Showing posts from June, 2016

Deploying Windows 7 to new NVMe drives

When new laptops such as the ThinkPad P50 started showing up with NVMe drives, many people ran into issues when they tried to use their typical deployment process to apply Windows 7.  The gotchas that folks weren't aware of at the time were:
NVMe drives only work when the computer is configured for UEFI bootBased on #1, NVMe drives need to be formatted GPT instead of MBRThe original Windows 7 SP1 install source files do not include support for NVMe drivesTo get around these and successfully deploy Windows 7 the computer had to be configured for UEFI with CSM support.  This provides an emulator layer on top of UEFI to provide support for the older OS.  When UEFI is enabled, the 64-bit version of Windows 7 is required - cannot support 32-bit with UEFI.

Additionally, instead of deploying Windows 7 SP1 original bits, you have to deploy a captured WIM of Windows 7 SP1 which has been updated to include the Microsoft supplied NVMe drivers (…

Intro to Update Retriever and ThinInstaller

What is Update Retriever/ThinInstaller?Lenovo provides these free utilities for managing a local repository of device drivers and software updates for Lenovo machines.  They work together to identify and install applicable updates, either from the local hard disk or from a network share.
Update Retriever allows you to create a list of Machine Type and OS pairs to search on.  What is a machine type you ask?  Good question, because most people might think it is the sub-series name like T440 or X240.  Actually the machine type is the first four numbers/letters in the product identifier.  For instance, a T440 may have a product identifier of 20B6007RAD so the machine type would be 20B6.
With Update Retriever you perform a search with 20B6 and Windows 7 as the criteria and you end up with a list of updates that are applicable to these two data points.  Select the ones you want and Update Retriever downloads them to a folder that you have specified as your repository.  This cou…

Think Deployment Resource Center

The best starting point for finding resources for your IT team tasked with custom imaging Lenovo PCs is the Think Deployment Resource Center.  From this page you can link to the following key resources:
Deployment Recipe Cards:  These one-page documents list the key details needed when imaging a brand new model - everything from WMI queries to use for driver package targeting to silent install commands for required Hardware Applications.  This greatly reduces the time spent collecting this information on your own.Driver Packs:  These self-extracting executables provide the model-specific hardware device drivers in a format that can easily be imported into your OS deployment solution such as SCCM and/or MDT. Resources for Deployment Engineers:  Here you will find links to useful resources such as the Enterprise Client Management forum where you can ask questions specific to deploying Lenovo PCs.  You will also find links to helpful documentation and guides.Community Tools:  …