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W530 - Windows 8 or Windows 7?

W530/W540/W550 series specific matters only
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bwaldow
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W530 - Windows 8 or Windows 7?

#1 Post by bwaldow » Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:36 am

In fact, I usually run GNU/Linux, but I'm curious, and may have a reason to run Windows some day. The previous owner has Kubuntu bleeding edge installed, and no Windows partition at all.

The W530 (2436CTO) has a Windows 8 sticker with no visible serial number. I read that the Windows 8 licence key is in the BIOS?
  • Does this licence allow me to run Windows 7 as a downgrade?
    Do I also need a Windows 7 COA number, or does the Windows 8 licence in the BIOS take the place of that?
    If I get Lenovo Restore disks for Windows 7 for this machine, will I also need a COA number, or does the Restore program provide a generic OEM licence (which will only install on a W530 in the first place)?
    If I use Windows 8, will I need a COA number, or will it pick up the licence from the BIOS?
    If I find Lenovo Restore disks for Window 8 for this machine, will I need a COA number?
Thanks,
Bret
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birkett
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Re: W530 - Windows 8 or Windows 7?

#2 Post by birkett » Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:06 am

Preinstalled Windows 8 does not automatically qualify for downgrade to Windows 7, because 7 was available as a CTO option.
If you want to install 7, regardless of method (Lenovo discs, vanilla, OEM, Retail) you will need a COA.

Windows 8 will find the key stored in firmware. Lenovo restore discs for 8 will find it too. No COA needed.

RealBlackStuff
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Re: W530 - Windows 8 or Windows 7?

#3 Post by RealBlackStuff » Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:50 am

From the W-T-X-220/420/520 models onwards they use the abominable UEFI BIOS.
The W8 key is stored in either BIOS or some data-storage-chip and cannot be changed.
To install something from before W8, you'll need to go into BIOS/Startup, and once in there:
set UEFI/Legacy Boot to Legacy Only
set UEFI/Legacy Boot Priority to Legacy First

UEFI BIOS (by Insyde) no longer allows for SLIC2.1 as was used in the previous Phoenix BIOS.
So to install W7 you'll need a valid key to activate it.
I don't know how Lenovo (or others) produced laptops with a W8 key in BIOS and then downgraded them to W7.

Also read this: https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/T400-T500- ... m-p/961097
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Re: W530 - Windows 8 or Windows 7?

#4 Post by pianowizard » Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:55 am

RealBlackStuff wrote:I don't know how Lenovo (or others) produced laptops with a W8 key in BIOS and then downgraded them to W7.
Actually, Lenovo doesn't know how either. A couple months ago I bought a T540p as a present for someone. Lenovo advertised this configuration as having "Windows 7 downgraded from Windows 8". Guess what, the Windows 7 installation was done without a valid COA, and after a month of use, this T540p has been constantly asking for a valid Windows 7 code. Going to Microsoft's site to try to validate the current install didn't fix this problem. My institution's IT folks tried to fix it but also failed. When I have some free time, I will reinstall Windows 8 on this T540p from scratch. 8 is superior to 7 anyway.
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bwaldow
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Re: W530 - Windows 8 or Windows 7?

#5 Post by bwaldow » Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:29 am

Do you know of a source for Windows 8 for this machine? Is the Lenovo Recovery software load good, or do you suggest an install of 8 from scratch?

I haven't dealt with 8 yet, or the idea of the license being in the BIOS - I hope that mean I don't need to do anything to install aside from getting the install disks (or USB keys?).

Cheers,
Bret
Frankenpad: T60/1 2.6Ghz Penryn C2D w/15" UXGA LED backlit LCD & NVS140M GPU
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birkett
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Re: W530 - Windows 8 or Windows 7?

#6 Post by birkett » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:54 am

I would use vanilla 8 media, then install Lenovo System Update to grab the biometrics / ThinkVantage software.

The installer finds the key in firmware automatically, so wont even ask you for a key during install. Activation is automatic too, providing you have the correct SKU (Standard / Pro / Enterprise).

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Re: W530 - Windows 8 or Windows 7?

#7 Post by pianowizard » Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:53 pm

bwaldow wrote:Do you know of a source for Windows 8 for this machine? Is the Lenovo Recovery software load good, or do you suggest an install of 8 from scratch?
Follow the instructions here:

http://www.howtogeek.com/186775/how-to- ... a-legally/
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