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system restore for IBM Thinkpad T41


kokaik's Avatar
kokaik kokaik is offline
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Location: red planet
27-Jul-2006, 12:56 AM #1
system restore for IBM Thinkpad T41
Hi guys,

need your advise. am going to do a system restore for my office T41 after 3 years, and realized that ibm did not include the CD but was told it's in one of the HDD partition.

I did not know how to do it. anyone can help to enlighten me? thanks in advance.
qldit's Avatar
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27-Jul-2006, 03:37 AM #2
Good Afternoon kokaik, I am not positive about your particular machine, but most often these machines use a program that places an image of the operating system and original programs in a partition at the end of the hard drive.

The destruction manual usually suggests copying this partition to a CD when the machine is initially recieived.

Most often as the machine begins to boot there will be a keystroke command for initiating the restore program.

It may be worth carefully re-reading the manual otherwise you may find your friend Bill will be smiling at you when you have to buy another operating system disk and all the programs that were originally received.

Sometimes the place of purchase are helpful.

If all else fails and you can't afford to be ripped-off by friendly Bill, you may consider a Linux Program, this is similar to windows to operate and a bit more learning is required but it would be free and you wouldn't have the benefit of poor security or need for all the malware protection.

BTW, a Linux program may allow you to inspect your hard drive and assist you to copy any recovery partition to another media if it is neccessary.

Quite obviously there is reason for your enquiry with regard to your present operation, if the machine is virally affected it may require a different consideration.

Cheers, qldit.
kokaik's Avatar
kokaik kokaik is offline
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: red planet
27-Jul-2006, 08:47 PM #3
thanks mate, appreciate your help.

will do a thorough check before performing the task. btw i google and found the following:

The following is from IBM's site:

TP General - Purpose of the non-DOS service partition on the hard disk

IBM ThinkPad systems may come pre-configured with a non-DOS partition
known as the service partition on the hard disk drive. This partition is
used to store original system files necessary to restore the system to
its out of the box condition should the need arise.

Affected configurations
IBM ThinkPad Machine Types:

ThinkPad A21e (2655), A22e, A22m, A22p
ThinkPad A30, A30p, A31, A31p
ThinkPad G40
ThinkPad R30, R31, R32
ThibnkPad R40
ThinkPad R50
ThinkPad T22, T23, T30
ThinkPad T41
ThinkPad X20, X21, X22, X23, X24, X30
ThinkPad i Series 1171

Not all models come with this partition. Most newer models have the
service partition. There are two ways to check your system:

If your machine displays the message "Press F11 to invoke the IBM
Product Recovery Program" or "To start the product recovery program,
press F11" during system startup, then your system has the service
If the instructions located in the User's Guide concerning recovering
preinstalled software state to recover your system by choosing F11 at
bootup, then your system came pre-configured with the service partition.

For systems with the service partition, to restore your system to its
original state, please use the following instructions.


All files on your hard disk drive will be deleted and unrecoverable once
this procedure is initiated.

Please refer to the section on Recovering preinstalled software in your
user's guide before starting this procedure.
During system power on, press the F11 key while the message referencing
to press F11 as noted above in this document is displayed.
Continue to follow the instructions provided on screen.

Additional information
This service partition should not be removed.

Applicable countries and regions

Document id: MIGR-4W5QVB
Last modified: 2003-10-07
Copyright 2003 IBM Corporation
qldit's Avatar
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Member with 3,390 posts.
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Location: Brisbane, Australia.
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28-Jul-2006, 01:44 AM #4
Good Afternoon kokaik, sounds like you have the solution there.
Interestingly this recovery program is probably stored using a different kind of simple operating system apart from MS.

If the hard drive develops a problem all this data may be lost, so you do have some considering to do.

I understand this recovery program is invoked by (in your case the F11 key at boot) which most likely directs the other hidden partition to boot using a small program in the MBR of your hard drive.

Chances are you could also use a floppy or some other media with this boot information to initiate the recovery.

This kind of limits the type of non-factory software utilities you might run that may be prepatory for re-loading your system to preserve the current MBR.

Thanks for the IBM info.

Isn't it exciting how these organisations create so much excitement for the owner by simply not issuing a CD with their product?
The saving would be quite simply a CD.

All these partitions would be visible to a Linux program and should also allow the recovery partition to be copied to a large flashdrive or similar media if you need to.

By the way, running SIW on your current system (if it is functional) should allow you to see the Windows installation key-code, it is a good idea to record all the installation keys on paper just in case you don't need them!

Cheers, qldit.
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