Lenovo Invalid Machine Type & Serial Number Error

Recently I decided to try the ThinkCentere series of computers from Lenovo in our office environment. I have used Lenovo at other facilities and had excellent results but this time I ran into a small issue that turned chaotic fairly quick.

I had purchased the M715q Thin PC to test it out as standalone thin client installation. The first issue I noticed was, while the PC worked, It never showed a Bios Post screen. The PC would always load up Windows 10 fine regardless. Next I noticed that when I plugged in a flash drive, into any of the onboard USB ports, the machine’s WIFI connection would disconnect. This was another odd issue that I hadn’t seen before.

My final issue came when I decided to reset the machine. Everything was going fine and then at 64%, you guessed it, the loop bug. Now this normally wouldn’t be an issue but with no bios post screen or boot options I was left scratching my head. Finally I had enough and called Lenovo. Support was very nice and informed me that they wanted to replace the board. I agreed as the unit was less than a month old. I was informed it would be the next day which I found to be delightful if true. Needless to say 7 days later someone showed up.

While repairing the board we discovered a couple issues. First the monitor was my problem for the unit not posting the BIOS screen. Never have I had this happen but sure enough, once I found a different monitor it posted fine. Next issue, as the title states, I now had an Invalid Serial Number and Machine Type. I mentioned this to the tech and he attempted to correct it several times but the BIOS stated it was write protected and I think that was as far as his knowledge could take him since he was primarily a Hardware tech.

After a few hours of research, multiple failed tries from the support forum, I discovered MY solution to the problem. Here are the steps in hope that they will help someone else, quicker, than it took me.

  1. Download the proper files for updating your BIOS from the Lenovo Site. There will be a LOT of options and I tried them all until finally the one I needed was the Flash UEFI BIOS update (Flash from operating system version). There are a lot of topics that tell you to use the CD ISO to boot into DOS and it will work but this failed for me 100% of the time.
  2. Once you download and install the Flash UEFI BIOS update it creates a directory under C: called SWTOOLS. Inside that is a Flash Folder, then the BIOS update folder, AND then a set of dos based tools. I know that sounds a lot worse than it really is.
  3. From the search box on Windows (Bottom Left) type in CMD then right click the result and run as Administrator.
  4. Once the Dos prompt is up you need to navigate to C:\SWTOOLS\Flash\BIOSVERSION\ (The BIOSVERSION was M11JY47USA for me, as an example, yours will be DIFFERENT)
  5. Next I had to run the following command. amidewinx64 /ss “xxxxxxxxxx” (Where x is my serial number listed on the device, and you must include it in the “”)
  6. Next I ran amidewinx64 /sp “mmmmmmm” (Where m is the model number located on the device and is usually 10 characters and must also be included in the “”)
    This part I noticed the tech was doing wrong. He was entering in, for my example, M715q, when in fact the number was something like 10V-000XXXX.

Once I executed both commands I restarted the system. The PC booted, no double beep errors and showed me the correct serial and machine type!

Can you use your PC without doing all this? In short yes BUT I noticed that BIOS updates failed, Warranty information showed invalid and some of the features for retrieving updates failed since the software didn’t know what the machine type was.

In the end I do not recommend doing this if unless you’re computer savvy because messing up a BIOS can kill a machine faster than about anything. I would also recommend backing up the current BIOS configuration ROM in case something goes wrong.

It’s my understand that Lenovo will send a tech out to repair this for you but I didn’t want to wait and am always looking for new information in case I need it down the road. Please note that the example I posted was for MY M715q ThinkCentere Thin Series PC.

 

About Tommy White 163 Articles
Tommy White is a Graphic Designer, Web Designer / Developer, IT Director and more, including Foodie Fanatic. "I enjoy helping others in times of need and live steadfast to the motto of paying it forward".

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