Thursday, 13 June 2019

Adding UEFI-bootable Lenovo BIOS updates to E2B

The Lenovo BIOS updates are typically either in .iso form or you can download their executable Windows BIOS Update (Flash from operating system version) utility and run it under Windows or WinPE (not all WinPEs will work, choose one with WoW64 such as Strelec or Bob Omb's WinPE).

If a UEFI .ISO update file (not a BIOS update ISO) is provided, you can convert this to a FAT32 .imgPTN file in the usual way. See here.

Sometimes a .zip file is provided. This can be drag-and-dropped onto the MPI_FAT32 Desktop shortcut to make a FAT32 .imgPTN file.

After making a .imgPTN file, always check that it contains a \EFI\BOOT\BOOTX64.EFI file - if not, then it is not going to UEFI64 boot (check by opening the .imgPTN file using 7Zip).

Method 1 uses the ISO, Method 2 uses the utility which makes a bootable flash drive (but we use it to make a .imgPTN file instead)...

Method 1

Here is how to make a UEFI-bootable .imgPTN file from the older BIOS update ISOs which appear to be empty:
Caveat: Although this process appears to make a UEFI-bootable image, I have not been able to get it booting to the Lenovo update program as I do not have a Lenovo UEFI system to test it on.
1. Download the required BIOS Update ISO file (e.g. r07uj25wd.iso)

2. Right-click on the ISO file and choose - 7-Zip - Open archive - #

See also this blog post (bottom of page) for extracting from .iso files.

3. Double-click on the FAT partition entry and copy the contents to a new empty folder (e.g. C:\temp\1).

If 7Zip cannot open the ISO correctly, then you must use PowerISO (highly recommended) or ISOBuster (both need to be registered/licensed).

PowerISO - load ISO - Action - Boot - Save boot information (.bif). Then load .bif file into PowerISO and save contents to an empty folder.

ISOBuster - load ISO - Bootable Disc - NERO BURNING ROM VER12.img - right-click - Extract. The use File - Open Image File  to load .img file - Kmlib - now save folders under Kmlib to an empty folder.

4. Drag-and-drop the folder containing the files (e.g. C:\temp\1) onto the MPI_FAT32 Desktop shortcut to make a xxxxx.imgPTN file.

5. Copy the .imgPTN file to your E2B USB drive and switch it in. You should now be able to UEFI-boot from the E2B drive.

If I try this under VBox I just get the UEFI shell, but it does appear to run some sort of utility first.

If you try this on a Lenovo, please let me know if it works or not.

Method 2

1. Download the Windows .exe flash file and run it to install the files/folders.

You should now have a folder at C:\DRIVERS\Flash\xxxxxxx

2. Edit the mkusbkey.bat file in that new folder to add a new line (shown in red)

set Drive=%1
set DefaultDir=%~dp0
pushd "%~dp0"

if "%1"=="" goto syntaxError

3. Create a new empty folder on your Desktop called LennyFlash (or whatever you like!) - it MUST be empty.

4. Drag-and-drop the empty LennyFlash folder onto the mkusbkey.bat file.

If you prefer not to edit the mkusbkey.bat file, you can open a Windows cmd prompt shell at the C:\DRIVERS\Flash\xxxxxxx folder and type  mkusbkey.bat C:\Users\Steve\Desktop\LennyFlash (change the path as appropriate).

5. Now check the contents of the LennyFlash folder, it should now contain a \EFI\BOOT\BOOTX64.efi file and a \FLASH folder with various files inside.

If it did not work, delete all contents from the LennyFlash folder and try again!

Tip: Change the first line of the .bat file to @echo on  instead of @echo off and add to the very end of the file a new line containing one word pause. This will allow you to see the batch file commands as they are executed and detect any issues.

6. Now you can drag-and-drop the LennyFlash folder onto the MPI_FAT32 Desktop shortcut to make a .imgPTN file which will UEFI-boot.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Steve. I managed to update the bios of a t460 laptop using the method 1. However I couldn't boot from E2B CSM-menu on MBR-mode or from Clover. So I rebooted the system and switch to UEFI boot mode in BIOS and booted from USB and i got to the lenovo update program and I was able to update the BIOS to the newest version. So thank you for these instructions! - Juho