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Windows® 8.1 Upgrade Guide

This document describes the steps for installing the Microsoft Windows® 8.1 operating system on supported IdeaCentre systems. This document also contains hints and tips, and limitations found during testing of Windows® 8.1 on supported IdeaCentre systems.

In some cases, this document will suggest that you take certain steps before installing or upgrading to Windows® 8.1. Therefore, it is recommended that you read the entire document before installing Windows® 8.1, then follow the instructions provided.

Lenovo provides the drivers, information, and any related documentation or services "AS IS," without warranties of any kind, express or implied, including THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, NON-INFRINGEMENT AND SUITABILITY FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, SO THE ABOVE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU. IN THAT EVENT, SUCH WARRANTIES ARE LIMITED IN DURATION AND SCOPE TO THE GREATEST EXTENT ALLOWED BY LAW. Lenovo's warranties, if any, for newly purchased Lenovo hardware products are as stated in the applicable Lenovo Limited Warranty, and for Lenovo licensed programs are as stated in the applicable Lenovo Program License Agreement. This document may include technical inaccuracies and omissions, or typographical errors.


1. Model compatibility

To ensure that your computer model is eligible for this upgrade, go to: While upgrading your computer operating system, the Windows® 8.1 setup program will scan your computer to check if it is ready. By viewing the results of the scan operation, you can review issues that might prevent you from upgrading to Windows® 8.1.

  • IdeaCentre can only support its current preloaded hardware and software configuration. Therefore, depending on the specific configuration, it might not be recommended to upgrade your computer as some hardware issues currently cannot be resolved.

2. Impact on hardware components and settings

The operating system may lose some functionality after upgrading, and you may experience some software issues. In this case, installing the latest Windows updates, drivers, and applications may help to fix these issues.

Also, some peripherals may not be compatible with Windows® 8.1.

Upgrading to Windows® 8.1 (X86 X64)

Upgrading to Windows® 8.1 may affect the following components and functions:

  • Ambient Light Sensor (ALS)
  • Audio
  • Bluetooth
  • Brightness
  • Camera
  • Display
  • Graphic
  • Hotkey
  • Intel Rapid Storage Technology (IRST)
  • RapidDrive
  • OSD
  • TV Tuner
  • Peripheral compatibility
  • Sensor
  • Touchpad
  • Windows Recovery Environment (WRE)
  • Wireless
  • USB port
  • User Interface
  • Other components and functions

The table below gives some examples of critical issues and tips on how to resolve them.

Bluetooth/Wireless does not work properly (yellow exclamation point in Device Manager or certain functions unavailable). Go to the Lenovo support Web site at to download new Bluetooth/Wireless.
Hotkeys on keyboard do not work, or there is a driver issue, or a yellow exclamation point appears in Device Manager. Go to the Lenovo support Web site at to download new drivers.
On the Traditional desktop, a USB camera installed after purchase will not work when Kingsoft Duba is running. Uninstall Kingsoft Duba.
OSD cannot be used to adjust system volume. Go to the Lenovo support Web site at to download new drivers.
After upgrading Flex 20, sensor issues are experienced. For example, when Flex 20 is laid flat, the Aura can’t run automatically. Go to the Lenovo support Web site at to download new sensor firmware.
  • After upgrading, the Bluetooth can’t be used on IdeaCentre B345 and IdeaCentre B545.
  • If you upgrade using retail Windows® 8 or directly from Windows® 7, some features may be disabled or unavailable, for example multi-touch imput, PBR, Security Boot and Lenovo app store.
  • Other affected functions may include Hotkeys, Brightness function, etc.

Windows® 8.1 design limitations by Microsoft

As Windows® 8.1 is a new operating system, certain behaviors are as-designed, and are not upgrade issues. The following are some examples:

  • The appearance of random characters during installation is normal, and will stop when the whole upgrade process is finished.
  • No Windows Experience Index (WEI) system performance value item will exist after upgrading.
  • Windows® 8.1 will introduce some new applications, so the user interface, such as the Start screen, may be different.
  • When your computer connects to an AP and you right-click the Service Set Identifier (SSID), you cannot reset the SSID and the estimated usage 0MB since a moment ago message appears.
  • Dim the display does not display in the edit plan settings. This new behavior is designed for Windows® 8.1. Dimming will be set to occur 15 seconds before display off.
  • After upgrading from Windows® 7 to Windows® 8.1, “S3” will no longer be available as a power option. This is normal because changing from Windows® 7 to Windows® 8.1 is only an upgrade and does not migrate your current drivers. You can go to the vendor site or Windows Update to install a working driver.
  • The Start screen offers two more levels of flexibility for layouts and tile sizing. Not all apps support all four sizes.
  • When you install a new app, its icon will be pinned in the All Apps view. It will only appear on the Start screen if you explicitly pin it there.
  • To customize a tile in Windows® 8, you can nudge it up or down to select it, and then change its size, unpin it, uninstall it, and so on. That nudge gesture is no longer supported in Windows® 8.1. The "edit" mode is now invoked by the more traditional long press.
  • The Start screen does not change with the DPI setting.
  • Windows® 8.1 cannot search ad-hoc wireless.
  • Windows® 8.1 shows the Windows® 8 logo in System Properties.
  • Airplane mode, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth can be activated at the same time in Windows® 8.1.
  • There is no desktop tile on the Start screen after upgrading to Windows® RT 8.1.
Note: If you change the language of your operating system during the upgrade, all of the software on your computer will be lost. For example, if your operating system is currently in Chinese and you change to an English version during the upgrade, upon completion your computer will only contain the basic operating system without any other software applications. You will therefore need to install any required or desired software yourself manually.

