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reinstalling windows

2016-11-26, 2:12 AM

Okay So I want to get a P50 workstation and I wanted to get a m.2 or "NVMe" drive. I build computers regularly and I have one in my current system. but come on Lenovo, $500 for a 512gb ssd!!! Apacer makes a 480 gb model for less than half that. Well I've used Lenovo laptops in the past and always recommended them. So when I needed a more powerful one I looked to the P series. so my thought is that I could just get the base model and upgrade the SSD, but do the laptops come with the Windows product codes so I can reinstall it on the new SSD? honestly some of the recent pricing doesn't make any sense lenovo... come on.


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  • Message 2 of 5

Re: reinstalling windows

2016-11-26, 2:41 AM

The P50/P70 comes with UEFI BIOS that includes the OEM license key for the machine imbedded in the BIOS.  So if you want to save yourself money (knowing that Lenovo warranty covers what they sell you, not what you might modify or add afterwards), and you want to have your own choice of 2.5" or M.2 drives (either SATA3 or NVMe), just order your machine with minimal memory, minimal HDD spinner, Win7 pre-installed through Win10 downgrade rights.


You will have rights to Win10 install media, and the BIOS-resident OEM license key is usable for the pre-installed Win7 on HDD spinner as well as for a new from-scratch Win10 you install in some available space somewhere.


When you get the machine you can upgrade memory to whatever you want, buying your own retail memory sticks and doing the install yourself.


You can install your own retail Samsung drives, either 2.5" SATA3 SSD (to replace 2.5" HDD spinner) if you want to.  You can install your own one or two M.2 retail Samsung NVMe drives, and install the Samsung NVMe 950 Controller driver into your pre-installed Win7 on the HDD spinner, so that you can now see the NVMe hardware while running Win7.  Then you can use Macrium Reflect Free (installed in your Win7) to "clone" the Win7 from HDD spinner over to NVMe0.  You can leave available unallocated space on NVMe0 to also install Win10 later (again, the Win10 installer will read the OEM license key from the UEFI BIOS and you won't even have to manually enter anything, as the machine itself is OEM licensed for both Win10 Pro and Win7 Pro).  You can also create "data" partition(s) on NVMe0 if you don't want to allocate the whole drive to Windows partitions, using Minitool Partition Wizard Free.


Then, boot to the BIOS, change the boot sequence to boot from NVMe0, and you're now running Win7 from NVMe0.  You can now re-partition the HDD spinner for "data".  If you want you can replace the inexpensive Lenovo minimal HDD spinner with a 2.5" SATA3 SSD of your own choosing.


In other words you aren't obligated to get it all from Lenovo at their higher prices.  But they will build it all for you and guarantee that it all works, and warranty it... something you won't get if you do-it-yourself after market.  But you really can do whatever you want, and have both Win7 and Win10 installed.


Don't think you must install Win7 from scratch to get a "clean" system.  There's minimal Lenovo bloat and its easily UNINSTALLEd from Control Panel if you don't want something.  But installing Win7 to a Skylake chipset machine is not supported by the retail Win7 installed (because of USB mouse/keyboard driver omission), and you also must get the NVMe driver if you want Win7 to be installed directly to NVMe.  You're honestly much better off letting Lenovo do this for you and deliver a pre-installed Win7 to an HDD spinner, and to the rest yourself (as I described above) to clone over to NVMe.  And then you can install Win10 from scratch as a second Windows directly to NVMe (with the OEM license key picked up automatically), and you'll have everything you want (I think).  And you'll save lots of money (just remember about the warranty notion).


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  • Message 3 of 5

Re: reinstalling windows

2016-11-27, 9:08 AM



I purchased my P50 with a 500GB hard disk drive and 8GB SO-DIMM, and when it arrived I replaced them with less expensive aftermarket alternatives.  Currently, my P50 has two 512GB Samsung 950 PRO NVMe SSDs running in RAID0 and a 2TB Samsung 850 EVO 2.5" SATA SSD.  For the operating system, I downloaded the recovery media from Lenovo (you receive a flyer in the box with instructions on how to download or order it) and used that to perform a clean install to the RAID array.  There was no prompting to enter a Windows product ID key--the operating system installed and detected the key stored in the laptops BIOS/UEFI firmware.




Aryeh Goretsky


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  • Message 4 of 5

Re: reinstalling windows

2016-11-27, 11:32 AM

I'm trying to find out if it is cost effective to get a P50 with 1TB NVMe from Lenovo.


My incremental cost (with corporate discount) is $350 to get this NVMe without spinner HDD and I think that this is a good price.


What price did you pay for your alternative drives?


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  • Message 5 of 5

Re: reinstalling windows

2016-11-27, 13:04 PM

The price for the 1TB PM961 is a good in my opinion. I have one in my T460s and it performs very well without issues. Of course, there is the entire question, which seems to be side-stepped within this thread, about whether the Samsung 950 Pro or the Samsung p960 Pro are fully compatible with the P50/P70. There have been several posts that indicate that both the 950 Pro and the 960 Pro as not compliant with power management and password setting. See this post from Amy in the Knowledge Base:




P53 XEON 2276 BIOS 1.31 OLED UHD 4K Multi-touch display, 96GB RAM, RTX5000, RAID 1, 1TB x 2 Samsung PM981, 1TB PM981, WWAN
P70 XEON 1505, BIOS 2.35, 4k Display, 64GB, M3000M NVIDIA GPU, RAID1 1TB Samsung PM981 PCIe-NVMe SSD x 2, 2x Samsung 850 Pro 1TB SSD. EM7455 WWAN
P1. BIOS 1.36,Xeon Processor, 4k UHD IPS multi-touch display, 32GB, PM981 1TB x 2, RAID1

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