Updating a Thinkpad BIOS on Arch Linux

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Lenovo released BIOS updates to fix security issues for CVE-2017-5715 (Spectre), so I figures that it would be a good time to update mine. I’ve once bricked a mainboard during a BIOS update, hence I have been quite hesitant when it comes to updating BIOSes, but this time I didn’t want to procrastinate.

BIOS updates are provided in two ways: executables for Windows and ISO images. Obviously, I cannot use the Windows executables on Arch Linux, so I downloaded the ISO images and naively though I could just dd them on a spare pen drive. However, this drive is not bootable. I’ve found there seem to be multiple ways to create a bootable drive from the ISO, but most of them seemed a bit too complicated for this rather simple task.

The geteltorito tool extracts a bootable image from Lenovo’s ISO images and is available as AUR package.

The process of creating a bootable image and flashing it onto the pen drive is simple:

teltorito.pl -o bios.img gkuj17ww.iso
sudo dd if=bios.img of=/dev/sdb
sync

The update went smooth. The only weird thing was that the fan started spinning on max RPM during the update process.