Lenovo ThinkPad does not boot after BIOS update

Not sure it’s related, but must ask. ZCM 17.4.1, ThinkPad T590, ThinkPad T495s, Windows 10 Pro 1909, FDE applied. Yesterday on T590 we applied latest 1.61 BIOS Update via Lenovo Thin Installer, after reboot Windows does not boot anymore. On another device user got info about „firmware update“ (can’t be sure this was info, not sure what did trigger this to appear as we have suppressed such a happenings, at least we think ~ thought we have) and after applying also Windows does not boot anymore. Any ideas/info/experiences? In Lenovo forums seems to be silence about this, at least no feedback just yet.
More thanks, Alar.

  • I did have some experience with this with one customer.

    It seems if the Firmware Update came down through Windows Update in a Lenovo it buggered up.  If they manually applied the Firmware Update and then did Windows Update they were fine.  I suspect the Windows Update process was messing up the Boot Manager when applying the Firmware Update, since FDE uses its own.  Perhaps some logic in the Firmware Updating tool when applied via SU.  Further they could re-image fine, so it was not a specific Firmware setting, but certainly something the particular Firmware Installer was doing to the UEFI boot partition that it should not have been doing due to bad assumptions about the Boot Manager. 

    That being said, ZCM 2020 U1 will have a major change in FDE.  It will no longer use the "Secure Boot Manager" but hook into the native Windows Boot Manager.

    The new code did not seem to cause the same issue on the Lenovo with System Update. 

    I suspect ZCM 2020 U1 will ship in a few weeks, but for now if you update the BIOS with the Lenovo Stand-Alone Tools instead of allowing them to come down via SU you should be fine, based on my limited experience which of course may not match yours.

  • Hi and thanks!
    Well, not sure exactly what caused this “outbreak” of two not booting, on one … I just using Thin Installer (TI), on another … who knows, I suspect Windows Update did “the job”, but could be WU also interfered in first case. Not sure, though.
    Is more reasonable to exclude driver deliveries via WU at all? And let TI do the whole job for Lenovo. Well, there is probably more driver updates to deliver via WU but just Lenovo’s, this worries a bit.
    Good to read about ZCM 2020 U1, we looking forward for this, but for now we must handle situation at hand. As You know, I’m sure, it’s is a admin worst nightmare to have suddenly non-booting devices. =\
    More thanks, Alar.

  • I'm not going to get into too many judgements in that area...

    I've only seen the issue on one customer and in theory the impact of that will go away soon.  



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  • But of course, fair enough, thank You! Obviously, we must hurry up for ZCM 2020 to implement.
    More thanks, Alar.

  • Ahjaa, forgot to mention. One “good thing” in middle of this happening. We finally tested FDE ERD to access not booting device disc and … succeeded. No-no, we had no doubts it will work, but not had to before to-do this.
    Tried also repairing MBR, but this didn’t bring booting back. Now in middle of decrypting via FDE ERD and will see does we have other options to restore booting.

  • We couldn’t manage to restore boot of this affected Lenovo – “fixboot access denied” etc. Probably we not that good at this … installed Windows from scratch, anyway faster. Done. After this we looked more deeply into files we copied out and seems to “culprit” might be earlier that day via Windows Update installed “Lenovo Ltd. - Firmware -”, not sure, though. Scheduled reboot after hours and … that’s it – not booting anymore. Probably on another device same update was installed, can’t confirm that as we installed Windows almost immediately, none files rescued to look at. Yeah, same update installed also on other notebooks …. So, can’t be sure what caused this what did happen.