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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2012 7:54 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 1:46 am
Posts: 198
Location: SF, USA
I'm planning on doing a clean Windows 7 Pro install on my new W520, and after consulting some of the existing threads on this and other forums the only remaining question I have is whether or not it should work using Windows 7 Pro upgrade media that I have purchased beforehand? To be clear, I'd still like to use the OEM license on the W520-- so I can keep the purchased (retail) license on my old machine-- and I'm wondering if it should make any difference if I'm just using the disc to install then activating using the OEM key?

I realize I can (legally) download an ISO image and make a bootable disc or USB key, but since I already have the (upgrade) media I'm hoping I can just use that-- is there anything inherently different about the install software on an upgrade disc? Furthermore, it seems like the sure way to go with OEM activation is using this ABR tool to backup and restore activation files; does anyone have any experience using this utility?


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 12:35 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:51 pm
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Location: Singapore
I've got no experience with using upgrade media for a clean installation, but one alternative I can suggest is to download the .ISOs from this thread below for your clean install:

http://forum.notebookreview.com/windows-os-software/604187-legal-download-digitalriver-windows-7-sp1-13-languages.html

I've personally used the 64-bit version from here and can vouch for its legitimacy.

As for ABR, it's also what I use exclusively to backup my OEM activations. In fact, I've got a USB thumbdrive with the activations from my various Thinkpads all saved on it. It works perfectly.

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Main PC: ThinkPad W520, i7-2760QM, Intel 520 SSD 240GB, 8GB RAM, Nvidia Quadro 1000M

Home rig: ThinkPad W701, i7-920XM, Intel 320 SSD 300GB, 8GB RAM, Nvidia Quadro FX2800M

NAS PC: ThinkPad T420, i7-2620M, Intel 520 SSD 180GB, 8GB RAM, Nvidia NVS 4200M


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 2:49 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 1:46 am
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Location: SF, USA
thanks skie that's really helpful. I think I will just go ahead and use to ISO to install as you indicated. as far as using ABR for OEM activation, is there anything I should know as far as the overall install procedure? for example, do you just initially enter the key from the bottom of your ThinkPad when prompted and keep the "activate automatically online" option checked and then use ABR once the install is complete, or do you install as a trial and then activate?


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 1:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:51 pm
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Hi,

When you download the program, there should be 2 executables: 'abr_backup', and 'abr_restore' (or something to that effect).

All you need to do is ensure that your Windows is already activated on that machine (OEM activation). Once you run 'abr_backup', it will backup your activation key to a file in the same directory as your executable.

With this done, you can go ahead and install using the Windows ISO. Once installation is complete, skip the step that asks you to enter a Windows key. Stick the same thumbdrive in, and run 'abr_restore'. It will restore your OEM activation using the key backed up in the previous step.

Activation using the key from the bottom of your Thinkpad is a separate, different procedure that sometimes involves making a phonecall to an automated Microsoft system. Personally with ABR I've never had the need to do that.

Hope the above is of help! I speak from experience that ABR is a perfect tool for backup of OEM activations.

_________________
Main PC: ThinkPad W520, i7-2760QM, Intel 520 SSD 240GB, 8GB RAM, Nvidia Quadro 1000M

Home rig: ThinkPad W701, i7-920XM, Intel 320 SSD 300GB, 8GB RAM, Nvidia Quadro FX2800M

NAS PC: ThinkPad T420, i7-2620M, Intel 520 SSD 180GB, 8GB RAM, Nvidia NVS 4200M


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 3:30 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2006 1:46 am
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great thanks so much skie. last question: do you use that Microsoft USB/DVD tool to prepare the downloaded ISO for install?


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 3:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:51 pm
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Location: Singapore
No, I did not use the Microsoft USB tool, I simply prepped the USB drive by running diskpart on it, then copied the contents of the ISO over (don't forget to delete ei.cfg so that you can install any version using the same thumbdrive).

However I am 100% sure that the Microsoft tool will work just as well (after all they DID make the OS!) so I wouldn't worry about that!

_________________
Main PC: ThinkPad W520, i7-2760QM, Intel 520 SSD 240GB, 8GB RAM, Nvidia Quadro 1000M

Home rig: ThinkPad W701, i7-920XM, Intel 320 SSD 300GB, 8GB RAM, Nvidia Quadro FX2800M

NAS PC: ThinkPad T420, i7-2620M, Intel 520 SSD 180GB, 8GB RAM, Nvidia NVS 4200M


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:13 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:10 am
Posts: 2
Location: singapore
Hi Skie,

COuld you help me on the below problem?


I just bought a T430 laptop lat month, During the process of running the lenovo recovery tool (OEM backup), i accidently stopped the process. when i tried to re-initiate the process it is not working. What should i do to go to the initial state and create the recovery disk.

Please suggest. thanks.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:03 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:51 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Singapore
Hey write2ib,

your message is pretty old now so I assume you've probably found a solution elsewhere. What error are you getting from the R&R program, when attempting to create the recovery discs? The R&R program only allows you to make 1 set of recovery discs.

_________________
Main PC: ThinkPad W520, i7-2760QM, Intel 520 SSD 240GB, 8GB RAM, Nvidia Quadro 1000M

Home rig: ThinkPad W701, i7-920XM, Intel 320 SSD 300GB, 8GB RAM, Nvidia Quadro FX2800M

NAS PC: ThinkPad T420, i7-2620M, Intel 520 SSD 180GB, 8GB RAM, Nvidia NVS 4200M


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:12 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2008 8:26 pm
Posts: 307
Location: Kingston, RI
FWIW, I had a slightly similar situation where I needed to rebuild a Dell that came with Vista Business x32. I was able to download and install from the retail Vista x64 image. Wouldn't activate automatically, but it took me under 6 minutes to phone in and type in a bunch of numbers and get an activation code back. (It would have been faster except I decided I might want a picture of the new activation code and my camera was buried on my desk. They probably have a time window on those codes anyway.)

So I guess what I'm saying is that the phone activation was no big deal and might even be less painful than dealing with something like that ABR tool. Looking at its page, it seemed like there were a lot of questions people were having about how to get it to work. But I didn't really have a choice as the hard drive had failed.

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W520 (2820QM, Q2000M, FHD, mSATA SSD, dock)
Previous: T61p (died 1m past warranty :-(), Dell 8600, iBook ("Dual USB"), Gateway Millennium, Macintosh G4 , PowerPC Mac clone, Mac Duo 210, iBook (clamshell), Quadra 630, Mac IIsi, C-128, C-64, Vic-20


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