Thinkpad Tablet 2 Factory Reset Reinstall Windows

Discussion in 'Lenovo (IBM)' started by Fastestflash, Jun 3, 2014.

  1. Fastestflash

    Fastestflash Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hello everyone. I'm having trouble restoring my thinkpad tablet 2 back to original factory settings.

    Here's what happened:
    -Created recovery media(usb) using windows 8 built in features. I was asked if I wanted to deleted the recovery partition to free up room. I did.
    -Surface pro 3 was announced. I pre order one and decided to reinstall windows on the tpt2 for the wife, so she could have a fresh copy of windows instead all of my clutter.
    -when I tried to reinstall windows through the settings, general, erase everything and reinstall windows option, I received a "missing files, insert recovery media" error message. The thing is, my recovery media was inserted.
    -contacted Lenovo, but they refused to help me because my warranty expired this February.
    -after searching the web for the better part of a week I was lost on what to do.
    -then I ran into an article about resetting the Lenovo thinkpad tablet to factory setting using the hardware reset button found on the bottom of the device.
    - that was the biggest mistake I could've done.
    -now my tablet is stuck on the bios screen at start up and I can't find a way out.
    - I contacted Lenovo again and they offered to send me recovery media for the generous price of only $69.99 plus shipping.
    - I contacted Microsoft and they said I could redownload windows, but I need my product key which I have no access to since they don't post them on stickers on the back of products anymore.
    -I called Lenovo again hoping they could provide me with the product key associated with my device, but they explained to me they didn't keep that information and that it wouldn't help anyways because the product keys they use are associated with oem copies of windows and it wouldn't work with microsofts retail version.

    So now, unless I want to pay $70+ my tablet is completley useless. I'm hoping someone here can help me out.

    The thinkpad tablet 2 I have is a 64gb with windows 8 pro installed. If anyone has the recovery media or is willing to make a copy of their recovery partitions for me I'd be really grateful.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2014
  2. TT137

    TT137 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Have you tried booting from your USB recovery directly? That's the usual way to use it when restoring from scratch. You may have to manually select the device, I believe you power on with the volume-up key held, then follow the icons on screen.
     
  3. Fastestflash

    Fastestflash Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Yes, I've tried that many times. Regardless of what I do I can't get out of bios. I get three options when it first boots up. 1.windows boot manager 2. Hard drive: disk, and 3. USB(when it's plugged in). I've gone through all of those, but nothing happens.
     

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  4. TT137

    TT137 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    In theory, the first step would have made the USB drive bootable, and assuming you left the checkbox to copy the recovery files (it's the default IIRC), then the USB stick would be all you need. Deleting the recovery partition meant that you'd absolutely need the USB to recover at that point - it removed the Lenovo recovery partition, so after your subsequent factory reset, the tablet is basically wiped clean.

    Do you have anther PC which you can use to inspect the contents of the USB drive? Also, what exactly happens when you try to boot when the USB is in the tablet? I.e. what do you mean by "can't get out of the BIOS"?
     
  5. Fastestflash

    Fastestflash Pen Pal - Newbie

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    When I first made the recovery USB I tested it and it worked, but I initiated the windows reinstall through the "erase and reinstall everything" option under settings. Although the USB was connected, the tablet never booted from the USB directly and I don't recall an option to make it bootable when I created the recovery disk. I figured it did that automatically, but now I see that's not the case.

    When I select the USB option from the list the screen flickers once and the same options are present. In other words, it doesn't seem to do anything. I'll upload an image with the files in the recovery disk

    If I "tab" over to the "app menu" I get two more options: 1. Setup and 2. Diagnostic splash. 1. Takes me to the regular bios screen and 2. Lists some specs. (I'll attach pictures of all)

    IMG_0817.jpg IMG_0813.jpg IMG_0814.jpg IMG_0815.jpg IMG_0811.jpg
     
  6. TT137

    TT137 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I'm sure the stick is bootable. I suspect the BIOS is refusing to proceed because it's in UEFI secure boot mode. You might try turning that off in the BIOS, and retrying.

    Alternatively, try moving the USB stick to the top of the boot menu. Maybe the BIOS is just trying the devices in order, and failing on the first one.

    What's in the "sources" directory? Are there a few multi-GB files with dates around the time you created the recovery?
     
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  7. Fastestflash

    Fastestflash Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I haven't heard from anyone for a while, but I'll keep you posted as I try to figure this out in case this may be useful for smeone in the future.

    I went out and bought an eternal DVD drive and tried to restore the tablet using an old windows xp (full retail version). When I connected the drive with the xp disc in it and booted the tablet the DVD drive was detected and listed, but just like with the USB recovery disk I have, if I select the DVD drive as my boot option the screen flashes once and the same options are presented again. I don't know, but I'm begining to think only the original thinkpad tablet 2 restore DVDs will work. I hate the idea of having to pay $70 for software I already paid for once and even have a back up for, but unless someone here comes to my rescue I'm screwed and it'll be my only option.
     
  8. Fastestflash

    Fastestflash Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Oh wow, I don't know how I missed this post yesterday. I just saw it today. I started messing with some settings in BIOS after my last post with the DVD drive and this morning when I tried to boot it up I was presented with a blue screen and a "choose your keyboard layout" message :). I'm sitting in front of it now and haven't done anything, I will update it as soon as I can and let you know what happened. Thanks for all the help.
     
  9. Fastestflash

    Fastestflash Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Success!! At this point I don't remember all the settings I messed with, but I think you were right, I think it was disabling the secure boot that did it. Thank you for all the help. I'm soo releived. I don't ever want to go through this again, is there a way to put the recovery USB disk back into the tablet?

    IMG_0818.jpg IMG_0819.jpg IMG_0820.jpg IMG_0822.jpg IMG_0830.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014
  10. TT137

    TT137 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Cool, congrats. I think my post appeared after your reply because the forum moderates my posts until I prove myself :)

    Be sure to go back and set bios defaults, after you install. As for restoring the on-disk recovery, it's theoretically possible, but almost definitely not worth the trouble. Just don't lose that USB.
     
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