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Stick with my T420 & T430?

T400/410/420 and T500/510/520 series specific matters only
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matis
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Stick with my T420 & T430?

#1 Post by matis » Mon Apr 02, 2018 3:42 pm

I had the idea that I should buy a later model T Thinkpad because the ones I have may go bad as they got older.

But truth is, I love my T420 and my T430 is not bad either. I had tried later Thinkpads and felt that Lenovo had made them worse instead of better.

Parts for the T420 & T430 seem to be still available, but for how much longer?

These are my everyday drivers and I use them for everything (I don't do gaming or video editing).

I rotate an extra 2 HDD for each Thinkpad in a USB dock to backup and would go nuts trying to get all my stuff onto a newer computer. These HDDs are interchangeable so long as I stay with the same model.

I'm looking for realistic encouragement to forget the later models and stay with what I've got.

Thanks.

Matis

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Re: Stick with my T420 & T430?

#2 Post by gfuller » Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:05 pm

I'm kind of in the same boat. I love the keyboard on my T420 - the feel is much superior IMHO to the newer, chiclet-style keys. I use(d) my T420 in the same manner - it was my daily driver. (Right now it's down because yours truly was being a big idiot. :oops: :oops: )

With that being said, it's surprising how much I am able to accomplish using my seven year-old laptop. It does pretty well under Windows 10, including light gaming, Photoshop work, and browsing the web and working on different projects. I upgraded mine to 8GB of memory and replaced the hard drive with a higher capacity drive.

Unfortunately, these computers are aging. I'm not as worried about my T420 breaking down as much as I am knowing everyday it is inched closer to obsolescence. That is one of the biggest reasons I'm thinking that now (for me at least; these helped along by the issues I had about a week ago) may be the time to consider an upgrade path. If maintained and treated properly, the T420 should be fairly reliable even going forward.

As mentioned, though, I'm in the same boat. I want to have my T420 fixed (my cousin is working on it - I ran out of time and had to leave it at home) and use it until I get enough $$$ to purchase a new ThinkPad that will be more "future-proof." I will miss the keyboard, the plethora of useful ports, and some other things. But I guess along with a new model (T480, etc.) comes new, better features and a machine that is less likely to be knocked into obsolescence soon (although I feel the T420 has plenty of life left - heck, my T42 is not doing that bad for a 14 year-old machine.)

It's your call. It seems like you already made up your mind that you don't want to replace it.
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Re: Stick with my T420 & T430?

#3 Post by ZaZ » Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:07 pm

matis wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 3:42 pm
I had tried later Thinkpads and felt that Lenovo had made them worse instead of better.
How so?

At least with a newer ThinkPad you'll get the option of a better IPS screen, which were not an option in the T420/T430 era. I'd call that improved, but the T420 and T430 will work well as long as you're not expecting top performance.
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Re: Stick with my T420 & T430?

#4 Post by Raidriar » Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:31 pm

I daily a X220T (same as a T420) with a fast modern MLC SSD and it works perfectly for everything I need. Doesn't feel tired at all yet.
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Re: Stick with my T420 & T430?

#5 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:13 am

Why not buy one (or two, or three...) spare T420 and/or T430 in the best condition you can find, and keep them in reserve?
You'd be set at least for another 6-10 years or so.
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Re: Stick with my T420 & T430?

#6 Post by matis » Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:42 pm

Thanks for the replies.

Zaz, I AM satisfied with the performance of the T420 and T430. They do what I need very well. I may be a throwback :) but I like the integral DVDs as well. I am willing to lug around the extra weight. The machines I use daily are upgraded to 8GB ram with a 1TB 7200 HDD and I'm happy.

RealBlackStuff suggested what I need -- more of the same editions of the Thinkpad. Actually, I already have 2 T430's and 3 T420's. I use 2 machines daily and my wife uses one. I bought the T430's intending to switch to T430's and sell the T420's. But I haven't figured out how to move what I have on the 420's to the 430's without re-installing everything.

As I back up by simply cloning the HDDs and popping the clones in when needed -- I'm terribly spoiled and dread having to do it the hard way.

So I already have what I need. But hadn't realized it. Guess I just wanted to be re-assured that I can safely use these computers for a few years more.

When I started with Thinkpads I was a bit bemused at the seeming cult that surrounds these computers. Turns out I may have become one of the worst of the cultists.

