I am thinking about buying a Thinkpad for college work, specifically the Thinkpad t540p. (The touchpad seems bad, but I heard it has amazing performance and amazing build quality).

I saw a post saying that it is possible to "brick" the Thinkpad when installing linux, however this post is very old, around 2014.

But since then Lenovo must have released some updates? Does the Thinkpad still gets bricked when installing linux. if so do I need to make special adjustments to the BIOS settings such as the EFI mode etc...


  • Before considering buying a Notebook for Linux, I will leave two articles. The first deals with whitelisting hardware to not allow you to change cards for other brand names forums.lenovo.com/t5/General-Discussion/… The second is about Lenovo installing malware at bios level techdirt.com/articles/20150812/11395231925/… – Rui F Ribeiro Dec 29 '15 at 7:20
  • Unfortunatly I can't comment on the T450p but I used to have a X220 and was able to install different Linux System on it (with UEFI too) without bricking it. Can you provide a link to the post you mentioned. I wonder what would cause such a brick. – ap0 Dec 29 '15 at 10:22
  • @ap0. It is on my answer. It´s a lenovo forum post – user34720 Dec 29 '15 at 10:33
  • @ap0. Here we go forums.lenovo.com/t5/Linux-Discussion/…. Maybe they haven't installed linux properly, or stuffed up the ESP or something, But I just wanted to be sure. – HelloWorld TeraByte Dec 29 '15 at 21:40

Installing Linux will not "brick" your device BIOS. In this specific case, the ESP(EFI System partition) was messed up, and therefore, since it is the FAT partition that holds all EFI executables and chainload other EFI or Operating Systems, you notebook will act as if something is wrong.

Almost all distributions have support to UEFI(SecureBooot is another animal). You just need to be sure if you want to DualBoot, to not delete the ESP, or if you do on a fresh Linux-only install, to ensure that the distro you are using will recreate it, or do it by using parted before launch a distribution installer.

  • Thank you very much, I am planning to install Arch linux. That way I can micro-manage my setup. such as the ESP, rEFInd etc... I am going to mark the question as resolved, thank you very much. – HelloWorld TeraByte Dec 29 '15 at 21:46
  • It´s a good way to start studing EFI and it´s concepts. The Arch Wiki is well documented on this subject :) – user34720 Dec 30 '15 at 9:39

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