3. Application limitations

Applications that should be uninstalled before upgrading

Because of software compatibility issues, the following applications will no longer work after upgrading your computer.

  • Pre-installed applications:
    McAfee Internet Security, Tridef 3D, Angry Birds, Fishing Joy (Desktop), Lenovo Support, Lenovo cloud storage sugar sync, Lenovo Eye Distance System, Lenovo Dynamic Brightness System, and so on.
  • Notes:
    • Due to compatibility issues, McAfee Internet Security will be uninstalled during the upgrade. You therefore need to manually download and install it again in Windows® 8.1. In the case of any issues regarding activation, contact the software dealer.
    • Due to driver issue of camera, Lenovo Eye Distance System and Lenovo Dynamic Brightness System can’t be used in Traditional desktop after upgrade. These functions also can not be used even insert other cameras by yourself.
    • After upgrading, maybe system will inform you to install .Net Framework 3.5. Please enable it by following steps.
      • 1. Open “Control Panel” → “Programs” → “Programs and Features”.
        2. Open “Turn Windows features on or off” on the left.
        3. Choose “.NET Framework 3.5” and click “OK”.

If your Windows® 7 system is upgraded to Windows® 8 first, and then to Windows® 8.1, the following pre-installed applications will not work.

  • Pre-installed applications:
    Lenovo Eye Distance System, Lenovo Dynamic Brightness System, IdeaTouch, RapidDrive Advanced, Lenovo Driver and Application Installation, Lenovo Rescue System, Fun Zone, Home Hub, Office 2010 Starter, Idea life, McAfee AntiVirus, and so on.

Applications recommended to be uninstalled before upgrading

We recommend uninstalling or updating some software prior to upgrading to Windows® 8.1. Otherwise, the upgrade process may fail. Check to see if your computer has any of the following programs. If so, uninstall or upgrade the program before upgrading your computer.

  • The software list below applies to all upgradable models. However, your computer may not include all of the software programs listed below.
  • To be safe, you should uninstall any programs found on your computer from the list below. However, not all of the programs listed below will cause problems after the upgrade process, depending upon your specific model.
  • The following list of programs is provided "as-is". Any third-party programs that did not come preloaded on your computer may not be compatible.
  • Lenovo does not warrant that every function and operation described in the Lenovo or Microsoft documentation will work or is free from limitation.


AccuWeather, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Reader, Angry Birds, Aura, AVerMedia TV Player


Bigflix, BlueStake




Dragon Assistant, Draw Race2


Ebay, Education Portal, Encyclopedia Britannica, Erazer control center, Evernote, Extent Game


FilmonTV, Fish Hunter, FilmOn, FishingJoy, Flyte MP3


Game Portal, G-Guide for windows, Gomovie


Harbor Story, HoopLegend, Hot Pepper Gourmet


I-Filter, iFree(metro), Intel APPUp, iqiyi




KidPaints, King of Opera, Kindle, Kingsoft Office


LankaWriter, Lenovo Air Hockey, Lenovo Assistant, Lenovo Cloud Storage Sugar Sync, Lenovo Companion, Lenovo Dress-up, Lenovo Driver and Application Installation, Lenovo Dynamic Brightness System, Lenovo Eye Distance System, Lenovo Forest Adventuer, Lenovo Photos, Lenovo Rescue System, Lenovo Solution Center, Lenovo Support, Lenovo Tycoon, LenovoDashboard, LenovoPoker, LenovoRoulette, LVT


McAfee, McAfee Internet Security, Merriam Webster Dictionary, Microsoft Office 2013 starter activation, Microsoft Office Suite (2003, 2007, 2010, 2013), Monopoly




PhotoDirector, Pokki, Power Control Switch, Power2go, PowerDirector, PowerDVD


Raiding Company, Rara, Remote Controller Utility


SmartVision Light, Shopping Lenovo, Skype, Snow Flake Suite, StageLight


Tridef 3D


User Guide




Yahoo Auction for JP, Yahoo Deals(metro), Yamada, Youcam



Other (China only)

