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DavidBillstrom
Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎03-10-2019
Location: US
Views: 1,317
Message 1 of 4

Lenovo Repair Depot nightmare w/X1 Carbon 6th Gen W10

The 2-month old X1 Carbon 6th generation running W10 (type 20KH) ... purchased from Lenovo... with 3 year depot and 3 year accidental... and it worked fine.

 

Until at 2 months it wouldn't charge, wouldn't reliably control the displays (blinking on and off) like many on this forum have described. After verifying it wasn't the thunderbolt dock (we have 3 in our family) it became clear that something was seriously wrong with the power supply and/or power control... and started a ticket with Lenovo.

 

And then it wouldn't even turn on, probably an exhausted battery... and remember that it wouldn't charge (or at least wouldn't display the charging icon in the system tray). So it was a brick. No way to turn it on.

 

So Lenovo sent a box, and we sent it in. SSD and all.

 

13 days later they sent it back, with a single piece of paper that indicated the motherboard had been replaced. The delay was due to a 'part' which one can assume was the motherboard.

 

Now we can't boot windows.

 

Bitlocker is preventing any access. Multiple calls to Lenovo to find out what the key is... leads to circular logic that we must get it from Microsoft. Well since we didn't encrypt it, and didn't even know what Bitlocker was prior to this incident, of course we didn't 'save' a copy of a key that we never knew we had. 

 

Yes, there is a microsoft 365 office install (or was) on this W10, but logging into the microsoft account doesn't reveal a key. In fact, there is no 'Manage Bitlocker Key' menu offered at all (despite the Microsoft W10 documentation to the contrary).

 

Microsoft won't help with a live person unless we buy a $500 service call. Right.

Lenovo disavows any ability to help.

 

So after being a Thinkpad customer for at least 3 generations, and buying this one for my wife, I'm close to done. We took an expensive laptop, 2 months after receiving it directly from Lenovo, sent it back... and now we have a useless computer. And we've lost 17 days, and counting, of productivity.

 

Anyone have suggestions on:

- A universal key to unlock the Bitlocker?

- Similar experience with Lenovo depot encrypting your private property?

- Frustration with Lenovo repair policies, despite paying extra for them?

 

I have a 5th gen that is 18 months old and it has been flawless. I love the keyboard, the performance and the thunderbolt dock concept. But at this point... I might buy a Macbook Air at the apple store this weekend. At least a human will talk to me, even if their company deletes all my MP3 music from my private property.

 

Frustrated beyond belief.

Open to any suggestions or ideas. Thank you.

DavidBillstrom
Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎03-10-2019
Location: US
Views: 1,262
Message 2 of 4

Re: Lenovo Repair Depot nightmare w/X1 Carbon 6th Gen W10

For the benefit of anyone else in this scenario, the solution seems to be:

 

1. If Lenovo Repair Depot uses Bitlocker to encrypt your hard drive... you have to start over, with a clean install. There is no way to get a key. You're out of luck.

 

2. Given that you're on Windows 10, and you have purchased your computer from Lenovo, apparently there is only one way to do this:

 

2a) Use your Lenovo credentials (account, serial number of the computer) to get a "Digital Download" of Windows 10.

There is no 'Windows License #' for the Windows 10 you got with your Lenovo computer (apparently). It is in the BIOS but you can't get to it if your drive is encrypted.

Read here about how to get this "Digital Download"

https://support.lenovo.com/us/en/solutions/ht103102

Read down to the part where it says

"Computer has a recent hardware repair  (motherboard or hard drive replacement)" uh, you know, like I had.

 

2b) you put this on a USB drive of 16GB or better.

DO NOT get confused and follow a similar, but different procedure, available at Microsoft. They don't know you bought a legit W10 license, but Lenovo does.

 

3. Use the USB drive to rebuild your hardware to Windows 10.

I couldn't find any instructions on this, and it is mostly automated, but be forewarned:

 

3a) have the computer connected to power

 

3b) leave it alone. it will go through many, many re-starts (I lost count) on its own. Wait until it asks you to confirm language and keyboard. I believe mine was about 40 minutes.

 

Then you're back.

 

I'm still very irritated with Lenovo. I cannot possibly be a rare circumstance, a customer that sends their computer in and it needs a new motherboard or drive. They encrypt it (policy? crazy). They should provide explicit instructions on this next step.

 

I ran my head against the wall trying to un-encrypt something that cannot be. What a waste of time.

 

Good luck.

draco2527
802.11n
Posts: 119
Registered: ‎11-27-2007
Location: US
Views: 1,212
Message 3 of 4

Re: Lenovo Repair Depot nightmare w/X1 Carbon 6th Gen W10

While I've been a ThinkPad owner since before some of you came to be, and had my share of failures from IBM, Solectron and Lenovo (I'm sure you can find a few documented cases here and in other forums with my username). Anyways, this is one of those instances where the blame is not the Manufacturer, Lenovo!

 

Windows 10 by default, has the ability to Encrypt your drive. You can click on the wron pop-up (one of many Microsoft notifications) and poof, your drive is encypted. Rebooting, or shutting down the system will not stop it. It will "pause" and continue to encrypt in the background, while you surf the web, play games or finish that school project or work spreadsheet. Can't remember what version of WIN10, would even start the encryption process WITHOUT user notification.

 

Unfortunately, the "key" is stored locally in the system (TPM of the motherboard) and in some cases in the cloud (Microsoft Cloud if you use a hotmail account to log into your computer.).

 

Once the motherboard (and associated TPM) is replaced, POOF! You will need the encryption key to "view" your drive. If you DON'T need the files, then just re-image the device as explained above.

 

IF you do need to recover data, the first step is to log into your "Microsoft account".

 

From Microsoft:

Places to look for your BitLocker recovery key

  • On a printout you saved: Look in places you keep important papers.
  • On a USB flash drive: Plug the USB flash drive in to your locked PC and follow the instructions. If you saved the key as a text file on the flash drive, use a different computer to read the text file.
  • In your Microsoft accountSmiley Frustratedign-in  on another computer or phone to see Bitlocker recovery keys
  • In your Azure Active Directory account: For work PCs where you sign in with an Azure Active Directory account, to get your recovery key, see the device info for your Microsoft Azure Account

Not very descriptive, I know!

Go to Microsoft.com > Log in (upper right corner)> enter credentials. Once you log in, the "log in" option will change to your account login information and "avatar".

 

Click your avatar/icon on the upper/right corner (same location as the log in option)

From the available drop-down, select "My Microsoft Account"

On the top drop-downs, in the "My Microsoft Account" page, you will see "Your Info" - "Privacy" - "Security"...etc.CLICK ON THE "DEVICES" option

Find your device, click "MANAGE"

Scroll down, you will see "Bitlocker ON", below that, "Manage Recovery Key". Click on the recovery key.

Use that key to unlock the drive (there might be MULTIPLE KEYS with different dates, start withe the newest and work your way to the oldest).

 

Good luck!

 

 

Currently own: T61, X220T, X220, X230, T430, T450, W550s 3K,
DavidBillstrom
Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎03-10-2019
Location: US
Views: 1,147
Message 4 of 4

Re: Lenovo Repair Depot nightmare w/X1 Carbon 6th Gen W10

Well holy moly. Thanks for that tip.

 

No where could I find that basic and straightforward information about my 'microsoft account'.

Nor have I ever seen it before, or needed to login to it.

It didn't even ask for a password.

 

Just like that, I was in.

 

Of course by now I had completely started over on the errant laptop. But I'm keeping track of this handy little tidbit in the future.

 

You should work for Lenovo!

Thank you,

David.

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