Microsoft And Lenovo Deny New Windows 10 Yoga Laptops Block Linux OS Installations

Written by Jon Sutton on Thu, Sep 22, 2016 4:55 PM
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I just love Microsoft’s ability to court controversy these days. The latest of these concerns the new editions of the Signature Edition Lenovo Yoga convertible tablets / laptops. As with pretty much any new laptop these days the Yoga comes with Windows 10 pre-installed. However, quite a number of people over on Reddit are finding it's impossible to install any other operating system. Many were trying to get Linux up and running, but they claim the laptop actively blocks any potential install.

Ok, so it all started over on the Best Buy forums before jumping over to Lenovo’s forums, and then finally Reddit. Apparently the affected laptops, which include the Yoga 900 ISK2, Yoga 900S, and Yoga 710S, are locked in a proprietary RAID mode which prevents Linux from being able to read it.

To work around this requires an external ROM flashing device, which comes with its own risks and costs.

According to a Lenovo spokesperson, "This system has a Signature Edition of Windows 10 Home installed. It is locked per our agreement with Microsoft.

“Our Yoga design requires very specific, complex and unique drivers that require even greater amounts of testing, to ensure class-leading performance with Windows 10.

“Lenovo does not intentionally block customers using other operating systems such as Linux on Yoga or any of its devices and is fully committed to providing Linux certifications and installation guidance on a wide range of suitable products.”

So Lenovo deny any shadiness here, although it does admit its version of Windows 10 is locked is locked as per an agreement with Microsoft. Slightly confusing there, and Microsoft’s official response is that “Recent claims about software installation issues related to Microsoft Signature are inaccurate.

"Lenovo recently adopted RAID on SSDs in certain product configurations, which require additional steps to support all system features.”

There seems to be a lot of passing the buck going on here, but the end result is that multiple customers are indeed claiming that other OS installations do not work on the new Lenovo Yoga tablets. Is this perhaps a sign of things to come for Microsoft? Can you see its Windows OS become increasingly locked down? Let us know!

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15:02 Sep-24-2016

So clone everything to a single bigger SSD, and then swap it out for all of the smaller SSDs in RAID. Now Linux can be installed. Problem solved...

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11:55 Sep-24-2016

As much as I despise MS I doubt they have anything to do with this FU.

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10:57 Sep-24-2016

this has nothing to do with Microsoft or Lenovo, it has to do with proprietary drivers
http://www.pcworld.com/article/3123075/linux/linux-wont-install-on-your-laptop-blame-intel-not-microsoft.html

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04:14 Sep-24-2016

News flash everyone, Lenovo is owned by the Chinese government. You really expect "freedom" to be a big part of their business model?

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14:47 Sep-23-2016

The real issue is that updates from various sources confirm it's just Lenovo's RAID storage controller that doesn't work with linux (yet) and that's the problem, while WIn10 Signature edition was fine-tuned for the device to work smoothly.


I guess logic won't win and the negative press bandwagon against Win10 will just keep on steamrolin'...

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00:54 Sep-23-2016

If you need to install dual OS then buy a laptop without any OS and install what you want. There are a lot of laptops that come only with DOS, from business to gaming. It's in the interest of Microsoft to have their own software on as many hardware as possible. Sure, it's not cool, not being able to install anything else (if these claims are indeed true), but it's understandable, profit-wise.

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01:03 Sep-23-2016

I have never... repeat NEVER(in the last 10 years) seen a laptop selling with no OS or DOS preinstalled..... I've seen a few with linux or android preinstalled.... but the vast majority have some flavor of windows preinstalled.... furthermore, this is inexcusable in my opinion.

