IBM firmware update can wreck your ThinkPad
Matt from the ThinkPad mailing list found this out the hard way: Do not install the latest Embedded Controller Update on your ThinkPad if you have a non-IBM replacement battery, or your machine will no longer work on battery power. This new firmware update checks the battery status in a way that fails with non-IBM batteries.
The version number for the bad update varies for different models, but check the release notes for a phrase like “Enhancement of the battery control.”
Matt’s report is here:
Adding insult to injury, the way to fix the problem is to downgrade to the previous version of the Embedded Controller firmware, but you to do this, you need:
- A copy of the previous version for your machine. (And where do you get that?)
- A floppy drive. (The non-diskette version doesn’t work.)
- A charged batterywhich means a fresh IBM battery, because your ThinkPad no longer trusts the non-IBM battery!
I’m a huge ThinkPad fan; I just hope this battery incompatibility is an inadvertent bug and that IBM will fix it quickly.