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Warning: Microsoft Doesn't Want You To Install Linux On Its 'Signature PCs'


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#1 Al1000

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 06:35 PM

Microsoft hates it when its customers wish to install Linux or other operating systems on its PCs. A Redditor has expressed concern over his inability to install Linux on a Yoga 900 ISK2 Ultrabook. Trying to justify this, Lenovo has said that Yoga 900 runs a Signature Edition of Windows 10 Home installed and it's locked per our agreement with Microsoft.

http://www.linuxtoday.com/infrastructure/warning-microsoft-doesnt-want-you-to-install-linux-on-its-signature-pcs-160921015013.html


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There are several Lenovo computers that Linux does install on though:

http://www.ubuntu.com/certification/make/Lenovo/

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#2 Viper_Security

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 06:45 PM

CommentDeleted -.-


Edited by Viper_Security, 21 September 2016 - 06:50 PM.

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#3 Al1000

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 06:50 PM

This has nothing to do with trying different kernels.

When Redditor BaronHK complained in Best Buy review section about why Yoga 900 ISK2 Ultrabook has been set to stop people from using Linux, here’s what a Lenovo Product Expert replied:

“This system has a Signature Edition of Windows 10 Home installed. It is locked per our agreement with Microsoft.”

https://fossbytes.com/microsoft-doesnt-want-you-to-install-linux-on-its-signature-pcs/



#4 Al1000

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 07:33 PM

One person says:
 
 

I've been able to successfully get past Lenovo's lock through direct bios flashing.

....................

I had to construct some custom "clips" as the bios chip is a WSON package. All of this was done with the chip in place and the battery removed. I dumped the bios continuously until I was able to get a few dumps with the same sha. Then I had the bios modified. I flashed my chip to all null values, rewrote my custom image, and dumped it back to insure it wrote correctly. This allowed access to the advanced tab so I could change the controller to AHCI from RAID, allowing it to be recognized by installers.

https://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/53ri0m/warning_microsoft_signature_pc_program_now/



Not what I would call "straightforward"...

Edited by Al1000, 21 September 2016 - 07:35 PM.


#5 NickAu

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 07:52 PM

TBH I do not see a problem with this as long as the customer knows about it before buying the PC and the vast majority of people buying these types of PC don't even know what Linux is.



#6 Condobloke

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 07:59 PM

The links below are from Lenovo's site.;.....

 

The "legal info" page makes for some interesting reading re "regions"....but in a quick scan I did not read anything about restriction to the windows os....

 

 

 

http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/yoga/900-series/yoga-900-13/

 

 

http://shop.lenovo.com/ISS_Static/WW/AG/merchandising/US/popups/promos/popup_win8.html


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#7 Al1000

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 02:08 AM

Here's some more info:

Lenovo has confirmed that several of its Yoga laptops are refusing to install Linux-based operating systems.

...

Several tech blogs picked up on the report, some of which blamed Microsoft, before Lenovo issued a statement.

"To improve system performance, Lenovo is leading an industry trend of adopting Raid [redundant array of independent disks] on the SSDs [solid state drives] in certain product configurations," it said.

"Lenovo does not intentionally block customers using other operating systems on its devices and is fully committed to providing Linux certifications and installation guidance on a wide range of products."

It added that once Linux-based operating system developers had updated the necessary code, their products should work on its machines.


More here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-37431299

So it looks like this is just another case of Linux developers, having to catch up with hardware developers.

#8 Gary R

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 02:05 PM

Just one more reason why I wouldn't ever consider buying Lenovo.

 

This is what they did to Windows users not long back ...

 

http://www.cnet.com/uk/news/superfish-torments-lenovo-owners-with-more-than-adware/

 

http://www.scmagazineuk.com/lenovo-laptops-automatically-re-install-removed-software/article/432487/

 

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150812/11395231925/lenovo-busted-stealthily-installing-crapware-via-bios-fresh-windows-installs.shtml

 

... and now this :rolleyes: 



#9 BrianVS

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 02:32 PM

Why would anyone buy one of these computers given all of the issues that have been publicized over the last several years? There are other makers out there.



#10 DeimosChaos

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 03:38 PM

I am a bit disappointed in Lenovo recently. I ran a Lenovo Y580p for a 3 or 4 years and loved it. Probably won't buy another any time soon though. Not that I need to, I bought two new laptops in less than a year... so I think I'm good for a while lol.

 

Plenty of other choices for the Linux people out there that want a new laptop. And like Nick said, most people won't care anyway so its not too big a deal for them.


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#11 BrianVS

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 10:13 AM

Is this problem related to the rootkit that is stated to be in the Lenova BIOS?

 

http://www.techworm.net/2015/08/lenovo-pcs-and-laptops-seem-to-have-a-bios-level-backdoor.html



#12 pcpunk

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 11:25 AM

Thanks guys, good stuff!


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#13 DodoIso

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Posted 01 October 2016 - 05:44 AM

Why would anyone buy one of these computers given all of the issues that have been publicized over the last several years? There are other makers out there.

 

There are so many shady companies that it's very hard to keep track of, and then we forget because of the overflow.  But what happens most of the time, disappointingly, is that we are not even aware of all the crap out there before we buy.  We would need a simple and comprehensive website to perform searches, but that can't happen because the organization responsible for it would quickly be drowned by lawsuits.  It's bad business to develop good quality consumer products.



#14 cat1092

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Posted 15 October 2016 - 02:00 AM

The links below are from Lenovo's site.;.....

 

The "legal info" page makes for some interesting reading re "regions"....but in a quick scan I did not read anything about restriction to the windows os....

 

 

 

http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/yoga/900-series/yoga-900-13/

 

 

http://shop.lenovo.com/ISS_Static/WW/AG/merchandising/US/popups/promos/popup_win8.html

 

Brian, you won't find anything out about this on the Lenovo site, and they likely delete customer reviews that may allude to not being able to install Linux, or not being able to disable Secure Boot. Lenovo is not like the good old IBM computer group of years back. They're a Microsoft partner, and when asked to jump, they in turn ask 'how high?' :P

 

This is because when the times were tough, Microsoft took care of the larger OEM's, and even allowed these to produce a small percentage of non-Windows computers to generate income & to reduce layoffs during the Windows 8 years (2012-2015). There was a string attached though, when prosperity came around again, that they'd look after Microsoft. Now that the popular Windows 7 is 7 years old (nearly 8 counting the Betas), and many of these computers are now showing signs of age, OEM's are beginning to prosper again & repaying their debt to Microsoft. 

 

That's why it's doesn't need to be posted in words on the Lenovo & other OEM sites, they're not the only ones in bed with Microsoft. While Dell carries notebooks loaded with Ubuntu 16.04 (& prior to that, 14.04), one has to look all the way in the dark corner of the Business section to find these. Not listed as consumer notebooks, way overpriced if these were, and per whatever agreement with Microsoft, keeps these off the front page. 

 

Going back to IBM, now Lenovo, they used to be a large retailer of UNIX powered computers. Some hay have forgotten that, or wasn't yet born, yet it's true. :)

 

Cat


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