x80-series ThinkPads bricked by changing a BIOS setting

After installing Ubuntu could brick ThinkPads, it looks like we are getting another round of UEFI/BIOS issues on ThinkPads. Several models in the current ThinkPad lineup can be bricked by enabling the BIOS setting ‘BIOS Support for Thunderbolt‘ or ‘Thunderbolt BIOS Assist‘. After changing this setting, there is a huge chance the machine will hang upon rebooting.

Affected machines will only display a black or blank screen, meaning the UEFI firmware is corrupted and no compatible UEFI drivers can be loaded.

Based on user reports, we found that the following ThinkPads are affected:

  • ThinkPad P1
  • ThinkPad P52
  • ThinkPad P52s
  • ThinkPad P72
  • ThinkPad X1 Yoga (2018)

Possibly AMD-based ThinkPads are not affected, but not ruled out.

Please note that Lenovo is aware of the issue and is currently working on a solution. It is advisable to not touch this setting until a BIOS update is available.

References

  • https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/ThinkPad-X-Series-Laptops/Thinkpad-X1-Yoga-3rd-Gen-Stuck-at-Black-Screen-After-Enabling/td-p/4106952
  • https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/ThinkPad-P-and-W-Series-Mobile/Lenovo-P52-bricked-by-selecting-BIOS-thunderbolt-support-for/td-p/4207538

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