12-02-2012 07:52 AM
I'll be upgrading my T520 from Windows 7 to Windows 8 (clean install) and want to create a full, restorable backup of my system first.
I'm confused about just which method to go with. In Control panel, there is a "Lenovo-Factory recovery disks". And then there is also Rescue & Recovery, which I just installed.
From the online instructions, it looks like with R&R, I can select either the OS and/or Data. If I select OS, is this the same as running the Control panel item, Factory recovery disks??
I will probably create the OS backup media separate from the Data media anyway, since I want to copy the data over to my clean install of Windows 8.
12-02-2012 09:08 AM
The Recovery Disks are a must have do burn them to DVD's (3 - DVD are burnt). These 3 DVD allow you to reinstall the the Windows 7, tools drivers etc to the state it came from the factory. It becomes clean start as you originally got it. They maybe also used to boot into for the repair console but I am not certain as I haven't tried it myself.
Now having said that which should be clear. You want an IMAGE of the DRIVE which includes 3 partitions. One is no good since Lenovo boots via Rapidstart via "System_Drv" partition. If you look in Disk Management you'll see that is the active boot partition. You need it and the Windows partitions a minimum. But that leave the Q drive omitted.
Few people take into account that even though they have a backup of the HD they DON'T have the means to read it to put it back. Its fine if you just going to over write a working system from the backup but not it the application or tools are missing. Acronis Trueimage is OS independent and allow for a Boot CD to be made for those situation in which you can restore a HD, a partition or even folder and files from the same backup. This is what you'd want or something equivalent and 100% that you'll have access to it afterwards. I doubt you'd be able to easily do all this will R&R and there is no way to verify that in advance. Many time the backup is no good and you're SOL. Trueimage can verify the image file created that its good if you which so you know. You can create as many images as you wish over time and typically place on an external drive. Do so via the eSATA port is very fast while USB works but slower.
I trust this will have answered and/or enlightened you plan. Bottom line at the end of it all. You want to be 200% sure how to do the image restore from a unbootable HD. If you can't then the damm R&R is false security and useless tool. I don't use and don't trust it period. Some people sure have rebuilt an SSD with it but that's no the same thing or as easy.
You may want to read some of the Window 8 pre threads since you're be installing over Windows 7 as the upgrade requires.
PS: You are smart to ask now rather than like many after they've destroyed the original software and no clue how to recover and go back. Expect stuff not to work as it does under Win7 Lenovo has a lot to catch up on for their tools and drivers before its solid packages. That's my opinion.
You could buy another HD and just swap it and do a clean install but would likely require a retail Windows 8. There does not seem to be a way to install it yet without the Windows 7 being available for verification before the upgrade DVD will install. Then its as drive swap to go back again.
12-02-2012 09:30 AM
Thanks for all the great info tripplec!
I'm planning on doing the Win8 upgrade towards the end of January, when hopefully Lenovo will have caught up a bit more and Win8 will have the latest updates. (I know, I'm being pretty obsessive doing all this up front prep!) I use this T520 for work, can't afford to mess it up. I'm figuring that I'll need to move ahead at some point anyway, why not do it while it's cheaper?
As an experiment, I'd already upgraded my old T61 from XP to Win8 (actually XP to Ubuntu to XP to Win8), and that went smooth as silk, which is encouraging. The upfront compatibility report was frightening, but I had nothing to lose with this one so plunged ahead. - Did THIS to set my charge threshold so it isn't charging all the time when plugged in.
12-02-2012 09:59 AM
12-02-2012 10:38 AM
I got the 160gb SSD for my T520 system, 132gb available for the OS. So not a lot of extra space for dual boot.
I was surprised and impressed how well everything worked after the Win8 upgrade on my T61. In fact, everything (that's necessary) worked without having to any install drivers at all. My T61 became more of a generic Windows machine instead of a Lenovo Windows machine.
I did install Thinkvantage. I don't use very much of the Lenovo-specific stuff, otherwise I guess I would have had to install more drivers.
12-02-2012 12:20 PM
afaik, all you need is acronis or a similar program. make an image of the partition which includes operating system, put the image onto an external drive or burn it onto a dvd (or more, acronis afaik has no problem with splitting the image so that it can fit onto multiple dvd discs), burn a bootable acronis cd\dvd and you're good to go. when restoring your os all you need to do is put that bootable acronis cd\dvd into your dvd drive, wait for it load, select which operation you need and after that it's all pretty self-explanatory. now, mind you, you may run into problems. so before restoring your operating system it would be wise to copy all of your data from other partitions onto an external hard drive. so if anything goes bad you will at least have your data (also, it would be wise to backup all of your important data that you might have stored on your primary, os, partition before doing anything in the first place). and if everything fails, you can always obtain a copy of windows installation disk and do a clean install with a provided serial key you got with your lenovo laptop. mind you if, when doing a clean install, you delete all of the partitions (including the one which contains the lenovo os image), you'll lose the factory state of the entire drive but that, imo, is not really a problem since all the drivers and applications that came with the laptop are readily available online. one more thing. it would be wise to also backup that lenovo folder on c:\ drive which contains all the drivers and applications. on hp laptops it is called "swsetup" iirc. don't know how it's called on lenovo laptops.