This is a guide about Lenovo recovery disks for the following versions of Windows: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.

A recovery disk is also known as a restore disc, repair disc, boot disc or rescue disk.

Looking for a recovery disk for Lenovo? Download Easy Recovery Essentials (our recovery and repair disk for Lenovo).

Lenovo Logo

Download alternative recovery disk for Lenovo

If the recovery partition of your computer is corrupt or damaged or you no longer have your recovery DVDs, download Easy Recovery Essentials.

Easy Recovery Essentials works with any Lenovo computer model and it’s compatible with the following Windows versions:

Screenshot of Easy Recovery Essentials

Screenshot of Easy Recovery Essentials

You can burn Easy Recovery Essentials directly to a CD, DVD or a USB flash drive and use the Automated Repair function to automatically find and fix boot errors.

Download Easy Recovery Essentials for Lenovo

Note: Easy Recovery Essentials can not be used to install or reinstall Windows.

Create a recovery disk for Lenovo

Lenovo computers have a hidden partition that can be used for recovery and restore. Some computer models also have a recovery DVD (or recovery USB, in case of Windows 8 users) that can be used for the same process.

Depending on the computer series model and what type of Windows you are using, you can have one of the several recovery software programs installed by Lenovo:

  • Lenovo OneKey Recovery for Idea series models, including laptops and desktops (IdeaPad and IdeaCentre)
  • Lenovo ThinkVantage Rescue and Recovery for Think series models: ThinkPad, ThinkStation, ThinkCentre and Lenovo 3000 models
  • Computers with Windows 8 don’t have the Lenovo ThinkVantage Rescue and Recovery software. Instead it uses a different process for creating a recovery media (USB only) – go to Create the recovery disk for Windows 8 or Restore Windows 8 using the recovery partition or disk.

Create the recovery disk for Windows XP

The instructions for creating the disk with Lenovo OneKey Recovery on Windows XP are below. If you are not sure if your computer uses this software, go to Create a recovery disk for Lenovo.

  1. Start Windows XP
  2. Find the OneKey Recovery icon on your desktop or go to Start > All Programs and find it there
    The OneKey Recovery Software icon

    The OneKey Recovery Software icon

  3. Click Create Recovery Disc
  4. Select Factory default recovery disc
  5. Insert your blank CDs or DVDs. You will need up to 3 DVDs or 17 CDs
  6. Select the drive location to use
  7. The recovery disc creation process will now start. The software will ask you to insert the second disk when the burning process for the first one is finished
  8. Mark each CD or DVD and keep them safe!

The instructions for creating the disk with Lenovo ThinkVantage Rescue and Recovery on Windows XP are below. If you are not sure you’re using the ThinkVantage software, go to Create a recovery disk for Lenovo.

  1. Boot Windows XP
  2. Go to Start
  3. Select All Programs
  4. Find the ThinkVantage folder. If you have a Lenovo 3000 the folder name would be “Lenovo Care”
  5. Click Create Rescue and Recovery Media
  6. At the Recovery Discs tab, select the Create a set of Product Recovery discs now option and click OK
    Create a set of Product Recovery discs in ThinkVantage

    Create a set of Product Recovery discs in ThinkVantage

  7. Insert your CD or DVD and click OK
  8. When the recovery disks are created, you can verify them by inserting the first one in the disk tray, open ThinkVantage again and see if the “You have already created a set of Product Recovery discs” message appears at the Recovery Discs tab.

Create the recovery disk for Windows Vista

The instructions for creating the disk using Lenovo ThinkVantage Rescue and Recovery on Windows Vista are below. If your computer has the OneKey software instead (IdeaPad and IdeaCentre series models), follow the instructions for this software, according to the steps below.

