I am currently running Ubuntu GNOME 15.04 on a Lenovo B590 notebook with BIOS version H5ET69WW (1.12). But as my current BIOS version is buggy, I need to upgrade it to version H9ET84WW (2.0). And I have read this guide here: Ubuntu BIOS Upgrade

And I know that this is the download for my BIOS upgrade: Lenovo B590 BIOS upgrade H9ET84WW

But the problem is, even though I have read the instructions in the first link, I am still unsure about how to upgrade my BIOS if I have this .exe file designed for Windows systems only. And I see that as my BIOS version is older than H9ET75WW that I first need to upgrade to that version, before upgrading it to the latest, and a .zip file is provided to do that, but I am also unsure about how to boot of the .zip file and what to do with it.

So I was wondering if anybody could advise me on this BIOS upgrade as I have never done this on Ubuntu before?

Information Update:

I recently checked in my BIOS settings, and it is apparently allowing both UEFI and Legacy mode. If you need any more information to answer my question, please just comment.

I have also recently noticed that the Lenovo page isn't providing or saying anything about that .zip file and version that I would need to first flash to any more, so I don't know what to do about that...

  • .zip files are archives, so extract it and look what waits for you inside. Besides that, I would recommend you to boot a Windows or MS-DOS (live) system for BIOS upgrades, because those flashing tools are usually designed for them. If you don't have one, check out hirensbootcd (google will find it). It contains working live systems of Linux, MS-DOS and WinXP together with a incredible number of tools for all purposes. Burn that on a CD as described in the instructions, boot from it, load your flashing tool and run it there. – Byte Commander Sep 16 '15 at 13:42
  • Hiren's BootCD: Download (zip) plus guide to boot it from USB (>=512MB) – Byte Commander Sep 16 '15 at 13:45
  • @ByteCommander: Well the .zip file does not seem to be available for download any more on that page so what should I do about that? – user364819 Sep 16 '15 at 13:48
  • If you can't find it, you can't do anything with it... That's logic, I think? – Byte Commander Sep 16 '15 at 13:53
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of How to flash a BIOS when only a Windows binary is provided? – karel Aug 23 '19 at 11:01

Determine your current BIOS flavor and version

Press F1 at boot to enter the BIOS setup. Here you should find the following:

UEFI BIOS Version                H?ETxxWW(y.yy)
UEFI BIOS Date (Year-Month-Day)  YYYY-MM-DD
Embedded Controller Version      H?ECxxWW(y.yy)

where ? is 1, 5, or 9. I will call this the "flavor".

xx and y.yy signify the version. We're only concerned with the UEFI BIOS Version, not the Embedded Controller Version.

Mine looks like this, I have the "H5" flavor and will need to install the files that begin with "H5":

UEFI BIOS Version                H5ET69WW (1.12 )
UEFI BIOS Date (Year-Month-Day)  2012-11-15
Embedded Controller Version      H5EC31WW(1.11)

Understanding versions and available files

Currently these three versions are available:

Even though the filenames indicate the "H9" flavor, the first two also contain BIOS updates for the "H1" and "H5" flavors. h9et75ww.zip contains these versions:

  • H1ET80WW
  • H5ET80WW(1.19) 2013-09-09, EC: H5EC33WW(1.13)
  • H9ET75WW

When run, h9et84ww.exe extracts its contents to a directory, which contains these versions:

  • H1ET85WW
  • H5ET85WW(1.23) 2014-04-15, EC: H5EC34WW(1.14)
  • H9ET84WW

Based on the file size, I believe h9et92ww.exe only contains H9ET92WW for the "H9" flavor.

Note that the two digits before 'WW' are different for the "H9" flavor as compared to the others. I've provided the version, date, and embedded controller version for the "H5" flavor after upgrading. h9et84ww.txt contains lots of conflicting information about versions and dates, and should not be trusted.

It is not clear whether the instructions to upgrade to H9ET75WW before upgrading to H9ET84WW or H9ET92WW only apply to the "H9" flavor, or all flavors. For safety, you should probably upgrade them sequentially on all flavors.

Installing h9et75ww.zip

This contains DOS executables.

  1. Install a live version of FreeDOS to a USB stick.
  2. Extract h9et75ww.zip to that USB stick.
  3. Ensure your battery is charged and that the charger is connected. The installer will check your battery level and abort if it is too low.
  4. Press F12 at boot, select to boot from your USB stick.
  5. Once FreeDOS is running, cd to the DOS subdirectory of the files you extracted in step 2.
  6. Run the H?ETxxWW.BAT script that corresponds to your particular flavor, substituting ? as appropriate.

The output will look something like this:

bat_cap= 100
Don't clean variable

Phoenix SCT Flash for DOS V1.3.26.1, Build 120810
Copyright (c) 2011-2012 Phoenix Technologies Ltd.

SecureFlash BIOS detected.
Read BIOS image from file.
Initialize Flash module.
Read current BIOS.

WARNING: System is going to shutdown and do capsule update!

WARNING: System will shutdown or reboot in 5 seconds!

Let it reboot. After the reboot, you should see it flash the BIOS:

Phoenix SCT Flash for Shell V1.3.26.1, Build 120810
Copyright (c) 2011-2012 Phoenix Technologies Ltd.

Read BIOS image from memory.
Initialize Flash module.

Prepare to flash "bios"

Begin Flashing......
Total blocks of the image = 992.
Image flashing done.

Flashing finished.

Prepare to flash "ec"

Begin Flashing......
Total blocks of the image = 32.

Flashing finished.

BIOS is updated successfully.

WARNING: System will shutdown or reboot in 5 seconds!

Let it reboot again, and you are done.

Installing h9et84ww.exe

This installer is unfortunately not a self-extracting zip file.

  1. Install wine.
  2. Use wine to run h9et84ww.exe. This should bring up an installation wizard.
  3. Accept the license agreement.
  4. Let the wizard extract the files.
  5. After extracting, un-check the box to "Install ThinkPad BIOS Update Utility now", and click Finish.

This would launch winuptp.exe that it just extracted, but it does not work under wine. It also does not work under FreeDOS. We need to find a different way to install it.

Browse to the directory containing the files it extracted in step 4. You should find the subdirectories H1ET85WW, H5ET85WW, and H9ET84WW. Each contains a single file named $0AH?000.FL1 where ? is the flavor. These are the same size and likely the same format as the .cap files in h9et75ww.zip. So let's use the same FreeDOS USB stick as before, but using the updated files instead.

  1. Copy the relevant $0AH?000.FL1 file to the DOS directory of the USB stick, renaming it to H?ETxxWW.cap, and substituting ? and xx as appropriate.
  2. Edit the relevant H?ETxxWW.BAT script. Near the top should be a line such as set NVROMCAP=H5ET80WW.cap. Adjust this to refer to the file you copied in step 6.
  3. Boot to the USB stick and install it as before.

Installing h9et92ww.exe

To be determined.

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