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Removing the WLAN / WiFi pcie card whitelist on Lenovo IdeaPad u410 Touch with BIOS update

WARNING! PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE POST BEFORE USING / DOING ANYTHING!

BACKGROUND
I recently (early 2016) acquired a 2013 Lenovo IdeaPad u410 Touch.

It was not my first choice but still useful but I wanted to upgrade it to more recent tech and make it more usable as it is not the fastest CPU around, i.e. an i5-3337U dual core (quad thread) at 1.8GHz.
http://ark.intel.com/products/72055/Intel-Core-i5-3337U-Processor-3M-Cache-up-to-2_70-GHz


First thing I did was upgrade the BIOS to latest (as anyone would/should do really) version 65CN99WW (8/28/2014) available here:
http://support.lenovo.com/au/en/products/laptops-and-netbooks/ideapad-u-series-laptops/ideapad-u410?beta=false

I then added 2 x Kingston SO-DIMM KVR16LS11/8 1.35V (Low Voltage) 8G DDR3 1600 Notebook Ram SODIMM's despite the specs I could find all saying it would only take 8GB and it works fine with the 16GB as the Intel i5-3337U CPU (says 32GB) & Mobile Intel HM77 Express Chipset specifications suggest. 
https://www.lenovo.com/shop/americas/content/pdf/system_data/u410ub_tech_specs.pdf
http://ark.intel.com/products/64339/Intel-BD82HM77-PCH

Then I upgraded Windows 8 to Windows 10 in place which registers the entitlement to Windows 10 for that machine with Microsoft.  Then I installed a new SSD (as below) and installed a fresh copy of Windows 10 skipping through the screens asking for a Product Key.

I then removed the 24GB SSD and replaced it with a Samsung 850 EVO MZ-M5E500BW 500G mSATA SSD Solid State Drive which made it perform much better.  This was partly important due to Intel not writing new Windows 10 drivers for some of their chipset add-ons.  Like RapidStart which is basically an SSD cache mechanism which is no longer really needed as SSD's are now so much cheaper than 3 years ago.  SmartConnect is also a pain and this leaves an ACPI device that you will not find a driver for anywhere.  I just resorted to disabling the device in the Device Manager.
http://www.samsung.com/us/computer/memory-storage/MZ-M5E500BW

PROBLEM
Unfortunately when I added an Intel AC-7260 Dual Band Wireless Card I could no longer boot (warning message showing) due to a BIOS whitelist for specific WiFi Cards only being allowed.
http://www.intel.com.au/content/www/au/en/wireless-products/dual-band-wireless-ac-7260-bluetooth.html

So I tried to hunt down a hacked no whitelist u410 BIOS update but found it rather hard to find one. Many where made 18 months back but not much recently.  And many files no longer available for download or specific to restricted users.  Here are some of the latest requests some of which have been answered with restricted access, and some not at the time of publishing.
https://www.bios-mods.com/forum/Thread-REQUEST-Lenovo-IdeaPad-U410-Whitelist-removal-request-65CN13WW?page=51

SEARCH FOR A SOLUTION
I did find a working u310 version but unfortunately this also disabled access to the built in NVIDIA video card as I guess the u310 does not have that.
Here is the link to the forum where I found that:
https://www.bios-mods.com/forum/archive/index.php?thread-14038-3.html
The actual file is here:
Ideapad_U310_65CN99WW_BACKUP_NWL_
http://www.mediafire.com/?45dgc5l4ialllvl
This worked well apart from the loss of the NVIDIA video card (which is obviously a problem)

So then after a LOT of searching I eventually found a link to a U310-U410 generalised version here:
https://www.bios-mods.com/forum/Thread-REQUEST-Lenovo-IdeaPad-U410-Whitelist-removal-request-65CN13WW?page=51
The actual file is here:
Lenovo Ideapad U310_U410_65CN99WW__WL.rar
https://www.sendspace.com/file/ojv4ku

Unfortunately when I followed the instructions and tried to use this one the DOSFLASH.EXE based batch files I got some "105" errors.  This was when running it from a Rufus made FREEDOS USB. But since the previous one worked I thought maybe I could get the later BIOS BIN file and use that other BIOS update utility instead.  But unfortunately they use (contained) different formats for the BIOS files.  The u310 one used the FPT.EXE BIOS updater with a .BIN file and the later generalized one contains a .WPH bios file.