  1. Go to Start and then All Programs
  2. Find the ThinkVantage folder from the list. If you have a Lenovo 3000, the folder name can be “Lenovo Care” instead
  3. Click on Create Product Recovery Media
  4. Check the The Product Recovery discs you are going to create are for use on this computer only. Do you want to proceed? option and click OK
  5. Select your optical drive to use with blank CDs or DVDs
  6. Insert the blank DVD and click OK
  7. Follow the next instructions on the screen to complete the process
  8. When the DVDs are created successfully, label them and keep them safe!

The instructions for using OneKey Recovery on Windows Vista are below. If you are not sure if your computer is using this software, go to Create a recovery disk for Lenovo.

  1. Open OneKey Recovery
    Lenovo OneKey Recovery 7.0 on Windows Vista

    Lenovo OneKey Recovery 7.0 on Windows Vista

  2. Click Create Recovery Disc
  3. Click Factory default recovery disc
  4. Insert your first blank CD or DVD. You will need up to 3 DVDs or 17 CDs
  5. Select your optical drive location to use
  6. The process will now start
  7. After each CD/DVD is successfully created, label them and keep them safe!

Create the recovery disk for Windows 7

Computers with Windows 7 from Lenovo have the ThinkVantage Rescue and Recovery software installed (ThinkPad, ThinkStation etc.), but if your computer series model is an IdeaPad or an IdeaCentre and it has the OneKey software instead, follow the next set of instructions.

The instructions for creating the disk using Lenovo ThinkVantage Rescue and Recovery on Windows 7 are:

  1. Click Start
  2. Start typing factory recovery in the search bar
  3. Find the Lenovo – Factory Recovery Disks item
  4. If the User Account Control window shows up, click Yes
  5. Check the “The recovery media you are going to create can only be used on this system. Do you want to continue?” option and then click OK
  6. Select both Boot Media and Data Media options and click OK
    Boot Media and Data Media options on Lenovo ThinkVantage software

    Boot Media and Data Media options on Lenovo ThinkVantage software

  7. Insert the first blank DVD
  8. Select your optical drive that has the blank DVDs inserted
  9. Click OK and follow the next steps to complete the process
  10. When the DVDs are created, label them and keep them safe!

The instructions for creating the disk using Lenovo OneKey Recovery on Windows 7 are:

  1. Open the OneKey Recovery software either by finding the icon on your desktop or go to Start and then All Programs.
  2. Click Create Recovery Disc and then select Factory default recovery disc
  3. Select the drive location to use and insert the first blank CDs or DVDs. You will need up to 3 DVDs or 17 CDs
  4. The process will now start. Insert the second blank CD or DVD when asked
  5. When the process is complete, label the CDs/DVDs and keep them safe!

Create the recovery disk for Windows 8

If you are using Windows 8, you can only use a USB flash drive to create the recovery media. A minimum 16 GB flash drive is required.

Lenovo doesn’t provide a specific software to create the recovery disk in Windows 8, but you can create it using the Advanced recovery tools option from Windows 8’s Control Panel.

    1. Insert the USB flash drive
    2. Press the Windows key and X
    3. Select Control Panel from the list
    4. Select Recovery from the list
    5. Select Advanced recovery tools
    6. Select Create a recovery drive
Windows 8: Create a recovery drive option

Windows 8: Create a recovery drive option

  1. If the User Account Control (UAC) screen appears, click Yes
  2. Check the “Copy the recovery partition from the PC to the recovery drive” checkbox
  3. Select the USB flash drive from the list
  4. Continue the process and wait for it to finish. It may take up to an hour.
    Wait for the process to finish

    Wait for the process to finish

    Personal files stored on the USB flash drive will be deleted! Backup your files before you continue.

  5. When the process is finished, it will ask you if you want to delete the recovery partition. It’s recommended that you do not delete it as you won’t be able to recover or restore your computer with the USB flash drive in the future
  6. Remove the USB flash drive. You can close the Control Panel window at this point.

Recover a Lenovo using the recovery partition or disk

A Lenovo computer can be recovered and restored using the hidden recovery partition or the recovery disks that you created (or already had).

