X60 tablet activation or Linux question

X60/X61 series specific matters only.
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Billaboard
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X60 tablet activation or Linux question

#1 Post by Billaboard » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:00 pm

I'm trying to bring an X60 tablet back to life to give to someone. They are more familiar with Windows, and the machine has its original 80GB drive, complete with hidden recovery partition. I have used the ThinkVantage blue button and recovered the original Vista without having to enter any product key, but it is not activated and says "The Vista product key you typed is invalid for activation".

Is this to be expected? Could the key have somehow been corrupted in the hidden partition? It seems unlikely because the recovery seems to have otherwise gone exactly as expected.

The alternative approach would be to install some version of Linux. Is there a current best version to try that might allow most of the features, not be too difficult for me to set up and not faze the potential new user? She is a teacher with interest in technical articles and some artistic leanings, both of which would make use of the tablet's drawing features.

Cigarguy
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Re: X60 tablet activation or Linux question

#2 Post by Cigarguy » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:14 pm

Should not be a problem to activate Vista via telephone. For Linux, I'm really liking Linux Mint but I'm sure others will chime in with their preferred Linux Distro.

If she can afford to spend just a little bit of money a SSD will be a huge improvement.

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Re: X60 tablet activation or Linux question

#3 Post by Billaboard » Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:58 am

Thanks. I suppose I'll have to dig around to find a phone number for activation. I seem to remember that on other machines I've been led down a path that ends with the number to phone, but this just says the code is invalid and to buy another copy of Vista. I never get the option to generate the bunch of numbers for the phone activation.

There is no longer a readable COA on the machine, but I expected the recovery partition to come pre-installed.
I have run "Produkey" which gives me the installed un-activatable Vista Business key, and running "PidGen" against that key identifies it as NT 6.0 SP2, Vista Business and says it is a valid key. I'm lost.

I have used Mint a little in the past. Does the most recent LTS version support most of the tablet functions out of the box?

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Re: X60 tablet activation or Linux question

#4 Post by RealBlackStuff » Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:49 pm

Install this BIOS with whitelist removed and built-in Slic2.1: https://www.sendspace.com/file/lngoep
That should automatically activate your Vista and/or W7.
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Billaboard
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Re: X60 tablet activation or Linux question

#5 Post by Billaboard » Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:05 pm

Many thanks for that. I haven't really updated many X series bios's before. I see it expands into 3 directories, so are there any instructions on how to install it? I've done a search, but not turned up much.

Sorry if I'm being dumb (again!).

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Re: X60 tablet activation or Linux question

#6 Post by Cigarguy » Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:40 pm

Lenovo's support site have a good write up on updating BIOS. Follow that but use the modified BIOS. Modified BIOS or official BIOS, the update procedure is the same.

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Re: X60 tablet activation or Linux question

#7 Post by MisterB » Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:11 am

Billaboard wrote:
I have used Mint a little in the past. Does the most recent LTS version support most of the tablet functions out of the box?
Everything but the buttons. Screen rotation can be buggy on tablets as well but it at least partially works. I've never gotten the buttons to work in Linux on any Thinkpad tablet.
Currently using: A W500, a W520, an X201T, an X220T, an X61T, a 14" T60P, a 15" UXGA T60P, a W700 and a W701.
Currently idle: A spare W500, a spare X61T, a 14" T61, a 15" SXGA+ T60, a 14" T60, and my first Thinkpad, a 770X.

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Re: X60 tablet activation or Linux question

#8 Post by Billaboard » Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:56 am

Cigarguy wrote:Lenovo's support site have a good write up on updating BIOS. Follow that but use the modified BIOS. Modified BIOS or official BIOS, the update procedure is the same.
Well, I can't make it work. I can download and run the standard bios following the instructions that are shown on the Lenovo support site next to the bios update download area for the X60T. These instructions only give an update method from within Windows.
The standard bios simply says that I have the latest version and stops there. Running the mod version just says it can't find the files. The difference appears to be that the original version contains .FL1 and .FL2 files, whereas the mod version just contains a .ROM file.

There is obviously something I don't understand here.

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Re: X60 tablet activation or Linux question

#9 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:07 pm

I assume you already have installed the original Lenovo BIOS 1.15.
If not, do so now.

Boot into Windows.
Unpack the .rar onto a USB stick or on your HD.
Then go to the Mod directory, rightclick on WinPhlash.exe and "Run as Administrator".

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Re: X60 tablet activation or Linux question

#10 Post by Billaboard » Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:59 pm

Many thanks. That worked and the valid Windows Vista is now activated.

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Re: X60 tablet activation or Linux question

#11 Post by Billaboard » Thu Jan 19, 2017 3:15 pm

Well, that was all going so well until I made the mistake of letting Vista try to update itself unaccompanied.

It then hit the bug where Control Panel comes up empty. I used to be able to workaround this, but can't remember how and none of the cures I found online worked. I was going to take an image with Macrium, but couldn't get that to load correctly.

Here's the really embarrassing bit. I foolishly tried to install from a badly labelled disk, not realising it was a 64-bit edition, and blew away the recovery partition. What an idiot.

I've now tried Linux Mint 18.1, but have hit a lot of time consuming problems eg getting proper scroll bars back and getting the virtual keyboard to work.

I don't like to ask this but can anyone point me towards a Lenovo recovery disk or even file set that would allow me to install Vista or w7 32-bit.

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Re: X60 tablet activation or Linux question

#12 Post by turkka80 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:18 pm

Please keep in mind that Windows Vista EOL is getting close. The date for that is April 11 2017.
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Re: X60 tablet activation or Linux question

#13 Post by Billaboard » Fri Jan 20, 2017 6:18 pm

turkka80 wrote:Please keep in mind that Windows Vista EOL is getting close. The date for that is April 11 2017.
Yes, I appreciate that. In fact when I had Vista working and activated, I kept getting a banner blocking part of the screen telling me about the EOL. I was going to have to find a way to get rid of the banner, but I messed things up before I had a chance.
As long as it keeps on working, I don't think there is any problem in using OS's beyond EOL. I do audio and have machines on XP and Vista that are fine.
Of course, for the purpose here, 32-bit Windows 7 would probably be better, but All I really want is a machine that I can donate to a good cause and that will just work as tablet and regular machine.

I do use a couple of X200T's here and they have been changed from Vista to W7. W10 is still a problem as I'm still looking for some combination of drivers for both pen and resistive finger touch, but this isn't relevant here.

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