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Partitioning and Drive Performance
Preparation and Factory Recovery Media
I'm including this for consistency with earlier write-ups, but there isn't much to report. I didn't set this machine up multi-boot so I didn't need to repartition. Maintaining a multi-boot environment (and preserving the ThinkVantage service partition bootability - see T61 Partitioning) is just too much thrash. On this machine I just run Windows Vista Business 32 (after trying XP Pro and Vista Ultimate) and a flock of virtual machines in VMWare to support my Linux and Solaris requirements.
There was a little indirect partition management via Vista when I deleted the recovery image. The Vista installation on this laptop involves three partitions: C (SW_PRELOAD), S (SERVICE), and Q (RECOVERY IMAGE). The C partition contains the actual Vista installation. S contains the bootable Lenovo/IBM rescue and recovery utility software, and Q contains the full factory restore image that S can use to restore the machine to factory state.
The user can elect to delete the Q partition (in Explorer or Disk Management) and add the freed space to the C partition. Before doing this you MUST create a set of factory recovery media. These machines don't come with recovery media for the installed operating system. They may include media for an alternate OS - XP Pro if Vista is loaded or Vista if XP Pro is loaded - if XP Pro downgrade option was purchased with the machine - but won't have media for whatever is already on the hard drive.
Use the installed back-up utility to make a set of recovery CD/DVDs before doing anything else! Even if you don't intend to delete the Q partition. Otherwise you get to purchase recovery media from Lenovo when your machine (inevitably) needs re-imaging. If/when you try to delete the Q partition you should be prompted to create factory recovery media. To create recovery media manually use
"Start" -> All Programs -> ThinkVantage -> Create Product Recovery Media
This should produce a CD and a pair of single-sided DVDs (or one CD and one DVD-DL, or a whole bunch of CDs). The first disk is the recovery software, and the following disks are the factory image.
This process makes the media for restoring to "as-shipped" state. Use a different set of tools to create a recovery image of your machine after configuring to your taste and installing your required programs - or to take a recovery snapshot at any point. You can use either an external hard dive or burned optical media for this purpose. To make bootable recovery images on either kind of media is a two-step process. First create bootable rescue media. This burns a bootable CD containing the rescue and recovery utilities or puts them on a bootable hard drive:
"Start" -> All Programs -> ThinkVantage -> Create Recovery Media
The next step actually saves an image of your configured Windows operating system to your choice of media:
"Start" -> All Programs -> ThinkVantage -> Rescue and Recovery
Launch Advanced Rescue and Recovery -> Set Schedule and Preferences
to select external hard drive or internal/external CD/DVD burner. While there, you may want to turn off scheduled backups. This tends to be on by default and does backups to a hidden folder in the C: drive. It will gradually use a great deal of disk space, so I turn it off and do my backups manually to external media.
Partitioning and Drive Upgrade
The factory 160G drive's three partitions looked like this:
SERVICE V003 (S:) 1.46G 707M free (rescue and recovery partition)
SW_PRELOAD (C:) 137G 114G free (main OS)
LENOVO (Q:) 9.766G 3.36 free (factory full recovery image)
The original 160G 7200RPM hard drive was replaced by a Hitachi 320GB 7200RPM drive. My as-configured system was moved to the new drive by using the process above. I put the R&R utilities on an external hard drive and saved a full backup image to it. I then removed the old hard drive, installed the new one, and booted the external hard drive. It was simple and relatively quick to install the saved image to the new drive. There are other, 3rd-party tools that can clone drives and save images - a little more information here: T400 Other Issues.
The only wrinkle was a bug in the R&R utility that can cause a restore to a completely blank new drive to fail. The restore will run to completion but on booting the new drive one is left with a black screen and blinking cursor. Lenovo has a work-around here:
"When performing a Rescue and Recovery restore from a USB or second hard drive to a completely blank internal hard drive, the system responds with either a blinking cursor or an "Operating system not found" error."
(In BIOS, change the Serial ATA setting (SATA) from 'AHCI' or 'Enhanced' mode to 'Compatibility' mode. Run the restore process again. Go back into BIOS and switch the setting back to AHCI mode.)
Another way around is to make sure the drive isn't blank before starting the restore process. I use a Knoppix or other live CD to create and format a partition on the new drive. This will get overwritten during the restore and it doesn't seem to matter what it is or what size it is.
For completeness, here is what Linux Fdisk sees on the upgraded 320G drive after the Q partition was deleted and the space added to C:. The warnings about partitions not ending on cylinder boundaries are troubling - but Vista seems happy.
Disk /dev/sda: 320.0 GB, 320072933376 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 38913 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xaa0bc120
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 192 1536000 7 HPFS/NTFS
Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda2 192 38914 311032832 7 HPFS/NTFS
Partition 2 does not end on cylinder boundary.
I didn't test the performance of the original 160G 7200 RPM drive. The new 320G 7200RPM Hitachi drive seems fast, runs cool, and doesn't make any noise. I used to go with Seagate exclusively, but after my experiece with excessive vibration with a Seagate drive upgrade in mhy T61, I have converted to Hitachi.
Here is screenshot of a drive performace test of the Hitachi unit taken with HD Tune.
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