Board:lenovo/x230

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Status

Thanks for your interest in Lenovo X230 port. Issues:

  • no MRC cache (longer boot time)
  • yellow USB port isn't powered in power-off state.
  • Badly seated RAM may prevent booting (not really a problem but coreboot is more suspicious to this than vendor BIOS)

Tested:

  • S3 (Suspend to RAM)
  • RAM module combinations of 8G+8G, 8G+0, 0+8G, 4G+8G, 8G+4G, 8G+1G, 1G+0, 0+1G, 4G+0, 0+4G
  • USB (both 2.0 and 3.0 ports)
  • Video (both internal and VGA)
  • Expresscard slot (including hotplugging)
  • Sound (integrated speakers, integrated mic, external headphones, external mic)
  • LAN
  • mini-PCIe slots (both wlan and wwan)
  • Linux (through GRUB-as-payload)
  • Windows (through GRUB-as-payload loading SeaBIOS image from disk; you have to use extracted VGA blob, dumped from memory isn't good enough)
  • SD card slot
  • Thermal management
  • Fingerprint reader.
  • Webcam
  • trackpoint
  • touchpad
  • Fn hotkeys
  • Keyboard backlight
  • Thinklight.
  • bluetooth
  • dock
  • msata (fixed in commit c8f54a1109072706e2fa091dc9ab4ad3eb057b42)
  • mini displayport
  • digitizer on x230t variant

proprietary components status

  • CPU Microcode
  • VGA Option ROM (optional): you need it if you want graphics in SeaBIOS but most payloads should work without it (text mode or corebootfb mode)
  • ME (Management Engine) => you do not have to touch it (just leave it where it is)
  • EC (Embedded Controller) => you do not have to touch it (just leave it where it is)

Code

  • The code has been merged into coreboot master:
 $ git clone http://review.coreboot.org/p/coreboot


Flashing

WARNING: There have been reports of bricked laptops due to just reading the flash chips' content with an external programmer. Apparently something on the board may break by applying external power.

X230 has 2 flash chips of 8M and 4M. They're concatenated to one virtual flash chip of 12M which is itself subdivided in roughly in 3 parts:

  • Descriptor (12K)
  • ME firmware (5M-12K)
  • System flash (7M)

ME firmware is not readable. Vendor firmware locks the flash and so you need to flash externally (unless until someone figures out a way around it).

Proceeds as follows:

  • Turn off your laptop, remove battery and AC adapter.
  • Remove the keyboard.
  • Connect your external SPI flasher to the top SPI chip which is under palm resting space, on left side of the board. It's a 4M chip. IF you've chosen CBFS_SIZE 4M or smaller that' the only chip you need to reflash.

I recommend using SOIC clip. Depending on the flasher you use, you may have to use separate 3.3V source. Make sure not to feed more than 3.3V ot the chip. I used buspirate as flasher and 3.3V power lines from another computer.

  • Read the flash. Twice. Compare the files to be sure. Save a copy of it on

external media.

flashrom -p <yourprogrammer> -r flash.bin
flashrom -p <yourprogrammer> -r flash2.bin
diff flash.bin flash2.bin

If they don't match, do not proceed. If the file is 8M, you're flashing wrong chip, connect to the right one.

  • Write the flash. Since you have to write only top 4M, first split out those 4M:
 dd of=top.rom bs=1M if=build/coreboot.rom skip=8
  • Use flashrom to flash top.rom.

If you have trouble reading the chip successfully, the most common problems are

  • insufficient power supply
  • bad contacts
  • too long wires
  • bad pinout

The cable shipped with buspirate was too long, and needed to be trimmed.

See also In-System Programming