Lenovo Sandy Bridge series

Flashing coreboot

Type Value
Socketed flash no
Size 8 MiB
In circuit flashing Yes
Package SOIC-8
Write protection No
Dual BIOS feature No
Internal flashing Yes

Installation instructions

Flashing coreboot for the first time needs to be done using an external programmer, because vendor firmware prevents rewriting the BIOS region.

  • Update the EC firmware, as there’s no support for EC updates in coreboot.
  • Do NOT accidentally swap pins or power on the board while a SPI flasher is connected. It will destroy your device.
  • It’s recommended to only flash the BIOS region. In that case you don’t need to extract blobs from vendor firmware. If you want to flash the whole chip, you need blobs when building coreboot.
  • The shipped Flash layout allocates 3MiB to the BIOS region, which is the space usable by coreboot.
  • ROM chip size should be set to 8MiB.

Please also have a look at the flashing tutorial

Flash layout

There’s one 8MiB flash which contains IFD, GBE, ME and BIOS regions. On Lenovo’s UEFI the EC firmware update is placed at the start of the BIOS region. The update is then written into the EC once.


Reducing Intel Management Engine firmware size

It is possible to reduce the Intel ME firmware size to free additional space for the bios region. This is usually referred to as cleaning the ME or stripping the ME. After reducing the Intel ME firmware size you must modify the original IFD and then write a full ROM using an external programmer. Have a look at me_cleaner for more information.

Tests on Lenovo X220 showed no issues with a stripped ME firmware.

Modified flash layout:


The overall size of the gbe, me, ifd region is less than 128KiB, leaving the remaining space for the bios partition.