Somehow I just had to get the u410 BIN file out of the WPH file.  After a LOT more Google searching I discovered the WPH is basically a wrapper for the BIN and you can extract it manually with a decent HEX editor by searching for the start and end of the original BIN file in the U310 version.
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?153111-How-to-unpack-a-WinPhlash-wph-image-to-a-bin

So then I took that now modified BIN file checked it was the exact same size as the u310 BIN and used the FTP.EXE in the original u310 USB boot disk and crossed my fingers.  Presto it all worked fine!  And now I have my new WiFi and the NVIDIA graphics card working also.

SOLUTION I MADE
Here is a link to the finally setup which I have made into an ISO file you can burn with Rufus onto a bootable USB stick!  https://rufus.akeo.ie/

THE FILE YOU WANT IS HERE....https://www.dropbox.com/s/569m0psnbq8rohi/Lenovo_u310-u410-NoWhiteList-Generalised-BIOS.iso?dl=0  [LINK UPDATED 17 Mar 2017]

The folders U310BIOS and U410BIOS contain the original BIOS whitelist fixes used to create this one.

And the 65CN99WW folder contains the Windows Utility for the latest LENOVO U410 65CN99WW BIOS.

NOTE: I could not be bothered testing this ISO boots properly! So the first person to try it please post a comment below.  If you have issues just make a new Rufus bootable FREEDOS USB and copy the content over.




WARNINGS & DISCLAIMERS

WARNING-1! Note: I did not perform backups of my BIOS only because I did not find any tool I thought I could trust to do so.  Do so at your own risk!

WARNING-2! Be careful to consider that this BIOS update will remove your Lenovo Serial Number (make sure you make a NOTE of the serial number) and also the BIOS licence for Windows 7 / 8.  But in my case this was not important especially once Windows 10 is upgraded for the first time as this licence is then registered with Microsoft online and subsequent Windows 10 installs get activated from there not through the OEM BIOS.

U310 User might be best to try the first BIOS I found and see how that goes for you first (as it will likely keep a Lenovo Serial Number and Windows OEM licence)!  Note the Serial is the one from the guy who had it specifically fixed for him SN QB06725287.  Apart from the lack of graphics card support it worked fine on my U410 Touch.

Feel free to contact me if you think I can help in any other way!


Comments

Mariusz Nowak said…
Lenovo_u310-u410-NoWhiteList-Generalised-BIOS.iso
It works great! Thank you! My wi-fi to BCM943225HMB
Michael Schram said…
I've been wanting to change the Wireless card in my U410 for quite some time, and have been searching and searching for BIOS sans whitelist myself. This looks like it might be a solution but do you know if this BIOS revision will work on a Non-Touch U410? I imagine all the capabilities are the same but not sure since there would likely be differences with the display adapters?
Rod Dines said…
I cant see how the non touch u410 could be a problem. I would try upgrading bios to latest first. Then use the hacked one. That way you could probably always go back to the latest official. Ideally you would find a utility for bacing up the BIOS before hand. Goodluck☺
Thank you very much, I've recently bought an Intel AC-7260 Dual Band Wireless Card, and i have the same issue. I will flash the BIOS as soon as I can.
Andrzej Kuone said…
What should at first i do? I don't understand that...
I prepare usb with your iso using rufus. Ok.
Then trying to boot this? Or what please explain to me.
Greetings...
Andrzej Kuone said…
someone can help? to use this thing? please...
Rod Dines said…
@Andrzej Kuone (And anyone else who needs a step-by-step guide).
0. Print this list out if you are going to be doing it on the Laptop your using now.
1. You get the ISO from the download link in this article.
2. Read/Print the readme file in the root of the ISO (best do that before you reboot)
3. Download and install Rufus on Windows PC.
4. Get a blank (it will be formatted) USB stick 1 or 2GB or larger
5a. Run Rufus and point it to the USB stick and the ISO
5b. OR get a ISO burner program + and a DVD-R/RW.
6. Burn the ISO onto the USB (or DVD) with Rufus (Use UEFI/MBR mode).
7. Reboot using the USB stick as the boot device (SEE NOTES BELOW).
8. Run the BIOS update program on the USB.
9. Install your new WiFi card and Reboot and check your WiFi does not stop you booting.
10. Fix/revert any BIOS settings you changed if you need/want.