CDs or DVDs are used for Windows XP, Vista and 7. USB flash drives are used for computers with Windows 8 installed.

Not all series models will have the hidden partition. If you don’t have the recovery partition and neither the recovery disk already at hand, go to Download alternative recovery disk for Lenovo.

Recover Windows XP

IdeaPad and IdeaCentre computers with the OneKey Recovery software installed can follow these instructions to recover and restore Windows XP:

  1. Insert the first recovery CD or DVD in the tray

    If you don’t have the recovery CD or DVD, go to Download alternative recovery disk for Lenovo.

    The Lenovo Rescue and Recovery CD for Windows XP

    The Lenovo Rescue and Recovery CD for Windows XP

  2. Boot your computer
  3. Press F12 several times
  4. In the Boot Manager screen that shows up, select the item with ODD (stands for Optical Disc Drive)
  5. Press Enter to continue with the selection
  6. At the Press any key to boot from CD or DVD message, press any keyboard key to boot from the recovery media
  7. Read the License Agreement and then select the I accept the terms of the license agreement and then click Next
    License agreement message in Lenovo ThinkVantage software

    License agreement message in Lenovo ThinkVantage software

  8. Click OK at the warning message
  9. Click OK when asked to insert the second disk and so on
  10. Wait for the process to finish.

Recover Windows Vista

Windows Vista users can restore their system with ThinkVantage software using the recovery disk with these instructions:

  1. Make sure you have the Rescue & Recovery Startup/Boot Disc CD at hand. Insert it in the tray

    If you don’t have the recovery CD or DVD, go to Download alternative recovery disk for Lenovo.

  2. Power on your computer
  3. When the computer starts to boot, press the F12 key. On Lenovo laptops you may need to click on the ThinkVantage button instead.
  4. At the Boot Menu, navigate using the arrow keys to the first option of the list: ATAPI CD (it can be ATAPI CD0). At this step you need to select the optical drive where you inserted the first disc.
  5. Hit Enter
  6. A progress bar should now appear that mentions “ThinkVantage Technologies
    The progress bar

    The progress bar

  7. When ThinkVantage Rescue and Recovery software loads, click Continue at the “By using this software, you agree to the terms of the license agreement” message
  8. Click on Full Restore
  9. Click Continue on the warning message
  10. Select Factory Restore option from the bottom left
  11. Click Restore
  12. Click Continue to confirm that you understand that all personal data will be lost during this process
  13. Click OK at the “Do not power off during this process” warning message
  14. Click Next
  15. Accept the terms and conditions by clicking the checkbox
  16. Click Next
  17. Insert the remaining CDs/DVDs when asked by the software
  18. When the process is complete, click Yes to restart the computer
  19. Your computer will restart and boot into Windows Vista. Wait for this process to finish
  20. When you see the Set Up Windows screen, the process is complete. You can continue setting up Windows Vista.

Recover Windows 7

The steps to recover a Windows 7 system using the ThinkVantage software are similar to those of Windows Vista:

    1. Insert your first Rescue & Recovery Startup/Boot Disc CD

      If you don’t have the recovery CD or DVD, go to Download alternative recovery disk for Lenovo or follow the next set of instructions from below.

    2. Boot the computer and during the booting process, press the F12 key. On Lenovo laptops you may need to click on the ThinkVantage button instead
      The ThinkVantage button on your laptop

      The ThinkVantage button on your laptop

    3. When the Boot Menu screen appears, go to your optical drive (usually at the top of the list, called ATAPI CD) and hit Enter
    4. The ThinkVantage Technologies name should appear. When the software loads, click Continue at the first window message
    5. Click on Full Restore and then click Continue at the warning message
    6. Make sure the Factory Restore option is selected at the bottom left
    7. Click Restore and then click Continue to confirm that you understand that all personal data will be lost during this process
    8. Click OK at the System will restart to Windows Recovery Environment message