Thanks again for your help.

matis

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Re: Stick with my T420 & T430?

#7 Post by axur-delmeria » Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:05 pm

matis wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:42 pm
But I haven't figured out how to move what I have on the 420's to the 430's without re-installing everything.
Have you tried putting one of the backup T420 HDDs in the T430? IMO there's a fair chance it could work.
When I started with Thinkpads I was a bit bemused at the seeming cult that surrounds these computers. Turns out I may have become one of the worst of the cultists.
Nowhere near the worst, my friend. We have people here who own 10+ Thinkpads. We also have DIYers :banana: , Frankenpadders :thumbs-UP: , and super-awesome modders :bow:.

It's a great community. :D
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Re: Stick with my T420 & T430?

#8 Post by GrifterGuru » Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:46 pm

Just to add a point of clarification here...

I run Win7U on L412, T420 & T430

Having swapped the drives about between machines (all 3 drives in each of the machines, I can confirm that, other than installing Model specific drivers, there is no issues of note. No booting issues, No BSOD's, nothing.

The same goes for Win7 taking a hdd/SSD from X220 and running in L412, T420, T430.

I also know one SSD (in T420) has been moved from an AMD AM3 tower, across 3 AMD Ryzen towers, 2 M73's an L412, X220, and into my T420 and, briefly to test it, my Fiancee's T430. That is a count of 10 machines and other than unit specific drivers, there have been no issues whatsoever.

This is one reason (among the many!!) I refuse to move to MicroSHAft WinX. Move the hdd/SSD to a new unit? I think not. Microshaft won't allow it with WX.
X31 2672-58G 1.7ghz 2GB RAM
Dell Latitude E5500 2.2GHz 4GB RAM
M73 10AXS06G02 G3220T
M73 10AXS38G00 i7 4785T
L412 4403-72G i5 520M 8GB RAM W7U
T420 4236-9N8 i7-2640M 16GB RAM W7U & MacOS
T430 2349-TDG i5 3320M 8GB Ram W7U
X220 42902-WG i5 8GB RAM MacOS

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Re: Stick with my T420 & T430?

#9 Post by dr_st » Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:08 am

GrifterGuru wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:46 pm
This is one reason (among the many!!) I refuse to move to MicroSHAft WinX. Move the hdd/SSD to a new unit? I think not. Microshaft won't allow it with WX.
Why are you making stuff up? Do you have any evidence that Win10 is any different from Win7 in this regard?
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), X1 Carbon (20HQ), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG, X61 7673-V2V
T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

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Re: Stick with my T420 & T430?

#10 Post by TonyJZX » Thu Sep 27, 2018 1:42 am

You couldnt easily move a Win7 install from one machine to the next anyway...

Even in the perfect example, eg. just say I had a T420 and you moved it to a T430 there's still a lot of mucking around to get things working correctly.

In most cases doing a full re-install is easier.

Now back to the topic... T430s I dont care for.

However there's a lot of exlease units still out there... you can even find units that people have upgraded from, personal units.

You could probably buy a T420 T430 every month of the year and fix it up and it'd be fine.

In the future I feel like classic kbds will still be available however they get more expensive... something like $60 usd etc. isnt unlikely.

Batteries is one thing that will be hard to find. I have some 4th gen. Dells and even they are getting hard to find genuine batteries for. That's just the way it is. If you truly need to run a laptop for 3-4-5 hrs then these 2nd 3rd gen units arent it.

If you want a DTR that can be tethered to wall power then a T420 is fine.

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Re: Stick with my T420 & T430?

#11 Post by TPFanatic » Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:25 am

dr_st wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:08 am
GrifterGuru wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:46 pm
This is one reason (among the many!!) I refuse to move to MicroSHAft WinX. Move the hdd/SSD to a new unit? I think not. Microshaft won't allow it with WX.
Why are you making stuff up? Do you have any evidence that Win10 is any different from Win7 in this regard?
When I was trying 10 I had no problems moving the drive between different laptops and it would automatically install the new drivers just as fine if not better than 7, just like 7 does it better than XP.

Only issue is 10 doesn't activate by SLIC 2.1 :wink:
lenovo X230 i5 3320m IPS 8GB
lenovo T430 i5 3320m FHD 8GB
lenovo T500 P9700 WUXGA 8GB


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Re: Stick with my T420 & T430?

