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MountainX
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Posts: 104
Registered: ‎11-21-2013
Location: US
Views: 1,496
Message 1 of 13

Restoring Windows 10 after installing Linux on a ThinkPad

In all honesty, I hope I never need to restore Windows. But I just received a brand new X280. I plan to run Arch Linux on it. Usually, I wipe everything on the internal drive and install Linux. This time I thought I would save the recovery partitions. Since I have never used Windows 10 before (and I haven't even used Windows in over a decade), I need some advice.

 

What is the best way to allow for the future possibility of restoring this ThinkPad to the factory new disk configuration with Windows 10? (I don't wish to save any personal settings or data in this process.)

 

Here are the partitions I show on this brand new system:

 

# lsblk
NAME         MAJ:MIN RM   SIZE RO TYPE  MOUNTPOINT
sda            8:0    0 119.2G  0 disk  
├─sda1         8:1    0   260M  0 part  
├─sda2         8:2    0    16M  0 part  
├─sda3         8:3    0   118G  0 part  
└─sda4         8:4    0  1000M  0 part

 

# gdisk /dev/sda

Number  Start (sector)    End (sector)  Size       Code  Name
   1            2048          534527   260.0 MiB   EF00  EFI system partition
   2          534528          567295   16.0 MiB    0C01  Microsoft reserved ...
   3          567296       248020991   118.0 GiB   0700  Basic data partition
   4       248020992       250068991   1000.0 MiB  2700  Basic data partition

 

I would like to blow away partition 3 and make a new partition to install Linux. If I do that, and leave partitions 1, 2 and 4 untouched, will I be able to do the restore later? If so, what is the process?

 

What I assume I could do later is delete any Linux partitions I have created, then create a new partition 3 that is 118 GiB and has type 0700. I can do this in gdisk. It will be the same as the original partition, but not formatted and empty. Will the Lenovo recovery tool then restore Windows 10?

 

If I need a different process or tool, what is recommended?

 

Thanks.

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Message 2 of 13

Re: Restoring Windows 10 after installing Linux on a ThinkPad

These machines use PBR (push button reset) recovery and don't have an old-school recovery image in a partition.

 

IMHO the best way to preserve recovery capability is to make and archive recovery media.  Enter "recovery drive" in the Windows search box and folow the instructions.

 

Z.


The large print: please read the Community Participation Rules before posting. Include as much information as possible: model, machine type, operating system, and a descriptive subject line. Do not include personal information: serial number, telephone number, email address, etc.


The fine print: I do not work for, nor do I speak for Lenovo. Unsolicited private messages will be ignored - questions and answers belong in the forum so that others may benefit. ... GeezBlog

 

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MountainX
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Message 3 of 13

Re: Restoring Windows 10 after installing Linux on a ThinkPad


@zoltanthegypsy wrote:

IMHO the best way to preserve recovery capability is to make and archive recovery media.  Enter "recovery drive" in the Windows search box and folow the instructions.

 


What about the Lenovo Recovery USB Key? See https://support.lenovo.com/us/en/solutions/ht103653

 

 

MountainX
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Message 4 of 13

Re: Restoring Windows 10 after installing Linux on a ThinkPad


@zoltanthegypsy wrote:

These machines use PBR (push button reset) recovery and don't have an old-school recovery image in a partition.


 

Where can I find a description of these 4 partitions (listed in my original post)? I know one is the UEFI boot partition. The largest one would appear to be the installed system. That leave 2 other partitions (Microsoft reserved, and a 1000 MiB partition). If they don't contain a recovery image, what purpose do they serve? Thanks.

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Message 5 of 13

Re: Restoring Windows 10 after installing Linux on a ThinkPad


@MountainX wrote:

@zoltanthegypsy wrote:

IMHO the best way to preserve recovery capability is to make and archive recovery media.  Enter "recovery drive" in the Windows search box and folow the instructions.

 


What about the Lenovo Recovery USB Key? See https://support.lenovo.com/us/en/solutions/ht103653

 

 


That's another option. I usualy do both and archive them.

 

The DDRS service will get you the current preload.  The user-made recovery media gets you the OS as currently updated.  That's how PBR works.  As the OS gets updated, so does the recovery stuff.  OOBE there's probably no difference.  If the laptop has been run Windows for a while the user-made media will be more current.

 

Z.

 


The large print: please read the Community Participation Rules before posting. Include as much information as possible: model, machine type, operating system, and a descriptive subject line. Do not include personal information: serial number, telephone number, email address, etc.


The fine print: I do not work for, nor do I speak for Lenovo. Unsolicited private messages will be ignored - questions and answers belong in the forum so that others may benefit. ... GeezBlog

 

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Message 6 of 13

Re: Restoring Windows 10 after installing Linux on a ThinkPad


@MountainX wrote:

@zoltanthegypsy wrote:

These machines use PBR (push button reset) recovery and don't have an old-school recovery image in a partition.


 

Where can I find a description of these 4 partitions (listed in my original post)? I know one is the UEFI boot partition. The largest one would appear to be the installed system. That leave 2 other partitions (Microsoft reserved, and a 1000 MiB partition). If they don't contain a recovery image, what purpose do they serve? Thanks.


I can't answer that.  My X280 has 3 partitions: the EFI boot partition. the OS partition, and the "recovery" partition that contains the recovery tools but not an image.

