I noticed that on initial boot up, a boot menu-screen flashed up very briefly with two options - 'Boot to Windows', or 'Restore the original Windows Image'. The latter choice came with a warning note at the bottom of the menu screen that this would erase all existing data. In any case the delay default is only about 2 secs, because if 'Restore Original Image' is not selected (and I have no wish to do so) it then boots up by default into Win7.
Comment: I have other computers with Win7 installed and have never seen this menu appear on booting any of them.
When I looked at the hard drive partitions, I noticed that there were already three primary partitions on the hard drive: 100MB System Reserved (which is normal and to be expected), 13GB Recovery, and the main Win7 partition.
I had been thinking of installing Linux Mint as dual-boot alongside Win7. However when I began running the Mint installer, I noticed that it said there were "multiple OSs already on the system".
Comment: I thought that a bit odd, but assumed that maybe it was seeing the existing Recovery partition as containing a duplicate, or image, of the Win7 OS.
I went ahead with the Linux dual boot install, using EasyBCD (as I have done on my main computer). But the dual boot would not work. Although Linux was showing in the EasyBCD menu, the boot process still only shows the "boot or system image restore " screen briefly , and then boots into Windows, as before.
I can find no clues in the msconfig Boot and Startup tabs. I wonder if this initial screen relates to the Lenovo ThinkVantage Recovery arrangements? Has the MBR/BCD been modified so that it offers this display choice (boot normally or restore a system image) before it actually begins the boot process? If so, how can I "undo" this modification?
I can look at the BCD configuration via the EasyBCD app. I have noticed that the "device" line in both the Windows Boot Manager details and in the Windows Boot Loader details has the entry
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The customised entries in the 'device' line are - I suspect - related to the Lenovo Recovery setup, and they cause the boot process to offer up the first screen I see, which has the 'Boot to Windows' or 'Restore System Image' choice.
I have found an online website which explains that the "device-locate" customisation in the Windows Boot Manager and Loader, which still kicks in at the first stage in the booting process, is a direction down a path to a particular file or location. It goes on to say that
So it would appear that because Lenovo (as part of its OEM setup?) has tweaked the Windows Boot Manager to go to, or via, the file or screen which offers the Restore System Image option (is that in the separate dedicated Recovery partition?), it then stops, giving only the choice to boot into Windows or restore an image. It does not go onward to the stage within the BCD boot process where EasyBCD has set up the linkage to Linux and its Grub."..... In multiboot environments the 'locate-device' may not load the desired operating system as the scanning process will stop as soon as the first path\file is found...."
Another website I have found suggests that it is actually not possible to set up dual boot without deleting the Recovery partition - if one exists. I don't know why - and I find that surprising.
My immediate wish is to find out whether (and how) Lenovo may have modified the BCD, and if so, how I can reinstate the original arrangements in order to then set up a dual boot. If that is difficult or impossible, I guess I will have to either leave the T430 as Win7 only, or wipe Windows off it and install Linux instead...
Any comments and advice would be welcome.