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Vatharian
Blue Screen Again
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎08-16-2015
Location: Somewhere
Views: 2,068
Message 1 of 9

Getting Windows 7 back on U300s after complete wipe

Hello!

I recieved (very) used Lenovo U300s from a collegue for 'repair and restore'. Apparently she wanted to try out Linux, and in the process she wiped out the hard drive. After realizing, that Linux does not suit her taste, she asked me to return it to (ioriginal) Windows 7 or 10.

 

And now comes the hard part. The laptop does not come with COA sticker - neither on the underside, not inside (I checked the inside of cover and under the battery). Of course the laptop came without any recovery media, and the owner absolutely ignored making backups. Is the key lost, or is there still a way to retrieve it?

 

I talked with her, and she seems ok with possibly updating to Windows 10, but I still need (I think) to install even for a while genuine Windows 7 to reserve Windows 10 key.

 

Is there any other way to install directly Windows 10 that's genuine? What can I do now?

Social Support Agent
Social Support Agent
Posts: 5,824
Registered: ‎02-11-2012
Location: PH
Views: 2,046
Message 2 of 9

Re: Getting Windows 7 back on U300s after complete wipe

hi Vatharian,

 

Welcome to the Forums.

 

If the U300s came preloaded with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit as listed in this datasheet then you will need to do the following:

 

1. Download a Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit ISO (you can get this on the net) or if you can't find a Home Premium version, any Windows 7 64-bit ISo should do and just create a universal Windows 7 installation disc (see this guide).

 

2. After getting the ISO, follow this guide on how to create a bootable Win7 flashdrive and use it to install Win7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit on the U300s. If successful, Windows will automatically read the product key in the motherboard and will activate your copy of Windows.

 

Tip:

Once Windows is installed, you can view the product key using this guide (see Options 2 to 6)

 

3. After Win7 is installed and activated, follow this guide on how to upgrade to Windows 10 (see Step 3) then activate it.

 

Note:

You will need to the procedure above to get an activated copy of Windows 10. If you perform a clean install of Windows 10 on first attempt. you will need to start over from the top (unless you have a retail key to activate Windows 10).

 

More info:

How to Activate and resolve common Product key issues in Windows 10

 

 

Hope this helps you out.

 

Regards



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Vatharian
Blue Screen Again
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎08-16-2015
Location: Somewhere
Views: 2,039
Message 3 of 9

Re: Getting Windows 7 back on U300s after complete wipe

Thank you! That's solid piece of advice. I'd like to ask some questions to clarify up some details.

 

1. When preparing Windows install media, should I specifically use OEM setting in ei.cfg, or really, remove the file altogether?

 

2. When I get Windows 7 installed, and reserve my Windows 10 copy, I will end up with Windows 7 updated with Windows 10. I understand, that this is essential for first activation. Afterwards the Windows 10 will have its own key, hopefully tied to this specific machine - can I use this key to make clean reinstall of Windows 10 that will activate succesfully? Or, in emergency, will I have to recreate the whole procedure, starting from Windows 7? Setting beside the fact that clean installs are less prone to problems carried over from previous OS, the owner of this computer has a history of causing problems leading to reinstalls...

 

3. If I'm forced to permanently use combo of Win7->Win 10, can I use GPT?

Social Support Agent
Social Support Agent
Posts: 5,824
Registered: ‎02-11-2012
Location: PH
Views: 2,031
Message 4 of 9

Re: Getting Windows 7 back on U300s after complete wipe

hi there,

 

Regarding your questions:

1. Generally, you can just delete the ei.cfg to create a universal Win7 installer media (recommended). However, you can also set the ei.cfg to the following values if you specifically wanna install Windows 7 Home Premium on an OEM PC

 

[EditionID]
HomePremium
[Channel]
OEM
[VL]
0

 

2. After successfully upgrading from an activated copy of Windows 7 to Windows 10, you can now install clean install Windows 10 without redoing the upgrade process. You shouldn't need a product key when you do a clean install (by default, Windows 10 builds are pre-keyed) but you can find the Windows 10 product key by using this guide.

 

You also won't need a product key for re-activation on the same hardware as Windows 10 registers your hardware info (e.g., motherboard, CPU, graphics card) on the Microsoft activation servers. If you make any changes though like upgrading the CPU, you will need to activate Windows by phone.

