[SOLVED] Unable to boot BIOS upgrade on USB

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Barbados99
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[SOLVED] Unable to boot BIOS upgrade on USB

Post by Barbados99 »

I first posted this on the Lenovo help forum but I am still am searching for a solution. I am posting it here in hopes someone may be able to help me figure out what I am doing wrong. Thanks in advance.

I have a LENOVO model 20G8S05B00 ThinkPad Yoga 11e 3rd Gen. and want to update the BIOS. My OS is Linux Mint 19.3 with XFCE desktop. I downloaded the BIOS ISO CD file from the Lenovo support site and used the Mint USB writer to make a bootable USB. The machine will not boot from this USB with this particular ISO file.

This really has me stumped due to the fact that this particular laptop has made many bootable USB sticks over the years. That's how I install the OS updates when I do a clean install on it. I download the ISO and use the standard Mint "USB Image Writer" program to format and create the bootable USB stick. Just out of curiosity I used my USB stick with the Mint 19.3 on it and did a live boot to make sure my machine could still boot from that stick. It did. So I took that same USB stick and used the "USB Image Writer" to create a bootable stick for the BIOS ISO. But the machine just hangs when I reboot to that USB.

I just flashed the BIOS upgrade on my other Mint 19.3 XFCE Lenovo laptop yesterday with no problem... a different BIOS file (appropriate for that machine) and a newer machine but I did the exact same things on that laptop and it worked fine. But not on this one. Any ideas on what I am doing wrong?

I noticed that this statement regarding the ISO is for a Windows OS, but the other file that I used to upgrade my other machine said this too - and updated just fine. FWIW, I do have the Braswell model:

BIOS Update (Utility & Bootable CD) (Braswell model) for Windows 10, 8.1, 7 (64-bit) - ThinkPad 11e (Type: 20G9, 20GB), Yoga 11e (Type: 20G8, 20GA). This version is for a Braswell model system.

Here is my system:
Kernel: 5.3.0-53-generic x86_64 bits: 64
Desktop: Xfce 4.14.1 Distro: Linux Mint 19.3 Tricia
Machine:
Type: Laptop System: LENOVO product: 20G8S05B00
v: ThinkPad Yoga 11e 3rd Gen serial: L********

Mobo: LENOVO model: Intel powered classmate PC v: SDK0J40700 WIN
serial: A1SH64C0153 UEFI: LENOVO v: R0AET29W (1.12) date: 09/09/2016
Battery:
ID-1: BAT1 charge: 38.8 Wh condition: 38.9/42.0 Wh (93%)
CPU:
Topology: Quad Core model: Intel Celeron N3150 bits: 64 type: MCP
L2 cache: 1024 KiB
Speed: 611 MHz min/max: 480/2080 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 611 2: 630
3: 1776 4: 2000
Graphics:
Device-1: Intel Atom/Celeron/Pentium Processor x5-E8000/J3xxx/N3xxx
Integrated Graphics
driver: i915 v: kernel
Display: server: X.Org 1.20.5 driver: modesetting unloaded: fbdev,vesa
resolution: 1366x768~60Hz
OpenGL: renderer: Mesa DRI Intel HD Graphics 400 (Braswell)
v: 4.5 Mesa 19.2.8
Last edited by Barbados99 on Fri May 29, 2020 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Barbados99
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Re: Unable to boot BIOS upgrade on USB

Post by Barbados99 »

One additional point. The USB boots with my other (newer) Lenovo Thinkpad that also has Mint 19.3 XFCE on it. LOL, no, I didn't try to flash the BIOS since it was for the older machine. I then looked at the BIOS settings for both machines to see if something was set different on the older unit. But they are set up the same as far as the settings they do have in common. And again, I can boot a Mint install USB on the older machine... just not this bootable USB with the BIOS ISO.

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Lanser
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Re: Unable to boot BIOS upgrade on USB

Post by Lanser »

Hello Barbados99. I have updated the BIOS on Lenovo (and IBM) Laptops many times over the years, but in every case have followed the instructions on the hardware support site and burned the update image to a CD. Then used an external USB CD drive to update with a 100% success rate.I have tried using the image installed on a USB key but the method appears not to be recognised by the machine BIOS updater. (at least on all the E and T series that I have tried)
Note that my understanding is that the updating image is not "bootable" as such. It just provides a "bootable link" to the updater embedded in the existing BIOS.

Lanser
Thinkpads:- LMDE4, LM19.1 Mate, Debian 10

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thx-1138
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Re: Unable to boot BIOS upgrade on USB

Post by thx-1138 »

...i believe you simply need to run geteltorito over those Lenovo provided .iso files. See here for an example.
(Read here & here for details if actually curious). Eg. with your iso file above...
apt install genisoimage
geteltorito -o bios.img r0aur16wd.iso
Booting catalog starts at sector: 20
Manufacturer of CD: NERO BURNING ROM
Image architecture: x86
Boot media type is: harddisk
El Torito image starts at sector 27 and has 67584 sector(s) of 512 Bytes

Image has been written to file "bios.img".
Then just write the .img file to the usb stick.

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Barbados99
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Re: Unable to boot BIOS upgrade on USB

Post by Barbados99 »

thx-1138 wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 5:27 am
...i believe you simply need to run geteltorito over those Lenovo provided .iso files. See here for an example.
(Read here & here for details if actually curious). Eg. with your iso file above...
apt install genisoimage
geteltorito -o bios.img r0aur16wd.iso
Booting catalog starts at sector: 20
Manufacturer of CD: NERO BURNING ROM
Image architecture: x86
Boot media type is: harddisk
El Torito image starts at sector 27 and has 67584 sector(s) of 512 Bytes

Image has been written to file "bios.img".
Then just write the .img file to the usb stick.
That worked perfectly!!!
Thank you so much for your help. LOL, because I knew it wasn't that big of a deal if I couldn't update the BIOS on that old machine... but then it became the "principle" of the thing and it was driving me crazy not being able to figure it out. But your solution was easy to do and it worked like a charm. Hope you have a fantastic day, because you sure made mine :-)

The BEST thing about Linux Mint is this help forum community. Over the years there have been a number of times I've come here for help. It's priceless to have this resource. Kudos to the people who provide the help and this messageboard for us to get help.

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