BIOS update without Windows
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BIOS update without Windows


Updating the BIOS of a Linux PC/Laptop without a Windows-Installation

Or: How to fix issues with sudden Power-Off/battery problems on your (Linux-/Lenovo-)Laptop

Depending on the mainboard this can be verry easy or extremely annoying - took be 2 days on my Lenovo Yoga.

At a glance:

- get yourself a WinPE-USB-Stick with a Webbrowser

- Boot from it and download your BIOS-Update from the manufacturer

- maybe you still need to make changes to this (see below)

- Update the BIOS and reboot

Creating a WinPE-Stick

There are people out there doing the job for you, like, but I used the ISO-Image from TenForums because that hase 7zip and Firefox integrated.

Download an ISO-image of your choice and copy (don't use dd, since it is an EFI-Boot-Image!) the contens to a fat32-formatted (!) USB-Stick. You can do that with the command

7z x winpese-x64-14393_17.01.16.iso -o/media/your-user/path-to-fat32-stick/

Yes, there is NO typo here, it is NOT "-x" and there is NO space between "-o" and /media..."!

Then insert your stick, make sure that EFI-boot is enabled in the BIOS and start from that stick.

Flashing/Updating BIOS

This might be not necessary if you do the next step before this one - which I didn't.

After the Download from the manufacrurers website I still couldn't update the BIOS of my Lenovo Yoga 510-14IKB. The Flashtool (for google: 2scn27ww.exe is the name of the self-unpacking file) was telling me to make sure the battery is more than 30% full (it was all full), and later it toled me to connect the AC-Adapter, which was connected.

So this helped:

- uppacking the .exe-file of the Flashtool

- editing the platform.ini-file with a texteditor and uncommenting (with ";") all kind of lines concerning errors with AC-stuff.

Then it will do the upgrade.

Reset battery status

One of the two reasons for upgrading the bios at all were system crashes. My device just turned off. Since I found errors concerning the microcode I assumed the upgrade was necessary, what might have been wrong. Anyways:

After my upgrade the Battery was all the time at 0%, when connected to AC it was "charging". A

upower -i /org/freedesktop/UPower/devices/battery_BAT1

(figure out the "path" with 'upower -e')

toled me that my battery had 0Wh.

To fix it I removed the screws on the back, opened the back of the laptop, unplugged the battery from the mainboard, pressed the power button a few times, wait a little and get all back together again.

Now my battery has 30Wh of the original 35Wh again - according to upower.

More stuff

It took me too long to figure it out, I had an entire Win10 already installed which didn't fix the Problem with the battery and AC-adapter.

Getting back to the BIOS after the Windows-Installation wasn't easy, a Shutdown with the shift-button pressed didn't do the job to REALLY shut it down. But if you google a bit you'll find solutions how to click your way through to make Windows 10 boot to the BIOS.