Backup Lenovo Thinkpad R61e Legacy phoenix bios?

Discussion in 'BIOS Mods' started by Nanoid, Mar 12, 2021.

  1. Nanoid

    Nanoid MDL Novice

    Mar 3, 2021
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    I'm attempting to add whitelist support on this laptop, and I'm aware of the middleton's bios.

    I'd like to make a full backup of the BIOS before hand and I've tried a couple methods without success.

    Also being non-EFI and very old excludes modern documention and the embedded security processor present.

    I hooked up a SOIC clip with SPI and detected the chip with Flashrom but the binary file it grabs is all 0's.

    I also tried to make a backup in windows using WinPhlash64 but it requires a flash image to even backup so I pulled a .FL1 file from Lenovo's last OEM BIOS update but complains of error -103 size missmatch.

    Lastly I went into RW everything and was able to see some data constantly in activity in the binary viewer so that's probably the embedded security chip.
    Using RW everything I was able to pull the ACPI table into a binary file.

    Is there some easy method I'm not aware of to do a full BIOS backup?
     
  2. HHo2016

    HHo2016 MDL Member

    Sep 10, 2016
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    Using "flashrom -p internal -r backup.rom" in Linux (where internal programmer read/write is supported)? Not sure whether it supports your laptop though, but no harm to try reading...
     
  3. HHo2016

    HHo2016 MDL Member

    Sep 10, 2016
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    You might have to flash the Middleton's BIOS then in order to back up the BIOS, that is, I believe you can set the WinPhlash64 to back up existing BIOS before flashing the new one. I don't think you can just back up the BIOS only.

    One other thought: For SOIC clip, did you check your clip was not loose and markings matched up? Sometimes it's hard to ensure a good connection. Otherwise chip might need to be de-soldered to be read since clip might be trying to power up the board it is attached to as well.
     
  4. Nanoid

    Nanoid MDL Novice

    Mar 3, 2021
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    There's actually a option to enable backup only but I read somewhere the tool has a limitation that it requires a source file even when backing up because it gauges what the BIOS size is from the source.

    So if you offer a 2MB source image and your bios is 4MB it won't copy it all.
    The problem is when I tried it with the OEM lenovo update it said size mismatch but I didn't think to try it with the Middletons image!

    I thought that at first and used a bunch of individual "clip probes" so remove any question and still nothing so you're prob right it's being influenced by surrounding circuits.
    I don't have a heatgun so I don't feel confident enough to desolder it.