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BartoHP
Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎08-18-2009
Location: US
Views: 5,200
Message 1 of 7

Z61m Can't Access Recovery Partition

I'm trying to restore my laptop to factory settings, but nothing seems to be going right.

 

When I interrupt startup with the Thinkpad button, there is no "Restore your system" option as the Service and Troubleshooting Guide claims.  I read elsewhere that this option can also be accessed by pressing F11, but this has no effect on my system.

 

I'm fairly certain the partition still exists.  My visible hard drive partitions account for just about 74.5 gigs.  I can't find my specific system's specs, but IBM's website leads me to believe that it should be an 80 gig hard drive.  However, I temporarily disabled "IBM Predesktop Area" in the bios as I heard this would allow me to see the partition, and nothing new showed up in Windows Disk Management.

 

I can occasionally access the Thinkpad Rescue and Recovery app, but I have never previously made a backup using that program and there doesn't seem to be a way to use the recovery partition.  Whenever I click on "Create Recovery Media" in the start menu, the program immediately crashes.

 

My system is out of warranty, so I'm not sure if acquiring recovery media from Lenovo is an option.  I can see on-disk recovery being convenient (if it works), but why on earth didn't they also include a disk?

 

Anyway, thanks for any help you can give me,

BartoHP

 

Edit:  I did a quick scan of the first page before posting, but somehow missed this http://forums.lenovo.com/lnv/board/message?board.id=Z_Series_Thinkpads&thread.id=1629.  My problem is slightly different, as he had the recovery disks and could see the partition, but I also have linux installed on the system.  I can try deleting my linux partition, but I'm hesitant to do that as I was not the one who installed it.

 

Under windows Disk Management, I see 4 partitions.  My main windows one, my main Linux one, and two others that I'm not sure what they are.  One is 102 MB and the Other is 1004 MB.  Would these be related to my Linux install and therefore safe/important to delete?

Message Edited by BartoHP on 08-18-2009 03:47 PM
lead_org Microsoft MVP Contributor
Microsoft MVP Contributor
Posts: 21,009
Registered: ‎12-19-2008
Location: Australia, Melbourne
Views: 5,176
Message 2 of 7

Re: Z61m Can't Access Recovery Partition

you can obtain the recovery media even if you are out of warranty, 50 USD.

Regards,

Jin Li

May this year, be the year of 'DO'!

I am a volunteer, and not a paid staff of Lenovo or Microsoft
licht
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Posts: 16
Registered: ‎08-07-2008
Location: SF, CA, USA
Views: 5,150
Message 3 of 7

Re: Z61m Can't Access Recovery Partition

"I temporarily disabled "IBM Predesktop Area" in the bios"

I believe that is the reason why you can't access System Recovery Partition.

You should enable it.

 

You can't see the System Recovery Partition in any OS.

There is no driver letter assign to this partition and it is in different format.

_St
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Posts: 21
Registered: ‎06-03-2009
Location: Czech Republic
Views: 5,135
Message 4 of 7

Re: Z61m Can't Access Recovery Partition

Hello, did you install Linux yourself? MBR could be rewritten in the installation process, especially when you set some boot loader. I guess you are not able to boot to your restore partition (even if it is there) without the proper MBR. I believe you can find more information about MBR on this forums. Hope that helps. Regards, _St

BartoHP
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Posts: 3
Registered: ‎08-18-2009
Location: US
Views: 5,111
Message 5 of 7

Re: Z61m Can't Access Recovery Partition

@lead_org:

 

Thanks.  I'm glad to know that is still an option.

 

 

@licht:

 

That option is currently enabled.  I tried it both ways and found no difference.

 

 

@_st:

 

After doing some more research, it definitely looks like the MBR is the problem.  I will try this tool: http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/document.do?lndocid=MIGR-54483 as soon as I can find a usb floppy drive.

 

Thanks everyone!

BartoHP
Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎08-18-2009
Location: US
Views: 5,097
Message 6 of 7

Re: Z61m Can't Access Recovery Partition

Ok, so I've made a bit of progress.  Replacing the MBR restored the F11 option.  Unfortunately, whenever I select it I get an "NTLDR is missing" error.  All of the related posts I was able to find recommend using this very boot floppy to fix it....

 

Additionally, I can now only get into windows if I set my hard drive to "compatability" mode in the bios.  Otherwise I only get the NTLDR error.

 

I think the next step is to try removing all of my extra partitions and see what happens.  Does the laptop ship with only a single (non-recovery) partition?  I just want to make sure I'm not deleting anything I shouldn't.

 

Thanks!

BartoHP

_St
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Posts: 21
Registered: ‎06-03-2009
Location: Czech Republic
Views: 5,086
Message 7 of 7

Re: Z61m Can't Access Recovery Partition

Hello BartoHP,

 

it sounds like SATA driver problem now. I would not delete partitions yet and would try to update the SATA driver somehow in your Windows first. I believe there was something regarding SATA driver update on the forums.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Regards,

_St

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