cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply
pwb
Ctrl-Alt-Del
Posts: 8
Location: DE
Views: 4,537
Message 1 of 12

X1 Carbon USB recovery media unbootable

Hi guys.

 

I just attempted to create a set of recovery media for a new X1 Carbon. Basically I took a 32GB USB flash drive and had the recovery media creation tool write both the boot files and the rest of the data files to it.

 

Since the software wasn't exactly clear about whether the former would get overwritten by the latter and it would be rather lame to have to use a second flash drive when I have one that can hold all the needed files, I decided to give it a try.

 

The result wouldn't boot, however, even though it contains some files that look like they might be boot-related. I then wanted to retry the process with two separate flash drives only to be told that I am allowed to create just one set of recovery disks. (Absolutely brilliant engineering here.)

 

So, am I now left with a non-bootable flash drive and no way to create recovery media?

 

Also, while we're at it... when the software says the recovery media are only usable on the machine they're created on, does this actually mean they refuse to run on any other machine of the same type and I really have to create a separate set of recovery media for each individual laptop? (Because we have a number of them here.)

 

Up to now I assumed this was more like "they will technically work, but you're not allowed to use them on a machine you don't have a matching Windows license for". But since Lenovo apparently decided to be maximally annoying with their current generation of machines...

 

Would appreciate any help.

Community SeniorMod
Community SeniorMod
Posts: 6,415
Location: US
Views: 4,524
Message 2 of 12

Re: X1 Carbon USB recovery media unbootable

Hello and welcome,

 

Maybe try using DISKPART or other tool to set the partition on the flash drive active. You can check in disk management to see if it is already active, but I don't think you can set it active there.

 

Don't clear, format, create, or anything else or you'll lose what's already on the drive.  Just set active.

 

This is sometimes an issue when creating recovery media on USB flash.  May not be in your case, but it's worth checking.

 

As to your question about using the recovovery media on a different machine: I don't have a direct answer.  Hopefully someone who's tried it can join in.  I can say that the recovery image is different than with older machines.  It used to be a more-or-less universal installer (included a full set of drivers for a range of machines) but now it's an image captured after the drive build and only includes the "as-is" drivers in that specific machine. 

 

For what that's worth...

 

Z.


The large print: please read the Community Participation Rules before posting. Include as much information as possible: model, machine type, operating system, and a descriptive subject line. Do not include personal information: serial number, telephone number, email address, etc.


The fine print: I do not work for, nor do I speak for Lenovo. Unsolicited private messages will be ignored - questions and answers belong in the forum so that others may benefit. ... GeezBlog

 

Communities:    English English   Deutsche Deutsche    Español Español    Português Português    ru.gif Русскоязычное





Haywir3
Punch Card
Posts: 12
Location: Canada
Views: 4,520
Message 3 of 12

Re: X1 Carbon USB recovery media unbootable

You have to set the partition on your thumb drive to active via Diskpart prior to do anything.

 

 

Edit: beaten to it.

Community SeniorMod
Community SeniorMod
Posts: 6,415
Location: US
Views: 4,504
Message 4 of 12

Re: X1 Carbon USB recovery media unbootable

Here's the article about USB flash preparation.  Yes, the R&R tool should take care of this, but some versions don't.  Maybe all versions, not sure about that.

 

It is possible to set the partition active after the fact, if one is careful to not disturb the contents.

 

New or used USB memory keys or USB flash drives require an active partition created from within Wind...

 

Z.


The large print: please read the Community Participation Rules before posting. Include as much information as possible: model, machine type, operating system, and a descriptive subject line. Do not include personal information: serial number, telephone number, email address, etc.


The fine print: I do not work for, nor do I speak for Lenovo. Unsolicited private messages will be ignored - questions and answers belong in the forum so that others may benefit. ... GeezBlog

 

Communities:    English English   Deutsche Deutsche    Español Español    Português Português    ru.gif Русскоязычное





pwb
Ctrl-Alt-Del
Posts: 8
Location: DE
Views: 4,497
Message 5 of 12

Re: X1 Carbon USB recovery media unbootable

Thanks for the help so far.

