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#1 [SOLVED] Lenovo Flex 5-14ARE05 bricked/black screen by Plastixx 07.03.2021 00:37

*Title updated for searchability*

My daughters Lenovo Flex 5-14ARE05 decided to do a BIOS update during Windows "quiet hours", i.e. midnight. The Lenovo BIOS update process beeps loudly and it woke her up. She didn't know what it was and forced a shutdown so it wouldn't wake her roommate. :/

Anyway, I dove head first into the world of BIOS programming and ordered a garbage CH341A programmer from Amazon. After fixing the 1.8V adapter that had a bad solder connection on the vreg causing it to sporadically put out 2.8V and doing the 3.3V fix on the programmer (did I need to?), I got it all working.

The BIOS chip is a GD25LB128D and I successfully programmed it using AsProgrammer with GD25LQ128C_1.8V selected. Managed to extract a usable .bin file from the .cap BIOS using UEFITool. Should have seen the smile on my face when the laptop booted, and then I entered the BIOS and that smile quickly went away when I noticed the SN, UUID, etc. were all wiped out.

I'm hoping someone can take my corrupted original backup and copy the relevant device info into a clean BIOS. I will gladly buy that person dinner.

Thanks

#2 RE: [SOLVED] Need help modifying BIOS with device info from backup by Plastixx 07.03.2021 03:11

Wow, I just managed to do this myself. I'm a complete idiot when it comes to this stuff, but I just got really lucky. I went from never touching a programmer before to successfully modding and flashing a BIOS in a single day.

I used HexComp2 to compared the corrupted BIOS to the new one. I just used my intuition and cut and pasted two areas that looked important. One started with NVR (non-volatile region?) and the other had the serial number and other info. Both those areas were blank in the new BIOS.

My daughter is going to be thrilled. :)

#3 RE: [SOLVED] Need help modifying BIOS with device info from backup by lfb6 07.03.2021 11:20

Good work Empty NVRAM is normally built up automatically again. Might help to look at the structur in UEFIToolNE, areas are more easy to identify.

#4 RE: [SOLVED] Need help modifying BIOS with device info from backup by Plastixx 07.03.2021 15:41

Zitat von lfb6 im Beitrag #3
Good work Empty NVRAM is normally built up automatically again. Might help to look at the structur in UEFIToolNE, areas are more easy to identify.


Are you saying I just needed the small section with the serial number, etc? It was only 281 bytes.

#5 RE: [SOLVED] Need help modifying BIOS with device info from backup by r52cq 07.03.2021 21:01

I just experience the same problem but I let it beep for a long time before shutting it down and now it won't turn on.

I would be grateful if you can let me know how you fixed it, i have been frantically searching the internet for clues on how to fix it.

I can't send it back to Lenovo because I am studying overseas.

#6 RE: [SOLVED] Need help modifying BIOS with device info from backup by Plastixx 07.03.2021 22:38

You need to buy a programmer first. I bought this one on Amazon because it had one day delivery, but the state it came in was not usable... https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07YFPJQ5W. I would see what similar CH341A programmer is available in your area. It needs to have a 1.8V adapter and SOIC clip.

I'm horrible at writing guides, but I'll give it a go...

1) Install the CH341A drivers and make sure the device is fully recognized in device manager
2) Unplug the programmer USB from the PC and put the SOIC clip on the BIOS IC paying attention to where PIN1 is (battery should be disconnected at this point).
3) Open AsProgrammer 1.4.0, then click "Hardware" and select CH341a
4) Click IC -> SPI -> GigaDevice -> GD25LQ128C_1.8V
5) Plug the programmer into the PC and then click "Read IC", and after that is finished click "Verify IC", making sure there were no errors
6) Click "Save file" and save as a .bin (NO NOT LOSE THIS FILE, SAVE ANOTHER COPY OF IT AS AN ADDITIONAL BACKUP)
7) This step requires taking the .bin you just read from the IC and copying certain info from it in a hex editor and pasting it in a clean BIOS.bin file extracted from the original .cap BIOS format. I would rather do this for you instead of trying to explain how. I'll PM you my email
8) Click "Erase IC" and when that is done click "Blank check"
9) Click "Open file" and select the modified .bin file, click "Programm IC", and when that is done click "Verify IC"
10) Unplug programmer USB from PC and then disconnect the SOIC clip
11) Reconnect battery and boot

