Lenovo Thinkpad came with absurd partitions, thinking about reinstalling. Laptop newb questions.

swarmofseals

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Jun 25, 2014
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Purchased Lenovo Thinkpad E450 with 128gb SSD. It arrives with about 68gb of free space because Lenovo has created 5 partitions -- the usual 1gb recovery partition, a 260 mb efi system partition, a 15.51gb additional recovery partition (which is empty), and a 7gb "OEM" partition (also empty). The support guy said that the latter is for storing product keys. WTF? It seems insane to me that I should need a 15.51gb second recovery partition and a 7gb partition for storing product keys.

The support guy says I can wipe and reinstall windows to get rid of the extra partitions and all of the Lenovo bloatware (he literally said bloatware), but interestingly Lenovo does not include your windows product key. No disks are included with the laptop -- no drivers disk, no OS disk. Furthermore there is no windows certificate of authenticity sticker on the laptop. I know you can dig the product key out of windows itself, but it seems extremely sketchy to me that none of this would be included with the laptop itself.

I'm concerned that if I wipe and reinstall windows I'll be missing important drivers that may be specific to the Lenovo hardware.

I'm totally new to laptop ownership:

1. Is it actually reasonable to have those enormous partitions?
2. Am I tempting fate by even thinking about wiping and reinstalling?
 

Welcome to the future. :)

Windows 8(.1) systems have the product key embedded in the system firmware in lieu of printing it on a sticker. The only way to make use of that key with a Windows reinstall is to use an OEM copy of Windows 8(.1). Discs are very seldom provided by OEMs anymore to reduce production costs (their claim is that it's a "go green" sort of initiative), so that is also normal. You can retrieve your drivers from Lenovo's support page for your model, or you may be able to back up all (or some) of your drivers via a third party utility.

The partitions sound in line with what's typical these days too, but that's not to say it's kind of egregious nonetheless. I think the 7 GB OEM partition is actually for Lenovo proprietary tools/software, NOT product keys. The 15GB recovery partition is almost certainly not empty, either; its data is probably intentionally hidden.


Not, exactly, but if you're new to all of this, I highly suggest creating a backup image, whether you image the entire drive or you simply backup the Lenovo recovery image. Remember: You won't be able to install Windows with the embedded product key unless you use the OEM copy of Windows.
 

AdviserKulikov

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Jan 13, 2015
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There shouldn't be anything specific that will prevent it from working (maybe touchpad, but you can use a USB mouse temporarily).

As a general rule of thumb I like to wipe and put a new copy of windows on any machine I build/buy. Just reformat the entire thing, those partitions are insane.
 

Welcome to the future. :)

Windows 8(.1) systems have the product key embedded in the system firmware in lieu of printing it on a sticker. The only way to make use of that key with a Windows reinstall is to use an OEM copy of Windows 8(.1). Discs are very seldom provided by OEMs anymore to reduce production costs (their claim is that it's a "go green" sort of initiative), so that is also normal. You can retrieve your drivers from Lenovo's support page for your model, or you may be able to back up all (or some) of your drivers via a third party utility.

The partitions sound in line with what's typical these days too, but that's not to say it's kind of egregious nonetheless. I think the 7 GB OEM partition is actually for Lenovo proprietary tools/software, NOT product keys. The 15GB recovery partition is almost certainly not empty, either; its data is probably intentionally hidden.


Not, exactly, but if you're new to all of this, I highly suggest creating a backup image, whether you image the entire drive or you simply backup the Lenovo recovery image. Remember: You won't be able to install Windows with the embedded product key unless you use the OEM copy of Windows.
 
Prostar already answered your question about the key. Here's my cut & paste reply for managing/creating recovery partitions:

All Windows 8/8.1 computers come with a restore partition. I highly advise you to buy a 16GB or 32GB USB flash drive and convert that restore partition into a reinstall flash drive.
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/create-usb-recovery-drive

If you don't like the default recovery partition state (maybe too much crapware installed), you can re-create the recovery partition after you've uninstalled the crapware.
http://www.howtogeek.com/167831/everything-you-need-to-know-about-creating-custom-recovery-images-for-windows-8

Finally, if you totally screw up, you can still create a Windows 8/8.1 recovery flash drive by using your Windows key and downloading the 8-16 GB recovery image from Microsoft.

Instructions for finding your key and creating recovery image:
http://dellwindowsreinstallationguide.com/download-microsoft-windows-and-office/download-microsoft-windows/download-windows-8-1-retail-and-oem-iso/

Microsoft site for creating recovery image.
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/create-reset-refresh-media
 
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