Solved Replaced Lenovo motherboard-BIOS invalid serial number

August 13, 2015 at 11:17:06
Specs: Windows 10
Does anybody know how to set the new Machine Type and Serial Number after a motherboard replacement for an H535?

The motherboard recently failed on my H535 (outside of the Lenovo warranty but still under my credit card's extended warranty). After a great deal of frustration and time, I was finally able to obtain a replacement motherboard from Lenovo.

I have now installed the motherboard, and it is working. However, upon every boot-up I am getting a POST error with two beeps that reads as follows:
Error 00CE: Machine Type and Serial Number are INVALID
Manufacturing Boot Sequence will be taken if no selection is made

I presume the BIOS on the new motherboard needs to be programmed with the correct Machine Type and Serial Number from my computer.

I have read various things on the Internet about what to do, such as:
- Update the BIOS with a CD-bootable version of the flash utility (I can't find any BIOS entry under the Lenovo support downloads section for the H535, let alone a CD-bootable version)
- Use WinPhlash to modify the DMI entries of the BIOS (I apparently need some sort of BIOS ROM file to make this work, though, which I do not have)
- Use a Lenovo utility (such as "Hardware Maintenance Disk") for my model (Apparently, these are only available to Authorized Providers, and nobody in my area does this)
- Clear CMOS by disconnecting power and CMOS battery or using some sort of jumper on the board (That seems unlikely to work, so I am avoiding doing that)

Can anybody help?


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✔ Best Answer
August 16, 2015 at 02:41:25
Well, my BIOS is by American Megatrends, and I discovered that they have a set of utilities that includes one called AMIDEDOS. It is intended for manufacturers to be able to change text strings stored in BIOS for things like the Manufacturer, Product Name, Version, Serial Number, UUID, SKU Number, Family, etc., which is what I needed to do. It is not intended for consumer use, but it is out there, and I was able to get it.

When I ran the AMIDEDOS "DMIEdit.exe" program (right-clicked and ran as administrator right from Windows 10) and clicked on "System Information" in the list, I saw "Product Name | STRING | INVALID" and "Serial Number | STRING | INVALID". The other fields seemed to have valid entries. I double-clicked on the invalid fields and changed them to "H535" and my computer's serial number, respectively, and then clicked on "Update ALL" at the top.

Much to my surprise, it reported that it had successfully saved the new information. And, perhaps even more astonishing was the fact that, when I rebooted, the double-beep and warning about invalid machine type and serial number had disappeared. In addition, the BIOS showed the new values I had entered, and the "Manufacturing Boot Sequence" option (which I understand can be much slower than a normal boot) had disappeared.

Again, I am a bit astonished at how simple it was to actually fix the problem once I had the correct piece of software, which neither Lenovo nor American Megatrends apparently provides to owners, and it took hours and hours of research and searching to figure it out. Use this information at your own risk, though, as messing with BIOS apparently can lead to problems that are not easily fixed. That said, the changing of these text strings seems relatively safe.

I will mention that I also ended up changing the boot method from "LEGACY" to "UEFI" in the BIOS after noticing that selection.

message edited by splinke



#1
August 13, 2015 at 17:00:28
I am presuming that there isn't an option in bios to update mobo and serial? I had a simular issue with an IBM ThinkPad a few years ago and within the bios there was an update function.

::mike


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#2
August 14, 2015 at 01:27:30
Are you sure there's no bios downloads on the support page? Even if no updates are available because it's a new model there's usually a download for the original bios.

I'd go ahead and see if clearing the cmos helps. The battery itself should be good on a new motherboard but you might want to put a DC voltmeter to it. (It did ship with the battery didn't it?).

Unless lenovo does things really different, the bios doesn't know what case the motherboard is installed in. Since the machine type and serial number is just a sticker on that case I'm wondering how the bios knows the difference.

Maybe the motherboard you received wasn't completely programmed by lenovo before being shipped.


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#3
August 14, 2015 at 01:56:49
mikelinus,

Thanks for your reply. The numbers are shown in the BIOS (the Machine Type and Serial Number show "INVALID", but other numbers are there). However, there is no option in the BIOS to change the numbers.

