Removing the Wi-Fi card restrictions of the ThinkPad T60

Note, this guide only works on the following ThinkPad models: 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2613, 2623, 2637

The ThinkPad T60 contains a PCI whitelist in the BIOS firmware that restricts the usage of WiFi cards to those that were authorized by IBM.

It is possible to remove this by flashing coreboot, but internally flashing is unreliable based on personal experience (which results in a brick). External flashing is more reliable, but requires disassembling the entire laptop because the SPI EEPROM is on the other side of the mainboard.

There is a Windows executable that enables internal flashing, called “ph161700.exe” which is floating around on the internet.

If you use Linux, the easiest way to use this executable is by flashing FreeDOS to a USB stick, combined with the executable and the modded stock firmware file that has the whitelist removed.

The modded BIOS was originally published on the German ThinkPad forum, but I’m uploading it again in case it get’s taken down there.

You can do this by downloading the following files:

Put the flasher utility and modded BIOS on the FreeDOS partition and boot the USB stick. Run the following command:

PH161700.exe /X /PN /MODE=0 /DOSKEY /C /S /FORCE 01A3000.ROM

After rebooting, it gives an error about the date and time that isn’t correctly configured, but otherwise you should be fine. Assemble your new PCI Wi-Fi card and enjoy the higher bandwidth.