nd new) mobo?
Did you get to keep it/them?
Did it/they work without that failing RAM?
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)
Lenovo: X240, X250, T440p, M900 Tiny (all with W7/SP1)

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Re: Last BIOS update bricked my new T16

#10 Post by MikalE » Thu Nov 17, 2022 8:47 am

When the new MB was installed along with the Crucial memory stick, the system required the Bitlocker code twice when rebooting for the first two updates. When starting the third update, the machine would not boot with the Crucial memory installed. He removed the memory and the machine booted normally.

The second MB was not used, and the original MB was bricked with or without the Crucial memory. I did not ask for the bricked MB. What am I going to do with a bricked MB?

Still don't know if this memory is now bad or the machine refuses to recognize it because of the updates.

I cancelled the Samsung memory stick order this morning and instead found the original OEM ram by Hynix from Memory.net based on the numbers generated by Performance Test by Passmark. It cost $10 more and I'm being robbed for UPS shipping, but it's at least the OEM memory stick.

Hopefully this one will be properly recognized and the machine will boot.

The tech they sent out was no kid. Likely older than me (60) and has been with IBM/Lenovo for over 30 years. I'm pretty sure he knew what he was doing. I don't know if he had any extra memory with him or not, but his task was to replace the bricked MB and get the system running as new. That much he accomplished. The memory problem is on me.
A31p P-IV 2Ghz, 2MB, 2653-R6U
T500 T9600 2055-BE9
T510 i5 4384-DV7
T510 i7 4349-A64
T520 i7QM 4242-4UU Highly Modified
T16 i7 1260P 21BV000SUS

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Re: Last BIOS update bricked my new T16

#11 Post by Jake.Werecat » Thu Nov 17, 2022 4:16 pm

Interesting... Top to bottom actually.
But regardless the weird initial bricking.... what's the brand of the original RAM module? Did you try to run the suspicious Corsair module as the only one? Did it work?
I've never had a T16, but I used Samsung RAM modules for yeeeears from DDR2 to DDR4, and they're really reliable - they are also often used as OEMs. Same goes for Hynix. However... not often, but sometimes it happened to me that two modules with different brands/speed/timing/latencies weren't working together, maybe that's the case? But on the other hand - if it wouldn't work from the beginning.... This is super weird, and I struggle to find any logical reason. :roll:
Nevertheless two identical RAM modules are usually the best and safest choice.
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Re: Last BIOS update bricked my new T16

#12 Post by MikalE » Thu Nov 17, 2022 5:11 pm

The memory installed from Lenovo is soldered so it is not feasable to remove it to test the Crucial stick. Specs were identical though.

OEM ram is Hynix and that is on the way for the open slot.

The Crucial ram initially worked with the original MB until it was bricked by the BIOS update.
A31p P-IV 2Ghz, 2MB, 2653-R6U
T500 T9600 2055-BE9
T510 i5 4384-DV7
T510 i7 4349-A64
T520 i7QM 4242-4UU Highly Modified
T16 i7 1260P 21BV000SUS

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Re: Last BIOS update bricked my new T16

#13 Post by Jake.Werecat » Thu Nov 17, 2022 5:24 pm

soldered RAM, of course.... O tempora, o mores....
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Re: Last BIOS update bricked my new T16

#14 Post by axur-delmeria » Fri Nov 18, 2022 12:56 am

MikalE wrote:
Thu Nov 17, 2022 5:11 pm
The Crucial ram initially worked with the original MB until it was bricked by the BIOS update.
I have to wonder how a BIOS update can actually brick a RAM stick. Did it overwrite the SPD data, somehow misconfigure the RAM voltage, or simply give the entire motherboard a stroke? :o
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Re: Last BIOS update bricked my new T16

#15 Post by MikalE » Fri Nov 18, 2022 7:49 am

That wasn't meant to read that the ram was bricked.

In addition, two updates were performed on the new motherboard with the Crucial ram installed before it wouldn't boot with the Crucial ram anymore. after the third update with the new MB, it would not boot with the Crucial ram.

