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T21 XP Audio Driver?

T20-T23 Series and T30 specific matters only. NOT for T25-Retro.
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Summer Deep
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2019 3:19 pm
Location: Greater Manchester, UK

T21 XP Audio Driver?

#1 Post by Summer Deep » Fri Aug 07, 2020 4:33 am

I've acquired a T21 with Windows 98 on it, which I bought with a view to playing some old 1990s games in DOS mode. However, I thought it might be interesting to experiment with other operating systems, so put in a spare hard drive and installed Windows XP Pro, SP3.

Problem: no audio, or even a volume control. No big deal, I thought, just go to the Thinkpad Forum drivers page and download the XP audio driver for this model.

Problem number two: there doesn't seem to be one! Can this be so? I would imagine that XP was a fairly widely used OS on this machine back in the day, and there must be an official audio driver. I solved the issue by using 'Driver Pack Solutions', which gave no end of error messages relating to things like SSE2 issues and the like, but somehow came up with a driver that worked fine. Driver Pack Solutions seems rather controversial, and Malwarebytes certainly doesn't like it, but it was the only thing I could think of. Am I missing something obvious here?

Sophomore Member
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2004 5:29 am
Location: Oxford UK

Re: T21 XP Audio Driver?

#2 Post by JBUK » Wed Aug 12, 2020 6:07 pm

Back in the day I used one as my daily it had Win2000 and its native audio drivers. I had moved on to T23s when XP came along.
Only way I could suggest for audio with XP on T21 is to use ASIO4All drivers and get digital sound from usb into an external analog/digital converter into some powered speakers. An advantage of this is better sound and a sound system to use on any system and any OS.
Where to begin......
1 x T20
1 X T23 + 3 breaking for parts
1 X T23 with Samsung 840 SSD and XP Great combination !: SOLD
2 X T60
5 X T61
1 X T601 15"
1 X T520
2 X T530

Summer Deep
Posts: 32
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2019 3:19 pm
Location: Greater Manchester, UK

Re: T21 XP Audio Driver?

#3 Post by Summer Deep » Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:11 am

Thanks for the reply. I'd never heard of ASIO4All, and will certainly be looking into that. The stuff about the analogue/digital converter seems to be a bit outside my comfort zone and sphere of competence, but I'll bear it in mind for future reference.

I'm still curious though as to how Driverpack Solutions managed to acquire a working driver, and from where, despite the fact that it (Driverpack Solutions) could barely function on so old a machine.

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