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My new X230… Backup of the factory default state

Filed under: — jimmy @ 1:46 am

Before I started to modify the original setup I wanted to backup a couple of things because I knew, that most of the steps are not straightforward and I might need to get back (To be honest, I had two other Lenovo machines where I tested the steps before I applied them on my X230 ;-) )
I started with creating the recovery media and Lenovo supports to use usb flash media instead of cd recordables, too. But something told me that I should not fully trust the software to create a bootable usb flash drive. Long story short: The software creates an unbootable flash drive if you do not prepare the flash drive before you start the program :(
Have a look at the instructions at Lenovo’s support site. It’s not only a missing boot flag which I set afterwards, there seem to be other constraints, too. The flash drive, which did not work, had a strange partition table, too. On the working flash drive it looked like this:

Disk /dev/sdc: 15.8 GB, 15804137472 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 1921 cylinders, total 30867456 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0×00000000

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sdc1 * 2048 30867455 15432704 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

I assume that the starting cylinder is important.

Usually you can create recovery media only once but there’s a hack to do it again, which is very useful if things go wrong. Open command prompt and type:

echo 0 > Q:\FactoryRecovery\RECOVERY.INI:Done

It’s also a good idea to save the mbr and partition table, e.g.:

dd if=/dev/sda of=mbr-backup-sda.img bs=1 count=512
sfdisk -d /dev/sda > sfdisk-sda-dump.txt
sfdisk -l /dev/sda > sfdisk-sda.txt

(Basically the first command is sufficient but I prefer to have different backups)

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