 

3. AFAIK, the BIOS of the U300s doesn't support UEFI so you won't be able to boot Windows 7 if you install it on a GPT disk so you will need to install Windows 7 on an MBR partition.

 

 

Regards



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Vatharian
Blue Screen Again
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎08-16-2015
Location: Somewhere
Views: 1,978
Message 5 of 9

Re: Getting Windows 7 back on U300s after complete wipe

Thanks to knowledge you shared, everything installed and activated smoothly. The owner of the ultrabook is now a happy user of working Windows 10, clean install, with every device enabled and functional.

 

Thank you very much for your help and your time!

aaron52
What's DOS?
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎10-07-2015
Location: United States
Views: 1,823
Message 6 of 9

Re: Getting Windows 7 back on U300s after complete wipe

i'v got a u310 and hd crashed befor burning recovery... i just installed 8.1 and it auto athouenticated durrig the install becuase coa is in bios aparently anway this is what i did. you can download a win 7,8 or 8.1 well even 10 from microsoft from MS site.. they offer bootable media options to bun to dvs or usb the only thing is you have to ferret out your drivers and stuff because it woun't have any of the oem prgs or setup stuff you get from them or on the recovery partion that came with the comp. for that you need to order repoacement recovery dvd from mfg...... i can live with that because the MS media is free download.... i downloaded win 10 on in last nite to install today and there should be no problem as i just completed the hole process on a g5052 amd 10 lenovo i picked up lasy week and everything is working perfec//// just google  ms recovery media and the link to the ms pge hould popup.... have fun.....aaron

aaron52
What's DOS?
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎10-07-2015
Location: United States
Views: 1,820
Message 7 of 9

Re: Getting Windows 7 back on U300s after complete wipe

i have no idea where the "whats dos? under my name is about.... and i guess this posted event though i got 2 flags telling me to correct the highlited issue in order to post .. but there wasn't any so i'm thinking this is live... oh well

TOMillr
Ctrl-Alt-Del
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎11-11-2013
Location: Germany
Views: 958
Message 8 of 9

Re: Getting Windows 7 back on U300s after complete wipe

I'm also trying to reinstall Window 7 and then go straight to Windows 10.

 

Did you install any of the Lenovo Win7 drivers before upgrading the system to Windows 10?

Do the keyboard shortcuts (like volume or screen brightness)  work for you properly under Windows 10? I can seem to get those working on my U300s and was wondering which driver you installed to get this working.

Vatharian
Blue Screen Again
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎08-16-2015
Location: Somewhere
Views: 947
Message 9 of 9

Re: Getting Windows 7 back on U300s after complete wipe

I will be honest: I don't remember exactly, that was few hundred of computers ago for me.

 

But I will share the steps I usually take to make sure everything works, if ready-made driver packs are not available from laptop (or computer) manufacturer. First, after installing OS (and running Windows Update - it has good deal of drivers in it! If network is not available, I usually carry USB2.0 100 MBps network card in my bag that is recognized by any Windows 7 SP1 installation), I look at device manager, and write down every device that does not have drivers. In Windows 7 it's usually: WiFi drivers, PCIe network card drivers, video card (especially with switchable graphics), xHCI USB 3.0 hub, card readers, biometric devices, modems/GPS systems, and all ACPI/ATK stuff (incliding hotkey/keyboard support).

 

Then, I install chipset driver, and write down leftovers by going into device details, noting down vendor and device ids (VEN_xxxx&DEV_yyyy). Great resource for tracking down those devices is pcidatabase.com, even while incomplete, it can help immensly. After tracking down these devices, I go to original device's manufacturer (like Realtek, Xerox, Broadcom, etc.) site and source correct drivers. It can take few tries, so system restore point is your friend. There were cases when I had to install drivers from Lenovo on HP and vice versa, because nothing else was available - that are the woes of EOLed products.

 

The most problematic devices are usually Bluetooth stack and keyboard drivers. I gave up numerous times on Sony laptops, but Lenovo ones are generally fine after installing basic support software framework - the keyboard controls are not presented as separate device, but as a function of ACPI driver that's exposed to software framework. I think that HP with it's hotkey driver and ASUS with its ATK device tackled this issue little better - it allowed to function them out of the box in Windows 10, while Lenovo and Sony still require software installations.

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