Update Lenovo Thinkpad Bios on Linux using a USB stick
As a proud owner of a Lenovo ThinkPad you may have wondered how to do a Bios update when:
- the only OS running on your box is Linux
- and your ThinkPad doesn’t have a CD-ROM drive anymore
I recently bought the ThinkPad L380 and ran into this problem. The technical support section for the L380 only shows 2 possible downloads under BIOS:
- BIOS Update Utility for Windows 10 (64-bit)
- BIOS Update (Bootable CD) for Windows 10 (64-bit)
So you either have to have a CD-ROM drive or Windows installed. Now, usually it is fairly easy to
copy a bootable ISO image to a USB stick. But
the BIOS Update (Bootable CD) that Lenovo provides is an ISO image after
the El Torito Bootable CD Specification. So the normal procedure won’t
work here. There is an El Torito bootimage inside bootable CD image that we need to extract first. Fortunately, there is a tool called
geteltorito.pl that can do that for us.
So let’s go ahead and see how the BIOS update can be done:
- download the BIOS Update (Bootable CD) from the Lenovo support page for your ThinkPad model, for me it was the file
r0rur07w.isoand about 102MB in size
- get the
geteltorio.pltool and make sure the version is >= 0.6
- extract the El Torito Boot Image from the ISO
- now you can reboot your ThinkPad with the USB drive attached and follow the steps to update your BIOS, make sure you boot in UEFI mode!
The procedure described here is mainly taken from the English and German version of the ThinkWiki. So there goes all the credit. It can probably applied to most ThinkPad models.