01-21-2012 12:00 AM
I convinced a Buddy to buy a V570 two days ago. (I've used a Lenovo Laptop for work for a year, and it's been rock solid.) The box was delivered to his house a few hours ago. He lit it up and put his name on it, and then brought it to me, as I help his family out with their computers. (Our Wives are best friends.) I'm a bit geeky and usually know my way around these boxes. But I'm a little stumped on this one.
Normally on laptops they come with tons of bloatware, and it's usually faster to go up to the OEM's site, download all the latest drivers and utilities, then back up the original image before blowing it away, and installing a fresh Windows OS. One of the other main issues is most lappys have one big partition for the OS and Data. So if you get a Trojan or virus => it can nuke all of it. So I always divide the drive, and have a Data partition, so you don't lose everything if (when) something nasty occurs.
But in this case the Box really doesn't have too much bloatware, so I thought make the Factory backup disks, then uninstall the few unwanted programs, partition the C Drive, and create a Data drive in that space. I didn't even look at the hidden partitions so when I went to Create the Data partition I was warned Windows 7 64 Pro doesn't support more than 4 partitions on the operating system drive! If I go into Disk Management I see the typical small Win7 recovery 200 MB partition, a 654 GB C partition, a empty (?) 29 Gig Lenovo partition, and a 14.75 OEM partition. I'm used to the first 2 partitions but what's the rational for the last two from lenovo? One is the "factory" image, and I assume it's the OEM partition, so what's the Lenovo partition for? Can I shrink C, and enlarge the Lenovo partition, so it can become the Data Drive => without affecting the lenovo drives function?
I thought I may have to go with the new Windows install but I can find all the drivers /utilities software at the Lenovo Sites. So I'm a bit stumped and would appreciate your help.
Thanks for the assist.
01-21-2012 02:20 PM
In one word, no.
I would strongly advise you to just leave it alone, unless you want to spend hours on the phone to your friend, trying to fix all the problems your friend will encounter, with his "new" modded system.
Please, I'm not trying to be nasty, or unkind. Those 4 partitions are the key to Lenovo's One Key Recovery. Lenovo has spent a lot of time, and engineering to make their systems as user friendly, and trouble free as possible. They built in the Enhanced Experience 2.0, and customized the Windows 7 software for fast booting. Just because you "can" repartition the drive, doesn't mean you "should".
These forums are filled with users who messed around with their drive structure, used a modded BIOS, or just plain screwed up their programs and hardware, just because they "could". Then they want some urgent help for their machines that went wacky. The moderators on these sites have a hard enough job, keeping track of the various systems "as shipped", to do any troubleshooting on those systems that the user has repositioned the drive, or deleted the programs that Lenovo has included for recovery.
As you've said, there's not a lot of bloatware on Lenovo's machines. You shouldn't have to reload a "fresh Window OS". If you do, some of the Lenovo's Enhanced Experience 2.0 for Win 7, and some other functions will be toast. That's why you don't see all of the Windows drivers on their site. Lenovo only includes the drivers that have been modified for your V570. Stick with them.
So, in the end, yeah you can mess with the partitions, but you shouldn't. See this thread to know what you are getting in to, and be ready for your friend's late night phone calls.
01-21-2012 03:07 PM - edited 01-21-2012 03:11 PM
Start at message 23. This is a long thread about just what is on there.
Edit: Dragon Rider beat me to it.
01-21-2012 03:42 PM
Thanks for the reply but I'm really serious about having a separate data partition. It's saved me many hours of grief with numerous friends and family who get corrupted OS partitions. (I can't imagine how many tears there would be as almost all fail to back up data even though I explain the pitfalls that await them => even with a separate Data partition.) I can't count how many times I've re-imaged an OS partition in the last 10 years. (I'm a big fan of Norton Ghost) I've had to do it 3 times on my Buddy's Acer in the last 4 years alone! (This is the Box being replaced with the V570.)
I have made the Factory back up disks in case all else fails, but normally a static image from when a Box is purchased is of diminishing value as programs are added and removed over time. (Not to mention all the Windows updates since the original image was made.) I've read a few posts and it seems the 2 Lenovo partitions are for a Windows based Back up and another from a Bios boot.
I'm not all that up to date on exactly what "Enhanced Experience 2.0" means (specs please) as the Lenovo description I read was mostly that they worked with MS to ensure their box takes maximum advantage of the Win 7 platform. I assume it's not lost with a clean Win 7 64 install. Please advise if there is something I'm missing here.
As for the Drivers and Software, I found them all (it took a while => 1.13 GB - 34 files) as Lenovo's Sites were bogged down (Saturday traffic no doubt.) A lot of it has to do with Security and I'm doubtful if the value equation shows it's worthwhile to have them installed for my Buddy. (Pictures of his family or dogs are hardly Top Secret.)