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01:26 Sep-23-2016

In Croatia, the ratio of preinstalled OS and DOS only is about 50:50. Heck, I've bought a laptop for my uncle with the money he's given me. For 6000 kuna I've gotten a 8GB RAM, i7 4500u (or something similar), GTX 960m and 17 inch screen. 6000 kuna is about 800 euro. About 16 laptops pass through my hands annually as I repair them in my spare time for free as a hobby. So far I've only seen about 3-5 laptops (last 3 years) that had windows 7 or 8 preinstalled. Nobody in Croatia is insane enough to buy a preinstalled OS laptop since you can get it for free

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01:56 Sep-23-2016

Things are FAR different in my country.... so your blanket statement of "don't buy a preinstalled laptop" does not apply everywhere.

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08:58 Sep-23-2016

And your blank statement of "I have never… repeat NEVER(in the last 10 years) seen a laptop selling with no OS or DOS preinstalled" is the same. And what country are you from?

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04:12 Sep-24-2016

His blanket statement only covers his own personal experience, which is completely valid. Your blanket statement made the huge assumption that everyone everywhere has the ability to buy laptops with out operating systems pre-installed, you arrogant bastard.

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16:21 Sep-23-2016

Actually, my laptop had no OS by default, I ordered windows as an option.

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01:05 Sep-23-2016

There is a general understanding with PC hardware that a person can run whatever OS they see fit to run..... to silently go against that and sneak a locked OS into a product that is normally an open platform is EXTREMELY shady and should NOT be tolerated. this needs handled!

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01:29 Sep-23-2016

And no, it's on the manufacturer to decide. It's not moral or good for us the community but in their interest is to make contracts with other companies and profit from it. If Microsoft pays XY company to make their hardware Windows 10 compatible only, than it's completely normal (not moral). You can always boycott their products and buy something else. There is enough competition in laptop industry to pick your poison.

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02:01 Sep-23-2016

No. When you're telling people to lock down an open platform there is no precedent for that.... had this been an android system it might be a bit different because it's what we've come to expect with android... Microsoft have found themselves in trouble with US law before for anti trust violations, it CAN happen again.

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09:00 Sep-23-2016

How exactly am I telling people to lick down an open platform? Are you seeing what I'm typing? I'm saying: "If you don't like it don't buy it", this is in the simplest of forms.

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15:28 Sep-23-2016

But they didn't inform about the lock before hand. I guess that's violation of trust.

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16:22 Sep-23-2016

That it is.

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23:17 Sep-22-2016

i don't get what's the buzz about yes linux is an OS suitable for many things but i don't get it why someone go and buy a convertible laptop with many of it's features only working on windows 10 just to install linux on it?

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22:19 Sep-22-2016

I am dissapointed in Microsoft.

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21:43 Sep-22-2016

You don't know... But we are all doomed to finally use Win10 (xD)

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21:58 Sep-22-2016

OSX 10.11.6 El Capitan rockin rock-solid on my rig heh xD

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14:43 Sep-23-2016

barf

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18:44 Sep-22-2016

I wonder how many people know that linux is made from Microsft?

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18:59 Sep-22-2016

Linux is open source. Made by many people, depending on the distribution.

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20:15 Sep-22-2016

mm123456 that was amazing joke :D :D :D do you even know who linus torvalds is? :D :D : D

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21:56 Sep-22-2016

if you talk about this then believe me Microsoft didn't invent Linux although they might have attempted to (ab)use it multiple times xD

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01:11 Sep-23-2016

ummmm... you really should refrain from posting... that kind of misinformation is beyond just "whoops" it's toxic.... Microsoft had NOTHING... repeat NOTHING to do with Linux... Linux was inspired by an OS that predates ALL MS operating systems called UNIX, and was coded by Linus Torvalds in the early 90s.

