08-10-2017 11:55 AM - edited 08-11-2017 01:20 AM
I am new to this forum, and of course, have question.
I am just about buying a P71 but was puzzled with the info of the dealer, that I cannot get the machine without a preinstallation of Win 10 as it is "branded" in the UEFI. Does this mean the Win 10 license is fixed and I cannot just use a new Win 10 Pro package?
I always prefer to do that installation by myself from a pure new dvd or usb. Now, if I wipe off the SSD, than I will need to obtain the Win 10 license over the UEFI or can I use a new one as well?
As far as I read here in the forum, a fresh installation seems possible with some hassle.
May I experience some problems here? I believe the preinstallation includes some additional Lenovo software as well as some necessary drivers. I would assume that all drivers I should be able to obtain from Lenovo pages.
I do understand, that Lenovo may optimally sets up those machines to some extent, but....
I am little bit irritated by that policy - giving the buyer no choice.
Many thanks in advance.
08-10-2017 12:05 PM - edited 08-10-2017 12:09 PM
If you buy a machine that has a windows 10 pro license pre-installed, you can download a fresh copy from MS and install over it. It will activate automatically and will not require a new key to be purchased. If you buy a machine with 2 drives and want to reinstall, I suggest removing the non-boot disk before installing. Also, I suggest installing onto a wiped drive. That will make sure your boot loader is on the right disk. You can do this in the install process with a custom install. You can then add your other drive(s) back in. (obviously, my suggestion should be modified if you want to use a RAID on your boot drive.)
08-10-2017 12:42 PM
I'll toss in that if it was my machine, I'd make recovery media with the installed Lenovo Win 10 image before wiping the drive. It doesn't take (very) long, only costs one flash drive, and will let you archive the original OS + Lenovo stuff for possible future use.
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08-11-2017 12:09 AM - edited 08-11-2017 12:16 AM
What the reseller means is that the ThinkPad has a unique digital license for WIndows 10 embedded in its firmware. I think that Lenovo does sell systems with these embedded licenses, but only when a certain quantity of identically-configured machines is being puchased, like 100 at a time. The embedded license could be for Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro, but would not be for an edition of Windows 10 that is only available via a volume license subscription, like Windows 10 Education or Windows 10 Pro.
This, by the way, is the reason you no longer see stickers with Windows Product ID Keys on the bottom of or behind the battery in laptops. The PID key is now embedded in the firmware, and the Windows installation program automatically reads it in when the operating system is being installed. This means, though, that if you do a clean install of Windows it will read the license in the firmware, and install that edition.
For example, if you get a computer that has an embedded license for Windows 10 Home, if you do a clean install of Windows 10, it will automatically select the Home edition and install that. If you want to use a different edition, such as Windows 10 Pro, after Windows 10 finishes installing, run the Change Product Key (filename: CHANGEPK.EXE) program to enter the license key for the edition you wish to use, and Windows will reconfigure itself as that edition and reboot into that new edition.
A detailed discussion of how this all works can be found at the Windows Manufacturing web site, which goes over the ways Windows 10 can be deployed for computers that are being sold (either by an OEM, System Builder or Manufacturer).
As zoltanthegypsy noted, it is a good idea to make the recovery media before doing anything with the system. You may have a coupon in the box which allows you to download the recovery media or receive it on a USB flash drive from Lenovo. I would strongly suggest doing this.
Lastly, I'd strongly suggest just using the Windows 10 pre-load provided by Lenovo. As you noted in your original message, it has all the necessary drivers. Traditionally, ThinkPads have not had much in the way of bloatware, anyways, since they are sold to enterprises for corporate use. Lenovo still does load some non-Microsoft software, but it's for things which aren't natively-supported by the operating system (For example, if you bought a Lenovo computer with an Intel RealSense 3-D camera, it would have the Intel RealSense 3-D software on it, since Microsoft doesn't provide that software as part of Windows 10.), maybe a trial version of anti-malware software. You'll also see a couple of pre-loaded programs like Lenovo Settings (for managing the computer's hardware) and Lenovo Companion (for customer support), but those are Windows Apps from Lenovo, and can be easily removed. Oh, and maybe some Lenovo wallpaper.
08-11-2017 01:19 AM - edited 08-11-2017 01:21 AM
thank you very much for these quick and detailed (Aryeh) replies! That kind of help and advice lifted my mood up a lot.
Its seems all god then and I just will have to make my mind up which spec I want to have now... questions over questions...
I also need to get an decent HDD imaging program