Lenovo Thinkpad reformat issue

Hi All Expert,

I have a Lenovo Thinkpad X250 Windows 7 which is having multiple issues thus I wanted to reformat it but I don't have the Lenovo disc and also from F11, there is no Lenovo Product Recovery. So I dig the Windows product key out all find out it's Installed from "OEM' media, is this mean I need to get the Windows product key from the OEM? Lenovo is unlike DELL which the product key is stuck in the bios, so if I create a bootable usb thumdrive and use the OEM media product key will it still be activated? Appreciate if any expert here can advise on.

Thanks!
xchiazyxAsked:
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

x
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

KimputerCommented:
Don't need media, just download from MS using the Google keywords:
microsoft media creation tool windows 8
or
microsoft media creation tool windows 10
depending on what you had before. Click only on the link if it's from the official microsoft site.

Run the app on a working computer (yes, sadly, you may need help from someone), insert big enough USB (8 GB should be safe, 4GB probably wouldn't cut it by a few), and after the creation, you're ready to go on the Lenovo! (clean install, no add-on bloatware that always come with those brand laptops!)
You know you're good to go, because during the whole process, it WON'T ask you for a cd-key, and it will present you with the EULA of the CORRECT version (be it Home or Pro, whatever was originally delivered with the laptop)! After installation, and during the whole update procedures (meaning, you're connected to the internet), you will notice the activation status will be set to "Windows is activated".
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Doesn't it have on the bottom side the Windows key? If not then just reformat the machine and install the same Windows edition which you have on it. It will be automatically activated then.
KimputerCommented:
I misread that it's only Win 7 (My method still works if you upgraded it before, using the free upgrade path that MS provided). Yes, with the correct product key belonging to that laptop, and the correctly matching Win7 media, you can install and activate it.
10 Tips to Protect Your Business from Ransomware

Did you know that ransomware is the most widespread, destructive malware in the world today? It accounts for 39% of all security breaches, with ransomware gangsters projected to make $11.5B in profits from online extortion by 2019.

Jackie ManIT ManagerCommented:
The official way is to order a set of recovery DVD for your exact model no to do a factory restore.

You need Lenovo win 7 OEM setup media if you want to do a clean install but it is not avalaible online for free download. Essentially the activation method is the same among different OEM builders by matching the win 7 OEM setup media with then corresponding SLIC 2.1 cert in the BIOS.

Just Google for SLIC 2.1 and you will know more.

Of course, if you use win 7 OEM setup media of another OEM builder, the OS will never be activated.

So, the comment below will not help you as the key of COA label is not for activation but a proof of geniune licence.

"Doesn't it have on the bottom side the Windows key? If not then just reformat the machine and install the same Windows edition which you have on it. It will be automatically activated then."
xchiazyxAuthor Commented:
Hi All,

Thank you all for the advice.

@Jackie Man

Lenovo laptop really is one hell of a problem, can't reformat like DELL which their product key is stored in BIOS. Stress man I can't order a set of recovery DVD, management won't allow. It's plugged by multiple problems only a format can resolve. Do you think Microsoft media creation tool windows 7 will able to use and activate Windows on this Lenovo laptop?

Thanks!
Jackie ManIT ManagerCommented:
Do you think Microsoft media creation tool windows 7 will able to use and activate Windows on this Lenovo laptop?

Microsoft media creation tool is for Windows 10 only.

A set of Lenovo Recovery DVD only costs about US$20 in Hong Kong. You only need to buy one set for the same model of a PC, not every PC. Why your management will have a concern? The time cost for you to troubleshoot is less than US$20?
nobusCommented:
did you try hitting the F11 key during startup, to invoke a factory restore?
xchiazyxAuthor Commented:
Hi Jackie,

Thank you for reverting back.

I think this is the only way.

@nobus

Don't have, F11 is the all the Diagnostics for this model.

Thanks!
Jackie ManIT ManagerCommented:
You can make a proposal to your management if you have more than two or three Lenovo ThinkPad X250 to fix.

Buy SSD for each Lenovo ThinkPad X250 and one set of Lenovo ThinkPad X250 recovery DVD.

If you do not have a USB external DVD drive or docking station, you need to buy a USB external DVD drive also.

Replace the HDD with SSD and start the notebook from the recovery DVD and do a factory recovery to SSD directly. After factory restore, install the applications and migrate the data from HDD to SSD. Users will be very happy as the old notebook will perform much better than a new one.

Of course, make sure you have installed and updated antivirus software before giving back the notebooks back to the users.

We have switched to SOPHOS now for antivirus software.

In doing so, you can add at least three years of lifespan up to year 2020 (the year when Microsoft ceased to support Windows 7).

Transcend SSD370s is a good choice for SSD.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Jackie ManIT ManagerCommented:
The above proposal is a win-win-win proposal.

User is happy. Just like using a new notebook.

Your management is happy. No need to invest for a new notebook now.

You are happy. No need to fight with the OS to look for a workaround.
Jackie ManIT ManagerCommented:
If you have no further questions, please do a favor to close this question.

Thanks!
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Already solved - but just in summary

"Lenovo is unlike DELL which the product key is stuck in the bios"
- Not true, it is in the BIOS (as an OEM SLIC string for Windows 7)

"if I create a bootable usb thumdrive and use the OEM media product key will it still be activated?"
- Yes if you use the Lenovo branded  Win 7 installer - the OEM SLIC in the BIOS will automatically activate
- No if you use any other Win 7 installation media.
xchiazyxAuthor Commented:
Many thanks for the kind advice.
Jackie ManIT ManagerCommented:
You are welcome. Cheers!
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows OS

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.