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Kaso
802.11n
Posts: 198
Registered: ‎09-10-2010
Location: Corona
Views: 431
Message 21 of 27

Re: Some thoughts and impressions on my new W530

>> my HDD c: partition gets corrupted and I can't boot. If I were to remove the drive, and put it in the DVD bay (using one of the kits available for this purpose) and install a new, blank "empty" drive where the main drive used to be, would the "ThinkVantage 'as new' recovery-in-place" still set up the brand new drive I just installed?

You're confused.

ThinkVantage in-place factory recovery works off the Q: partition, which is on the same physical drive that is to be "recovered."

On the other hand, if your Acronis system backup file is in the cloud, you can use it to image a brand new drive. (Acronis program itself is in the cloud, and so is your registration key.)

Note that, although I use the name "Acronis," I don't talk about Acronis specifically.

 

Well, this thread is diverging away from W530 per se.

mikemyers
SCSI Port
Posts: 98
Registered: ‎04-26-2013
Location: Miami Beach
Views: 396
Message 22 of 27

Re: Some thoughts and impressions on my new W530

Thanks....

 

Back to W530

 

Tonight was the night for doing all the driver updates, etc.  Unfortunately, the system "locked up" (when I clicked on START, then typed "lenovo" into the box, and went to click on the link for "Lenovo ThinkVantage Tools".    Everything locked up, and I had to hold down the power button to reboot the laptop.   I called Lenovo Tech Support, and they told me before I do anything else, the machine needed to be fully updated.

 

During the update process, the machine did about 25 "patches" or driver updates, and also an update for the BIOS.  That last one had me confused, as they warn about not letting the machine go to sleep or hybernate, but all together it only took a minute or so.  When everything was done, the "Solution Center" wanted to be updated, so that too is done.  I expected this to take an hour or two - it went MUCH faster.

 

The updating is now completed, both for the Lenovo files, and for Windows. 

 

 

(My only confusion is after installing Skype, a box opened at the bottom right of the screen, asking my permission to allow ThinkVantage to optimize the camera and microphone settings.  Then, when I ran Skype, I had a choice of allowing the program to access Skype.  Not knowing what it does, I called Lenovo Tech Support, but all they know is it somehow optimizes those settings.  I still don't know exactly what it does, but I clicked on the box to allow it to do the optimizing anyway.  )

 

 

During our discussions, one of the tech people wanted me to go to a support web page to give him permission to  log onto my laptop.  I told him I'd prefer it if he told me what to do, as otherwise I never remember what the tech people do - if I do it myself, it's better. 

 

At any rate, I'm now done for tonight.  Tomorrow, I've got to install the remainder of the 44 programs I want on the laptop... 30 more to go.  After that, I probably do a "Windows Easy Transfer" from my VAIO TT, and copy all the user files over to the Lenovo.

 

 

 

My impressions right now are that Lenovo makes it very organized to buy one of their products.  I've never yet purchased a new laptop that didn't need help in getting it going.  With Toshiba, I had to call Tech Support to figure out what I had to do.  With my VAIO TT, I mostly found out from the forums.  With Lenovo, it's all so organized - follow the roadmap, and everything gets done. 

  • Set up laptop
  • Create System Disks
  • Update Windows (repeatedly until it can't find anything more)
  • Update Drivers (ditto)
  • Install Programs
  • Use Windows Easy Transfer to move over my data
  • Housecleaning and Organizing

Having read quite a few threads in this forum made it all much easier.  Maybe that should be required reading before anyone actually starts to set up their new laptop.   :-)

 

mikemyers
SCSI Port
Posts: 98
Registered: ‎04-26-2013
Location: Miami Beach
Views: 372
Message 23 of 27

Re: Some thoughts and impressions on my new W530

Update to the above....

 

Before starting to add the rest of my programs to the laptop, I checked out the Lenovo information center icon, which led me to a "hardware check" (everything passed) and then to a "Rescue and Recovery" area.  I selected the "backup", which seems to include three things, creating rescue and recovery discs, doing an image backup, and then doing what appears to be a regular Windows backup.  I clicked on the top item, which I expected to result in creating the image backup.

