Lenovo G50-45 stuck in continuous black-screen cycle. BIOS not showing. Help!

Discussion in 'Lenovo' started by CivicJDM, May 24, 2020.

  1. CivicJDM

    CivicJDM Notebook Consultant

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    I have the task of fixing a Lenovo G50-45 laptop (AMD A8-6410) for a relative of mine.

    The laptop suffered a fall from about knee-height after it fell off the edge of a sofa. It remained in a perfect working state for 2 days afterwards. All I know is that the laptop was pestering to do updates before it was switched off. Now it is not working at all.

    When I press the power button I can hear the hard drive spooling up and the fan running. Both the power and battery LEDs are lit up. The screen backlight does not switch on, but I can see the pixels illuminate in plain black. BIOS does not appear. After precisely 25 seconds of running with a blank screen, the laptop powers off and goes quiet. It then powers back on a few seconds later, and repeats this cycle continuously.

    Things I have tried, to no avail:
    • Connecting the laptop to a monitor via HDMI. (No input received)
    • Removing the battery and running from mains power only.
    • Re-seating the RAM modules.
    • Trying the Shift+F8 combo to boot recovery.
    • Pressing the Novo button to boot recovery.
    • Tapping F1 on boot to access BIOS.
    It seems to me that this is a problem with the motherboard. I’m wondering if the BIOS got corrupted somehow.

    Unfortunately the BIOS is only available in an EXE format, which is useless considering the laptop doesn’t boot. With other laptops I have been able to flash the BIOS from a powered-off state using a USB drive, without the need to fully boot the machine into Windows.

    Here is the BIOS. Would it be possible to extract the files and flash it manually, somehow?

    https://download.lenovo.com/consumer/mobiles/a2cn45ww.exe

    I’m not sure what else could be causing the problem. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
     
  2. Vasudev

    Vasudev Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    I had a different issue where BIOS chip on g50-80 become Read only after updating to 1709 win 10. I had to use experimental kernel for ubuntu to sort it out. After few months, laptop gets stuck on reboot while shutdown works. I decided to flash the BIOS from a good dump knowing it fully that I will break existing licenses. I went ahead and grabbed from laboneinside.com and flashed it via ch341a programmer black edition and afterwards it booted into windows/linux w/o any issue.
    https://www.laboneinside.com/lenovo-g50-45-bios-bin/
     
  3. CivicJDM

    CivicJDM Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks for the response. Yes, I found a thread on the BIOS Mods forum and it seemed to suggest that a programmer is needed to flash the BIOS on the AMD version of this laptop. But as far as I can tell they are not expensive, about £10 GBP or so for the programmer and clip.

    Is there any downside to overwriting the existing licenses? I saw on another forum that the serial number and other IDs are stored in the BIOS. Would it make a difference if this was erased?

    Thanks.
     
  4. Vasudev

    Vasudev Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Between Lost license and paper weight PC, I chose the PC and didn't care about the license since you can get it from ebay if MS Account doesn't recognize the digital entitlement from w8.1 to w10 pro.
    You could ask @t456 for guidance. I overwrote the bios image with the one provided by labone guy which gave me his OEM license and Serial No. Though I didn't use his license because it was W8 key for non-Pro.
     
  5. CivicJDM

    CivicJDM Notebook Consultant

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    Oh, thank you! I see what you mean now, it just affects the license in Windows. Well that is not a problem, I can easily deal with that.

    One more question. If I am buying one of these programmers, are there any specific requirements for it to work with this laptop? I just need to make sure the clip fits a SOIC8 chip? This is what is shown on the BIOS Mods forum, seems like they are also using the CH341A that you mentioned:

    https://www.bios-mods.com/forum/Thr...Pad-S405-Whitelist-Removal?pid=74575#pid74575

    I found an article here that seems to discuss the same problem I am encountering, with the Lenovo G50:

    http://hulifox008.github.io/2018/07/21/g50-bios-recovery.html - Picture 1, Picture 2
     
  6. Vasudev

    Vasudev Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Yes, I used the same thing. SOIC 8 test clip aka alligator clip. Make sure its aligned i.e. Red lining of alligator clip must be on a notch of winbond BIOS chip. For winbond chip the model will be w25q32(4MB) or w25q64(8MB). If its not winbond, you can see it will be marked as 25Q32 or 25Q64.
    Only issue is, you will see a faint red LED glowing if connection is successful and when you press on Read option the RED LED will be steady which means connection is secure and its reading from the chip.
    You need to verify the chip if contents are same as flashed image. If it says, mismatch. Try again. Make sure CMOS battery is disconnected/removed.
    I don't know about modding BIOS and whenever I tried I bricked my PC 100% of the time. If you need any pointers in that, ask the wizard @t456 himself.
     
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  7. CivicJDM

    CivicJDM Notebook Consultant

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    Much appreciated, lots of helpful advice there that will be of great assistance when I am able to do this. Thank you. I have made a backup of the BIOS files from the Lab-One site just in case the Google Drive links happen to go offline.

    There's just one thing that concerns me, you mentioned about disconnecting the CMOS battery prior to flashing the BIOS. But as far as I know, the CMOS battery on this laptop is soldered the the motherboard. It seems the only way to remove it would be to use a soldering iron. Is that part essential?
     
  8. Vasudev

    Vasudev Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Usually Lenovo has a small plug like connector for CMOS. If its not there, then don't worry.
     
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  9. CivicJDM

    CivicJDM Notebook Consultant

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    Well I bought the programmer but I am still waiting for it to arrive. I went for the green one.

    In the meantime, I have watched some tutorials on YouTube allowing me to understand how to connect the SOIC8 clip and how to use the software to flash the BIOS. All of that seems OK to me.

    But one thing the tutorials don't seem to cover are the spaces in the board with labels next to them. On the programmer I ordered they are in 3 groups:
    • 5V - 3.3V - MOSI - CLK - MISO - CS - GND
    • GND - RX - TX
    • P/S
    I looked up a lot of these abbreviations, but I have zero understanding of electronics, so it means nothing to me except the voltages. I'm wondering if there is a certain 'configuration' I need to use with the jumpers for flashing the laptop BIOS. For example, how do I set the programmer to use 3.3V instead of 5V?

    Also, am I supposed to use the 25XX section of the ZIF socket when using the SOIC8 clip?

    Sorry for these beginner questions, hope someone can help. :D

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Vasudev

    Vasudev Notebook Nobel Laureate

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