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T420 bios v1.52 Spectre fix

T400/410/420 and T500/510/520 series specific matters only
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skx
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T420 bios v1.52 Spectre fix

#1 Post by skx » Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:23 pm

UEFI: 1.52 / ECP: 1.20
-[Important] Security fix addresses LEN-22133 Speculative Execution Side Channel Variants 4 and 3a (CVE-2018-3639, CVE-2018-3640). Refer to Lenovofs Security Advisory page for additional information. (https://support.lenovo.com/product_security/home)

UEFI: 1.51 / ECP: 1.20
- [Important] Security fix addresses LEN-19568 Intel Active Management Technology MEBx Access Control Bypass.

UEFI: 1.50 / ECP: 1.20
- [Important] Enhancement to address CVE-2017-5715.

UEFI: 1.49 / ECP: 1.20
- [Important] Security fix addresses LEN-8324 System Management Mode (SMM) BIOS Vulnerability.
- (Fix) Fixed an issue where the brightness control might not work on Windows XP.

UEFI: 1.48 / ECP: 1.20
- [Important] Security fix addresses LEN-2015-002 SMM "Incursion" Attack and some security fixes.
- (Fix) Fixed an issue where the computer might not enter Startup interrupt menu.
(Note) If the UEFI BIOS has been updated to version 1.48 or higher, it is no longerable to roll back to the version before 1.48 for security improvement.

UEFI: 1.46 / ECP: 1.20
- (New) Updated the CPU microcode.
- (Fix) Corrected the help message for enabling the microphone in the BIOS Setup.

source: https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/be/en/prod ... s/ds018785
Hi all, long time non registered reader here coming in peace :D I bought last weekend a T420 which was still at bios version 1.36 which I meanwhile updated to version 1.46 or the last bios version which allows downgrading if needed. So far I did not need a custom bios but would like to keep my options available. My T420 is running Debian Stretch, all working amazing, except there is one issue where the laptop when cold does not boot the first time, second attempt seems to work each time but still it annoys me a lot. The beep error code on first cold boot attempt is one short beep, pause, three short beeps, pause, three more short beeps, and one short beep indicating a DIMM or system board issue, although when booted succesfully the laptop works rocksolid for hours with multiple succesful reboots. I thought a bios update could maybe solve this issue but with version 1.46 the issue still persists.

My question now, I really want to update the bios if my issue will be solved and if the spectre fix does not substantially impact the T420 performance. Anyone here able to provide feedback on the performance after applying the spectre fix? Thanks
Last edited by skx on Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ThinkPad X220: i5-2520M CPU 2.5GHz - 8GB RAM 1333 MHz - SSD 860 EVO 250GB - Debian
ThinkPad X230: i5-3320M CPU 3.3GHz - 8GB RAM 1600 MHz - SSD 860 EVO 500GB - Debian

thinkpadcollection
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Location: kingston, ontario, Canada

Re: T420 bios v1.52 Spectre fix

#2 Post by thinkpadcollection » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:38 am

Bios Updates all the way. I have seen no impact of use even linux, yesterday I just completed updated HP elite 8300 motherboard and now running windows 10 Pro. :)

If the complete updates of bios did not fix the cold boot, replace the memory then CPU finally, motherboard. 1-3-3-1 is memory or CPU's memory controller problem even motherboard's. Clean memory modules contacts if not fixes that try another memory module, then try another CPU since CPU's memory controller is directly connected to the memory slots, also use some piece of paper torn from paper and folded up 2 times and rub on the gold contacts of the memory modules (both sides) only to try to fix this. Paper is safest and natural anti-static properties and very mild scouring material.

Yes that you heard that right, I never ever seen a cold startup fix themselves unless bios updates address this explicitly in the bug fixes text.

Starting with i-core and AMD notebook cpus, and all AMD desktop CPUs starting with socket 754 started using CPU integrated memory controller instead of northbridge.

Cheers, thinkpadcollection

skx
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Posts: 58
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Location: Belgium

Re: T420 bios v1.52 Spectre fix

#3 Post by skx » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:10 pm

thinkpadcollection wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:38 am
If the complete updates of bios did not fix the cold boot, replace the memory then CPU finally, motherboard. 1-3-3-1 is memory or CPU's memory controller problem even motherboard's. Clean memory modules contacts if not fixes that try another memory module, then try another CPU since CPU's memory controller is directly connected to the memory slots, also use some piece of paper torn from paper and folded up 2 times and rub on the gold contacts of the memory modules (both sides) only to try to fix this. Paper is safest and natural anti-static properties and very mild scouring material.
Just a quick follow up, you were right, the ram was not properly installed. my T420 is now booting like a champ :) with respect to the Spectre bios updates, would like to read some more feedback by other users. Especially by people with stock setup (no upgraded ram). It's difficult to understand that performance is not impacted by the spectre cpu fixes.
ThinkPad X220: i5-2520M CPU 2.5GHz - 8GB RAM 1333 MHz - SSD 860 EVO 250GB - Debian
ThinkPad X230: i5-3320M CPU 3.3GHz - 8GB RAM 1600 MHz - SSD 860 EVO 500GB - Debian

joy.ang
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Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:49 am
Location: Pasig, Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: T420 bios v1.52 Spectre fix

#4 Post by joy.ang » Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:29 am

Would also like to know how much does the spectre fix / update degrade the T420 performance. I read that this fix will make 30% slow on the performance, just want to know if this is noticeable on the T420. Thanks

TonyJZX
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Re: T420 bios v1.52 Spectre fix

#5 Post by TonyJZX » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:45 am

I have a T420 with the newest official bios w/ the spectre meltdown fix.

I have a T420s with the latest non official bios w/ whitelist etc, but obviously no fixes.

Both are 4Gb x 2 and SSDs inside and both Win7.

They are functionally identical with the i5 2540 cpu however the 420 has Nvidia and the 420s is Intel and both are Intel 6300 wireless.

I'm not doing any VM work on these and have noticed not performance degradaton. They are both very fast and nothing I do stresses them.

TonyJZX
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Re: T420 bios v1.52 Spectre fix

#6 Post by TonyJZX » Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:42 am

Just an FYI...

I was running official 1.52 and as you know, this is whitelisted.

I came onto this thread here:

https://www.bios-mods.com/forum/Thread- ... al?page=32

This is the file: http://rgho.st/7VphNmm2f

I ran in from Win7 and it did its thing and now my T420 has the 1.52 fixes and is now whitelist removed so any card can now be installed.

I tested it with an offbrand Intel 6300 that was previously rejected.

I feel like this will be the final update for the T420 which is a massive 7 years after general release of this laptop.

I consider the book closed on this laptop in this regard.

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