Monday, April 8, 2013

Change BIOS splash on Lenovo B460e (TN Govt. Laptop)

Before we make any changes to your current BIOS, we will first make a backup in case you ever want the TN logo again (I don't know why anyone will want that though) or if something goes wrong.
So in order to do that, we need to download a tool by Davidxxw which can be found here.
  • Once downloaded, extract the contents using WinRAR (we will be using WinRAR in future also so make sure you have it installed.) and then right click the .exe file and select "Run as Administrator". You should be at a window like shown below.

  • Now click the "Read" button.
  • Once the read operation is complete, click the "Backup" button and you will be asked to save your file somewhere. Save it in a safe place and also keep a backup of the file as this is the original bios file. Your backup is now complete.

Now we will edit your bios file to change the splash image. 

We will now see how to edit your BIOS file and change the splash image.
  • Make a copy of your bios file that we made in the previous step and name it "44CN43WW.fd"
  • Windows will ask if you're sure that you want to change the extension of the file. Click Yes.
  • If Windows did not ask you that, make sure you did not name it as "44CN43WW.fd.rom". You need to change the extension of the file as well.
  • Now our bios uses the Insydeh20 framework so we need an Insydeh20 editor. You can download it from here.
  • Download the file and extract it.
  • Right click the EZH20.exe file and select "Run as Administrator".
  • In the EZH20 window, select File -> Load file and select the renamed "44CN43WW.fd" file.
  • It will show you the file's properties. Click Ok.
  • Now go to Components -> Logo and you should be presented with the windows as shown below.

  • You should click the "Image Information" drop-down and select the JPG(1024*768) option.
  • Now in the "Logo Image To Load" section, click "Browse" and select the image file you need to use. (Scroll down for a few splash screen images I made in the correct format or go to the next section to know how to make your own image as using incorrect format will damage your BIOS.)
  • Now click on "Patch" and wait (do not click or move anything at all) till it completes. It should say "FD file modify finished" on the bottom left.
  • Now select the option File -> Save and wait till it says "FD file save data finished" on the bottom left.
  • Now you can close the window. You have finished replacing the splash screen.

Here are a few splash screens I made to replace the TN logo. They will look a bit skewed but will look perfect on boot.
Bios Splash screen collection:
You can download this collection from here.
If you want to know how to make your own splash images, click next.
Or if you like, you can skip to Flashing a modified BIOS.

If you would like to make your own BIOS Splash Images, follow the steps below.
NOTE: The usual standard resolution for BIOS Splash Images is using a 640 x 480 px, 16-bit Bitmap. But for the B460e BIOS we will use a 1024x768 px resolution.
The BIOS splash screen uses a 1024x768 px image with a white 97x99 px overlay on the bottom right. For this reason, your Splash Image will look best with a white(#ffffff) background.
The other notable thing is that the screen resolution of the B460e is 1366x768 px and during boot, the 1024x768 px image is stretched across this resolution. Also, the image will only work if it is a 16 bit (important) Bitmap. So in order for the image to work and also for it to NOT appear stretched, follow the steps below. If you use improper settings, your splash screen will not appear or the laptop might not boot. I used Photoshop for these operations. If you can't afford Photoshop, use GIMP - a free open-source software.
  • Open Photoshop and select the File -> New option with the below settings exactly.

  • Create whatever artwork you like, taking note that the right bottom corner will get cut off a little so don't put anything much in the right bottom.
  • Do not make your artwork too complex and avoid gradients or using too many colors. The flatter the colors the better. This is because the image file size must not be too high. If it becomes too high, there won't be enough space on the EEPROM chip where the BIOS is saved and it might corrupt your BIOS making it unable to boot. So just keep your artwork as minimal as possible.
  • Now you must resize your image to 1024x768 px (to avoid stretched look, we work on 1366x768 px and resize to 1024x768 so that even though the output after this step will look stretched, when booting it will look normal.)
  • To resize, go to Image -> Image size and in the dialog box, untick "Constrain proportions" checkbox (Important) and in width box enter 1024 and leave the height box at 768.

  • Choose the option File -> Save As and select any name for your image file and select the format as "BMP" from the drop-down menu.
  • On the next dialog box, choose 16 Bit as color depth and Windows mode as shown below.

Now that you have your splash image ready, follow the instructions in the previous page to replace the TN logo with the new image you just created. Even though the BIOS editor shows JPEG, only a BITMAP file with above settings will work.
Or go to the next page to see how to flash the modified BIOS file to your motherboard's EEPROM chip.

Now that we have the modified BIOS file, "44CN43WW.fd" (if you followed all the previous steps correctly), we need to find a utility that will be able to flash the modified BIOS file to the EEPROM chip on the motherboard. It is advisable to not flash your BIOS too many times. 3-4 times is a safe number.
Now since the Lenovo B460e is a locked laptop, we will not be able to find a flash utility for our model so we will use the flash utility of the B450 model and replace the BIOS file with our modified BIOS before flashing.
  • Go to the Lenovo Download Center to download the BIOS flash utility.
  • Ignore the fact that it says "for Vista 32 bit". It works on all OS above Vista and both on 32 bit and 64 bit systems. I'm using a Windows 8 x64 system.
  • Right click the file "1DCN26WW.exe" If you have WinRAR installed, you shoud see "Extract to 1DCN26WW\" option, select it. (This is the step people usually go wrong at. You must use WinRAR to extract the exe. ) If you don't get the option when you right click, open WinRAR and browse to the exe and then extract it.

  • Open the newly created "1DCN26WW" folder.
  • Delete the file "1DCN26WW.fd".
  • Copy the modified BIOS file "44CN43WW.fd" into this folder.
  • Now make sure your laptop is charged more than 30% AND ALSO connected to a charging port via the AC adapter. Otherwise the Flashing utility will NOT start. Also make sure not even one window is open as it will cause problems when the laptop tries to automatically restart.
  • Right click "InsydeFlash.exe" and select "Run as Administrator".

  • Click OK to flash your BIOS. Do not touch your track-pad, mouse or keyboard until the laptop completes the automatic restart.
You should now see your new BIOS Splash Image during boot. Enjoy! 
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