I was able to obtain a Hardware Maintenance Diskette image for the Think branded Lenovo's (IBM's?), which is only supposed to be available to repair facilities. I can boot from it and bring up the utility. However, when I make a selection to change the numbers, it says that the "EEPROM is currently set to read-only", and that I should reboot and hit "Esc" when the ThinkPad logo appears. I presume that, if I had a ThinkPad, that would make the EEPROM writeable, and I could fix the numbers.

However, my computer is an H535, which is technically in the IdeaCentre family of desktops--a completely different set of computers than the ThinkPad laptops. So, I am skeptical that hitting "Esc" when the Lenovo logo appears would make the EEPROM writeable, and, even if it did, I am extremely concerned that the ThinkPad utility would overwrite something in the wrong place, preventing me from ever being able to boot my computer again.

message edited by splinke


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Related Solutions

#4
August 14, 2015 at 02:02:12
DAVEINCAPS,

Thanks for your reply. There are currently no BIOS downloads for the H535. There is one for the H520, which may be the same, but I can't be sure. Similar to what I stated above, I am afraid to try that lest I ruin my computer, and I doubt it would do any good. As I now understand things from a ThinkPad Hardware Maintenance Manual, I may actually need to enter the numbers from my old motherboard. The Serial Number on my old motherboard is different than than the one on my computer.

I could try the CMOS clearing thing where you unplug the computer and remove the CMOS battery (one did come with the new motherboard) for a minute to completely drain everything. It doesn't seem like that would do anything, but it may be worth a try. Lenovo is telling me I need to find an Authorized Provider, but none of the ones on their list are in business or offering Lenovo support any more. So, I am in an impossible situation.


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#5
August 14, 2015 at 02:42:42
It's usually best to use the jumper to clear the cmos. The capacitors can sometimes hold a charge for quite awhile so removing the battery won't necessarily drain it quickly.

When using the jumper you just disconnect the power cord, move the jumper to the clear position for a second or two and then back to the standby position. If necessary your manual should give info on the jumper location.


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#6
August 16, 2015 at 02:41:25
✔ Best Answer
Well, my BIOS is by American Megatrends, and I discovered that they have a set of utilities that includes one called AMIDEDOS. It is intended for manufacturers to be able to change text strings stored in BIOS for things like the Manufacturer, Product Name, Version, Serial Number, UUID, SKU Number, Family, etc., which is what I needed to do. It is not intended for consumer use, but it is out there, and I was able to get it.

When I ran the AMIDEDOS "DMIEdit.exe" program (right-clicked and ran as administrator right from Windows 10) and clicked on "System Information" in the list, I saw "Product Name | STRING | INVALID" and "Serial Number | STRING | INVALID". The other fields seemed to have valid entries. I double-clicked on the invalid fields and changed them to "H535" and my computer's serial number, respectively, and then clicked on "Update ALL" at the top.

Much to my surprise, it reported that it had successfully saved the new information. And, perhaps even more astonishing was the fact that, when I rebooted, the double-beep and warning about invalid machine type and serial number had disappeared. In addition, the BIOS showed the new values I had entered, and the "Manufacturing Boot Sequence" option (which I understand can be much slower than a normal boot) had disappeared.

Again, I am a bit astonished at how simple it was to actually fix the problem once I had the correct piece of software, which neither Lenovo nor American Megatrends apparently provides to owners, and it took hours and hours of research and searching to figure it out. Use this information at your own risk, though, as messing with BIOS apparently can lead to problems that are not easily fixed. That said, the changing of these text strings seems relatively safe.

I will mention that I also ended up changing the boot method from "LEGACY" to "UEFI" in the BIOS after noticing that selection.

message edited by splinke


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#7
August 16, 2015 at 05:29:05
I just read through your post. Great work. Glad to hear you fixed it.
In a few days when the option is available someone will probably choose your reply #6 as best answer for you and the post will be marked Solved since you cannot do this yourself.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#8
October 28, 2015 at 10:56:43
Just got a replacement motherboard for my lenovo and I am running into the same problem.. splinke where can I get the AMIDEDOS "DMIEdit.exe" program?? thx in advance..

NM: I found it on another forum.. just had to signup to download the utility and iit worked like a charm...

message edited by PRidge


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