 

  • There was a 300-meg program to download and install - done.
  • The laptop then rebooted (there was an error message which flashed on and off the screen too quickly to read)
  • After the restart, the backup utility then wanted me to create a set of recovery discs. 
  • It successfully created the "start-up" CD.
  • It then wanted to do a backup, but I was never able to select the drive on which to do the backup....  It seemed to be doing this on the system drive, as it never asked me about where to save the backup.
  • I tried to cancel, and the computer locked up.   Had to force a re-start.
  • With Lenovo on the phone, I tried this again, but in the backup utility,this time, instead of clicking on the large square-shaped icon, I clicked on the arrow beneath it, to try to point the computer at my external drive.  No luck, the choices were only hard drive, second hard drive, or USB drive.  I selected USB drive, hoping the computer would do what I want.
  • The program backed up "something", with a backup-name we selected for that backup.  This went very quickly.  I am guessing it is my "user data".
  • The program is now "saving an image of your system to your USB external storage device".  It will be 150 minutes before it finishes. Since my backup drive is connected via USB-3 (I assume), that seems excessively long.
  • I'll stop typing here.......    I'm going to just leave the computer doing whatever it wants, and will check back in a while.  Maybe sometime this year it will finish.  It's probably most likely that I didn't do all this properly, but the Lenovo service tech was right there with me, and she thought I was doing it correctly.....     As I see it, the problem isn't that I gave the wrong answers, but that the computer doesn't ask the right questions.  I wish they explained every step of the way what was going on, and precisely what the user is supposed to do.

 

The "real" issue here, I'm pretty sure, is my own lack of understanding what to do.  I'm very pleased that the computer has all this built-in.  I thought I was going to do a simple Windows backup, but it looks like Lenovo has improved on that, using the Windows tools, but adding to them.

 

 

Kaso
802.11n
Posts: 198
Registered: ‎09-10-2010
Location: Corona
Views: 359
Message 24 of 27

Re: Some thoughts and impressions on my new W530

>> the backup utility then wanted me to create a set of recovery discs.

I thought you had done this already, creating a set of recovery discs. Anyway, "a set of recovery discs" includes 1 CD (to be written as bootable) and up to 3 DVDs (to be written as data). The optical discs will be prompted one after the other, and each is expected to be inserted into the optical drive.

You could alternatively do the Lenovo system recovery backup onto a bootable USB flash drive of at least 8GB.

You can read Lenovo's support pages on the above details. Expecting Lenovo software to do a good job prompting you (or to do a good job, in general) is a bit of a stretch.

>> The "real" issue here, I'm pretty sure, is my own lack of understanding what to do.

Looks like it. Smiley Happy
mikemyers
SCSI Port
Posts: 98
Registered: ‎04-26-2013
Location: Miami Beach
Views: 339
Message 25 of 27

Re: Some thoughts and impressions on my new W530

You are so right - but all I did was follow what seemed like a logical set of steps to take, and the Lenovo person on the phone with me agreed (guessed???) that this was right.  (According to the Lenovo technician I spoke to a few minutes ago, he never heard of any of this, and was unaware of the utility that the computer told me to download.  He thinks it may be something very new, that he hasn't yet been trained on.

 

 

Yes, I already created the CD and three DVDs needed for recovery.  I tried to create a second set right after creating the first set, but the system told me I could only create one due to Windows licensing restrictions. 

 

Just the same, this morning, the Lenovo backup utility I downloaded did create another emergency boot CD, and implied it was going to create the three DVD set - maybe that's where the software got confused, as legally, it can't do that.

 

Right now, I don't know what the system actually did.  It quickly created some kind of "backup file" on my external USB drive, and it did an almost-three-hour backup after that which I think might be an enhanced disc image? 

 

 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

If someone wants to follow where this process got so confusing, when I opened the Lenovo Solutio Center today, it indicated that I needed to do a backup.

 

I went to the tab for backups, and the instructions at the top of this page told me to download a file - I had a choice of languages, and I picked English.  The file it downloaded was "tvtvrnr450_025en.exe ".   The last page my browser recprded was "download.lenovo.com/ibmdl/pub/pc/pccbbs/thinkvantage_en/tvtvrnr450_025en.txt " which explains what this software does.

 

After the downloaded file was installed, I needed to do a reboot - as Windows shut down, there were some quick error messages that vanished before I could read them, let alone write them down.

 

The computer re-started, and after getting into the backup tab again, I clicked on a large square icon which I thought would bring up the backup utility.  Instead, it started what looked like a backup of some sort.  Since I wanted what I thought was a backup, to be stored on my USB backup drive, I clicked "cancel".   I suspect right now that I should have just walked away, and let it run, and if it wanted to save things on the main drive, just let it do so..........   but I was under the impression I was simply creating a disc image backup and I could store it on a different drive, as I always have done before.  At any rate, clicking cancel seemed to have no effect.  Hitting Ctrl-Alt-Del had no effect either, and I had to reboot.

 

I got back to the same place again, but this time with the Lenovo service tech on the phone.  There was a place beneath that large square icon where I could change the settings.  The choices were:

  • hard drive
  • second hard drive
  • usb device

 

It was originally set for hard drive, and as I said, I suspect I should have left it there.  For better or worse, I changed it to what  though I wanted it to do, to back up on my USB drive.  It took three hours, but finished successfully.

