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#1 2013-02-18 16:08:08

fedeloco
Member
From: Barcelona
Registered: 2013-02-18
Posts: 10

Using UEFI boot to override Lenovo BIOS limitation (X220)

Hi,
I purchased and installed a new wireless card (Intel Centrino N-6205) to replace the Realtek that came with my X220.
When I rebooted the system was halted by the BIOS (Unauthorized network card).
Basically the BIOS checks for a valid Lenovo signature on the card and refuses to boot.
I digged a bit and found some modified BIOSes on google, however I am not very tempted by this option.
I was wondering if UEFI boot would override this limitation.
Thanks for your replies.wE2wXQLV

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#2 2013-02-18 16:59:29

olive
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2008-06-22
Posts: 1,143

Re: Using UEFI boot to override Lenovo BIOS limitation (X220)

I would say probably not. If Lenovo does not want to boot with this network card, why would they enforce this limitation only in Bios mode? Anyway instead of asking here, I think it will be quicker to test yourself.

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#3 2013-02-18 17:43:26

fedeloco
Member
From: Barcelona
Registered: 2013-02-18
Posts: 10

Re: Using UEFI boot to override Lenovo BIOS limitation (X220)

Well maybe before I wipe off my whole drive and go through a boot process I am not familiar with I'd like to see if anyone has experienced this before and is 100% sure about the outcome... I believe that's what forums are about. Thanks for your reply anyway. I will post the results when I have some time to give it a try.

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#4 2013-02-18 18:02:25

olive
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2008-06-22
Posts: 1,143

Re: Using UEFI boot to override Lenovo BIOS limitation (X220)

You do not need to wipe anything for testing this. Put your system in UEFI mode and see if it complains. If you want to try to boot something, go and fetch a bootable CD / USB stick  that support to boot from UEFI and boot it (for example: http://www.sysresccd.org). You can reput it in BIOS mode afterwards, the disk hasn't been touched.

Even if you want to switch your system to UEFI, wiping everything is a bad idea (in this case you might need a little knowledge in partitioning your system).

Last edited by olive (2013-02-18 18:06:50)

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#5 2013-02-18 18:31:57

David Batson
Member
Registered: 2011-10-13
Posts: 640

Re: Using UEFI boot to override Lenovo BIOS limitation (X220)

UEFI should make no difference.  Either use the modified BIOS or get a Lenovo branded card.

Go to one of the following forums for more info regarding your problem.
http://forum.thinkpads.com/
http://forums.lenovo.com/
http://forum.notebookreview.com/

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#6 2013-02-18 18:56:06

fedeloco
Member
From: Barcelona
Registered: 2013-02-18
Posts: 10

Re: Using UEFI boot to override Lenovo BIOS limitation (X220)

Tks Olive, I didn't know some distros could be UEFI booted from USB. I have no problem with partitionning/installing, it is only the UEFI boot part I am not familiar with.
It was just a thought... however like you & David put it, it does make sense that the manufacturer would inhibit both BIOS and UEFI. Thanks for your replies guys.
Shame on Lenovo! I guess I will stick with my Realtek card anyway, the modules have improved a great deal and I am quite happy with it now.

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#7 2013-02-18 20:17:29

WonderWoofy
Member
From: Los Gatos, CA
Registered: 2012-05-19
Posts: 8,412

Re: Using UEFI boot to override Lenovo BIOS limitation (X220)

UEFI will not get you around this issue.  Lenovo whitelists their own wireless cards, so you cannot boot in any case with an unauthorized card.  I have a Lenovo E430, and I also had that terrible realtek card. I found someone willing to help me on mydigitallife forums to modify a bios image to remove this whitelist.  I got myself an Intel Centrino 6235, flashed the bios, installed the card, and I couldn't be happier with the results. 

The only issue is that if there is ever a bios update where I think it solves an issue that appeals to me, I would have to get that new bios modified for me again.  Though to date, I have not found any real bios issues that are worth going through this.

I linked to the thread where i found help on the Thinkpad E430 page that I wrote.  Maybe you could use that as a starting point...

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