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Performing a Clean Windows 7 Installation on the Lenovo X1 Carbon

February 13, 2013

I recently replaced my Apple MacBook Air with a Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch.  The model I ordered had a preinstalled SanDisk (SD5SG2256G1052E) 256GB Solid State Drive.  Once formatted the usable drive space is 238.5 GB however the factory image which includes Office 2010, a 1.46 GB SYSTEM_DRV, and an 8 GB hibernation partition leaves little space remaining.  As a result I have decided to perform a clean installation of Windows 7 Professional x64 to maximize disk space.

Note: To remove the 8 GB partition you must use diskpart.  By removing this partition you disable have Intel Rapid Start Technology, see Considerations to deploy Intel Rapid Start Technology.

Prior to any system modification I highly recommend you create Recovery Disks, they are not included by default.  Simply press the Windows key, and type in “Rescue” in the search bar. Select “Rescue & Recovery“, then click Factory Recovery Disks.  You will need three CD-Rs.  Now is also a good time to copy the C:\SWTOOLS directory onto a USB stick, you will need at least a 4 GB stick for the Drivers folder.  Next download Belarc Advisor to copy down the Product Key for your Windows 7 installation and your Office 2010 Installation (if installed).  Note: Upon initial installation use the USB 2.0 port (right-side) as the USB 3.0 driver will not be installed.

I have the Lenovo Portable DVD Burner DB60 and the latest copy of Windows 7 Professional x64  on CD, however if you do not have an external DVD drive you can use the Microsoft USB/DVD Download Tool to create bootable media.

Once Windows 7 operating system has successfully been installed, open Device Manager and update drivers on the Unknown Devices.  When all devices have a driver installed, download the latest version of Lenovo’s ThinkVantage System Update.

When the system is completed, consider using an imaging tool such as Macrium Reflect FREE Edition.  I use a 16 GB SanDisk USB stick for the Macrium Reflect utility, and there is enough free space to hold the image of my X1 Carbon.

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