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Author Topic: Lenovo and whitelisting devces in BIOS  (Read 8805 times)

broadstairs

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Lenovo and whitelisting devces in BIOS
« on: August 13, 2023, 06:06:15 PM »

Just thought I'd post this in case anyone has the misfortune to get a second user Lenovo PC. Apparently they whitelist the devices in BIOS so that only specific hardware will work in their PCs. I only found this out when I purchased a second user Thinkcentre Tiny PC to replace my existing one for my weather station. I discovered the issue when replacing the Wi-Fi card for a dual band one and the thing refused to boot until I removed it.

Any way thanks to the wonders of the internet I discovered that when flashing the BIOS it is possible to replace the name and  model type and if you do this and change it to INVALID the PC will still put up a messages about the offending card but it boots just fine and the new Wi-Fi card works!

Apparently this works to bypass whitelisting for everything, although the only thing I've done this with is the Wi-Fi card so cannot promise it will work but others have suggested it will.

Stuart
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Chrysalis

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Re: Lenovo and whitelisting devces in BIOS
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2023, 08:01:35 PM »

Nice, can you please the information on how to change to INVALID?

As I wouldnt mind updating the wifi card in my laptop.  I first became aware of the whitelisting when the ebay ad's had warning sin the description.
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Alex Atkin UK

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Re: Lenovo and whitelisting devces in BIOS
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2023, 09:42:47 PM »

Not all Lenovos have a whitelist, my Yoga 14 doesn't.  Though I don't use it any more as the screen and CPU are utter garbage, was probably my worst buy ever, but hey it let me upgrade it to an Intel AX200. ;)

The only good part of it is I stole the RAM to upgrade an old AIO PC that is leagues faster.
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broadstairs

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Re: Lenovo and whitelisting devces in BIOS
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2023, 10:23:37 PM »

Chrysalis I can't guarantee it will work but it is part of the standard BIOS update procedure for my Thinkcentre, nothing special. Take a look at the BIOS update instructions for your laptop and it should explain what can be done. When I did mine it asked me if I wanted to change the model name and number so I said yes and input INVALID as the text.

Stuart
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Chrysalis

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Re: Lenovo and whitelisting devces in BIOS
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2023, 10:32:06 PM »

The instructions are just to run the exe to update the bios, an official bios update allowing you to change your model name and number seems really odd, but since there is no guide for me to follow I will leave it be as I dont know how much longer I will use this laptop for anyway as it turned out to be a poor purchase, I think lenova is poor quality and wont buy a brand that whitelists again.

Mine is an ideapad 305, which according to ebay sellers is whitelist locked.

The problem as well I am already on the latest bios, so it wont even let me run the bios file.

Code: [Select]
Install the package in Windows

    Locate the file a8cn54ww.exe that has been downloaded.
    Double click the a8cn54ww.exe icon.
    Click install.
    Click flash bios.
    Press Enter to start flashing. During the process, you are advised not to turn off the computer.
    When the update finishes, the computer will automatically reboot for the changes to take effect.
    If the hot key not work without Fn key after flash BIOS, this SOP describes how to enable hot key mode

    Step 1: Press power button to boot, then press F2 key enter BIOS setup.
    Step 2: Select sub menu to Configuration.
    Step 3: Select to Hotkey Mode item and then press enter.
    Step 4: Select Enabled then press enter.
    Step 5: Press F10 save and exit, then select Yes then press enter.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2023, 10:34:19 PM by Chrysalis »
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broadstairs

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Re: Lenovo and whitelisting devces in BIOS
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2023, 11:14:37 PM »

OK so I used an ISO file and created a CD and run from that as I don't use Windows. Is there such an option for your laptop?

Stuart
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