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I installed Ubuntu onto my Thinkpad W530 awhile back via USB but now I need to get windows back on the machine and possibly dual boot Ubuntu instead. I have the recovery CD's for windows 8, I am just not sure how to go about restoring the laptop back to factory fresh.

Doesn't seem like there is a F11 recovery partition anymore either.

marked as duplicate by Richard, Eliah Kagan, bcbc, v2r, Kaz Wolfe Oct 20 '14 at 7:31

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You probably deleted your recovery partition during the Ubuntu installation. This can happen if you choose the "Use entire disk" option when installing. The Windows 8 recovery CD's may restore these partitions if they are branded with the OEM manufacturer of your computer (Lenovo).

Unfortunately, using these restore disks will completely re-partition the disk, destroying all data that is currently on it. Therefore, if you want to dual boot you will have to make a backup of some things in Ubuntu before proceeding.

This can be done by repartitioning an external drive, for example, with an EXT4 partition using gparted-pkexec. EXT4 is needed in order to preserve file permissions and ownership. Copying the necessary files to an NTFS or FAT32 partition made with Windows or shipped by default on most externals will not work.

NOTE: /media/[username]/[external partition UUID or label] needs some replacements. After you create a new EXT4 partition on an external drive, it will be assigned a random UUID (or label if you chose to label it in gparted-pkexec). Once you plug in the drive it will be mounted to a place like /media/tony/1961fe96-3398-4094-94af-6445c4a8b9fc.

  1. You will need to back up your home folder(s) in order to migrate your settings to a new Ubuntu installation after reinstalling Windows.

    sudo rsync -av /home/ /media/[username]/[external partition UUID or label]/

  2. Additionally, you'll probably want to make a list of installed packages as well so you can restore them later

    echo -e '#!/bin/bash\n\nsudo apt-get install ' $(comm -23 <(apt-mark showmanual | sort -u) <(gzip -dc /var/log/installer/initial-status.gz | sed -n 's/^Package: //p' | sort -u) | awk '{printf("%s ",$0)}') > /media/[username]/[external partition UUID or label]/packages.sh;chmod +x /media/[username]/[external partition UUID or label]/packages.sh

  3. Also, if you've many any changes to configuration files in /etc, you may want to back those up as well.

  4. Finally, you can install Windows 8 using the recovery CD's.

  5. After using the recovery disks to re-install Windows 8, the first thing you should do before installing any software is go to the Disk Management tool in the Control Panel->System and Security->Administrative Tools->Computer Management and then click Disk Management. Find your C: drive and resize it as small as it will go, but leave as much space at the end as you need for other applications. The remaining space will be used for Ubuntu.

  6. After this process, reboot the computer with the Ubuntu USB inserted.

  7. When Ubuntu asks, tell it you want to install it alongside Windows 8.

  8. Wait for the installation to finish and reboot into Ubuntu

  9. In Ubuntu, open a terminal and run

    sudo rsync -a /media/[username]/[external partition UUID or label]/home/ /home/
  10. Copy over the /etc config files if applicable

  11. Restore your old packages with this command (be patient, they'll have to be re-downloaded):

    sudo ./media/[username]/[external partition UUID or label]/packages.sh
  12. Now, your Ubuntu should be back as it was and it is installed alongside Windows 8!


Try booting up off of the recovery CD, and that may have a installer on it. You may also be able to contact the manufacturer (Lenovo I believe, not positive, although I'm sure you know XD), and ask them for a installer (they'll probably want your serial and proof of purchase).

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