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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 Ideapad systems. This document also contains hints, tips, and limitations found during testing of Windows® 8.1 on supported Ideapad systems.

In some cases, this document suggests that you take steps prior to 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 to Windows® 8.1, Windows® 8.1 setup program will scan your computer to check if your computer is ready for Windows® 8.1. By viewing the results of the scan operation, you can review issues that might prevent you from upgrading to Windows® 8.1.

  • Ideapad can only support the current preloaded hardware and software configuration. Therefore, depending on a specific configuration, it might not be recommended to upgrade your computer. That is because some hardware issues cannot be resolved currently.
  • It is not recommended to upgrade the following models to Windows® 8.1 because some VGA related issues cannot be solved by the vendor, currently.
    • U310, U410, U510, U410 Touch, U310 Touch;
    • Z500 Touch, Z500, Z400, Z400 Touch, Z380, Z480, Z580, Z485, Z585;
    • S300, S400, S400u, S400 Touch, S405, S206, G485, G585, N480.
  • The following models do not support upgrade to Windows® 8.1:
    • Y480, Y485, and Y580 with the SSD+HDD configuration;
    • S206 equipped with CPU other than E450, E300, E1-1200, E2-1800, or C60.
  • Yoga 11 is equipped with a Windows® RT system and only supports upgrade from Windows Store.

2. Impacts on hardware components and settings after upgrading

After upgrading, the operating system may lose some functions, and some software issues may be experienced. In this case, installing the latest Windows updates, drivers, and applications may help to fix 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
  • Radio
  • Peripheral compatibility
  • Sensor
  • Touchpad
  • Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE)
  • Wireless
  • USB port
  • User Interface
  • ...

The table below takes some critical issues as examples and provides some tips.

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 drivers.
Airplane hotkey does not work. Uninstall Energy Management or Energy Manager software and reinstall it. The airplane function hotkey will work again.
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.
After upgrading a Yoga series unit, sensor issues are experienced. Update the sensor firmware and perform calibration.
After upgrading, you may install the latest Windows update. However, you cannot adjust the brightness on U310, U410, U510, U410 Touch, U310 Touch, Z500 Touch, Z500, Z400, Z400 Touch, Z380, Z480, Z580, Z485, Z585, S300, S400, S400u, S400 Touch, S405, S206, G485, G585, and N480 after Windows update. Uninstall the VGA driver and reinstall the original driver.
  • After upgrading, the WiDi function of some Intel Wireless Cards will not be supported.
  • If you upgrade using retail Windows® 8 or directly from Windows® 7, disabled or unavailable features may include multi-touch inputs, PBR, Security Boot, Lenovo app store, etc.
  • Other affected functions may include Hotkeys, Brightness function, Windows Key function, etc.

Upgrading to Windows® RT 8.1

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

  • Ambient Light Sensor (ALS)
  • Battery
  • Bluetooth
  • Camera
  • Display
  • Hotkey
  • Peripheral compatibility
  • Recovery
  • Setting
  • Touchpad
  • User Interface
  • ...
Note: To upgrade to Windows® RT 8.1, you must install all the latest Windows updates on your system.

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 (WinEI) system performance value item exists after upgrading.
  • Windows® 8.1 will introduce some new applications, so the user interface may be varied, such as the Start screen.
  • 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, power items lack “S3”. This is normal because Windows® 7 to Windows® 8.1 is only an upgrading process, which does not migrate drivers in place. You can go to the vendor site or WU to install a workable driver.
  • The Start screen offers two more levels of flexibility regarding layouts and tile sizing. Not all apps support all four sizes.
  • Install a new app and its icon will be stuck in the All Apps view. It will only appear on the Start screen itself if you explicitly pin it.
  • 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 now gone in Windows® 8.1. Currently, the "edit" mode is 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.
  • It still shows the logo of Windows® 8 instead of Windows® 8.1 if you check the system property.
  • 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 functions will no longer work after upgrading your computer.

  • Pre-installed applications:
    McAfee Internet Security, Dragon Assistant, Energy Management, Energy Manager, Express Cache, Idealife, Intelligent Touchpad 2.0, Lenovo MagicShare, Lenovo Solution Center (before 1.1.008), Lenovo Transition, User Guide, YouCam, Lenovo Smart Update, Dolby Home Theater, and so on.
  • Note: Due to compatibility issues, McAfee Internet Security will be uninstalled in the process of upgrading. 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.

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:
    Energy Management, OneKey Recovery, Intelligent Touchpad, Office 2010 Starter, Idea life, InstantReset, BootShield, User Guide Common Tool, RapidDrive, McAfee AntiVirus Plus, McAfee Internet Security, Smart Shutdown, and so on.

