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Issue #648: December 22-28, 2019

Q: I have a one-year-old Lenovo Ideapad 330-17IKB. For the past few months, once a week or so I get this pop-up on start-up: “Lenovo recommends that you install these updates to optimize your computer. Please note, the following updates may require your system to reboot more than once. We recommend saving your work in preparation for system shutdown. BIOS Update 10[64]”  However, when I click on the pop-up to install the update, I get the following message: “This BIOS is only for Lenovo Ideapad 330-15/17 1KBH  Are you sure you want to update this BIOS on this machine?

I contacted Lenovo Support Chat Services, and the technician said: “I see here that you have a Lenovo 330-17IKB , it is actually okay to update it with that even if it is showing a different model. However, we receive some error for BIOS update for this model recently and our engineer is currently working on it, I will recommend that you update it by next month once we release a new version update for this model.”

I asked her to clarify: “So are you saying not to install this update – I should wait until the new update is released sometime within the next month?”  Her answer was “that is correct.”

As far as I can tell a new version of the update has never been released. I searched for an answer to whether or not I should install this, and several people have apparently had serious issues with their laptops after installing. Do you have a recommendation?

– Susan F.
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

A: First of all, the model number shown when the update tries to install is not wrong.  When it says “330-15/17” what it means is both the 330-15 and 330-17.  So it is indeed the correct update for your model.

You’re right to be cautious, however.  The BIOS (Basic Input-Output System) is an absolutely critical component of your system.  If it becomes corrupted – and that has been known to happen – it can turn your system into a brick.  The top two things to remember when performing BIOS updates is a) to have the correct firmware for your particular model, and b) under no circumstances allow the process to be interrupted once it has started.  That means it’s a good idea to be plugged-into AC power and not running on battery, and not to attempt this during inclement weather, when there’s a chance power could go out.

I checked-in with Lenovo’s website, and found the latest BIOS update seems to be from July 15, 2019. You can get it from  Now, you asked if I have a recommendation.  Yes I do.  My recommendation is to follow Lenovo’s recommendation.  If a representative from your computer’s manufacturer told you not to install it, then it seems like it would be rather foolish to install it anyway.  I further recommend that your next step be to repeat your previous step.  That is, contact Lenovo directly, and tell them about your previous call, and their representative’s recommendation.  Tell them how much time has passed, and that you are still waiting for the promised update.  If the July update that I mentioned above is the new one, then great – grab it and go.  If not, demand to know when they plan to release one that does not damage their customers’ computers.

While researching this issue, I found multiple complaints about bricked machines, but all were from the period prior to the July 2019 date of the latest BIOS release.  In the worst cases, Lenovo told people to send the damaged machine back for re-imaging, which is a full factory reset.  If you do this, one would think it is reasonable to expect it to come back with all the latest updates installed – including the BIOS.

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