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New or used USB memory keys or USB flash drives require an active partition created from within Windows Vista or Windows 7 prior to making the Windows 7 Recovery media on the USB key - ThinkPad


With new Lenovo Thinkpads with Windows 7 preloads, the option to create the recovery media onto USB keys is now available. The new USB drives need to have an Active partition on the drive prior to creation of the recovery media. If the partition on the USB drive was created with Windows XP or any prior windows operating system, then the USB drive will fail to boot successfully, thus resulting in unusable recovery media.


Affected configurations

Any of the following ThinkPad systems with a Windows 7 preloads in 32-bit or 64-bit versions:

  • L410 and L510
  • R400, R500
  • SL410, SL510
  • T400, T400s, T410, T500, T510
  • W500, W510, W700, W700ds
  • X100e, X200, X200s, X200 Tablet, X301




The steps below will absolutely delete ALL information on the USB drives Permanently. Be sure the data on the USB drive is backed up PRIOR to performing the following steps.

  1. Insert USB drive.
  2. Open Computer, via Windows Start button, the Computer link is on right menu to verify drive is seen. The drive will be listed under the Devices with Removable Storage.
  3. Launch Diskpart by clicking the Windows Start Button and typing diskpart in the Search Programs and Files dialog box. Clicking OK if prompted.
  4. At the DISKPART> prompt ,
  5. Type list disk verify USB disk by size. (e.g., usually disk 1, but depends on the total number of fixed disks).
  6. Type select disk x (where x is the USB drive verified in step 5).
  7. Type clean
    Note: This process is irreversible, ALL the data on the USB drive will be permanently destroyed.
  8. Type create partition primary.
  9. Type active
  10. Type exit
    Now the USB drive must be formatted with Windows 7 or Windows vista before making the Windows 7 recovery media.
  11. Open Computer via Windows Start Menu.
  12. Right click removable drive in my computer and select format, and make the following selections:
    1. File System: NTFS
    2. Select quick format
    3. volume label should be blank
      click Start to begin and then Yes to continue after format is complete. Now the Lenovo Create Factory Recovery disks application can be launched.
  13. Launch Lenovo Thinkvantage Tools via Windows Start Button.
  14. Select Factory Recovery Disks.
  15. Follow the instructions to create the recovery media, making sure to have check marks in both Boot Media and Data Media, and select the USB drive from the pull down menu.

  • Alias ID: MIGR-74246
  • Document ID: HT002724
  • Last Updated :17 Jun 2014
  • (c) 2014 Lenovo