Notes at Step 7.
The U410 default option to enter BIOS is Fn +F2 if it is set to hotkey mode or F2 if not.
Make sure you set the BIOS boot mode to Legacy Boot (not UEFI)
If you have UEFI enabled and Windows has secured the boot (Secured Boot)
To get to the boot menu you will have find the PC settings option to restart into the BIOS or use the special button on side of laptop.
These links may help:
http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-access-the-bios-on-a-windows-8-computer/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hu4z0N1vUs (IdeaPad U310/U410 are similar)
http://www.howtogeek.com/175649/what-you-need-to-know-about-using-uefi-instead-of-the-bios/
Robin Frech said…
Hi do you have problems with the energy saving mode? my notebook doesn't want to wake up and it keeps a black screen but it's running. I have to restart it.

Tried a lot with changing drivers (Intel Management Engine and HD Graphics) but nothing solved my problem

Windows 10 Home
U410
BIOS 65CN99WW (no custom stuff)
120 GB MSATA (main installed as raid)
500gb data HDD (secondary)
Legacy Mode (not UEFI + no secure mode)
no Intel Rapid stuff
HotKey Legacy mode
no memory remap
Rod Dines said…
@Robin Frech
Make sure the ACPI lid driver is installed. And ACPI is enabled in BIOS (if that is an option)
ACPI\VEN_PNP&DEV_0C0D, ACPI Lid Microsoft 6.2.9200.16384 2006-06-21

Also try installing the latest Lenovo Energy Management install it may update drivers.

https://support.lenovo.com/au/en/documents/ht103117
http://www.windows10forums.com/threads/windows-10-wont-wake-up-from-sleep.1050/
https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/Lenovo-U-and-S-Series-Notebooks/Lenovo-U410-Sleep-Mode-only-turns-of-screen/td-p/1199574

If none of that works/helps let me know I will look into it more. Check in Device Manager and see if any devices have no or not working driver.
Robin said…
@Rod changing from raid to ahci with refreshing my Windows fixed the problem. Hope that the result is forever :) thank you!
virus said…
Hi there, nice post :) this will do the job also if i have a corrupted bios ? Or i need to make different steps ? ( corupted: i ca not start notebook is on only for 2 sec. But if i start with FN+R then the usb is flashing but then go back to off :(
Thank you in advance ( U410 )
Rod Dines said…
@virus. I guess if you can get the system to stay up for long enough then it might work. However, I would be worried that the BIOS might get further corrupted. There is no reason the BIOS should not work if it is installed without power failure. The battery should always be fully charged to around 100% and power cable plugged in. The symptoms you suggest may be being caused by a bad/dead battery or a bad power system on the motherboard. Something overheating maybe. If the short failure time you say is from powerup/startup, then maybe an onboard polyfuse (PTC) is tripping. A PTC is a solid state (possibly thermal) resettable fuse that self-resets after powering off for some time. https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Resettable_fuse
The symptoms you describe are consistent with a power issue causing the fuse to blow or possibly a battery not holding much charge at all. Some laptops will not run without a working battery. This is especially so if the power pack you are using is a non-original replacement or from some other device of lesser power requirement. So I would suggest perhaps you power pack is under-performing, your battery dead or in poor condition or you have a motherboard power supply issue. The later may be being caused by all sorts of problems, not the least common of which may be a dirt/dust/debris inside or unusual levels of moisture/humidity or stray metalic/conductive items inside e.g. screws, paper clips, staples, etc. or some combination.

