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Downgrading from certain versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7 to Windows XP

Windows 7 and Windows Vista downgrade

Lenovo is providing Windows® XP Professional Recovery media and/or Windows Vista Recovery media as a way to downgrade from certain Windows Vista® or Windows® 7 operating systems running on Lenovo Think PCs.

Eligible operating systems include:

  • Microsoft® Windows Vista® Business
  • Microsoft® Windows Vista® Ultimate
  • Microsoft® Windows® 7 Professional
  • Microsoft® Windows® 7 Ultimate

Lenovo customers having a qualified operating system may purchase a Windows XP Recovery CD or Windows Vista Recovery CD by contacting their local Support Center.

Media may not be available for all eligible systems. Distribution of XP/Vista Downgrade Media ends July 31, 2011


  • For Russia, there are special conditions. Please contact phone number 88001007888 for further information.
  • "Qualified systems" are Lenovo notebook and desktop systems purchased with a Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate Windows Vista Business, or Windows Vista Ultimate preloaded operating system.
  • There will be a limit of one Windows XP Recovery CD or Windows Vista Recovery CD set per customer, per serial number for each system series with the qualified preloaded software.
Downgrade Procedures
Before you begin downgrading to Windows XP
Downgrading to Windows XP
When you are ready to reinstall your original preloaded operating system
Additional information

Before you begin downgrading to Windows XP

The Windows XP Recovery CD set provided by Lenovo does not require any on-line activation from Microsoft. It is as if it came on the system's preload and contains all required drivers, language support, and applications in addition to the Windows XP operating system software. See Downgrading to Windows XP for more information about downgrading your system to Windows XP.

Instructions to use the Microsoft Windows XP Conversion Kit or the Recovery Media

Note: As with any downgrade or change from one operating system to another, creating a set of preload image Recovery DVDs or CDs for a system before beginning the downgrade procedure is recommended. The backup preload image should be stored in a safe place for use when reinstallation of the operating system software is required. Find more detailed instructions on creating recovery media using ThinkVantage Rescue and Recovery.

Downgrading to Windows XP
The Windows XP Recovery CD set is bootable and will install the complete preload image of the operating system, drivers, and applications on the system.

IMPORTANT: Please be aware this boot process will reformat the hard drive, remove existing disk partitions, and erase any user data, settings and applications. Again, when changing operating systems, save data on separate media and reinstall any software and data once the system has been downgraded to Windows XP.

When you are ready to reinstall the original operating system
When you are ready to reinstall the original operating system, you will need to prepare applications, data, and settings for migration and store on separate media. It is recommended that the ThinkVantage Systems Migration Assistant utility be used to do this. Find more detailed information on using ThinkVantage System Migration Assistant to transfer system data.

Use the preloaded operating system recovery media that was created prior to downgrading to Windows XP to reinstall the system's preload environment, including Windows Vista. Once that has been completed, reinstall any other applications not provided by Lenovo. Use ThinkVantage System Migration Assistant to migrate data and application settings from the former Windows XP system environment. Find more detailed information on using ThinkVantage System Migration Assistant to migrate system data.

Note: As part of the Windows Vista or Windows 7 reinstall procedure, the Windows XP operating system must be removed from the system hard drive.

Additional Microsoft Information

If you are unable to find what you are looking for, please do try the following options:
1. Lenovo Assisted Search
2. Product usage and general troubleshooting tips
3. Lenovo Support Forum
4. Technical Support Call Centre

Country Availability
Document ID : HT001379
Legacy Document ID : VSTA-DWNGRD
Last Updated : 08 Apr 2013
Copyright © Lenovo 2013, all rights reserved
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