How to Reset a ThinkPad

By Gina Rodrigues

Lenovo ThinkPads feature a hidden utility program that resets the computer to its original factory-installed state. The "Rescue and Recovery" program eliminates the need for an easily misplaced recovery CD. Resetting your ThinkPad involves erasing the hard disk drive and reimaging the drive with the computer's original software and operating system.

Step 1

Click "Start." Select "Shut Down" to turn off your ThinkPad.

Step 2

Wait for five seconds, then depress the "Power" button to turn on your computer.

Step 3

Press the blue "ThinkVantage" button when prompted during the startup process. The screen will read, "To interrupt normal startup, press the blue ThinkVantage button."

Step 4

Click "Restore Your System" at the "Rescue and Recovery" menu.

Step 5

Follow the on-screen prompts to reset your ThinkPad to its original factory settings. The screen prompts will vary depending on your ThinkPad model and the version of "Rescue and Recovery" installed on your computer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Your ThinkPad features an online manual called "Access Help." If you require additional assistance, click "Start" followed by "All Programs," "ThinkVantage" and "Access Help."
  • Ensure that you have enough time to complete the reset process. The recovery program requires up to two hours to complete.