Flash LibreBoot to Lenovo X200

I did this write up like a year or so ago, but I want to post it up here in case it disappears; though, I think that’s a long shot. I don’t have the very original write up I did and I’m too lazy to dig through github to get  my original, so I need to give some credit to the others that edited the page as I didn’t do literally everything you’ll read.

Copyright © 2014, 2015 Lawrence Wu sagnessagiel@gmail.com
Copyright © 2015 snuffeluffegus <>
Copyright © 2015 Kevin Keijzer <>
Copyright © 2016 Leah Rowe info@minifree.org

Also I’d like to tip my hat to the LibreBoot folks, they’re doing great work!



  • An x86, x86_64, or arm7l (for changing the libreboot.rom image mac address)
  • Raspberry Pi and peripherals
  • Relevant SOIC clip
  • 6 female – female jumpers
  • Internet connection
  • Screw drivers

Follow the ThinkPad X200: Initial installation guide to disassemble the laptop, and access the BIOS rom chip.

Note: x86# refers to commands to be run on the x86 computer, and pi# refers to commands to be run on the pi. A good practice is to make a work directory to keep your libreboot stuff inside.

x86# mkdir ~/work

If you’re running Raspian, you can do sudo raspi-config, enable SPI under Advanced and then spidev will be enabled. Simple, eh?

Download Libreboot from their releases page. For your safety, verify the GPG signature as well.

x86# gpg --keyserver prefered.keyserver.org --recv-keys 0x656F212E

x86# for signature in $(ls *.sig); do gpg --verify $signature; done

Install dependencies:

pi# sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install libftdi1 libftdi-dev libusb-dev libpci-dev subversion libusb-1.0-0-dev pciutils, zlib, libusb, build-essential

Download and build flashrom.

pi# svn co svn://flashrom.org/flashrom/trunk ~/flashrom

pi# cd ~/flashrom

pi# make

pi# sudo make install

On your x86 box change the libreboot.rom mac address

x86# cd ~/work/libreboot_bin/

Change the mac address on the libreboot images to match yours.

x86# ./ich9macchange XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX

Move the libreboot.rom image over to your pi

x86# scp ~/work/libreboot_bin/<path_to_your_bin> pi@your.pi.address:~/flashrom/libreboot.rom

Shutdown your pi, write down your rom chip model, and wire up the clip

pi# sudo shutdown now -hP

Chip model name

Pinout. You may want to download the image so you can zoom in on the text.

Pin # SPI Pin Name Raspberry Pi Pin #
1 not used not used
2 3.3V 1
3 not used not used
4 not used not used
5 not used not used
6 not used not used
7 CS# 24
8 S0/SIO1 21
9 not used not used
10 GND 25
11 not used not used
12 not used not used
13 not used not used
14 not used not used
15 S1/SIO0 19
16 SCLK 23

Note: The raspberry pi 3.3V rail should be sufficient to power the chip during flashing, so no external power supply should be required; however, at the time of writing that has only been tested and confirmed for one chip, the MX25L6405D.

Macronix Spec sheet so you can adjust your pinout for 8 pin 4Mb chips as necessary

At this point connect your SOIC clip to the rom chip before powering on your PI.

Power on your Pi, and run the following. Ensure you swap out “your_chip_name” with the proper name/model of your chip. Check that it can be read successfully. If you cannot read the chip and receive an error similar to “no EEPROM Detected” or “0x0 Chip detected” then you may want to try powering off your PI, and switching the two pins which are connected to the IO ports. I.E. Connect pins (clip)8 to (pi)19 and pins (clip)15 to (pi)21

pi# cd ~/flashrom

pi# ./flashrom -p linux_spi:dev=/dev/spidev0.0,spispeed=512 --chip <your_chip_name> -r romread1.rom

pi# ./flashrom -p linux_spi:dev=/dev/spidev0.0,spispeed=512 --chip <your_chip_name> -r romread2.rom

pi# ./flashrom -p linux_spi:dev=/dev/spidev0.0,spispeed=512 --chip <your_chip_name> -r romread3.rom

pi# sha512sum romread*.rom

If they are identical sha512 hashes then you can generally assume that it’s safe to flash your rom.

pi# ./flashrom -p linux_spi:dev=/dev/spidev0.0,spispeed=512 --chip <your_chip_name> -w libreboot.rom

It may fail a couple times, but keep at it and when you get the message Verifying flash... Verified or Warning: Chip content is identical to the requested image then you’re done.

Shut down your pi, put your box back together, and install a libre OS for great good!

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