Applications that are recommended to be uninstalled before upgrading

It is recommended to uninstall or update certain 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 software programs found on your computer from the list below. However, not all of the software programs listed below will cause problems after the upgrade process, depending upon your specific model.
  • The following apps are listed “as-is”. For any third-party app that is not preloaded on your computer, you should be careful about its compatibility.
  • Lenovo does not warrant that every function and operation described in the Lenovo or Microsoft documentation will work or is free from limitation.


Absolute Reminder, AccuWeather for Windows® 8, Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader, Amazon Toolbar


Baidu FM, Baidu JP IME, Baidu PCFaster, BestBuy, BIGFLIX, Books Store, BootShield, Business Contact Manager


China weather, Ctrip Travel


Dete, Dictionary, Douguo Cook, Dragon Assistant, Dolby Home Theater


eBay Metro, eMusic, Encyclopaedia Britannica, ENEM, Energy Management, Energy Manager, Evernote, Experience the Lenovo Ideapad Yoga, ExpressCache, Extent Game Desktop


f Music, FishingJoy


Go Movie, Google Chrome, Google Toolbar


Hao123 setting, Haozip + PictureKing, Harbor Story II, Hoop Legend, Hot Pepper Gourmet


Idealife, Ifilter, InstantReset, Intel AppUp(R) Center, Intel Fast Flash Standby (iFFS), Intelligent Touchpad 2.0, iQiyi


Jaran Japan, JJ Poker


Kaspersky Internet Security, Kindle, KingSoft anti-virus, Kingsoft Browser, KingSoft Dictionary, Kingsoft KDrive, Kingsoft Office, KNOWHOW APP centre, KNOWHOW Movies


Leader Tech registration, Lenovo Active Protection System(APS), Lenovo cloud shield (AT), Lenovo Cloud Storage by SugarSync, Lenovo Companion, Lenovo EE Boot Optimizer, Lenovo English, Lenovo Experience Improvement, Lenovo Games, Lenovo MagicShare, Lenovo Motion Control, Lenovo Motion Control 2.0, Lenovo Passport Service, Lenovo safe navigation, Lenovo Settings, Lenovo Smart Update, Lenovo Smart Voice, Lenovo Solution Center, Lenovo Support, Lenovo Transition, Lenovo TV Player, Lenovo Voice Control, Lenovo Welcome, Lenovo WWAN CM, LenovoAppWiz, LenovoCloudShield, Live TV


McAfee Internet Security, McAfee Security Advisor, Media Show, Microsoft Office Suit (2003, 2007, 2010, 2013), Microsoft Security Essentials


Netflix, Nitro Pro 8, Norton internet security


OneKey Recovery, OneKey Theater, ooVoo


PC Care, Phone Companion, Photo Service (PrintEase), PhotoDirector, Photoservice Desktop "Photoservice Desktop for DE, Photo Show", Picasa, PlayMovie, PointMMO, PokeTalk, Pokki, Power2Go, PowerDirector, PowerDVD


QQ, Quick Start


R.I.C. (Robust Intelligent Companion),, Ruyitao


Shopping Lenovo, Sina weibo, Skype, Smart ShutDown, StageLight, SugarSync Manager, SUUMO, SymSlient


Taobao Shopping, TCS Bank, Times Online, Touch Games (Lenovo Tycoon, Lenovo Air Hockey, Lenovo Texas Hold'em, Lenovo Roulette), txtr ebooks


User Guide Common Tool


VeriFace Pro


Windows Live Essentials


Yahoo Deals, Yahoo! Japan, Yamada Denki, Yoga Camera Man, Yoga Chef, Yoga Picks, Yoga Photo Touch, YouCam


ZCOM Haokan, Zinio

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 your 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 great on the same hardware that powers Windows® 8:

    • Processor: 1 GHz or faster
    • RAM: 1 GB (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
    • Free space of system disk: 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 a clean install.


If your current version of Windows can be upgraded, you may be able to keep your previous 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. Finish the installation after successfully downloading and uninstalling the incompatible applications.

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 while your computer is connected to the Internet.
  3. If necessary, enter the product key to activate your 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 an 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 cannot 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 in performing 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 a 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 downloading speed, system configuration, and the total number of applications that need to be upgraded or reinstalled.
  • Specific notebook computer utilities or device drivers are required for the proper operation of your computer. These utilities or device drivers might vary from one computer model to another. Download and have them available before upgrading.

5. Recover system back to Windows® 8

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


To restore the system, the following conditions should be met:

  • The preloaded OEM system 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 it to its factory settings.
  • After upgrade, the key or button for recovery may have no effect. In this case, you will need to manually start the recovery process.
  • You cannot recover your system back to the original Windows® RT, but Windows® RT 8.1 remains.

6. Support

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

Drivers, hardware applets and software programs, 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.