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How to Fix: tpm0 Errors on Boot (Stretch)

I thought I'd share a discovery with you guys in case anyone here happens to try using Stretch on a ThinkPad laptop. I have installed Stretch on mine and am testing things out. I don't know if this would resolve things on other computers, but maybe it might help in at least diagnosing some boot errors? What I have here is a fix for tpm0 errors on boot.

(Not-So-Obligatory) Disclaimer:

While, I do not notice any change in overall functionality of the laptop as a result of this fix, I also do not know what the referenced setting is really used for. Do this at your own risk! I hold no responsibility for the outcome!


IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad T61 Laptop
* This may (or may not) work on other ThinkPad Laptops.

Debian 9 (Stretch) RC4
4.9.0-3-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 4.9.25-1 (2017-05-02)

Problem Description:

I came across the following errors whenever it would boot or reboot:

tpm tpm0: Unable to read burstcount
tpm tpm0: tpm_transmit: tpm_send: error -16
tpm_tis 00:05: Could not get TPM timeouts and durations

There was no file at /sys/class/misc/tmp0/device/timeout.

How To Fix:

So, I did a little research and found that it is due to a Security Chip not being detected. The fix (for me at least) was to disable it entirely in the BIOS. Once done, there will no longer be those errors on bootup.

To Disable the Security Chip in Bios (ThinkPad T61 and probably other ThinkPads):

1. Press the blue ThinkVantage button shortly after rebooting or turning on th emachine (It usually says that at the Thinkpad startup screen. Though on some machines it may be ESC or a function key).

2. Press F1 (or whatever function key is used to enter the BIOS Setup).

3. Go to: Security - Security Chip

4. Press ENTER. Choose “Disabled”.

5. Press ESC until you leave the BIOS.

Now whenever you boot the laptop, you should no longer see the "tpm" errors.