Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Yoga 900 Setup

Yoga 900 Setup

Here are some tips on setting up your Yoga 900:
  • Clean Install Windows 10 - This is if you want to start fresh and remove any Lenovo bloatware installed. I suggest saving an image of your original drive in case you ever need to go back to the original installation or use the original recovery.
  • Disable Adaptive Brightness - This feature causes flickering by dynamically lowering the brightness on your screen. The tradeoff is that your battery life will be longer, but I really dislike it.
  • Use function keys by default - I prefer for the F-keys to work as F1, F2, etc instead of being the volume/brightness keys by default. This setting has to be changed in the bios. When the computer is shutdown use the Novo button (small inset button next to the power button) to turn on the computer and then select the BIOS. Once inside disable hotkey mode (described in the link)
  • Three Finger Middle Click/Disable Cortana on Middle Click - I use this in Chrome to open a link in a new tab regularly (Link coming...).
  • Get a USB-C to video out adapter - If you plan on using your laptop with an external display then you'll want to buy a USB-C to HDMI/VGA/Displayport/DVI adapter.

Yoga 900 Windows 10 Clean Install

Edit: This post is now outdated. See these links taken from the comment below:

First, I suggest you backup your Yoga 900 disk image in case you need to get back to the original setup. I tried to debug a hardware issue with my old Yoga 2 Pro and Lenovo support insisted I restore from the original recovery. Having the original image lets you do that. I used Macrium Reflect Free to do that. Install it on your Yoga 900 and create a Recovery USB drive. It'll load all the necessary drivers for you. You'll need another drive to store the drive image which will be at least 15 GB from the original install up to the size of your SSD. Since we're in the cleaning up it's a not a bad idea to update your BIOS at the same time. See below for a driver link.

Once you are ready to nuke your drive, you'll need to create Windows 10 Installation Media. Go down to "Need to create a USB, DVD or ISO?" and follow the link. It will help you create an installation USB drive. You'll need a few GB free on the flash drive to create it.

Once you have the Win 10 flash drive you need to make sure you have a few drivers:
For the 13ISK2 I needed to download the Intel Rapid Storage drivers and Intel Wireless drivers from Lenovo. You won't need the wireless drivers until after you get into Windows the first time. You need to extract the Intel Rapid Storage drivers (four times!) to get the .inf files Windows needs during install. It's easiest if you use a program like 7-zip to extract each part. For the Lenovo exe use 7-zip to extract 4 times. You can also extract from the command line, but it's a pain. Google instructions on how to do each extraction if that's what you prefer. Here are the files to extract:
  • (original lenovo.exe) > SetupRST.exe > RST_x64.msi > > (driver files including several iaStor files)
Extract the contents of to a folder on your Win 10 flash drive.

To boot from USB, shutdown the computer and use the small inset Novo button to turn the computer on. Select Boot Menu and then pick the flash drive you put Win 10 on. The installation will load and Windows won't find the SSD. You have to load the Rapid Storage Drivers after you get into the Win 10 Installation. At that point you press F6 to bring up the driver loading dialog. Point it to the Rapid Storage drivers and wait about 30 seconds for it to load.

From there you can delete all the existing partitions and do a clean install. The 3200x1800 resolution of the Yoga 900 makes this a little awkward, but it's doable. Once you get into Windows for the first time you can point Windows to the wireless drivers. It should be able to find the rest of the drivers from there.