you dropped the mailing list in your reply; by accident, I assume.
On 27.01.2018 11:01, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
The stock bios is currently set at 1.40 and I decided I was going to try to update to the latest BIOS. However the stock BIOS update utility does not work, and neither does the USB Bios Boot Utility. Now I see an error pop up on boot saying, 'Intel ME is in Recovery Mode'.
The ME is a microcontroller built into the chipset. You always have to assume that it's running while you flash externally, so it's not unlikely that it gets confused.
I believe the BIOS has some sort of write protection on, that will not allow me to erase the BIOS. Is there anything that can be done besides physically removing the BIOS chip and swapping it for another?
The BIOS has no means to control the flash chip, while the system is shut down. Removing the chip to flash, should always work, though. I don't see any reason to swap the chip.
My setup is the Pomona SOIC 8 Pin clip, female to female jumpers and the RPi3. I am SSHing into the Pi3 from my w530, and issuing the commands through that. The RPi3 is connected via the standard power cable that came with it, and the Thinkpad has Wake - On LAN enabled, but at this point I believe the issue had to do with something other than my equipment. Currently the BIOS is on version 1.40, and it was a custom BIOS that had been floating around the internet.
What I missed was what device you are trying to flash. I figured it now from the subject line. I little hidden, IMHO. You should always mention what you are trying to do in the email's body.
I'm confident that your problem is not related to any write-protection (nobody else run into such issues with an X220, AFAIK). There are basi- cally two ways to flash an X220:
1. Remove all power (battery + AC) from the board and power the flash chip over the clip. This is generally discouraged unless you know exactly that the other chips on your board are protected against powering up as well (some ThinkPads have a diode on the VCC trace to the flash chip for that). You connect VCC to the clip in this case.
2. Wake-on-LAN state: Use the regular AC to power the board but keep the machine shut down. In this state a lot of components on the board are already active, including the flash chip. Do not attach VCC through the clip, if you do this!
I would generally recommend 2. if you have a multimeter and can check that the flash chip is indeed powered. When you attach a network cable you can also see if the LEDs at the ethernet port light up, but this is no 100% reliable indication.
Last but not least, the flash chip has two pins /HOLD and /WP that should be pulled up (to VCC). The mainboard should already take care of that, but you should check with a multimeter if that is the case. If not, or if you can't verify it, you should pull these two pins high.
Hope that helps, Nico