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x201 tablet core i7 slow boot

X200, X201, X220 (including equivalent tablet models) and X300, X301 series specific matters only.
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x201 tablet core i7 slow boot

#1 Post by charlesd » Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:07 pm


After I upgraded by motherboard to a i7, I played with the various bios settings. It took some time to manually clear them all, so I just unplugged the CMOS battery between reboots.

I'm not sure what I did or how I did it, but after clearing some settings by unplugging the battery I started getting a very slow boot.

The computer has a black screen for about 15 seconds before booting normally with another 10 second delay, which I find very irritating, so I got myself another motherboard and put this one in my spare X201 tablet.

I wonder if that could be fixed. I looked for more information, someone said he had this problem after updating the BIOS, but it did not happen after a BIOS update. I tried downgrading the BIOS but it doesn't help.

I found someone with similar problems (but 15 minutes instead of 15 seconds: http://jackngblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/ ... en-on.html) who had to disable AMT in the BIOS, so I tried checking the settings in the BIOS, but it freeze when I enter "Config".

Instead, I found some tools to tweak the settings from Windows 7, tried turning TPM and AMT on and off, nothing helped.

There are similar reports on lenovo forums when using Bitlocker (http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/X-Series-Ta ... d-p/200994) but not for 15 seconds - and I don't use Bitlocker.

I was just playing in the BIOS. Has anyone had that problem before? Any suggestion? (I tried clearing the BIOS, which did not help)

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Re: x201 tablet core i7 slow boot

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:39 am

Since you changed your motherboard, maybe it came with an almost dead CMOS battery, or the one you put in is nearly dead?
Try a new one, or one with at least 3.0V.
By replacing the CMOS battery you force the X201 into going into BIOS when you switch on again, to set date/time.
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Re: x201 tablet core i7 slow boot

#3 Post by charlesd » Tue Feb 24, 2015 4:09 pm


Thanks, I will try to replace the battery, even if it seems to be holding the time and date quite well (I have seen stranger things)

What happens when I unplug the CMOS battery (as I already tried that instead) : the x201 goes into bios mode, to ask me again to setup date and time, but:
- it still takes these 15 seconds
- as soon as I select "Config" instead, it hangs

I just don't understand why it hangs when I select an option in BIOS mode.I tried waiting a few minutes, but the fan get to the maximum speed and I'm worried about burning the CPU

My best idea is some security (TPM or AMT) related bug, because if after the long boot I start Windows 7, the AMT driver complain it can't talk to the AMT chip, while using the SRCMOS dos tool (http://download.lenovo.com/ibmdl/pub/pc ... tr02ww.txt) or the windows BIOS tools (http://download.lenovo.com/ibmdl/pub/pc ... loy_en.pdf) I have set it to enabled.

When I set AMT to disabled, it does 2 reboots to remove the option, just like on my main x201, but still does not help.

I know I should not have played with the BIOS settings, but I never expected the bios hanging when I select an option, even after removing the CMOS battery.

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Re: x201 tablet core i7 slow boot

#4 Post by charlesd » Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:35 pm

After additional research, I'm not the only one getting that problem: http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/X-Series-Th ... d-p/811249 seems to be for the exact same problem.

I also found:
http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.ph ... w=previous



If I can't fix it, I will just use the motherboard to practice with the mini PCIE port surgery (http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.ph ... 08#p753708)

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Re: x201 tablet core i7 slow boot

#5 Post by lex777 » Fri May 15, 2015 8:47 am

Hello, charlesd!
Unfortunately, I have the same problem... Did you fix it?

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Re: x201 tablet core i7 slow boot

#6 Post by rumpumpel1 » Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:43 am

Hello, lex777!
Unfortunately, I have the same problem (X240) ... Did you fix it?

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Re: x201 tablet core i7 slow boot

#7 Post by Ryccardo » Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:30 pm

(For those still wondering, and those victim of Intel ME paranoia)

Intel AMT, the (exploitable, on certain versions) remote control system built into VPro machines, is one of the many features of the Intel ME.

ME is increasingly tightly integrated into systems, to the point that even if you can stop it without incurring in the 30-minute watchdog (using me_cleaner) the fans won't work, at least on X201.
The official bios setup will crash when going to Config if ME is not running - sorry, I don't work for Phoenix :)
No big deal, you need a hardware programmer to install the products of me_cleaner anyway so you can restore a backup, riiight?

Well, guess what, the idiosyncratic AMT/ME setup system combined with the above bug results in a bigger bug!

Let's first be clear about the 3 settings:
Setup > Config > AMT > Enable: stored in SRAM, this is just advice for the ME to enable the MEBx setup tool (Power > Thinkvantage > ctrl+p) and to keep the current AMT settings
MEBx* > AMT control: self explanatory, if you're not paranoid at least
MEBx* > ME control: self explanatory, causes the above semi-brick
* after setting the AMT admin password

If you turned off the ME, you should in theory be able to boot to the MEBx again to turn it back on... or at least this is my personal experience, I don't really doubt it may be possible to further screw up your machine...!
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