How to Recover a ThinkPad X61

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Your Lenovo ThinkPad X61 laptop has the Rescue and Recovery program installed on a secret hard drive partition directly at the factory. This partition gives the user the ability to erase all of his data and return the operating system back to the factory settings if he can't get his laptop to work properly. The recovery partition can't be accessed through the Windows Start menu like a normal program, but is located through a different method.

  • Close any programs running on the ThinkPad and shut down the operating system. Press the "Power" button and wait for the "To interrupt normal startup, press the blue ThinkVantage button" to load at the bottom of the screen.

  • Press the laptop's blue "ThinkVantage" button. Click "Continue" when the Rescue and Recovery window loads on the screen.

  • Click to select the "Full Restore" option at the bottom end of the screen. Click "OK" when a warning message appears on the screen letting you know all data will be erased permanently.

  • Click "Continue" and click the box named "Factory Recovery." Click the "Restore" button. Click "Yes" and click the "Continue" option.

  • Click "Next" and click the "I Accept the Terms" radio button. Click "Next" three times to erase the hard drive's contents and begin the recovery process.

  • Click "Yes" to reboot the ThinkPad. Click the drop-down menus that appear on the screen to choose your time zone and language settings. Enter the new user name and password you want to use in the text boxes and click "Finish" to load the new operating system.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a USB memory device to save any data you need to keep before running the recovery program. Insert the device in the ThinkPad's USB port and click "Open a folder." Drag any files you want to save into the folder and close the folder's window. Right-click the "Remove Hardware" icon in the lower-right side of the desktop and click "Stop" before removing the USB device.

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