A friend was using a Lenovo Compute Stick 300, but a Windows update rendered it inert, as it wouldn't boot they passed it on to me to take a look.

( TL;DR - I couldn't fix it, I'd be tempted to avoid this form factor in future. )

So I had a go at fixing this, using https://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/7099/intel-compute-stick-stck1a32wfc-2gb-windows-8-1-review/index3.html as a sort of guide to the hardware.

I removed the BIOS battery, as advised in a URL I didn't note, which meant I could get it booting into the BIOS or the Windows recovery options.

However plugging the battery in, and trying all the Windows recovery options, and this fix https://support.lenovo.com/gb/en/solutions/ht118103 , didn't fix the device. The device still shows the Lenovo logo for a bit, then just powers itself down, or hitting the hotkey gets me to BIOS / Windows recovery options, which all fail in the same way as they did when I removed the BIOS key.

A few notes if you've stumbled across this blog post and want to see if you have more success:

  • The "hotkey" needed to get into the BIOS or Windows Recovery Partition is F2.
  • The "top" is the bit with the Lenovo logo sticker on, the bottom is everything else, including the "vents" on the sides, you'll see the join.
  • It's the only way to do it, but separating the top from the bottom using a screwdriver will mash the plastic.
  • You will need to use considerable force to pull the top off the bottom once you've got the top mostly off the bottom.
  • To disconnect the motherboard from the end of the casing opposite the HDMI port you'll need to lift off the large sticker that covers the bottom.
  • With the USB key plugged in with the new UEFI files it seemed a bit random as to what pressing the hotkey actually took me to.
  • On that second URL, note that you'll need to type "fs1:", with a colon at the end, not "fs1", as per the instructions on the page.

But as I say, after all of the above I'm only slightly farther along than I was when I started - I can boot into different recovery options, but they don't help.

I'll have a crack at putting Linux on it at some point, but right now this is going to the bottom of the "to do" pile.