Your computer will reboot

  • Click Next to continue the recover and restore process
  • Make sure the checkbox for the Terms and Conditions agremenet is checked
  • Click Next
  • Click Yes at the warning message about the data loss during this process
  • Wait for the process to finish. When prompted to insert the next DVDs in the tray, do so.
  • When the process is finished, restart your computer (or click Yes).
  • Wait for Windows 7 to begin loading and when the Set Up Windows screen appears, the process is complete
  • Continue setting up Windows 7

 

If you don’t have the DVD, but your computer still has the recovery partition intact, follow these steps:

  1. Boot your computer
  2. Press F11
  3. At the System Recovery Options screen follow the instructions on the screen to reach the Choose a recovery tool screen
  4. At the Choose a recovery tool screen, click on Lenovo Product Recovery
  5. Click Next, after you select your language
  6. Agree to the terms of the license agreement and then click Next
  7. Click Yes to confirm that you understand the data loss involved during this process
  8. Wait for the process to finish.

Recover Windows 8

You can restore a Lenovo computer with Windows 8 installed using the recovery USB created. The instructions are:

  1. Insert the USB recovery media in the USB port

    If you don’t have the recovery USB, go to Download alternative recovery disk for Lenovo or continue with the the next set of instructions.

  2. Restart your computer
  3. Press F12 during booting, before or when the Lenovo logo appears
  4. After the system successfully boots, select your language
  5. Select your keyboard
  6. Select Troubleshoot
  7. Select Reset your PC
  8. Click Next
  9. Select Yes, if you also want to re-partition the drives or No, if you want to keep your existing partitions.A fresh, clean installation should have clean drives. If your hard disk is clean, you can choose any option
  10. Select Fully clean the drive
  11. Click Reset
  12. Wait for the process to finish. When it’s complete, the system will reboot into Windows 8.
  13. When the system reboots, remove the USB recovery media from your USB port

If you don’t have the recovery USB, but your computer still has the recovery partition intact you can follow these steps:

  1. Press the Novo button (on some models you can try pressing F12)
  2. Click on System Recovery
  3. Wait for the computer to boot into the recovery mode
  4. Follow the instructions on the screen to continue with this process

More Information

Support Links

Applicable Systems

This Windows-related knowledgebase article applies to the following operating systems:

  • Windows XP (all editions)
  • Windows Vista (all editions)
  • Windows 7 (all editions)
  • Windows 8 (all editions)
  • Windows 8.1 (all editions)
  • Windows Server 2003 (all editions)
  • Windows Server 2008 (all editions)
  • Windows Server 2012 (all editions)

Applicable Models

This Lenovo-related knowledge base article applies to the following computer models:

  • ThinkPad series, like the ThinkPad Yoga, the ThinkPad Helix or any models from ThinkPad
  • ThinkCentre series, like the M32, M73, M73z, M78, M83, M83 Pro, M93p, M93z
  • IdeaCentre series, like the IdeaCentre K430 or IdeaCentre B540
  • Flex series: Flex 2, Flex 15, Flex 14
  • IdeaPad series: 11S, Y510p, Y410p, U430p
  • Essentials series: G500, G700
  • 11e series: 11e, Yoga 11e
  • A series: A540, A730, A740
  • B series: B350, B550, B750
  • C series: C260, C650
  • E series: E440, E540, E545, E93z
  • G series: G40, G50-30, G50-70, G410, G500, G510, G710
  • H series: H500, H530s
  • K series: K450e
  • L series: L440, L540
  • Q series: Q190
  • S series: S210, S215
  • T series: T440, T440s, T440p, T540p
  • U series: U430p
  • W series: W540
  • X series: X1, X140e, X240
  • Y series: Y40, Y50, Y410p, Y510p
  • Z series: Z40, Z50, Z510, Z710

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