Upgrade IME from 7 to 8 on Lenovo D30 / C602 chipset


I’m new to this topic, but I had to read heavily the last week. I am owner of Lenovo D30 currently running with E5-2620. I recently decided to upgrade the CPU and bought two E5-2630v2 as this was listed as supported CPU in the documentation. Apparently not with every model of D30. Mine is 4223 and has IME 7.1 which doesn’t support Ivy CPUs. Is there a safe way to upgrade the firmware of IME to 8, so I can use the CPUs I recently bought ?
I was thinking to buy a programmer so I can read (and write) the BIOS, but have been away of such activities for the last 6-7 year so I have no idea either what to change in the BIOS or if I can handle it.

Any advice or guidance is appreciated.

That is only possible with HP send you a BIOS with ME8 already in there, only manufacturer can update ME major version due to many other BIOS modules also need edited/updated at the same time, it’s not something BIOS hacking people can do.
Did you verify the latest BIOS for your exact model does not already contain ME8?

It could be possible, depending on how new the D30 4223 BIOS source is but it is a lot of work and you’ll definitely need a programmer. Basically, you would need to dump your SPI image, use UEFITool to replace the BIOS region with the one given by Lenovo (to start from scratch, no NVRAM leftovers) and then start upgrading stuff for Ivy Bridge support. The ME will need manual settings transferring from ME 7 to ME 8, the BIOS would need IVB microcodes & vBIOS and who knows what else. That would be option number one and there is no guarantee that it will even work. You could also use the D30 with ME8 BIOS at the first UEFITool step in case they are basically the same just with ME 8 BIOS source support. No matter how you look at it, it is a lot of work and the outcome questionable.

The thing is that there are two types of D30. 4223, 4228 and 4229 are with ME7 and the other hand 4353 and 4354 are with ME8. I’ve seen screenshots of 4229 with ME8. So it should be possible. I was wondering what will happen if I ‘enforce’ the BIOS of 4353/4354 on my machine. Most probably I’ll have to do that with programmer, as I tried otherwise and it didn’t allowed me.

Yes it is usually possible as long as the BIOS is of recent AMI source code. Lenovo is usually due-diligent so that would not be unusual. Obviously for such a thing you would need a programmer. Thing is, the BIOS updates from Lenovo include the BIOS region of the SPI chip only, not the full image with Flash Descriptor + ME Region + BIOS. So you would need to find a full SPI dump from a D30 with ME 8 first and then we can use that after some alterations.

If the boards are close enough to being same, and you wanted to try, I can help you force flash the wrong BIOS to your board (by changing BIOS/board ID’s in the other boards BIOS to make it look like your BIOS, so flash would proceed). Or that same could be tested easily with a flash programmer.

No matter what, I suggest you pick up a flash programmer before trying any of this, that way you can recover easily from anything that goes wrong.
You need CH341A flash programmer (Cheapest type) with a SOIC8 test clip cable, or a kit like EZP2010 or EZP2013. If BIOS is DIP8 socketed, then you only need the $3 CH341A by itself.

Probably best to solder down a socket for the SPI since you likely will need to reflash a lot.

I have ordered EZP2010 couple of days ago from ebay, it will take some time until it arrives. But for the other idea - to put a socket - I’m not good at soldering so I’ll pass it.

However I found a company that sells refurbished hardware and they have the newer models of D30. I’ll ask them if I can read the BIOS from their machine.

If you can get a dump from one of the new systems, that may work for you. You’ll need to edit in your board details (Serial, LAN ID, etc)