EDIT for step 7 details: You need to use innoextract to get the .cap BIOS file from the installer, then in UEFITool you need to do "extract body" on 6C60EE00-C316-4C95-A684-CDC7E7033311 and save as .bin. Then you need to use a hex editor to copy/pase a couple regions from the BIOS that was read to the clean extraced .bin. The regions I copied were 21000-37D8F and B21000-B21280. The second region has the serial number and such, that was obvious. The first region just looked important, a total guess. Not sure if it's really needed.

Like I said, this was my first time doing any of this, so if someone here wants to chime in and correct something in my instructions, please feel free to do so.

#7 RE: [SOLVED] Need help modifying BIOS with device info from backup by cowlikk 15.03.2021 01:08

I cant seem to run innoextract. is there any way you can send me the extracted bios file from the cap? george_heidi@bresnan.net I have been trying to get it flashed with other versions that i found online but it still does the same thing "caps light on and escape light on"

#8 RE: [SOLVED] Need help modifying BIOS with device info from backup by shagbag913 16.03.2021 00:23

Just wanna thank you, got my laptop back up and running by following your comment!

#9 RE: [SOLVED] Need help modifying BIOS with device info from backup by shagbag913 16.03.2021 00:35

You have to run innoextract in command prompt,

.\<innoextract executable path>

#10 RE: [SOLVED] Need help modifying BIOS with device info from backup by cowlikk 17.03.2021 02:22

well I got it extracted and copied the sections, saved flashed it in and it still does the same thing? This was my brother laptop and he robbed the m.2 hard drive from it before I had gotten to it. Is it possible that it wont boot even into bios without having the hard drive installed?

#11 RE: [SOLVED] Need help modifying BIOS with device info from backup by shagbag913 17.03.2021 03:31

Maybe the test clip isn't making good contact? I had to re-seat mine a few times, when it wasn't making good contact it was just reading random data

Make sure the second region has actual data, "lenovo" should be in there somewhere

I'd think it'd still boot without a drive, when I first booted mine after flashing, my ssd was totally blank, so it threw me into a blue screen that let me get into the bios by pressing the escape key

#12 RE: [SOLVED] Need help modifying BIOS with device info from backup by lfb6 17.03.2021 08:06

Zitat von cowlikk im Beitrag #10
well I got it extracted and copied the sections, saved flashed it in and it still does the same thing? ......
You should have the exact same model and be on the same major bios version when copying the regions like that. This was a guide for this specific bios of this model.

#13 RE: [SOLVED] Need help modifying BIOS with device info from backup by Plastixx 17.03.2021 15:43

Zitat von shagbag913 im Beitrag #8
Just wanna thank you, got my laptop back up and running by following your comment!


Glad this was able to help someone else!

Zitat von cowlikk im Beitrag #10
well I got it extracted and copied the sections, saved flashed it in and it still does the same thing?


Did you erase and blank verify first before writing? If you did, try erasing again and write a non-modified BIOS file. If that works, then maybe something went wrong with your edit.

#14 RE: [SOLVED] Need help modifying BIOS with device info from backup by cowlikk 23.03.2021 05:07

is anyone willing to look at my bios dump? I still cant get it to work :(

#15 RE: [SOLVED] Need help modifying BIOS with device info from backup by Plastixx 23.03.2021 09:07

Zitat von cowlikk im Beitrag #14
is anyone willing to look at my bios dump? I still cant get it to work :(


Yes, post it.

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