How to Recover a Lenovo Thinkpad

By Ty Arthur

Your Lenovo Thinkpad laptop comes with a recovery disc that can be used to completely wipe the hard drive and restore it to its original factory settings in the event of an emergency. The recovery process is a last resort that should only be undertaken if you cannot fix the problem with your operating system in any other way. If your system is beyond repair due to multiple virus programs or other serious issues, the recovery disc is the quickest way to get your Thinkpad back to working condition.

Things You'll Need

  • Thinkpad recovery disc

Step 1

Insert the recovery disc that came with your Lenovo Thinkpad into the laptop's disc drive. Restart the Thinkpad's operating system.

Step 2

Wait for the "Rescue and Recovery" screen to appear and then click "Continue." Click the "Full Restore" option. With some models in the Thinkpad line the option will instead be labeled "Restore Your System."

Step 3

Click "Continue" and then select "System Restore." Choose "Continue" and then click "OK." With some models you will also need to click the radio button labeled "I do not want to save any files" before clicking "OK."

Step 4

Choose "Next" and then click the "I Accept" button. Click "OK" to restart the Lenovo Thinkpad. With some models you will also be prompted to insert a secondary recovery disc. Insert the disc if prompted and follow the on-screen instructions.

Step 5

Wait for the recovery process to finish and click "Yes." Follow the instructions on the screen to set up your operating system by creating a new profile and choosing the correct time zone and date information.

Tips & Warnings

  • Your Lenovo Thinkpad may not automatically be set up to boot from the recovery CD. If the "Rescue and Recovery" screen does not appear, restart the laptop and press "F1" repeatedly. Scroll over to "Startup" and then highlight "Boot." Press "Enter" and then choose "CD Drive." Press "F10" and then restart the Thinkpad again.
  • If you don't have the recovery disc, you can still recover your Thinkpad. Restart the computer and press the "F11" key when the Lenovo logo appears on the screen to access the recovery partition and load the "Rescue and Recovery" menu.
  • Before starting the system restore process, you should save the files you want to keep to an external storage device.