Lenovo S205 BIOS Recovery & Updating BIOS without installed Windows OS

Read my post about Lenovo S205 BIOS versions. You are going to need an extracted BIOS1.WPH image and a BIOS Flash Utility from Google Drive. Get the latest official BIOS image (4BCN24WW) from here.

I. Creating the Bootable USB Stick

You can’t use a pen drive bigger than 2 GB because of the limitations of FAT file system. Both methods use PHLASH16.EXE (Phoenix Flash Utility for DOS, version 1.7.0.21)

Method #1 – WINCRIS (Phenix Crisis Disk Build, V1.0.0.4)

You’re going to need a computer running the 32-bit version of Windows XP or a virtual computer (e.g. WMware, Microsoft Virtual PC, etc.) with this OS installed. (Compatibility mode won’t work!)

  1. Plug in an empty USB Stick and format it with FAT file system (My Computer > Right click on your USB Drive > Format…).
  2. Rename your BIOS file from BIOS1.wph to BIOS.wph and copy it to the WINCRIS directory (the folder containing WINCRIS.EXE).
  3. Run WINCRIS.EXE. Select your Removable Disk as Driver, choose ‘Create MINIDOS Crisis Disk’ and click Start.

wincriswincris_after

Method #2 – HPUSBDisk (HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool, V2.2.3)
  1. Run HPUSBDisk.exe as Administrator
  2. Select your device (an empty USB Stick), choose ‘FAT‘ file system, tick ‘Create a DOS startup disk using system files located at:‘ and select the ‘MiniDOS‘ directory. Click Start.
  3. Copy PHLASH16.EXE and Autoexec.bat from the ‘Rescue’ folder to your USB Stick.
  4. Rename your BIOS file from BIOS1.wph to BIOS.wph and copy it as well to the root of the USB Drive.

hpusbdisk hpusbdisk_after

II. Flashing the BIOS

You must PLUG IN the Battery and AC adapter before flashing.

It’s very important that you leave the computer on for a few minutes (e.g. 5 minutes for safety) when flashing the BIOS because interrupting the flashing process is never a good idea :)

Recovery

Use this method if your BIOS is damaged / bricked (failed update) and your S205 is unable to boot.

  1. Hold down Fn+R keys and while holding press the power button.
  2. You should see your pen drive blinking and hear fan noise. Hold the keys for a while (~5 seconds).
  3. Leave the computer for a few minutes and if the computer does not restart itself turn the power down.
  4. If everything went OK your computer should start normally.
Updating BIOS without installed OS

Use this method if you’ve bought your S205 without pre-installed OS and you want to upgrade your BIOS before installing Windows (7 or later, read why you should do it) OR you are using Linux and therefore unable to upgrade your BIOS using the official Lenovo update.

  1. Start your laptop and enter Boot menu (press FN+F11 when you see the Lenovo logo). Select your pendrive.
  2. FreeDOS will start and automatically run the BIOS flasher utility. You don’t need to interact.
  3. Wait a few minutes, then restart your computer.

Sources:

hamidontop – Lenovo Forum, zfactor – Notebook Review Forum

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