Personally, I would check all those avenues before trying a BIOS update! Do you agree or are there other symptoms that make you think it is definitely a BIOS problem?
I hope that helps in some way.
bouman said…
Thank you for all the information! Managed to successfully remove the white list of my old u310.
Jan said…
Hey guys,
you may know if this is working for u330 touch as well?
Rod Dines said…
@Jan I would not try it on U330/U430 as they are a refresh on the U310/U410 and probably have different BIOS configurations. Try posting on this forum and you might get some help.
https://www.bios-mods.com/forum/Thread-Lenovo-U330-Touch-BIOS-wthout-WiFi-Whitelist
Sam Fursov said…
hey, can i use that iso you created on my lenovo u310? my bios version is 65cn13ww, I tried updating to the latest bios but lenovo says i cant becuase my pc is running windows 10, and they only have windows 7,8,and 8.1 bios updated!! so this is super frustrating and i cant figure out what to do! i want to remove the whitelist, i have no idea what to do, i tried following your instructions but then i get stuck on step one where it says get iso from link..... but then in your write up you say to try the first one for u310 users... am i still able to do the u310-u410 iso with my u310... please tell me!!! my wifi is driving me nuts.
Sam Fursov said…
Did you use the ISO provided by him or what?
Rod Dines said…
@Sam the procedure "@Andrzej Kuone (And anyone else who needs a step-by-step guide)."
Is OK for the U310 as well as the U410 and I suggest you use it.
The U310 one in the original folder is only relevant really if you are not running Windows 10 as it will (or might) preserve the OEM licensing for Windows 7/8 installs.
It should be fine for you!
Sam Fursov said…
Ok thanks! I will try it out this weekend!
Sam Fursov said…
Ok as much as I am trying I still can't figure it out, on Rufus what options do I choose?

I currently have my partition as MBR partition scheme for BIOS or UEFI-CSM.

Fat 32

Then for the create a bootable disk using option it has FreeDOS selected, and I choose that ISO for that. Then I click start.. it does its thing.

I then placed my bios boot mode into legacy boot.

Then I load up the boot option, I click my USB, and I'm brought to some blue screen, saying some options like install on C, another option, then a boot from hdd, and boot from dos!

What the heck does that mean? I did everything I thought I had to but it all makes no sence!

I'm pretty much stuck on step 8 (run the BIOS update program on the USB)... HOW??

Am I not entering the right settings in Rufus? Do I have to run bootable disk using ISO? And maybe I have to choose MBR partition scheme for UEFI? But if I chose those options exactly it loads up unsported ISO... I'm so confused, can someone make a video or somthing? Or explain what settings I need Rufus to be on, thoroughly.
Sam Fursov said…
I am booted into it right now, so I get some blue screen, with a black border. The thing says welcome to free dos 1.1
Install to hard disk
Create drive C:
Boot from system hard disk
Boot from diskette
And so when I click boot from diskette, it give me a black screen

But if I redo it and click esc it has a little command thing on the bottom saying boot: _ and I type flash.bat but it give me an error saying could not find Kernal
Rod Dines said…
@Sam Fursov - It would appear that problem is you have a USB boot disk without the ISO image on it.

6. Burn the ISO onto the USB (or DVD) with Rufus (Use UEFI/MBR mode).

This step 6 means use Rufus to [Tick] Create a bootable disk using "ISO image"

If you do as you have (with FreeDOS selected) you need to then copy the ISO image content across from the ISO to the USB stick.

Once you have done either of those
1. Recreated the boot disk with Create a bootable disk using "ISO image"
OR
2. Copied the files fro within the ISO to the USB stick (e.g. using 7zip & Explorer)

Then you need the "Boot from diskette" option.

Regards, Rod.
Sam Fursov said…
Ok I did the ISO option now and when I click boot from diskette it says
Boot failed: please change disks and press a key to continue.
Sam Fursov said…
Ok it worked, but now when I turn the computer on it goes strait into boot menu, and whatever I click it goes to a blank screen and then boot menu again..