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18:42 Sep-22-2016

To be honest while I don't think MS is without any blame, I would question Lenovo more. As anyone who has tried to do hardware upgrades on Lenovo laptops in the past can tell you they have a way of making it difficult.
Take my old R60 for example. All I tried to do was upgrade it with an WiFi-N card. I got the same model as was being offered in later R60's but it turned out the BIOS had a "whitelist" meaning it blocked any card who's ID # didn't match the list exactly

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18:44 Sep-22-2016

Even after flashing the newest BIOS version it just was not going to work without a 3rd party hacked BIOS that bypassed the list check.. So I would not be surprised if this was more of Lenovo's BS then MS's

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17:11 Sep-22-2016

alright, to be honest I totally understand such step from Microsoft,
it's actually much easier to finetune OS and specific hardware and lock such "combo" rig,
sure Linux OSes are superior to Windows OSes, but hey if you wanna go Linux, then go for reasonable hardware without any OS pre-installed

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17:28 Sep-22-2016

But that's no reason to lock it down.
They could have just released it with the special Windows 10 version preinstalled, but kept the "whatever it is" open so that users still have the choice.
Having a choice is what makes PCs great, and consoles crap.
Hell, you can even install Linux distributions on god damn phones.
Why does a laptop has to be locked to a certain OS, but a phone with all it's crazy proprietary hardware and big money making preinstalled OSs is open?!

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17:34 Sep-22-2016

oh it is, if it's not possible to boot Linux-based OS, then it means it's better protected against bootable/bootloader hacktools,
if Microsoft decided not to let other OSes to be installed on such device, then I see no interest in buying such device, so no reason to bother troubling with it

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18:26 Sep-22-2016

So you're saying it's locked so idiots don't break their devices by downloading "Justing_Bieber_Baby.exe"?
I think I see a theme here, first not allowing customers to turn off updates and now this.
Looks like Microsoft is trying to shut down any way the user could possibly f*ck up.
Not sure if I like it though since it's coming at the cost of freedom...

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21:36 Sep-22-2016

no, I'm saying that Windows UEFI is vulnerable and so Microsoft simply had no other choice than locking advanced boot options completely on fully supported and warranty-covered devices,
freedom is relative term, in business it's always about compromise and I'm afraid the borders will move nowadays

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17:59 Sep-22-2016

Finally, tzzsmk didn't go full retard on MS for once ecks dee :P

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21:43 Sep-22-2016

I'm never denigrating anything/anyone unless I have valid arguments,
sure Windows 10 still sucks right now, but if you remember how successfully Apple sells their underperforming products just because they actually finetuned their OS to just work well, then nobody should be surprised Microsoft decided to attempt similar logic (with 15-year delay though),
just take a look at consoles and game development, it's more reasonable for everyone to have unified hardware so the software can be optimized better - for ex. what's the point of Intel selling about 25 cpu models for 1151 socket when only 2 are overclockable and rest could be considered "wasted potential"...

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18:30 Sep-23-2016

I make a joke, you respond with a paragraph countering my joke with logic. Buzzkil... :D :P


I completely agree with the point you made though except the one point where you say unified hardware is better. It is for the computer illiterate masses but not for people who like to customize and piss around with their rig and OS for fun, it just takes the fun out of it.

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14:45 Sep-23-2016

@M4rt1ntian He did, he claims Linux is superior xD

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15:03 Sep-23-2016

dang you're good at reading between the lines, I gotta camouflage it better next time xD

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17:05 Sep-22-2016

It seems MS will stop at nothing to shove Win 10 down your throat!

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18:01 Sep-22-2016

If you buy a laptop with a preloaded OS and then complain that it's being shoved down your throat then you might deserve to take a break and stop wasting money. :P Here is your logic applied to Macbooks and iMacs: It seems Apple will stop at nothing to shove OSX down your throat!

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18:19 Sep-22-2016

Please don't put words in my mouth, also leave Apple out of this. My problem in this case was with the lack of options, if I can and want to change the OS I must be allowed to do that without jumping through hoops. Plus, this isn't the first time MS was aggressively promoting Win 10.

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18:39 Sep-22-2016

No, it's not the first time. But to be fair, M4rt1ntian has a point. Microsoft is doing the same thing that many other companies, such as Apple, have been doing for years. And I know that you CAN get Windows installed on a Mac, but you do have to jump through some hoops to do it.

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16:59 Sep-22-2016

if that is true sorry guys but F$U$C$K microsoft!

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