Jailbreaking the Thinkpad X230 UEFI to replace the Wifi Chip

2024-04-20 · christian · hardware, lenovo thinkpad, security, uefi

I wanted to reactivate my old Lenovo Thinkpad X230 as a “Burner Laptop”. Put a Linux on it, use it on events like conferences and reinstall it afterwards. The main reason why I replaced it was the outdated WiFi chip, which only supported 802.11 a/b/g/n.

tl;dr: There is the project 1vyrain which allows a UEFI downgrade, jailbreak and patch to allow third party Wi-Fi Chips.

Attention: The described actions will touch the UEFI BIOS of your machine. Any mistake will end in a bricked device. As always, use at own risk!

UEFI Downgrade

At least on my X230 Laptop was a UEFI version installed, which had the vulnerability patched required for the jailbreak.

IVprep is a toolchain to downgrade the UEFI to a vulnerable version. It requires a Windows 10+.

Also you have to allow the UEFI downgrade in the UEFI settings:

Go into your BIOS setup. Navigate to Security -> UEFI BIOS Update option. Set Flash BIOS Updating by End-Users to enabled, and Secure RollBack Prevention to disabled.

After that, download the whole IVprep Repo and execute the downgrade.bat file in a CMD with administrative pivileges.

Jailbreak

1vyrain itself can be downloaded on its website and comes as a bootable disk image. It has to be flashed to a USB disk with a tool like etcher.

The USB Disk then has to be booted on UEFI Mode from a onboard USB port.

The instructions on the screen should guide you through the process.

Details can be found on the GitHub Page.

Replace the Wi-Fi chip

After successfully patching the UEFI, I’ve replaced the Wi-Fi chip with a Intel AC7260 Mini-PCIex Adapter. It is located below the right palm rest.

There are some videos on YouTube, how the Keyboard and Touchpad can be removed.

How to check if a Wi-Fi connection is using 802.11ac on Linux, can be found on ask Ubuntu.

Replace the CMOS battery

Also the CMOS battery was empty. A replacement is offered by multiple distributors online. Search for “CMOS Battery Thinkpad X230”.

Lenovo Thinkpad X230 Wi-Fi and CMOS battery replacement


More


serverless.industries BG by Carl Lender (CC BY 2.0) Imprint & Privacy
2eeebcd0 2024-07-07 12:52
Mastodon via chaos.social Mastodon via einbeck.social