Lenovo Tablet 2 needs BIOS update for Windows 8 Enterprise Upgrade

One of the first things I did when I received my Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 (see my recent blog post), was to upgrade it to Windows 8 Enterprise. My first attempt  left me with a non-functioning tablet. The upgrade completed, but when the system rebooted, it just sat on the spinning circle screen, rebooted, and eventually went blank. I had to power cycle the unit, and at that point Windows was pretty unhappy, complaining that the upgrade failed and never finishing startup.

I had to use the System Reest option to get back to a working syste. Since Windows would not start, I had to access System Recovery by following the steps in Lenovo’s support document, Accessing Microsoft Windows 8 System Recovery during Startup with ThinkPad Tablet 2:

  1. Start with the system powered down.
  2. Power up the system.
  3. Press and hold the Power button while tapping the Volume Down button until “Please Wait” appears below the Lenovo logo.
  4. Select your language followed by your keyboard
  5. Select from the recovery options listed.

After the reset, I checked the BIOS and saw that it was v1.20 and dated November 28. The current version on Lenovo’s website is was v1.22 dated February 13. After upgrading the BIOS, I was able to successfully install Windows 8 Enterprise.

Update: As I was getting ready to post, I checked and saw that Lenovo just released BIOS v1.51.

Make sure you use the 32-bit version of Windows 8 Enterprise for the upgrade. The Atom in the Tablet 2 is 32-bit so my flash drive with the 64-bit setup didn’t get me far. I’m so used to having a 64-bit system, I had never even downloaded the 32-bit version until now.