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Installing Ubuntu 17.10 bricks many Lenovo laptops.


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5 replies to this topic

#1 NickAu

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 03:52 PM

 

Brief: Installing Ubuntu 17.10 bricks many Lenovo and some Toshiba and Acer laptops. Canonical has removed the Ubuntu 17.10 downloads from its website until this issue is fixed.

 

List of models that have been surely affected by this bug
  • Lenovo B40-70
  • Lenovo B50-70
  • Lenovo B50-80
  • Lenovo Flex-3
  • Lenovo Flex-10
  • Lenovo G40-30
  • Lenovo G50-70
  • Lenovo G50-80
  • Lenovo S20-30
  • Lenovo U31-70
  • Lenovo Y50-70
  • Lenovo Y70-70
  • Lenovo Yoga Thinkpad (20C0)
  • Lenovo Yoga 2 11″ – 20332
  • Lenovo Z50-70
  • Lenovo Z51-70
  • Lenovo IdeaPad 100-15IBY
  • Acer Aspire E5-771G
  • Acer TravelMate B113
  • Toshiba Satellite S55T-B5233
  • Toshiba Satellite L50-B-1R7

 

 

Canonical Temporarily Removes Ubuntu 17.10 Downloads As it Bricks Some Laptops


Edited by NickAu, 21 December 2017 - 03:55 PM.

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#2 Guest_philbo_*

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 01:32 AM

I've been following the discussion about this on Launchpad. I don't have a machine that's affected, I'm just curious.
Some are blaming Ubuntu or the Linux kernel, but developers can't be expected to test their software on every piece of hardware.
 
I'd be concerned that a BIOS has been designed that is so vulnerable. I've been messing with the BIOS on my Dell and HP laptops for years, and they're practically bulletproof. (Now that I've said that, you can bet my next installation will brick my laptop).


#3 cat1092

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Posted 22 December 2017 - 05:17 AM

Lenovo & Samsung notebooks has had the worst Linux firmware support out of all of the large OEM's (maybe why the letter got out of the Windows PC business). When my Samsung was new in 2012, those who tried installing any version of Linux, or even booting into Linux based rescue media (such as MiniTool Partition Wizard), found themselves with a semi-bricked computer that only the OEM could recover at the owner's expense. This applied to Windows 10 upgrades at first, a few months after the first release, Samsung issued a patch. 

 

The really odd thing about this being, that the OEM itself will use some type of Linux tool to revive the UEFI at a cost of $300 (minimum) plus shipping both ways. :(

 

Yet I will say this, have found W10 upgrades to ruin more computers than Linux installs has, at least a dozen to date, usually pre-DDR3 era models designed to run Windows Vista. Most of the time, these will boot after the upgrade, then crashes at the logon screen or just afterwards. May soon be the owner of a Lenovo Yoga 3 myself, my sister-in-law has never picked it up after setting up her Yoga 920. Which I feel is a $1,800 piece of garbage for the money, should had at least had a discrete GPU installed & a much larger power brick than 65W to push a true quad core i7-8550U, it's very hot to handle & Lenovo has no upgraded USB-C PSU for the model. Wouldn't dare attempt a Linux install on it until out of warranty. Heck, it won't even take the latest W10 upgrade (1709) w/out a lot of reconfiguration to make features work. so I know that Linux is out of the picture. 

 

At any rate, most of this Linux messing up computers is firmware related, seems like they'd test more thoroughly before shipping the units.

 

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Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#4 Guest_philbo_*

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Posted 23 December 2017 - 04:53 PM

After reading a number of discussions about this problem, I'll see if I can summarise what I understand so far...
 
1) It appears to be restricted to firmware supplied by Insyde Software.
2) Corruption is triggered by the intel-spi driver in the Linux kernel. So far only users of Ubuntu 17.10 and Antergos have encountered the problem.
3) Apparently this BIOS, along with the intel-spi driver, is designed to allow users to upgrade their firmware more easily.
 
          "Not all manufacturers protect the SPI serial flash, mainly because it allows upgrading the BIOS image directly from an OS."
 
So it seems that an attempt to make firmware upgrades easier has made the BIOS more vulnerable.
I think it's important for us to remember that manufacturers don't really expect us to be changing the OS, and when we do we're clearly on our own.


#5 cat1092

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Posted 24 December 2017 - 04:22 AM

 

I think it's important for us to remember that manufacturers don't really expect us to be changing the OS, and when we do we're clearly on our own.

 

 

+1! :)

 

It's also important for us when considering purchasing a computer preloaded with Windows, we should do our homework before pulling out the plastic or cash if in store purchase. 

 

Meaning we should go online & search the model & check for Linux compatibility, believe me, if there's issues, there'll be lots of Topics everywhere regarding the model(s) being bricked. Which may not be permanent, yet if it's a sub-$500 model, may as well be, because the repair would make the notebook far more costly, far more than it would be worth on the second hand market. We install Linux on computers at our own risk, for better or worse, therefore it's best to wait for reviews on new releases, won't take long for these to be coming in.

 

BTW, here's some Lenovo notebooks tested for Linux compatibility, over half not too dated (with 6th gen Intel CPU's). :)

 

https://www.neweggbusiness.com/smartbuyer/systems/lenovo-laptops-built-linux/

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#6 Guest_philbo_*

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Posted 28 December 2017 - 12:06 AM

Good news, there appears to be a fix. https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/1734147

 

           

           "Boot Linux and Install Kernel Version 4.14.9. Reboot into Linux and BIOS should be restored to a working state."






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