#12 Post by GrifterGuru » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:14 am

dr_st wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:08 am
GrifterGuru wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:46 pm
This is one reason (among the many!!) I refuse to move to MicroSHAft WinX. Move the hdd/SSD to a new unit? I think not. Microshaft won't allow it with WX.
Why are you making stuff up? Do you have any evidence that Win10 is any different from Win7 in this regard?
I should have, perhaps, added "Not without hassle, anyway." on the end of that post as clarification of the point I was trying to make

Evidence of the WX problem? Yes.

A WX drive with clean install other than unit specific drivers, moved between two systems after a new unit was purchased. The case in point for me, an Intel tower, SSD Swapped to the new AMD tower. Would not boot. SSD back in the Intel? Fine..

Other instances when upgrading units or swapping drives have resulted in either the same thing or broken the activation and would have cost money for a new key.

Fine if the machines are identical, a re-activation if you are lucky to get it to run, or a re-install if not.

IF you have tied the WX install to a hotmail/outlook account, you ~*MAY*~ (but not always) get away with claiming "I changed my hardware" and re-activate it, but that does not always work.

In win7's case? Just an installation of unit specific drivers. no other work needed. no-reactivation. no re-install.
Last edited by GrifterGuru on Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
X31 2672-58G 1.7ghz 2GB RAM
Dell Latitude E5500 2.2GHz 4GB RAM
M73 10AXS06G02 G3220T
M73 10AXS38G00 i7 4785T
L412 4403-72G i5 520M 8GB RAM W7U
T420 4236-9N8 i7-2640M 16GB RAM W7U & MacOS
T430 2349-TDG i5 3320M 8GB Ram W7U
X220 42902-WG i5 8GB RAM MacOS

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Re: Stick with my T420 & T430?

#13 Post by dr_st » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:19 am

Sorry, but as far as I can see, you are full of crap.

The licensing terms are not different between desktop versions of Win7 and Win10. A lot of folks are accustomed to cheating it by slipping SLIC 2.1 in their BIOS, but this is just piracy. Win10 can also be pirated, it just requires different means.

As far as working on different hardware - the evidence here suggests that it is at least as good as Win7. In the cases where you experienced problems you would probably experience the same with Win7. That is, if you could get it to run at all - since it does not support new hardware very well (or more accurately, new hardware does not support Win7).
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), X1 Carbon (20HQ), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG, X61 7673-V2V
T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

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Re: Stick with my T420 & T430?

#14 Post by GrifterGuru » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:27 am

dr_st wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:19 am
Sorry, but as far as I can see, you are full of crap.

The licensing terms are not different between desktop versions of Win7 and Win10. A lot of folks are accustomed to cheating it by slipping SLIC 2.1 in their BIOS, but this is just piracy. Win10 can also be pirated, it just requires different means.

As far as working on different hardware - the evidence here suggests that it is at least as good as Win7. In the cases where you experienced problems you would probably experience the same with Win7. That is, if you could get it to run at all - since it does not support new hardware very well (or more accurately, new hardware does not support Win7).
You want proof? Bring me a variety of systems and I can Guarantee, without any qaulms, my win 7 SSD will run on all of them WITHOUT any form of mod, or changes to the install.

Full of crap? The only one see as full of crap is the one challenging what I have proven since the day W7 was first released mainstream. It is also what has been proven by at least three technicians (1 Retired, 1 passed away, 1 is a close friend) and more than a few other computer enthusiasts that I know or have known along the way.

*** EDITED TO ADD ***

My fiancee changed from an Acer laptop to her T430 in the last few days. All that was done was swapping the SSD across. Other than installing TP hardware specific drivers, NOTHING else was needed. I should know, I was the one that swapped it across between the laptops.

*** EDITED TO ADD ***
X31 2672-58G 1.7ghz 2GB RAM
Dell Latitude E5500 2.2GHz 4GB RAM
M73 10AXS06G02 G3220T
M73 10AXS38G00 i7 4785T
L412 4403-72G i5 520M 8GB RAM W7U
T420 4236-9N8 i7-2640M 16GB RAM W7U & MacOS
T430 2349-TDG i5 3320M 8GB Ram W7U
X220 42902-WG i5 8GB RAM MacOS

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Re: Stick with my T420 & T430?

