ThinkPad R500

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ThinkPad R500
Manufacturer Lenovo
Name ThinkPad R500
Released 2009
Chipset Intel Cantiga GM45
CPU Intel Core 2 Duo (Penryn/Merom family) or
Celeron M (Merom L family)
Graphics Intel GMA 4500MHD (or ATI Mobility Radeon HD
3470 on some models)
Display 1280x800/1680x1050 TFT
Memory 512MB, 2GB or 4GB (Upgradable to 8GB)
Architecture x86_64
EC Proprietary
Original boot firmware LenovoBIOS
Intel ME/AMD PSP Present. Can be completly disabled.
Flash chip SOIC-8/SOIC-16/WSON-8 4MiB/8MiB (Upgradable
to 16MiB)
W+: Works; 
N: Doesn't work; 
U: Untested; 
P+: Partially works; 
Internal flashing with original boot firmware N
Display W+
Audio W+
RAM Init W+
External output W+
Display brightness P+
Payloads supported
GRUB Works
SeaBIOS Works
SeaBIOS with GRUB Works

Dell Latitude E6400

If you haven’t bought an R500 yet: the Dell Latitude E6400 is much easier to flash; no disassembly required, it can be flashed entirely in software from Dell BIOS to Canoeboot. It is the same hardware generation (GM45), with same CPUs, video processor, etc.


This board as basically identical to the T500, and has very similar disassembly. You must take it apart and flash the chip externally.

The chip is 4MiB NOR flash (SPI protocol) is SOIC8 form factory.

Refer to the following guide:
Externally rewrite 25xx NOR flash via SPI protocol

Unlike other GM45+ICH9M thinkpads in Canoeboot, the R500 doesn’t have an Intel PHY (for Gigabit Ethernet). However, Canoeboot still includes an Intel flash descriptor, but with just the descriptor and BIOS region. The ich9gen program supports this fully.

Therefore, you do not have to worry about the MAC address. The onboard NIC for ethernet is made by Broadcom (and works in linux-libre).

Refer to T500 disassembly guide. The R500 disassembly procedure is almost identical.

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