Lenovo ThinkPad 8
This page is a work-in-progress.
Latest BIOS: 1.71
The ThinkPad 8 is one of the few Intel Atom "Bay Trail" tablets that supports both 32-bit UEFI and 64-bit UEFI firmware. It ships, typically, with Windows 8.1 32-bit.
You must update to BIOS 1.71 before proceeding. BIOS 1.71 specifically fixes issues with UEFI32 support, and is critical to install.
Fixing Windows Installation
First, we need to get you to Windows 10 64-bit. This will improve your device security (adding features such as PatchGuard), and also provide marginal performance gains - by unlocking your device's ability to use 64-bit Windows applications.
Because Bay Trail and UEFI64 didn't get along well, Lenovo initially shipped most/all ThinkPad 8 units with 32-bit Windows. The latest BIOS 1.71 makes this one of the few Bay Trail tablets that can step up to 64-bit Windows. Console OS works best with 64-bit everything - so let's fix that.
We're going to do three things things:
- 1) Update your BIOS
- 2) Upgrade to Windows 10 32-bit
- 3) Clean install Windows 10 64-bit
Why is this? Because Windows 10 adds Digital Entitlement, your device is pre-activated, provided you properly upgrade to Windows 10 from inside Windows 8. Unfortunately, you cannot upgrade from a 32-bit version of Windows to a 64-bit version directly. So, we have to upgrade you from Windows 8/8.1 32-bit, to Windows 10 32-bit, and then use your Digital Entitlement from Windows 10 32-bit to clean install Windows 10 64-bit. Remember folks, we don't make Windows.
Step 1: Update your BIOS
Run Lenovo System Update. If it reports it cannot connect, you can download BIOS 1.71 manually here, but we recommend using Lenovo System Update if available.
Running Lenovo System Update is also preferred, as it will check for any other component firmware updates, such as for the device's touchscreen.
Step 2: Upgrade to Windows 10 32-bit
How you upgrade to Windows 10 32-bit, is up to you. We recommend following Microsoft's advice and doing it from inside Windows Update.
Step 3: Upgrade to Windows 10 64-bit
You will need to obtain the Windows 10 64-bit install media. You can do this using Microsoft's Media Creation Tool.
Next you need to restart the ThinkPad 8 using a Windows 10 64-bit flash drive. You cannot run setup from inside Windows on the ThinkPad - it must be a cold boot from the flash drive.
Run the installer, be careful as running the install may erase your tablet completely, depending on your settings. If asked for a product key, click Skip. Your tablet will be activated automatically with the correct product key, via Digital Entitlement once it connects to the Internet.
Finally, after installing Windows 10, be sure to install the Lenovo Connection app and check it for any available updates.
My ThinkPad 8 Can't Boot 64-bit Windows 10
Here's the bad news. It appears there is a SMBIOS configuration switch that the ThinkPad 8 uses to "decide" if your ThinkPad 8 can run 64-bit UEFI or not. It's odd. We haven't seen anything like it before. The tablet only has one BIOS file, but on some devices, it enables 64-bit with 1.70/1.71 and on some... it doesn't.
We still recommend you upgrade to Windows 10 32-bit if you cannot upgrade to Windows 10 64-bit. This gives you Digital Entitlement, which ensures you can always reinstall Windows 10 later (and for free) even after Windows 10 free upgrades end in July, 2016.
At this time, we are implementing Console OS for the ThinkPad 8 as a 32-bit build target, with 64-bit mixed mode support planned. We are working however on a 64-bit build target that will be on GitHub too. We won't release this version (since it will not work on many ThinkPad 8 units), but you will be able to build it via GitHub.