JJ 斗地主 for Lenovo, 好压和看图王, 金山毒霸, 金山浏览器, 乐关联, 联想成才学院, 联想服务通, 联想通行证, 联想信息庄园, 智能家居

4. Upgrading to Windows® 8.1

Before upgrading to Windows® 8.1

  • Make sure your current operating system is eligible for this upgrade.
  • Ensure that you have backed up the files and data on your computer to an external storage device, such as an external hard disk drive, DVD or CD, USB flash memory, or network storage device.
  • System requirements for Windows® 8.1

    Windows® 8.1 works perfectly on the same hardware that powers Windows® 8:

    • Processor: 1 GHz or faster
    • RAM: 1 GB (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
    • System disk free space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
    • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver

    Additional requirements to use certain features:

    • To access the Windows Store and to download and run apps, you need an active Internet connection and a screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768.
    • To snap apps, you need a screen resolution of at least 1366 x 768.
    • Internet access (ISP fees might apply).

Upgrade procedures

Microsoft offers two options for upgrading to Windows® 8.1: upgrading from an older version of Windows, or by clean install.


If your current version of Windows can be upgraded, you may be able to keep your current files, settings, user accounts, and programs. You can upgrade from the Windows Store, or an external media storage device.
To perform an online upgrade from the Windows Store:

  1. Install all the Windows updates to ensure you can see Windows® 8.1 in the Windows Store.
  2. Access the Windows Store and click Download to download Windows® 8.1.
  3. Uninstall any incompatible applications, check Windows® 8.1 has downloaded successfully, then finish the upgrade.

To perform an upgrade from an external media storage device:

  1. Start your computer normally. Insert the Windows® 8.1 upgrade disc or any kind of media storage with the upgrade package. Then run the setup.exe to start the upgrade wizard.
  2. Choose Go online to install updates now (recommended). This option only appears if your computer is connected to the Internet.
  3. If necessary, enter the product key to activate your copy of Windows.
  4. Check I accept the license terms, and then click Next.
  5. Choose what you want to keep, such as keeping Windows settings, personal files, or apps, and click Next.
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the upgrade. If you see a compatibility report, follow the instructions listed in the report.
  • To start your computer directly from the upgrade disc or a media storage device, insert it and restart the computer. When the Lenovo logo comes up, access the BIOS to open the boot selection menu. Choose the optical drive or media storage device as the first boot device.
  • If you choose the web-based upgrade, you can follow the on-screen instructions to upgrade via the Windows Store. However, if upgrade failure occurs via Windows Store due to a network connection problem, you may need to recover the system with Onekey Recovery (OKR) or Push Button Reset (PBR), which will result in user data loss.

Clean install

If your current version of Windows can't be upgraded or if you want to replace your current operating system entirely, you can perform a clean install.

Some models can only support the clean install upgrade method.

To perform a clean install:

  1. Follow the above steps 1 to 4 to perform an upgrade from an external media storage device.
  2. Choose Keep nothing.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to finish the installation. Your Windows operating system will be upgraded to Windows® 8.1 after the installation is complete.
  • If you upgrade from Windows® 7 system or a 32 bit system, Independent Hardware Vendor (IHV) and Independent Software Vendor (ISV) may not have driver support.
  • A clean install deletes all of your programs and settings. You must manually reinstall your programs after the installation is completed. You will also need to install any necessary hardware drivers for the new operating system manually.
  • The upgrade process might take about 2 hours or longer, depending on your network download speed, system configuration, and the total number of applications that need to be upgraded or reinstalled.
  • Device drivers are required for the proper operation of your computer. These device drivers might vary from one computer model to another. Download them and have them available before upgrading.

5. Recovering a system back to Windows® 8

If the upgrade fails, you will need to recover your system back to its status before the upgrade by using OneKey Recovery (OKR) or Push Button Reset (PBR). The following describes how to recover your system back to Windows® 8.


The following conditions must be satisfied for system recovery to take place:

  • The preloaded OEM system still remains.
  • The Windows® 8 backup image is still available.

OneKey Recovery

To restore the system partition with OneKey Recovery (OKR):

  1. Open the Lenovo OneKey Recovery system.
  2. Click System Recovery. The computer will restart to the recovery environment.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to restore the system partition to its original status or to a previously created back-up point.

PBR recovery

To restore the system partition with Push Button Reset (PBR):

  1. Open the Charms bar.
  2. Select SettingsChange PC settings Update and recoveryRecoveryRemove everything and reinstall Windows, to open the PBR recovery.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to reset the computer to its factory settings.

6. Support

To learn more about Windows-related downloads and updates, go to Download Windows® 8.1 Preview.

Drivers and hardware applets, which may have been uninstalled prior to the upgrade, are available online at:

7. Trademarks

The following terms are trademarks or registered trademarks of Lenovo in the United States, other countries, or both.


Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Company Group in the United States, other countries, or both.

Other company, products, or service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.