ThinkPad X230/X230T external flashing


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NOTE: Libreboot standardises on flashprog now, as of 27 January 2024, which is a fork of flashrom.

PLEASE READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE INSTALLING, OR YOU MIGHT BRICK YOUR MACHINE: SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

NOTE: Internal flashing (from vendor firmware) to Libreboot is possible, on this board, but the steps are a bit more complex than using an external flasher. See: internal ivybridge flashing

Read the Ivybridge/Haswell common guide if you want more information. All of the following instructions assume that you’ve cloned lbmk and are operating from the root of that project. To do so, run

git clone https://codeberg.org/libreboot/lbmk
cd lbmk

You can now follow the rest of the instructions.

Preparing a release Rom

You must patch the release rom with the necessary vendor files and then flash it to your board.

Lbmk includes a script that will automatically inject the necessary files into a rom image. The script can determine the board automatically if you have not changed the name, but you can also manually set the board name with the -b flag.

In order to inject the necessary files into a rom image, run the script from the root of lbmk and point to the rom image. Run the injection script pointing to the release archive you downloaded:

./vendor inject /path/to/libreboot-20230319-18-g9f76c92_t440_12mb.tar.xz

The script can automatically detect the board as long as you do not change the file name. You can then find flash-ready ROMs in /bin/release/

Alternatively, you may patch only a single rom file. For example:

./vendor inject -r x230_libreboot.rom -b x230_12mb

Optionally, you can use this script to modify the mac address of the rom with the -m flag. For example:

./vendor inject -r x230_libreboot.rom -b x230_12mb -m 00:f6:f0:40:71:fd

NOTE: this makes use of nvmutil, which you can read more about in the nvmutil documentation.

Splitting The Rom

You can use dd to easily split your rom into the two separate portions for external flashing.

dd if=libreboot.rom of=top.rom bs=1M skip=8
dd if=libreboot.rom of=bottom.rom bs=1M count=8

Flash the top chip with top.rom, and tho bottom chip with bottom.rom. Don’t worry about knowing which chip is which on a standard setup; flashprog will let you know if the image size is incorrect for the chip you’re flashing.

Disassembly

Start by removing the battery. Remove every screw from the bottom of the machine marked with a keyboard/touchpad indicator.

Pry up the keyboard and separate it from the palmrest.

Unplug the ribbon cable from the palmrest and pry it off as well.

Pull up the protective cover to reveal the two soic chips for flashing.

Markdown file for this page: https://libreboot.org/docs/install/x230_external.md

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