I'm thinking of nukiing the Lenovo Partition visible in Windows and then just trying to clean up the OS by removing the bloatware. (I really dislike the way Laptop OEMs market their boxes with this stuff. Yes I know they help keep prices down by the subsidies the software companies give them.) Then if I don't like the result I'll have the option of cleaning off the whole drive and starting new now that I've got the drivers.
It will probably depend on how axious my Buddy is to get it back so he can play with it.
01-21-2012 05:05 PM
I read about 15 pages of that post and some folks don't really plan before they go about nuking or adding things on their Boxes. A lot of the posts are about people installing Linux, or they've bought a used box that has no recovery partition anymore.
In my case this is a brand new Box that I'm going to add a Data partition; as the risk of not having one compensates for the risk in making one. Like I said I'm a bit geeky so this should be relatively routine. I just wanted to know about the existing partitions, and their functions, as it's hard to glean that from those posts or any Lenovo literature I've scrounged off the Web so far. I'm particulay interested in the ramifications (other than no ability to make - or restore- a current recovery image on D) if I nuke the Lenovo (D) partition. Some folks said they can boot the machine after someone deleted D, but I find that a bit of a stretch.
I do acknowledge those posters have had lots of grief with re-partitioning and I feel for them.
I'd apreciate any comments or information on nuking the Lenovo (D) partition.
Thanks for the assist.
01-21-2012 07:05 PM - edited 01-21-2012 07:08 PM
Here's a knowledge base article that shows what is on D:. At the end of the article it shows the files that are on there.
Yes, Windows will boot without D: because the drivers are preinstalled on the OS on C:
There's more on D: than just drivers. Recovery is also on there. It's hidden so people can't mess with it. The same with the other partition. There's hidden files on there also.
And PLEASE burn a set of restore discs. It'll save a lot of problems later.
If you get rid of it, one-key recovery won't work any more. I would at least copy the drivers onto media before you get rid of it.
There's posts all over here about people buying machines with no OS and they load Windows and things won't work. They download every driver from their driver site and things still won't work.
I like clean installs too, but on a new Lenovo, I won't do it. It just runs so much better on the pre-load.
01-21-2012 08:22 PM
Thanks for the info and the link.
So if I understand this correctly, the "factory" sysprep back up image is (for reasons only known to Lenovo) strewn across two partitions. I've seen many PCs where the OEM uses one partition for this purpose. On those machines I can typically just leave it there (although I've yet to use one for recovery) as I can still make a Data partition. (Leaving it there is just another CYA, but like I said, I'm a fan of Ghost so I religously back up these Boxes, so I don't have to start from scratch later...)
I'd love to know why Lenovo does this on this Box but I've read numerous posts where they have not do so with other boxes. Any idea why?
I'll start re-configuring the V570 now as my Buddy will be calling for it any second. At the same time I'll burn the Drivers and software to a separate DVD for his files.
I'll post back with the results.
01-21-2012 11:00 PM
So far it's been quite routine.
I decided to nuke both Lenovo partitions as they won't work independently anyway. I used Acronis Disk Director (on a Bootable Disk) to delete those partitions, and then shrink the Win7 partition down to a reasonable size. I then created a 570 Gig Data Partition and made it D. The DVD Burner will automatically re-letter itself upon first Boot.
I cleaned up the Registry with Registry Cleaner (backed it up before and after ) after removing all the Bloatware and most of the Lenovo Security Software. (My Buddy didn't want it.)
I Ghosted the result as a base case. Now I'm moving 65 Gigs of "old" data onto the Data partion. Next I'll install some programs he wants (and I can support - like ImgBurn).
I'll have this ready for him tomorrow.
01-25-2012 11:44 AM
Does the fingerprint reader still work, after all of your mods?
01-25-2012 09:54 PM
As I posted earlier, I removed "all the Bloatware and most of the Lenovo Security Software. (My Buddy didn't want it.)"
My Buddy had a Laptop with a fingerprint reader a few years back, and had a very bad experience. He was on the road far away from home; (He's a Sales type) and had to give a product presentation and (of course) couldn't get into his Box because the fingerprint reader failed.
We had both heard horror stories before that (and since) with fingerprint readers. Besides nothing on his Box is nuclear physics and top secret. We both know passwords only stop the inexperienced. A true hacker can almost always get passed them and into the data. (I can) So the point is they are really a toy that can fail at the least opportune time, and impact your ability to use the tool. I didn't recommend this Box because of this security "feature" but rather the value for $ equation with very a decent CPU, RAM, Case, Bluetooth, Hard Drive Size, etc. on a Win 7 64 bit platform.
I did download the Software for the fingerprint reader and burned it to Disk along with all the rest of the lenovo Drivers and software => just in case he ever wants it. I bet there will be lots of folks who read this post and moan that this is the wrong approach => but it works.
I often use the Kiss (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle with respect to PCs and other devices.,Sometimes the more gadgets and tricks you add to a system, the more points of possible failure there are, and the more likely they will come back and bite you.