 

Now I didn't check whether the partition was already active before I marked it active in DISKPART, but even after explicitly marking it active it doesn't seem to boot. (Not only on the X1 Carbon, a T530 and my desktop machine won't have it either.) Selecting the USB drive after pressing F12 at boot time will just give me a black screen for a split second and then take me right back to the boot target selection menu.

 

Also, strangely enough, DISKPART seems to forget about the active flag each time I start it. It does show as active in disk management and has the bootable flag in Linux fdisk though. But googling that seems to suggest it's just some kind of Windows idiosyncracy.

 


As to your question about using the recovovery media on a different machine: I don't have a direct answer.  Hopefully someone who's tried it can join in.  I can say that the recovery image is different than with older machines.  It used to be a more-or-less universal installer (included a full set of drivers for a range of machines) but now it's an image captured after the drive build and only includes the "as-is" drivers in that specific machine.

I would actually be fine with having one set of recovery media per machine configuration (because we just have one), I'm just wondering if they now include the machine serial number on them or something. Can't try this out right now though.

Community SeniorMod
Community SeniorMod
Posts: 6,415
Location: US
Views: 4,481
Message 6 of 12

Re: X1 Carbon USB recovery media unbootable

Is that drive formatted NTFS or FAT32?

 

Z.


The large print: please read the Community Participation Rules before posting. Include as much information as possible: model, machine type, operating system, and a descriptive subject line. Do not include personal information: serial number, telephone number, email address, etc.


The fine print: I do not work for, nor do I speak for Lenovo. Unsolicited private messages will be ignored - questions and answers belong in the forum so that others may benefit. ... GeezBlog

 

Communities:    English English   Deutsche Deutsche    Español Español    Português Português    ru.gif Русскоязычное





pwb
Ctrl-Alt-Del
Posts: 8
Location: DE
Views: 4,473
Message 7 of 12

Re: X1 Carbon USB recovery media unbootable

NTFS.

Community SeniorMod
Community SeniorMod
Posts: 6,415
Location: US
Views: 4,472
Message 8 of 12

Re: X1 Carbon USB recovery media unbootable

Here's something I've wanted to try for a while, but don't have a recovery image to test with.  Probably a total waste of your time.

 

Prepare another flash drive per the link I posted above.  Copy the contents of the non-booting drive to the newly prepared drive.  Make sure all files and folders are visible first.

 

Give it a try...

 

I've never quite figured out the dretails of Windows booting mechanism, but the above works for me with Win install and repair media.  The drive prep must be creating a bootable MBR.

 

[edit] Is your X1 BIOS set to UEFI only mode by any chance?

 

Z.


The large print: please read the Community Participation Rules before posting. Include as much information as possible: model, machine type, operating system, and a descriptive subject line. Do not include personal information: serial number, telephone number, email address, etc.


The fine print: I do not work for, nor do I speak for Lenovo. Unsolicited private messages will be ignored - questions and answers belong in the forum so that others may benefit. ... GeezBlog

 

Communities:    English English   Deutsche Deutsche    Español Español    Português Português    ru.gif Русскоязычное





pwb
Ctrl-Alt-Del
Posts: 8
Location: DE
Views: 4,462
Message 9 of 12

Re: X1 Carbon USB recovery media unbootable

Going to try that, nothing to lose. Smiley Happy

Both legacy and UEFI are enabled in the BIOS, with legacy having priority.
pwb
Ctrl-Alt-Del
Posts: 8
Location: DE
Views: 4,450
Message 10 of 12

Re: X1 Carbon USB recovery media unbootable

Well I didn't have high expectations but this actually did the trick. So I am now in possession of working recovery media for the X1 Carbon.

 

Thanks for the help!

Top Kudoed Authors