 

I wonder if the 16MB "partition" is slack space.  Don't know.  How about a screen shot of Windows Disk Management?

 

Z.


The large print: please read the Community Participation Rules before posting. Include as much information as possible: model, machine type, operating system, and a descriptive subject line. Do not include personal information: serial number, telephone number, email address, etc.


The fine print: I do not work for, nor do I speak for Lenovo. Unsolicited private messages will be ignored - questions and answers belong in the forum so that others may benefit. ... GeezBlog

 

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MountainX
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Message 7 of 13

Re: Restoring Windows 10 after installing Linux on a ThinkPad


@zoltanthegypsy wrote:

@MountainXMy X280 has 3 partitions: the EFI boot partition. the OS partition, and the "recovery" partition that contains the recovery tools but not an image. I wonder if the 16MB "partition" is slack space.  Don't know.  How about a screen shot of Windows Disk Management?

The X280 actually has 4 partitions. One (the 16 MB Microsoft reserved partition)  is hidden by Windows disk management. However, it is a real partition, not slack space.

 

From what you said, however, I can take another guess at the purpose of 3 of the 4 partitions:

 

Number  Start (sector)    End (sector)  Size       Code  Name
   1    260.0 MiB  EFI system partition <-- boot partition
   2   16.0 MiB  Microsoft reserved  <-- hidden partition
   3    118.0 GiB  Basic data partition <-- OS partition
   4    1000.0 MiB  Basic data partition <-- recovery tools

 

I am still not sure if keeping them has any value to me.

 

 

MountainX
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Message 8 of 13

Re: Restoring Windows 10 after installing Linux on a ThinkPad


@zoltanthegypsy wrote:

@MountainX wrote:

@zoltanthegypsy wrote:

IMHO the best way to preserve recovery capability is to make and archive recovery media.  Enter "recovery drive" in the Windows search box and folow the instructions.

 


What about the Lenovo Recovery USB Key? See https://support.lenovo.com/us/en/solutions/ht103653

 

 


That's another option. I usualy do both and archive them.

 

The DDRS service will get you the current preload.  The user-made recovery media gets you the OS as currently updated.  That's how PBR works.  As the OS gets updated, so does the recovery stuff.  OOBE there's probably no difference.  If the laptop has been run Windows for a while the user-made media will be more current.

 

Z.

 


Thanks for that explanation. For my purposes, I prefer the original "preload" state without any updates or anything. I won't be using Windows, so I am more comfortable staying away from Windows-based tools.

 

The Lenovo tool seems better for me. Will it work on a disk without the original partitions? I hope so, and I assume it will because surely people use it to replace a failed disk with a new, empty disk.

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Message 9 of 13

Re: Restoring Windows 10 after installing Linux on a ThinkPad


@MountainX wrote:

@zoltanthegypsy wrote:

@MountainX wrote:

@zoltanthegypsy wrote:

IMHO the best way to preserve recovery capability is to make and archive recovery media.  Enter "recovery drive" in the Windows search box and folow the instructions.

 


What about the Lenovo Recovery USB Key? See https://support.lenovo.com/us/en/solutions/ht103653

 

 


That's another option. I usualy do both and archive them.

 

The DDRS service will get you the current preload.  The user-made recovery media gets you the OS as currently updated.  That's how PBR works.  As the OS gets updated, so does the recovery stuff.  OOBE there's probably no difference.  If the laptop has been run Windows for a while the user-made media will be more current.

 

Z.

 


Thanks for that explanation. For my purposes, I prefer the original "preload" state without any updates or anything. I won't be using Windows, so I am more comfortable staying away from Windows-based tools.

 

The Lenovo tool seems better for me. Will it work on a disk without the original partitions? I hope so, and I assume it will because surely people use it to replace a failed disk with a new, empty disk.


It should.  There's always a chance for some obscure compatibility issue, but I've used both user-made recovery media and DDRS media to install to fresh drives.

 

Z.


The large print: please read the Community Participation Rules before posting. Include as much information as possible: model, machine type, operating system, and a descriptive subject line. Do not include personal information: serial number, telephone number, email address, etc.


The fine print: I do not work for, nor do I speak for Lenovo. Unsolicited private messages will be ignored - questions and answers belong in the forum so that others may benefit. ... GeezBlog

 

  Communities:   English    Deutsche    Español    Português    Русскоязычное    Česká    Slovenská    Українська   Moto English

MountainX
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Location: US
Views: 1,313
Message 10 of 13

Re: Restoring Windows 10 after installing Linux on a ThinkPad


@MountainXZ, from what you said, however, I can take another guess at the purpose of 3 of the 4 partitions:

 

Number  Start (sector)    End (sector)  Size       Code  Name
   1    260.0 MiB  EFI system partition <-- boot partition
   2   16.0 MiB  Microsoft reserved  <-- hidden partition
   3    118.0 GiB  Basic data partition <-- OS partition
   4    1000.0 MiB  Basic data partition <-- recovery tools

 

I am still not sure if keeping them has any value to me.


Someone wrote to me on another forum with this additional information:

 

Partition #2 (the small 16 MB hidden partition) is reserved by Microsoft to aid in partition type conversions (either to Dynamic Disk or maybe the future WinFS).

 

That info, together with your earlier info, gives me a basic understanding of all 4 partitions now. However, I just deleted them all and installed Linux. :-)

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