[ltp] Haswell thinkpads bios problem

Leon Weber linux-thinkpad@linux-thinkpad.org
Tue, 18 Feb 2014 00:00:06 +0100

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On 17.02.2014 12:35:42, Theodore Ts'o wrote:
> On Sun, Feb 16, 2014 at 12:21:14PM +0100, Leon Weber wrote:
> > Is disabling UEFI still the only reliable workaround, or are there other
> > options? Does anyone have experience whether Lenovo repairs bricked
> > laptops under warranty, or will they ask me to pay for the repair?
> I'm in communication with someone from Lenovo, "Peter from Lenovo,
> responsible for Linux certification for ThinkPads".  I don't think
> it's fair for me to reveal his e-mail or full name, but I will point
> him at this thread and encourage him to jump in.

It=E2=80=99s good to hear that they=E2=80=99re working with you.  It would =
be great
indeed to hear directly from Lenovo.

> I pointed out that, (a) UEFI brings absolutely no value to Linux
> users, and (b) I've already had Lenovo replace my system board three
> times, and I'm not sure they will be willing to replace it a fourth
> time, but that I'm willing to give it a try *if* he can guarantee that
> they would replace the motherboard again if it turns out they hadn't
> really fixed the bug.  Unfortunately, his part of Lenovo doesn't seem
> to be able to make that guarantee on behalf of the part of Lenovo that
> handles the support contracts.  :-(

One would hope that they would be able to reproduce the problem and test
the fixes themselves.  And maybe ship a testing machine to you to confirm
the fix.  (Although I=E2=80=99m well aware that things like these can be
impossible to arrange in big companies, even with good will. But that=E2=80=
not an acceptable excuse.)

> So it sounds like they have a fix in the works, but it hasn't been
> released or tested yet.  It's also clear to me that given his
> responses, I was perfectly justified in hiding from the Lenovo support
> folks that I was using Linux, since it's not clear Lenovo is willing
> to make an unequivocal support statement that if any OS manages to
> brick their system, that it's *their* bug, and that their customers
> who have a support contract shouldn't be penalized for **their** bug.

That=E2=80=99s a bummer.  It=E2=80=99d be interesting to have more informat=
ion on how
the service department is instructed to respond to people running
non-Windows OSes, especially since I was able to buy my Thinkpad without
an OS.

> My recommendation is to play dumb.  Purchase a Lenovo laptop with the
> cheapest possible HDD, and then install Linux on a HDD/SDD.  You'll
> probably save money anyway if you do that, since Lenovo charges a
> horrendous markup for their memory and higher-end HDD/SSD's.  Then if
> the system board gets bricked, replace the original HDD and put the
> machine back into a pristine configuration, the wya Lenovo ship*ped it
> to you.  Then tell them that the system won't boot at all, and you
> can't even get into the BIOS configuration screen, and ***don't****
> tell them you are running Linux.
> To aovid problems in the future, since UEFI brings no value
> whatsoever, make sure to keep the BIOS settings in Legacy mode, and
> not enable UEFI at all.  It seems pretty clear at this point that UEFI
> is a mystic word in some ancient Sumarian language which means,
> "brick your laptop".  :-)

I wonder what =E2=80=9Ccoreboot=E2=80=9D means, then ;-) (Or how Lenovo rea=
cts if I=E2=80=99d
brick my Laptop trying to replace my BIOS with coreboot.)

Thanks for your work and your detailed report.  It seems there=E2=80=99s no
information yet on whether the X240 is affected, so I guess I=E2=80=99ll try
(once) and report my experience.

    -- Leon.

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