vacancies advertise contact news tip The Vault
facebook rss twitter

Microsoft and Lenovo deny Linux install obstruction on new Yogas

by Mark Tyson on 22 September 2016, 12:31

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Windows 10

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qac65l

Add to My Vault: x

Over recent hours a storm has been brewing on the internet regarding Microsoft and Lenovo creating locked-down PCs which make it 'impossible' for users to install an OS other than the pre-installed Windows 10.

The controversy began when redditors noted that several new Signature Edition Lenovo Yoga convertibles appeared to obstruct any possibility of installing Linux. The issue was first detailed on the Best Buy retailer support forum, hoping to get some practical resolution. It appeared that some "weird RAID mode" was pre-programmed and locked in the BIOS so that the SSD couldn't be put into the Linux compatible AHCI mode. It is not impossible to overcome thistech hurdle but it requires a technically challenging solution involving an external ROM flashing device.

A semi-official reply came from a Best Buy 'Lenovo Product Expert' saying that "This system has a Signature Edition of Windows 10 Home installed. It is locked per our agreement with Microsoft". Shortly after we got a proper official statement from Lenovo, on its own discussion forums. This statement droned on about ensuring "class-leading performance with Windows 10" then tried to explain that the 360-hinge design meant that it chose to use a storage controller mode "that is unfortunately not supported by Linux".

Linux vendors simply need to "release appropriate drivers," explained Lenovo, passing on the hot potato. In its conclusion Lenovo added that it does not have a policy to "intentionally block customers using other operating systems such as Linux" on its Yoga or other devices.

More recently Microsoft has made a statement denying that its Signature Edition program prevents alternative OS installs. It echoed Lenovo's tech explanation about the RAID driver issue for would-be Linux users and asserted that "Recent claims about software installation issues related to Microsoft Signature are inaccurate."

It feels like there will be some further twists to this story in the coming hours/days, so I'll update with any important developments as and when they occur.



HEXUS Forums :: 18 Comments

Login with Forum Account

Don't have an account? Register today!
How does the hinge design affect the choice of a storage controller/storage controller mode?
no idea. Had a look at one of these in a store the other week, it looks ghastly. The shiny metal weird hinge thing just ruins it. That's before the Lenovo sales rep gets involved to try to explain why you should overlook the HP spectre and Dell XPS to look at their inferior product.
afiretruck
How does the hinge design affect the choice of a storage controller/storage controller mode?

It probably doesn't, from what I've read it's down to power management features and Microsoft's NVME driver sucking, Lenovo had to force RAID in the BIOS so it would use the Intel driver and not Microsoft's.
Corky34
afiretruck
How does the hinge design affect the choice of a storage controller/storage controller mode?

It probably doesn't, from what I've read it's down to power management features and Microsoft's NVME driver sucking, Lenovo had to force RAID in the BIOS so it would use the Intel driver and not Microsoft's.

That makes sense, thanks! Still doesn't explain why they locked it to the RAID mode, but I get the feeling we'll probably never know why they chose to do that.
ik9000
no idea. Had a look at one of these in a store the other week, it looks ghastly. The shiny metal weird hinge thing just ruins it. That's before the Lenovo sales rep gets involved to try to explain why you should overlook the HP spectre and Dell XPS to look at their inferior product.
Interesting to hear you say that - it must be one of those hell-sent devices for whom photographs are flattering - because the photo/video makes it look pretty nice. That said, IF I had the money then a Spectre or XPS13 would be ahead of it in the queue.

Speaking of the XPS13, it's interesting (coincidence?) to note that the Ubuntu-based “Developer Edition” seems to have slipped away from the Dell UK site and it's not exactly “in your face” (i.e. you can still find it if you know what you're looking for) on the US site.