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Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎12-27-2015
Location: US
Views: 1,201
Message 1 of 2

Upgrading To or Installing Windows 10 on T520 with SSD Fails

It is impossible to upgrade a T520 that has an Intel SSD drive to Windows 10. The Microsoft online upgrade fails consistently at its first reboot point (29% I believe). I tried this at least a dozen times on 2 identical T520's with SSD's trying various settings and combinations of steps to no avail. The problem has something to do with the way the SSD handles the boot partitions. Others have reported similar findings. I also tried manually installing Windows 10 on the SSD doing a clean install after manually removing all partitions on the SSD. That also failed at the same point. I tried various BIOS changes but they had no effect.


SOLUTION (upgrading):

(update BIOS first)


1. Remove the SSD and replace with a HDD

2. Install Windows 7 or 8 (you won't be able to use the factory supplied restoration disks since they were designed to find an SSD)

3. Upgrade to Windows 10 using Microsoft's online or offline process (bootable CD or USB stick)

4. Allow the upgrade to register with Microsoft and ensure that your Windows 10 is activated.


Note: see instructions later in this post if you still want to renable the use of the SSD


Once upgraded and activated, you can follow Microsoft's process to do a clean install to remove all traces of Lenovo software (highly recommended). Let Windows 10 install its own drivers. Finally, install the Windows 10 drivers from Lenovo. If you have the NVIDIA display adapter, I recommend NOT installing the Lenovo display drivers and changing the display in the BIOS to Discrete. Also disable NVIDIA Optimus detection in the BIOS. The native Windows 10 NVIDIA driver works better and allows the DisplayPort to function, something the Lenovo driver breaks.


Enable Use of the SSD with Windows 10:

1. Upgrade or clean install Windows 10 (as described above)

2. Install the SSD as a second hard drive with the use of an adapter that replaces the DVD drive.

3. Wipe the SSD partitions, including all recovery and system partitions

4. Download and install disk cloning software - Free version of Macrium Reflect works great

5. Clone the HDD to the SSD

6. Remove the HDD and replace it with the SSD

7. Boot and check to see that Windows 10 is still activated.


Its a long process but it is the ONLY way to get Windows 10 on an Intel SSD in a T520.



Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎12-27-2015
Location: US
Views: 1,169
Message 2 of 2

Re: Upgrading To or Installing Windows 10 on T520 with SSD Fails



In my previous post I indicated that you can't use the original factory restoration disks if you swap the SSD to HDD.  The restoration disk can't install to an HDD if it was designed for an SSD. This prevents the ability to upgrade the original Windows 7 license because if the SSD is the boot device, the upgrade will fail.


It may be possible to upgrade the original Windows 7 license by using a disk cloning tool FIRST.  Try using the disk cloning tool (Macrium Reflect) to migrate the original factory installed SSD Win 7 load to the HDD before  swapping out the SSD with the HDD as the boot device. You should then be able to successfully run the upgrade. Once upgraded to Win10 and activated, follow Microsoft's instructions to do a clean install on the HDD, then use Macrium to clone that clean install back to the SSD and replace the HDD with the newly imaged SSD as the boot drive.


I haven't tested this process but it should work and eliminate the need to acquire a different Win7 or Win8 license if you still want the free upgrade to Win10.

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