For people who like to customize to their thinkpad laptops, we can create custom BIOS splash screens instead of having the default Thinkpad logo. Unfortunately, the old tutorial on thinkwiki is outdated; however, it only takes a little ingenuity to add that splash screen again.
This step-by-step tutorial will teach you how to add a custom BIOS splash screen for new thinkpad subseries including ThinkPad R400, R500, T400, T500, W500, X200, X200s, X200 Tablet and X301. This also applies to all variants of those listed before e.g. T410 and T420.
1. Download the BIOS Update Utility
The utility is available from Lenovo's website and you can find it using the search e.g. "BIOS Update Utility T410" will bring up a list of search results where one of them is the BIOS update utility for my Thinkpad T410.
Download the appropriate utility for your Thinkpad subseries.
BIOS Update Utilities
R400, R500, T400, T500, W500, X200, X200s, X200 Tablet and X301
X220, X220i, X220 Tablet, X220i Tablet
If your Thinkpad subseries is not listed above, please search for the BIOS Update Utility and download it before continuing.
In this tutorial, I'll be using my Thinkpad T410 BIOS Update Utility listed above.
2. Install the BIOS Update Utility
After downloading the BIOS Update Utility from the Lenovo website, we install it but we will not run it yet. Skip to the end of this section if you know how to install software. Be sure to change the highlighted sections.
We will run the BIOS Update Utility after we prepare our custom BIOS splash screen.
3. Compile the Custom BIOS Splash Screen
Here's my splash screen as an example. Please don't use my name on your laptop (unless you really want to).
There are two important requirements for the image:
- File name must be
- Format must be 16 color bitmap .BMP
- Dimensions must be 640x480 pixels
- Final .MOD File size must be less than 10KB
If the requirements are not met, the BIOS will not update the splash screen. Read on to see how to create the .MOD file.
The installation folder is created through the BIOS Update Utility installation
above. The path my vary depending on the installer but the default path should
Save through MS Paint to ensure that the image is a 16 color bitmap. If the image is already the proper bitmap, then the image will not lose quality; however, if the image originally has more than 16 colors, then the image will lose quality in favor of 16 colors.
logo.bat will create the
logo.mod file for us that is used to update the
BIOS splash screen.
Final .MOD File size must be less than 10KB
4. Update the BIOS
Now we can finally update the BIOS with
Complete the installation and allow the BIOS to update.
Updating the BIOS is dangerous and the process must be undisturbed: the laptop should not be shutdown, slept, or hibernated while updating. I will not be liable for anything that goes wrong while updating the BIOS.
You should now have your custom BIOS splash screen when you boot up your Thinkpad.
It's a nice way to distinguish your laptop from others in case it's ever stolen, lost, or mixed into a lost and found box of a dozen Thinkpads.