I checked my bios, and indeed it has updated the bios!! Pretty exiting! But like I said it doesn't go further than boot menu.. what should I do?
Sam Fursov said…
Ok I changed the bios settings to leagacy boot and all is good now!! Thanks so much rod!!!!!! I will order the ac wifi chip and notify you how it worked!!
virus said…
Hi Rod, sorry for late reply :), and thank you for the hints, almous 1y :D, i din't haved time to play again with the notebook. About the notebook:
1. charging is ok
2. batt holds energy for a long time to play
3. when i add the usb => blinking long time no reaction then dead
For me is looking like: bios corupt, but don't want for some reasons to take the info from the usb. I tryed different types and version how to build the bios.
What else i need to look on to find out what is the problem?
Rod Dines said…
@Virus
Well either there is some problem:
1. With secure boot setup in UEFI mode BIOS and not allowing you to boot into a USB.
2. The BIOS is corrupt or motherboard dead or having physical/electrical problem
3. The USB stick is not formatted correctly, corrupt or otherwise faulty

The last (3.) can be confirmed OK by using the USB stick to boot onto from another PC/Laptop etc.
The second (2.) cannot be fixed or easily diagnosed other than by a professional.
The first (1.) can be bypassed with the Reset push button switch on side
https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/Lenovo-U-and-S-Series-Notebooks/Lenovo-U410-Cannot-access-to-BIOS/td-p/877703/page/7


Rod Dines said…
@Virus Also keep this in mind that you need to edit setup first then set the boot from USB to first option then select it as per...
https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/Lenovo-U-and-S-Series-Notebooks/Need-help-booting-from-usb-on-Lenovo-U410/td-p/1124905
virus said…
now is question how i can force the bios to boot to usb ( i can not start the notebook) It is looking like a corrupt bios.

2. The BIOS is corrupt or motherboard dead or having physical/electrical problem => the motherboard is charging, reactingg\, cooling the procesor.

what i see is: bios corrupt but i don't know how to prepare the usb disk or what else to boot and insert the new bios
Rick Letuc said…
@Rod
Can you please send me the Lenovo_u310-u410-NoWhiteList-Generalised-BIOS.iso file because the link from the post is dead.

Thanks in advance
Rod Dines said…
Not sure why it is not working as file is still there
Try this new link.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/569m0psnbq8rohi/Lenovo_u310-u410-NoWhiteList-Generalised-BIOS.iso?dl=0
Andre Quirion said…
First,

Thanks a lot for the file. Took some fiddling, but finally was able to flash the bios.

For the people having trouble : Make a blank boot usb disk with Rufus (don't load the iso) and copy the file from the ISO over that disk. I was not able to create a bootable disk directly form the iso.
Jinhan Kim said…
Based on your posting, the non-touch U410 also succeeded in removing WhiteLIst....
Thank You!!!
Sergey Nikolov said…
No More Lenovo Whitelist - freedom is finally here.
Intel 7260 HMWG.R installed and running with no issues
Thank You Thank You Thank You
marviv said…
hi. I´ve struggling to withelist my lenovo u410 touch. i want to install a different wifi-bluetooth card, but haven´t been able to.
Reading your post it seems that we have the exact same model i5 3337u. i want to be sure what should i do to install your bios files. i see lots of files when i load the iso.
do i have to créate the usb with rufus and it will automatically do it´s thing?
i have updated to 65CN99WW but now my laptop says in bios that is a lenovo u310, not u410 touch as before. will this be also fixed?
also what is that you say about the serial and Windows key? do i have to keep those? i tought they were lost after i did a fresh install of Windows 10.
thanks in advance for your response and excuse any mistakes in my english, i´m writing from Colombia.
marviv said…
I need some assistance please.
I did créate the booteable usb in rufus with the iso provided. When i boot from the usb i get to a blue screen that says:
welcome to freeDOS 1.1
Install to hard disk
Create drive C:
Boot from system hard disk
Boot from diskete
I tried boot from diskete, because i read some comment here about that but gives me an error.
the install to hard drive gives 2 options:
f-
c-
I don´t know what to do.
Please help a noob here.
also in the usb there´s lots of folders and files. Don´t know which one is the one i have to use. I don´t want to brick my machine, but i really need to get rid of that annoying whitelist.
An step by step will be great if is not asking too much.
thanks anyway for your great job, giving this files to all of us, so we can enjoy our machines, lenovo forgets they´re selling, not renting.
Rod Dines said…
@marvin and others
The ISO contains a README.TXT that outlines the process (with some minor errors). There is also a post in these comments that steps novices through the guide (Post: 24 May 2016).

