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Lenovo ThinkPad Windows Restore Process

Posted on 2014-10-28
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Last Modified: 2014-11-26
I have a colleague who has a number of laptops in his office.  Some are Lenovo ThinkPads that have Windows 8 disks although they arrive with Windows 7 installed.

He has "reinstalled" Windows on these machines.  He reports that there are 4 disks for that purpose.  I've never seen them so I haven't been through the reinstall process.

The problem is that the "rebuilt" machines act strangely and have obviously carried forward things like wireless security settings, wireless connections in general and so forth.  That's why we were surprised when a "new" laptop was introduced to the office and it automatically connected to the secured wireless network.

I could ask: "What did he do to get things this way?"  It wasn't the intended outcome.
I should ask: "What is the correct procedure for getting a "clean" install using the Lenovo disks?
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Question by:Fred Marshall
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40408554
If Lenovo supplied the Windows 8 Recovery media DVD's, then on a Lenovo computer, delete all partitions, and begin the recovery process. This should rebuild everything including the recovery partition for Windows 8.

If Windows 8, update all drivers, and update to October 2013. Then go the Store and upgrade to Windows 8.1. Then continue updates and add applications.

If Windows 8.1, update all drivers and then update Windows. When all updated, add applications.

I have run Lenovo Recovery media on my ThinkPad X230 and the media worked fine.
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by:noxcho
ID: 40409114
Lenovo recovery saved the current settings and then performed restore to the state which was on Windows 8. Or it was not the restore but simply upgrade. Thats why you gphave the network settings working.
To avoid such behavior you need to delete existing system first. Use. Parted Magic tool for this.
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by:Fred Marshall
ID: 40409432
Thanks guys.

Since I'm not the "operator" in this case, I need to give rather explicit instructions.
The operator is NOT going to be using anything like Parted Magic (as I would do or might).
So, within the context of those 4 Lenovo disks, what's the step-by-step procedure?

You can assume Windows 8.1.
The after-install process is already down pat (although you make good points).
So, the focus is on getting to the point where the real Windows install begins - while assuring a clean install.
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 100 total points
ID: 40409437
You need to start again, delete all partitions, start with the first recovery disk and then let it guide you through.
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by:noxcho
ID: 40409496
During Windows installation if you have an option to use custom install then select it and delete there partitions.
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by:Fred Marshall
ID: 40409593
noxcho: Well yes, that's what I'd do with a standard Microsoft disk.  But that's not the situation here.
And, *I* don't know what options there are with these disks.  That's what I'm trying to find out.

John:  How to I tell my colleague what I would mean by "start again".  And is there a way to "delete all partitions" using those Lenovo disks?  I need to be rather specific.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40409606
I think the first disk may have the option to delete all partitions. Otherwise you need fdisk or like tool. See if the first recovery disk has the option.
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by:noxcho
ID: 40409654
Do you know what exact options he gets when he starts the first DVD? Is this simple upgrade or backup?
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by:Fred Marshall
ID: 40409743
Thanks for the comments!

Folks:  I don't have the disks.  And I have no first hand experience with them either.  Nor do I have even a rough description of what one encounters when using them.  I was hoping that someone in EE would be able to tell me.

I'm in the role of technical advisor without benefit of being in the trenches on this one.
I agree with you that removing the partitions is a very reasonable way to approach this.
What I need to know is whether a special tool MUST be recommended or not - or, alternately, the best outcome that the first disk in the set indeed has the necessary tools / options.
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by:Davis McCarn
ID: 40423830
Lenovo calls it OneKey Recovery which is generally invoked by pressing the OneKey button to turn the PC on.  Depending on the version of OneKey, the specific choices vary; but, there are two restore options; restore to factory or restore with user backup.  These options are also generally true when creating recovery media so it is possible to create media which includes any user files and settings.

Vista, 7, and 8, BTW all use WIM files (Windows Images) for recovery so there is no installing Windows process to follow.
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by:Fred Marshall
ID: 40423912
DavisMcCarn:  OK.  Thanks.  Can you help me understand this a little better please?  For example:

Are the WIM files "clean" or with any user-defined settings, etc?

Presumably "restore to factory" is what it says so that would be "clean".  Yes?
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Davis McCarn earned 250 total points
ID: 40423938
The OneKey recovery has an option that would create WIM files which include the users data.  What would really help is to have the full model number of the PCs.
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by:Michael-Best
Michael-Best earned 150 total points
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I suggest you see OneKey Rescue System 7.0 description with screenshots at support.lenovo.com .

Link:
http://support.lenovo.com/us/en/documents/127597018499211
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by:Fred Marshall
ID: 40431472
I will be testing this tomorrow....
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by:Michael-Best
ID: 40431554
Good luck with testing, and give feedback for further advice.

Regards,
Michael
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by:Fred Marshall
ID: 40441778
My leader has postponed it for a week at least......
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Author Closing Comment

by:Fred Marshall
ID: 40468281
Thanks for the discussion and suggestions!
My leader has decided to not fool with this right now.  The time will come.....
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40468292
@fmarshall  - Thanks for the update and I was happy to help.
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