How do I reset my Lenovo Thinkpad T430 to factory settings?

Rebecca Z July 6, 2013
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I wanted to try the Windows 8.1 Preview so I created a VHD and installed it on there. When I installed the preview, I used a clean install. When I powered the computer on the next day, there were no boot options to switch between my Windows 8 OS and the preview. Somehow the VHD got deleted and I was left with only the preview.

I do not have the installation disc or a system repair disc. I only created a recovery disc. So all my Lenovo settings are gone. I cannot even refresh or reset the laptop. It tells me to insert the installation disc or recovery disc, but that is not possible, I do have recovery partitions, but I do not know how to get to the partitions.

Can anyone tell me how I may be able to do a factory reset? Thanks!

  1. Tsf O
    August 29, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Belvedere from one of Lifehacker's editors is a very handy and easy to use tool you can specify the folder from which you intend to delete and the time span after which they should be deleted the download link is avialable below:

  2. Rebecca Z
    July 7, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    If I get the recovery discs from Lenovo, would the discs cost the same amount if the computer is still under warranty?

  3. Rebecca Z
    July 6, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    I am still trying to figure this out. I pressed the f11 key at bootup, but it skips right to the os. What should I do?

    • Bruce E
      July 7, 2013 at 12:50 am

      Either you are hitting F11 too late or your recovery partition no longer exists. I would suspect the former. You need to be quick on the F11 key and you may need to hit it a couple of times since it has to be after the keyboard has posted (otherwise the system won't see the keystroke), but before the bootloader gets control of the system (whch is really fast with Win8).

      If you can't get in that way, if you created recovery DVDs when you got the system, you can boot from them to restore your system to its out-of-box configuration.

  4. Oron J
    July 6, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    Bruce's answer is (as always) the textbook solution, but if for whatever reason it does not work, you can contact Lenovo and get recovery discs for the system. They may charge you for them, but that' better than being stuck!

  5. Hovsep A
    July 6, 2013 at 8:00 am

    partition find and mount
    see if windows is hidden

  6. Jan F
    July 6, 2013 at 6:36 am

    I'm not sure I can fully follow your steps. You said you installed Win 8.1 preview into the VHD ~ so if the VHD is gone you should still be able to boot Windows 8.

    The only other thing I can think of is that you (accidentally) replaced your boot configuration data from Windows 8 with the one from Windows 8.1

    Anyway, once booted into Windows 8.1 look for the drive (letter) where your Windows 8 installation resides. Then open up an elevated command prompt and type "bcdboot :windows". This should put the Windows 8 boot option back into the boot menu.

    If the recovery partition is still present you should be able to boot from it by pressing F11 before the Windows boot (or F12, I'm not 100% sure).

    Assuming the system repair disc was created using Windows it will only boot to the "System Recovery Options" menu of Windows. It does not even contain installation files to perform a repair or restore of Windows.

    You'd need a Lenovo Recovery Disk or a system image created within Windows.

    • Jan F
      July 6, 2013 at 6:37 am

      another try on the command "bcdboot x:windows"

    • Bruce E
      July 6, 2013 at 10:34 pm

      The BCD is only going to have a single entry for this. Based on the information given by OP, a step was skipped during the installation of the Preview (before destination selection, opening up cmd prompt and using diskpart to attach the VHD to the system), so the original Win8 installation was either upgraded to the preview or overwritten by it instead of having a side-by-side install into the VHD.

  7. Bruce E
    July 6, 2013 at 2:52 am

    Make sure you have all of the data you want to keep backed up onto another medium as this will return your system to the condition it was in when you first unboxed it.

    Turn on the power and press the F11 key to enter the recovery process. Just follow the prompts and it will restore your system to its original state.

    If your system has the ThinkVantage software installed on it, you can also boot into the OS and run the Recovery Media application from there to start the recovery process. It should reboot your computer directly to the hidden recovery partition and begin the restoration program.

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