 

 

Looking at my external USB drive right now, I see two hidden folders:

   System Volume Information          ........and ten minutes later, I see:

   RRbackups   (The Lenovo tech thinks this stands for Rescue and Recovery)

 

 

When I now go into the Lenovo Solution Center  "backup" page, I see the following:

 

  • At the top, in green, it shows "Backup:  Your backup has been performed within the 30 days."
  •  
  • Under that, there is a box for "Lenovo Rescue and Recovery", with a an icon to click on to LAUNCH the utility.  (I suspect on Monday, I'll need to click on this again, and do everything all over again, but this time letting it save the file on my hard drive.)
  •  
  • Under that, is the box with "Microsoft Windows Backup Tool", and a LAUNCH button to start what I think may be the Windows incremental backup I've gotten used to.
  •  
  • Under that, is a box telling me how much space I have left on drive C, and whether or not there is enough free space to perform a backup.
  •  

 

 

The tech I spoke to tonight wants me to call "Thomas", a "tier 2 support person".  The tech feels this may be new software that Lenovo just made available, which is why he's unaware of it  (none of the tech people I spoke to today seemed to ever have heard of what I was seeing!!). 

 

==================================================

 

End of story as of tonight.  I typed everything in here, while it's fresh in my mind so I can show this to Thomas or whoever tries to figure out what's going on.

 

I should add, that even if this all works as I now think it's intended to work, why would anyone want to do a computer backup, storing the backup on the same drive that they are backing up? 

 

What would be humorous about this, is that the next time I tried to do a disc image of drive C, that disc image would also contain the previously created backups of drive C....         

 

Too much confusion.  time to stop and go to sleep...............

mikemyers
SCSI Port
Posts: 98
Registered: ‎04-26-2013
Location: Miami Beach
Views: 262
Message 26 of 27

Re: Some thoughts and impressions on my new W530

A bit more information on my W530.

 

When I first got the docking station, the W530 didn't want to drop down onto it.  With Lenovo Tech support on the phone, I was jiggling all the pins and levers on the docking station, and it made a loud "clank" after which the W530 dropped down onto the docking station perfectly.  I've had it on and off a few times since then, with no problem.

 

Last weekend, I was moving some cables around, and the power cable to the docking station got disconnected.  I didn't realize this until I noticed the screen go black, and realized it was running on battery power.  I hooked up everything again, but the green light on the docking station never came on.  If I turned the key to "lock", the red light would come on, but never the green power light.

 

With Lenovo on the phone, I was trying to sort out what was going on, while turning the docking station vertically so I could read the part number on the bottom.  I noticed whenever I flipped the docking station on the side, it made a "clank" as if something was loose, and falling inside of it.

 

We tried both power supplies (from W530 and from mini-dock), and both worked with the laptop, and neither worked with the mini-dock.   At some point, whatever was "loose" inside it must have gotten stuck, as the key refuled to turn all the way to "lock" as if it was being blocked.

 

 

 

In my mind, the mini-dock was to go back to B&H in New York, and they would eventually replace it.  Nope - Lenovo said they would simply send me a new one, and they'd send me a label so I could return the apparently defective one.

 

They called me twice Saturday night, ( the last time close to midnight!!!) to confirm the shipping information and for me to get them the information from the shipping label that came with the mini-dock - I FAXed them a copy of the document.

 

I called this morning, to check on it.  They couldn't ship me one as they didn't have one there, but they had one in Canada, which they are immediately shipping me two-day-delivery!!!  

 

I have never, ever, had service like this on any computer I have ever purchased!!!!    Considering the miserable opinion I now have for most computer service tech support groups, Lenovo is like a breath of fresh air!!!  Again!!!

 

Along with everything else I've gone through and learned, there's a better chance that it will snow tomorrow in Miami than there is of my buying a PC from anyone other than Lenovo in the future.......   or of even recommending anything different. 

 

Anybody else:

"I have a problem."    Tech: "Are you under warranty?"

 

Lenovo:

"I have a problem"  Tech: "What's the problem?"

 

Everything they have done for me is far beyond what I expect.

mikemyers
SCSI Port
Posts: 98
Registered: ‎04-26-2013
Location: Miami Beach
Views: 234
Message 27 of 27

Re: Some thoughts and impressions on my new W530

So much for two-day delivery......   This discussion was yesterday.  Between then and now, they got the mini dock in Canada to my home in Miami, and it was here at 9am!   In today's world, nobody else has service like this!

 

 

..........oh, and regading the questions I asked weeks ago, this new one actually works.  The other one didn't seem to actually do anything when you pressed the release lever, while this one has all the pins and thinges move around in what seems like a logical order to release and eject the laptop when you press the release lever.  Not knowing what was supposed to happen, the other one made no sense to me. 

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