How to create another set of ThinkPad recovery media (tested on T510)

Lenovo, in their infinite wisdom, have changed how they store the fact that the recovery image has already been created in newer versions of their recovery software. Amusingly they have not bothered to correct the “Microsoft Window” typo as well!

Process Monitor reveals that recovburncd.exe reads the file Q:\FactoryRecovery\RECOVERY.INI:DONE before bugging out. The colon indicates the use of an alternate File Stream. After a recovery image has been created, this stream contains the string 1\r\n. Deleting the stream does not work, but replacing the stream contents with the string 0\r\n works. This can be done from the command prompt:

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


Lenovo – You can have only one copy of the Microsoft Windows operating system.

Lenovo notebooks come with Factory Recovery Disks creation software. This allows you to create recovery disk in case you want to re install the notebook other than from the local hard disk. You can create the recovery discs on CD/DVD, memory disk or USB hard disk.

Attention: The USB hard disk will be formatted and you loose all the data!

It takes a long time to prepare the creation of the recovery media. Everything is copied into c:\swshare before then it gets copied to the external source you selected.

You can do this only one time! If you want to create the recovery disks more than once, you get a message:

You can have only one copy of the Microsoft Windows operating system. The Product Recovery Media Creator will exit now.

This is the workaround for this problem:

All you need it in the Lenovo_Recovery disk. In my case its drive letter Q:\ If i click on this drive in the explorer it show you nothing cause the content is hidden!

1. Open the Explorer and then click Organize -> Folder and search options
2. In window Folder Options click tab View
3. Now enable Show hidden files, folders, and drives and then click OK The option of Hide     operating system files should be made unchecked and then you’ll be able to see the files.
4. Click on the Lenovo_Recovery drive, in my case drive Q:\
5. Here is every thing needed to create the recovery disks!
6. Edit the file FactoryRecovery\service_done.ini
7. Change the string DONE=1 to DONE=0 and exit the editor saving the changes

You can now recreate the Factory Recovery Disks

Have fun, always backup data before restoring any disks!