The basic concept is that the ISO is a way to temporarily boot into a DOS environment then update/flash the laptop's BIOS files. Then remove the ISO/DVD media then reboot to the normal operating system on the installed HDD/SSD.

The point about the serial number in the BIOS is that, since the BIOS is where the serial is recorded, then by installing the modified (whitelist unrestricted) BIOS will effectively overwrite the laptop's original serial number and you may like to record that before you do this. Similarly, this is so for the Windows OEM licence but as we have determined this is no longer relevant since most people are using either a new Windows 10 licence or free upgrade that has already been validated.

I hope that helps. Following is the printout of the README.TXT file on the ISO with a few small edits made to fix minor errors.

README.TXT
1. Make a pure DOS bootable USB stick (FAT or FAT32 formatted, http://rufus.akeo.ie/ )
2. Copy all files from .\Modified\ folder to USB stick
3. Restart computer. Press Fn+F2 enter BIOS
(or alternatively just F2 if bios configured that way).

- disable SecureBoot option
- choose "Configurtion-> BIOS back flash" , set to Enabled, save and exit.

4. Boot to the DOS prompt and then run flash.bat (in case of an Error, try flash2.bat)
i.e. > flash.bat

The folders U310BIOS and U410BIOS contain the original BIOS whitelist fixes used to create this one.
And the 65CN99WW folder contains the Windows Utility for the latest LENOVO U410 65CN99WW BIOS.
Joe said…
I came across your info yesterday (2017.10.01) after a couple of years dealing with this Lenovo U410 wifi issue. I was always debating the hacked BIOS method and/or would just plugin a USB wifi dongle and deal with it.

But your post was straight forward and the ISO was accessible.

Now the U410 is running very well with an Intel N-6235 wifi card!

Thanks very much.
Rod Dines said…
@Joe - Awesome! I am happy it all worked for you. It is so nice to hear that your efforts have helped others. Thanks for the feedback. All the best!
Jeremie Lacroix said…
After already killing one u310 motherboard (it would boot to the lenovo screen without the small text at the bottom telling me to press f2 to get to the bios and any attempt to get into it didn't get any reaction from the computer, and then it would get to a black screen where the only inputs I could have were esc to shutdown and ctrl-alt-del to restart) I am very reluctant to try flashing my bios, especially since I've read that it may be dangerous to the motherboard. This new one I installed now doesn't have a serial number, so that isn't much of a concern, but other than that are there any potential risks or places where, if I choose the wrong option, I then need to buy another 100$ motherboard?

Also, do I have to leave it in legacy mode forever after the update or is that simply for the update?
Rod Dines said…
@Jeremie Lacroix - I find it hard to understand your comment. I am not sure if you have or have not applied the BIOS install I modified on my ISO or not? I don't think you can really screw it up other than if you don't have a decent full charged battery in place, ideally running from power when you start the BIOS flash (update).

The legacy mode is only temporary to be able to boot into the DOS ISO/USB to run the BIOS flash update process. After that is done you are free to place the PC back in UEFI with or without SECURE BOOT in place also.

Hope that helps?
Jeremie Lacroix said…
That does help, and no I just killed my first motherboard messing around with other settings (I think, although I wasn't doing anything that should've touched the actual BIOS info as far as I know) and the second mobo came with an outdated version of the BIOS, 65cn11ww, and I can't get it to update with normal Lenovo programs + I was looking to upgrade my Network Card, so I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone with what you made available here.

Thanks!

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