VOGONS


First post, by EvieSigma

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I managed to make a BIOS update diskette for my IBM ThinkPad 760LD but every single time I boot to said disk it just does this, it never actually runs the update process. Is there something I'm missing here? The official IBM docs say that it will just work and well...it doesn't.

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Reply 1 of 16, by Towncivilian

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A wild guess, and a ridiculous one at that: what happens if you read the readme or whatever the first option is, before proceeding to the second option to update the BIOS?

HP d530 CMT: P4 EE 3.2GHz, 4GB DDR-400, ATI Radeon 9600XT, SB X-Fi XtremeMusic, WD VelociRaptor 80GB, WD Caviar Blue 500GB

Reply 2 of 16, by PC Hoarder Patrol

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Which version are you trying - the Lenovo EOL support page suggests spsdhz73.exe (v2.13 from January 2000), but that doesn't seem to list the 760LD under the models covered, whereas the old IBM support page lists sytpf130.exe (v1.30 from July 1998)

Reply 3 of 16, by Thermalwrong

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Maybe it's giving an error message but not displaying it? I know the Thinkpad 600 series refuse to update if the laptop doesn't have the battery connected, working & fully charged. There was some way around that from what I recall, no idea how to do that now but thinkpads.com forum might have some threads on it.

Reply 4 of 16, by EvieSigma

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PC Hoarder Patrol wrote on 2021-12-21, 09:56:

Which version are you trying - the Lenovo EOL support page suggests spsdhz73.exe (v2.13 from January 2000), but that doesn't seem to list the 760LD under the models covered, whereas the old IBM support page lists sytpf130.exe (v1.30 from July 1998)

sytpf130.exe is what I used to make the floppy disk, yeah. The other one you mentioned won't even boot.

Reading the readme and then attempting to run the update does nothing, unfortunately.

Reply 5 of 16, by PC Hoarder Patrol

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EvieSigma wrote on 2021-12-21, 23:44:
PC Hoarder Patrol wrote on 2021-12-21, 09:56:

Which version are you trying - the Lenovo EOL support page suggests spsdhz73.exe (v2.13 from January 2000), but that doesn't seem to list the 760LD under the models covered, whereas the old IBM support page lists sytpf130.exe (v1.30 from July 1998)

sytpf130.exe is what I used to make the floppy disk, yeah. The other one you mentioned won't even boot.

Reading the readme and then attempting to run the update does nothing, unfortunately.

Which version is currently installed - http://ps-2.kev009.com/pcpartnerinfo/ctstips/949a.htm - maybe you need a minimum of v1.20 for subsequent updates to work???

Reply 6 of 16, by PC Hoarder Patrol

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Also, assuming you're on at least v1.20 but less than v1.25, what happens if you try v1.25

Download - http://greyghost.mooo.com/pccBBS/mobiles/sytpf125.exe

Notes - http://greyghost.mooo.com/pccBBS/mobiles/sytpf125.txt

Reply 8 of 16, by EvieSigma

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Bondi wrote on 2021-12-22, 08:05:

I think Thermalwrong has a point here. Thinkpads refuse to do BIOS update unless the battery is fully charged.

The little LCD display shows a 100% charge on the battery, though I've never tried to run the laptop off just the battery.

Reply 10 of 16, by EvieSigma

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pentiumspeed wrote on 2021-12-23, 00:02:

There is a method to force a update and is well docmented where else.

Cheers,

Yeah, it seems that if I copy the .fl1 file off the diskette and then use PHLASH16 in DOS mode that should allow me to do it, I guess in absence of any other ideas that's what I'll have to do.

Reply 11 of 16, by BitWrangler

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Has it lived on planet corporate? Maybe the sysop disabled programming voltage.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 12 of 16, by EvieSigma

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BitWrangler wrote on 2021-12-23, 04:38:

Has it lived on planet corporate? Maybe the sysop disabled programming voltage.

It was previously owned by a major pharmaceutical company but I don't know how one would disable that, the extremely limited BIOS doesn't even give you any options beyond a hardware test.

EDIT: Ah, I think I finally figured it out! It seems that, according to this page of the manual anyway, that my system is locked down somehow, which is probably preventing the BIOS update. I don't get prompted for a password but I am unable to choose the "Start-up" or "Initialize" options in the Easy-Setup menu.

https://www.manualslib.com/manual/75200/Ibm-T … page=352#manual

Reply 13 of 16, by EvieSigma

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I definitely think I'm getting somewhere now. I found a Hardware Maintenance Diskette online and when I chose one of the options, I got this screen telling me "EEPROM is locked". So that seems like a pretty likely cause of my inability to update the BIOS, but I don't exactly know how to unlock it...

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Reply 14 of 16, by PC Hoarder Patrol

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If the lock has somehow been set in hardware, it looks as if you need to get to the the onboard EEPROM to have any chance to read / reset this

http://www.ja.axxs.net/km8_unlocking_any_thinkpad.htm

http://www.ja.axxs.net/other_models.htm

and doesn't seem to be covered by the Hardware Maintenance Manual for your model

https://web.archive.org/web/20120320185150/ht … les/vol4hmm.pdf

Beginning to wonder, given its heritage, if it hasn't been configured this way for a reason!

Reply 15 of 16, by Bondi

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EvieSigma wrote on 2021-12-24, 02:56:

I definitely think I'm getting somewhere now. I found a Hardware Maintenance Diskette online and when I chose one of the options, I got this screen telling me "EEPROM is locked". So that seems like a pretty likely cause of my inability to update the BIOS, but I don't exactly know how to unlock it...

PXL_20211224_025332350.jpg

Looks like you have the Supervisor Password(PAP) set.
There are ways to hack it, not trivial though.
https://www.os2museum.com/wp/cracking-a-thinkpad-755c/

PCMCIA Sound Cards chart

Reply 16 of 16, by EvieSigma

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PC Hoarder Patrol wrote on 2021-12-24, 05:19:
If the lock has somehow been set in hardware, it looks as if you need to get to the the onboard EEPROM to have any chance to rea […]
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If the lock has somehow been set in hardware, it looks as if you need to get to the the onboard EEPROM to have any chance to read / reset this

http://www.ja.axxs.net/km8_unlocking_any_thinkpad.htm

http://www.ja.axxs.net/other_models.htm

and doesn't seem to be covered by the Hardware Maintenance Manual for your model

https://web.archive.org/web/20120320185150/ht … les/vol4hmm.pdf

Beginning to wonder, given its heritage, if it hasn't been configured this way for a reason!

I'm starting to think that might be the case.