Lenovo X200 / T400 / T500 / X301 common

These models are sold with either 8 MiB or 4 MiB flash chip. You can identify the chip in your machine through flashrom:

# flashrom -p internal

Note that this does not allow you to determine whether the chip is in a SOIC-8 or a SOIC-16 package.

Installing with ME firmware

To install coreboot and keep ME working, you don’t need to do anything special with the flash descriptor. Only flash the bios region externally and don’t touch any other regions:

# flashrom -p YOUR_PROGRAMMER -w coreboot.rom --ifd -i bios

Installing without ME firmware


ThinkPad R500 has slightly different flash layout (it doesn’t have gbe region), so the process would be a little different for that model.

On Montevina machines it’s possible to disable ME and remove its firmware from SPI flash by modifying the flash descriptor. This also makes it possible to use the flash region the ME used for bios region, allowing for much larger payloads.

First of all create a backup of your ROM with an external programmer:

# flashrom -p YOUR_PROGRAMMER -r backup.rom

Then, split the IFD regions into separate files with ifdtool. You will need flashregion_3_gbe.bin later.

$ ifdtool -x backup.rom

Now you need to patch the flash descriptor. You can either modify the one from your backup with ifdtool, or use one from the coreboot repository.

Modifying flash descriptor using ifdtool

Pick the layout according to your chip size from the table below and save it to the new_layout.txt file:

4 MiB chip 8 MiB chip 16 MiB chip
00000000:00000fff fd
00001000:00002fff gbe
00003000:003fffff bios
00fff000:00000fff pd
00fff000:00000fff me
00000000:00000fff fd
00001000:00002fff gbe
00003000:007fffff bios
00fff000:00000fff pd
00fff000:00000fff me
00000000:00000fff fd
00001000:00002fff gbe
00003000:00ffffff bios
00fff000:00000fff pd
00fff000:00000fff me

The last two lines define pd and me regions of negative size. This way ifdtool will mark those as unused.

Update regions in the flash descrpitor (it was extracted previously with ifdtool -x):

$ ifdtool -n new_layout.txt flashregion_0_flashdescriptor.bin

Set MeDisable bit in ICH0 and MCH0 straps:

$ ifdtool -M 1 flashregion_0_flashdescriptor.bin.new

Delete previous descriptors and rename the final one:

$ rm flashregion_0_flashdescriptor.bin
$ rm flashregion_0_flashdescriptor.bin.new
$ mv flashregion_0_flashdescriptor.bin.new.new flashregion_0_flashdescriptor.bin

Continue to the Configuring coreboot section.

Using checked-in flash descriptor via bincfg

There is a copy of an X200’s flash descriptor checked into the coreboot repository. It is supposed to work for the T400/T500 as well. The descriptor can be converted back to its binary form using a tool called bincfg. Go to util/bincfg and build it:

$ cd util/bincfg
$ make

If your flash is not 8 MiB, you need to change values of flcomp_density1 and flreg1_limit in the ifd-x200.set file according to following table:

  4 MiB 8 MiB 16 MiB
flcomp_density1 0x3 0x4 0x5
flreg1_limit 0x3ff 0x7ff 0xfff

Then convert the flash descriptor:

$ make gen-ifd-x200

It will be saved to the flashregion_0_fd.bin file.

Configuring coreboot

Now configure coreboot. You need to select correct chip size and specify paths to flash descriptor and gbe dump.

Mainboard --->
    ROM chip size (8192 KB (8 MB)) # According to your chip
    (0x7fd000) Size of CBFS filesystem in ROM # or 0x3fd000 for 4 MiB chip / 0xffd000 for 16 MiB chip

Chipset --->
    [*] Add Intel descriptor.bin file
    # Note: if you used bincfg, specify path to generated util/bincfg/flashregion_0_fd.bin
    (/path/to/flashregion_0_flashdescriptor.bin) Path and filename of the descriptor.bin file

    [*] Add gigabit ethernet configuration
    (/path/to/flashregion_3_gbe.bin) Path to gigabit ethernet configuration

Then build coreboot and flash whole build/coreboot.rom to the chip.

Flash layout

The flash layouts of the OEM firmware are as follows:

4 MiB chip 8 MiB chip
00000000:00000fff fd
00001000:001f5fff me
001f6000:001f7fff gbe
001f8000:001fffff pd
00200000:003fffff bios
00290000:002affff ec
003e0000:003fffff bootblock
00000000:00000fff fd
00001000:005f5fff me
005f6000:005f7fff gbe
005f8000:005fffff pd
00600000:007fffff bios
00690000:006affff ec
007e0000:007fffff bootblock

On each boot of vendor BIOS ec area in flash is checked for having firmware there, and if there is one, it proceedes to update firmware on H8S/2116 (when both external power and main battery are attached). Once update is performed, first 64 KiB of ec area is erased. Visit thinkpad-ec repository to learn more about how to extract EC firmware from vendor updates.