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[Guide] Recovery / Fresh install Lenovo Essential series W8

IdeaPad, S- and U-Series specific matters only
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[Guide] Recovery / Fresh install Lenovo Essential series W8

#1 Post by DaKKS » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:30 am

As you might now, Lenovo does not have Windows 8 Recovery discs for the IdeaPad/Essential series. If you're lucky to own a W7 version, then you're good and Lenovo can supply you with a set of discs if something went sideways. But as of right now (13-Feb-06) there is no way to recover Windows 8 to a formatted or replaced drive since OneKey Rescue does not seem to copy the recovery partition. This has been confirmed by other users and Lenovo themselves and the issue has been escalated to "Lenovo Software Development".

Keep in mind that the el-cheapo version of Windows 8, commonly referred to as Windows 8 Core or simply 8 Basic, does not have any downgrade rights whatsoever, so even if you would be able to get a set of Windows 7 discs from Lenovo, you'd need a legit license for it.

Also, cloning a GPT drive (UEFI) poses another long line of issues. I have access to a wide range of cloning programs and none that I tested had the ability to reliably clone the stock 500GB drive to my Intel 330 SSD, partitioning notwithstanding.

The following might not be completely legal everywhere. Microsoft Sweden Customer Service recommends users to download "untouched" ISO files in case of installation media corruption or destruction. At this point, as long as you own a completely legal license, they operate under the "don't ask, don't tell" principle. As opposed to Apple's Mac OS, the value is in the license itself. With the new OA 3.0 activation system in Windows 8 based computers, ISO files become useless on their own, making the enforcement of anti-piracy on untouched ISO files redundant. Its also been said that OA 3.0 is as close to uncrackable as Microsoft has ever come. Which is a lot coming from the company that made Windows Me and Pre-SP Vista...

There are two versions of Core, x86 and x64.

x86: en_windows_8_x86_dvd_915417.iso

x64: en_windows_8_x64_dvd_915440.iso

The ISO files can be found on MSDN if you are a subscriber, on MDL http://forums.mydigitallife.info/thread ... Repository or with a few seconds of googling. Burn the ISO to a DVD and you should be good to go.

Installation is relatively straight forward, you need to spam F12 until you get to the Boot selection menu and the select UEFI - DVD. Non-UEFI installs will cause issues with activation for some strange reason. It might also cause and endless loop to PXE Boot (Network boot) unless you have previously enabled Legacy Support and Legacy First in BIOS. All in all, OA 3.0 has its bugs, but nothing too horrible. It will give you a headache until you realize how smart it actually is.

Your hard drive / SSD will be formatted into four partitions as opposed to two, this kinda threw me for a moment after three years of using Windows 7, but never mind, its supposed to be like that.

After the installation finished (windows 8 connects to the internet during installation) you will see that the BIOS license has been read and the installation is activated. Keep in mind that in case you later upgrade to windows 8 Pro, the BIOS License will not upgrade with it. It will remain as Windows 8 STD (Yehe, I know) MLT.

The computer now works fairly well, but there is a serious lack of drivers. If you have upgraded your hard drive you can use a ODD adapter or a SATA to USB adapter to connect the old drive and install the drivers manually. You can skip OneKey Rescue, its useless anyways.

If you have formatted the original drive, or it has failed, you can find the drivers by entering your Model Name (example: 2189), which you can find in a XXXX format on the underside of your laptop, on Lenovo Support : http://support.lenovo.com/en_GB/downloa ... tor=expand

Good luck. (Yeah, you'll need it, considering you just installed Windows 8... :D )


I realize most of us know how to do this with our eyes closed, but not everyone has X years of computer experience. This took me a few hours to figure out and I've been building computer for ten years.
Thinkpad Edge E530 | Intel i7-3610 | Intel HD 4000 | 8GB DDR3-1600 | Intel 330 180GB+64GB Kingston mSATA | 6 cell | Windows 8.1 Pro/Ubuntu 15.04 |
Thinkpad X61s | L7500 | Intel X3100 | 8GB DDR2-800 | Intel 330 180GB + 160GB Samsung | Gobi 3000 | 8 Cell | Windows 7 | Windows XP 64 bit |

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