Lenovo Y510P v3.05 BIOS Bricked Crisis Recovery [Solved]

Like most Lenovo™ Y510P© owners who want to use a faster speed wireless LAN card (that for some unknown reason Lenovo has black listed on the Y510P/Y410P BIOS) , I have updated my BIOS to a modified v3.05 version.

However, such unlocked BIOS’ have dangers in which an improper setting can result in the laptop not functioning (or worse damage to the motherboard).  In my case, I made a change to the built-in display settings and resulted in a headless non-functioning laptop. Of course this can be very disconcerting given the cost of a well equipped and modified laptop!

If you dig around you’ll find several methods and procedures all that are very conflicting.  So after a two near sleepless nights, I was able to recover my laptop!  While I can’t promise this will save yours, there is a way!   My Y510P was made late November 2013 and has an Nvidia GT-755 video (note some older Y510P’s have a 750).   What I’m getting at is to check your hardware and compare notes before following/using this, as your mileage may vary.  While unconfirmed, this process will likely recover a Y410P too.

The Recovery . . .
First you’ll need Lenovo’s stock v3.05 BIOS (this is critical) as the file load provided has both the default and crisis BIOS .BIN images needed to recover.  So here it is very important to know which BIOS you are using before starting, for this tutorial it must be v3.05! The download link above has the stock v3.05 ZIP file you’ll need.

Unzip the file and in the file structure you’ll find a folder called crisis†.  In this folder is the  “Yx01.bin” file you’ll need for the initial recovery.
Read all the below (twice) before starting!
1) Use a small 1G or 2G USB thumb drive (preferably with a working activity LED, see note 9 below) and format it as FAT only (can also try FAT32 but this is untested by me)
2) Copy only the “Yx01.bin” file to the drive – nothing else
3) Remove the battery from your Y510P
4) Remove the external power cable
5) Insert the thumb drive in the USB port next to the HDMI connector
6) Hold down the “Fn” and “R” at the same time (do not release until step 9) ‡
7) Insert the external power (still holding the  “Fn” and “R” buttons down)
8) Briefly press the power button
9) The laptop will try to start and will read the thumb drive, here is where the USB thumb drive activity LED comes in handy, when you see drive activity release the  “Fn” and “R” buttons
10) CRITICAL, DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING ON THE LAPTOP OR REMOVE POWER!! At this point the fan will run at full speed, LED’s may or may not blink – the magic is happening here – you bricked BIOS is being re-written with the crisis BIOS (Yx01.BIN) file!
11) The laptop will power off briefly when done, and then restart.
12) With luck, you’ll now be able to access the BIOS screen via pressing F2 during boot up

Next Steps . . .
Now that your crisis recovery BIOS is back, you should re-flash it with the full stock v3.05.

Option 1:
Be sure the laptop battery is installed and fully charged and connected to external power & If you are running windows, run “VIQYx305.exe” from the Win Flash directory.

Option 2:
If you don’t have Windows or don’t trust Windows, use a thumb drive boot to Free DOS.  Be sure the laptop batter is installed and fully charged and connected to external power.
1) Creating a Free DOS boot disk, use your original thumb drive from the recovery.
2) Download Rufus, and make the thumb drive (see image below)
3) Make a directory called y510BIOS
4) Copy all the extracted files from the ZIP download to the y510BIOS directory
5) Boot the thumb drive by restarting and pressing the F5 button, select the thumb drive.
6) Boot will be fast and arrive at a DOS prompt
7) Change to the  y510BIOS direct by typing   cd y510BIOS
8) Now type  flash.bat  and press enter
9) The laptop will flash the BIOS and EC, BIOS will load first, EC second.  During the EC flash the fan will run full speed. When complete the laptop will reboot with the fully updated BIOS.
10) Enjoy the updated BIOS

Rufus Free DOS setup:

rufus_sc

Rufus Setup

Other helpful tools/sources:
Phoenix Tool  – this tool is handy to help identify the recovery BIOS file needed.  When ran using the BIOS “BIN” file, the tool will yield “Yx01.bi?” confirming that the “Yx01.bin” file is to be used for the crisis recovery.

bios-mods.com has a great listing on how to recover the an Insyde BIOS (what the Y510P and Y410P use)
This post at bios-mods.com was handy to find the working “Fn + R” key combination, several other posts on the web will point to the “Fn + B” combination; however, the the “Fn + B” combination didn’t work for my laptop (it may for yours), be ready to try all 12 combinations!

Final note: I wanted to post this on techinferno.com; but, with their recent user changes my approved user account “jmbneaf” was moved, lost, discarded (apparently you have to post there, like everyday, to keep a membership).  Nonetheless, my post is here on my blog & I  hope that this finds users well (including those from techinferno too) and helps other Y510P / Y410P users recover their accidentally bricked BIOS.

One Comment

  1. UPDATE: This process does work on the Lenovo Y410P as well.

    “I want to thank you so much for your article on recovering the y510p. This worked for my y410p and I really appreciate it; you saved me a lot of money. Lenovo’s bios updater decided to crash and left me bricked you saved my laptop. Keep it up!”

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