After the ram was removed, the new MB booted normally.
A31p P-IV 2Ghz, 2MB, 2653-R6U
T500 T9600 2055-BE9
T510 i5 4384-DV7
T510 i7 4349-A64
T520 i7QM 4242-4UU Highly Modified
T16 i7 1260P 21BV000SUS

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Re: Last BIOS update bricked my new T16

#16 Post by Jake.Werecat » Fri Nov 18, 2022 11:58 am

MikalE wrote:
Fri Nov 18, 2022 7:49 am
That wasn't meant to read that the ram was bricked.

In addition, two updates were performed on the new motherboard with the Crucial ram installed before it wouldn't boot with the Crucial ram anymore. after the third update with the new MB, it would not boot with the Crucial ram.

After the ram was removed, the new MB booted normally.
And this is exactly what's MOST weird.
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Re: Last BIOS update bricked my new T16

#17 Post by MikalE » Fri Nov 18, 2022 6:30 pm

Yes, it is strange. I'm tempted to put it back in and try to get it to boot. But, I'm waiting until the OEM Hynix memory stck shows up.

For whatever reason, when another DIMM is installed for the first time, the system initiates a memory training routine. It took about 30 seconds on the original bricked MB, but the memory training bit never completed on the new MB and it refused to boot.

Don't know why the new MB went through two updates before this happened.
A31p P-IV 2Ghz, 2MB, 2653-R6U
T500 T9600 2055-BE9
T510 i5 4384-DV7
T510 i7 4349-A64
T520 i7QM 4242-4UU Highly Modified
T16 i7 1260P 21BV000SUS

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Re: Last BIOS update bricked my new T16

#18 Post by MikalE » Wed Nov 23, 2022 10:15 am

The Hynix memory would not allow the system to boot either.

I did some searching and found that the latest Lenovo BIOS update, 1.05, bricks the memory slot. There are multiple separate incidences of this on the internet on different forums, including Lenovo.

One fix that worked for one chap was to roll back the BIOS to 1.03 or 1.04. He had success with this, but it has not worked for me. I'm currently on 1.03 and turned off updates from Lenovo and all driver updates, but the system will still not boot with memory in the slot.

It's almost as if Lenovo inserted a white list in one of their updates. I'm not certain which BIOS version this system was running before the system board was bricked by 1.05, but the Crucial memory was initially working before the 1.05 BIOS upgrade.

Even if they included a whitelist in their latest BIOS release, won't overwriting the BIOS with an earlier version clear this white list? I can see no reason why this machine won't boot with memory in the slot with an older BIOS.

I thought there was a law in place to keep manufacturers from insisting, or making it impossible to use any add-on that wasn't theirs.
A31p P-IV 2Ghz, 2MB, 2653-R6U
T500 T9600 2055-BE9
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Re: Last BIOS update bricked my new T16

#19 Post by Jake.Werecat » Wed Nov 23, 2022 7:53 pm

Oh my goodness, this is wrong... so wrong. DO complain to Lenovo about this. It's ridicules. You have them literally f*** up your machine with those updates.
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Re: Last BIOS update bricked my new T16

#20 Post by MikalE » Wed Nov 23, 2022 8:32 pm

Other owners have expressed the same.

I am seriously considering a return, however, their pat answer will be "we can't guarantee third party memory will work and you should only buy Lenovo ram."

So my option is to spent $175 on Lenovo's overpriced ram just to see if it boots, and then if it doesn't...another service visit.

If it does boot, I'm still out the $100+ I've already spent on ram the machine will not use.

P14 and P15 owners report this problem too. I'm thinking I might need an attorney if they refuse a return for refund or replacement.

Has anyone here ever tried to return a new machine for refund or replacement within 90 days of purchase?
A31p P-IV 2Ghz, 2MB, 2653-R6U
T500 T9600 2055-BE9
T510 i5 4384-DV7
T510 i7 4349-A64
T520 i7QM 4242-4UU Highly Modified
T16 i7 1260P 21BV000SUS

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Re: Last BIOS update bricked my new T16

#21 Post by Jake.Werecat » Wed Nov 23, 2022 10:16 pm

Is returning both Crucial and Hynix non-Lenovo RAM an option? Worst case - you can put them on eBay if genuine Lenovo RAM will work...
T470, M73 Tiny

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