ThinkPad Hidden Service Partition (HPA)

When I boot into the XP-Setup program (Blue-screen text-based setup-install), with the intention to install XP, .. The ‘setup’ program will inform me that ‘setup did not find any hard disk’, which is simply incorrect. Instead, I have installed the Windows 7 RC for now.

FROM article – Disable and Remove ThinkPad Hidden Service Partition – at

ThinkPad service partition is a non-DOS partition Hidden Protected Area (HPA). This partition is used to store original system files necessary to restore the system to its out of the box (factory) condition. To know if your ThinkPad system has service partition, there are two ways to check:

* If your machine displays the message “Press F11 to invoke the Product Recovery Program” or “To start the product recovery program, press F11? during system start-up, then your system has the service partition.
* If the instructions located in the User’s Guide concerning recovering preinstalled software
state to recover your system by choosing F11 at boot-up, then your system came preconfigured with the service partition.

LENOVO Provide – How to use the pre-boot service partition to recover your software

Which was useful, .. (Tested recently) – But getting XP installed will require some alternative approach, to remove the ‘Vista-Biz’ – which is somehow denying access to the harddisk for the XP-Setup program.

About grdanson

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