#15 Post by dr_st » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:32 am

GrifterGuru wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:27 am
You want proof? Bring me a variety of systems and I can Guarantee, without any qaulms, my win 7 SSD will run on all of them WITHOUT any form of mod, or changes to the install.
Bring me a variety of systems and my Win10 SSD will do the same.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), X1 Carbon (20HQ), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG, X61 7673-V2V
T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

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Re: Stick with my T420 & T430?

#16 Post by GrifterGuru » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:33 am

Not without broken activation, Unlike W7.
X31 2672-58G 1.7ghz 2GB RAM
Dell Latitude E5500 2.2GHz 4GB RAM
M73 10AXS06G02 G3220T
M73 10AXS38G00 i7 4785T
L412 4403-72G i5 520M 8GB RAM W7U
T420 4236-9N8 i7-2640M 16GB RAM W7U & MacOS
T430 2349-TDG i5 3320M 8GB Ram W7U
X220 42902-WG i5 8GB RAM MacOS

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Re: Stick with my T420 & T430?

#17 Post by dr_st » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:36 am

Without broken activation. Unlike you, I probably know how to activate Win10.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), X1 Carbon (20HQ), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG, X61 7673-V2V
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Re: Stick with my T420 & T430?

#18 Post by TPFanatic » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:43 am

If I may present my anecdotal experiences:

- A Windows 7 x64 drive used in T520 and T420 BSODs when put in my T410 and T410s, unless I first uninstall the Conexant 20672 SmartAudio HD driver.

- A clone of the same drive after set up fully for my T430 BSODs when put in my T520. Haven't yet found the issue, but I can't boot it in the T520, even in safe mode.

- I've shared a drive with Windows 7 x32 between X60s, T42, A31p, and Z60m with no issues.

My experience tells me some softwares/drivers especially the Conexant Audio Drivers are incompatible between different laptops, but Windows 7 itself is very good at moving. Much better than XP which will break if you change your Modem card.

Now my experience with 10 has been just as successful, although 10 takes longer because of its automated process. Upon detecting a change in hardware it will trigger an "updating hardware screen" and reboot while it checks with MS servers and Windows Update, before you reach the desktop environment. This takes more time which is more annoying especially since to set things up fully user intervention is of course still required. It tries to be automated, smart, and intelligent - I feel it gets in my way so my personal preference is to stick with 7, where I have more control.

However my experiences with 10 were mostly on HDDs which is how I concluded 10 to be unusably slow on an HDD, really needing an SSD to be productive (whereas 7 and XP are fine on HDDs). With an SSD the process is probably way faster than has been my experience and now that I have access to Windows 10 Ed I may try it out soon.
lenovo X230 i5 3320m IPS 8GB
lenovo T430 i5 3320m FHD 8GB
lenovo T500 P9700 WUXGA 8GB


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Re: Stick with my T420 & T430?

#19 Post by GrifterGuru » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:49 am

dr_st wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:36 am
Without broken activation. Unlike you, I probably know how to activate Win10.
I know how to activate win 10, quite easily in fact.

You are making assumptions that I know feckall and making an @ss(Another word for donkey) of yourself in the process.

As much as I may be enjoying this sparring, I have better things to do than waste my time.

Want to troll? Go find another victim, I am not wasting anymore time on you.
X31 2672-58G 1.7ghz 2GB RAM
Dell Latitude E5500 2.2GHz 4GB RAM
M73 10AXS06G02 G3220T
M73 10AXS38G00 i7 4785T
L412 4403-72G i5 520M 8GB RAM W7U
T420 4236-9N8 i7-2640M 16GB RAM W7U & MacOS
T430 2349-TDG i5 3320M 8GB Ram W7U
X220 42902-WG i5 8GB RAM MacOS

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Re: Stick with my T420 & T430?

#20 Post by GrifterGuru » Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:08 pm

TPFanatic wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:43 am
If I may present my anecdotal experiences:

- A Windows 7 x64 drive used in T520 and T420 BSODs when put in my T410 and T410s, unless I first uninstall the Conexant 20672 SmartAudio HD driver.

- A clone of the same drive after set up fully for my T430 BSODs when put in my T520. Haven't yet found the issue, but I can't boot it in the T520, even in safe mode.

- I've shared a drive with Windows 7 x32 between X60s, T42, A31p, and Z60m with no issues.

My experience tells me some softwares/drivers especially the Conexant Audio Drivers are incompatible between different laptops, but Windows 7 itself is very good at moving. Much better than XP which will break if you change your Modem card.

Now my experience with 10 has been just as successful, although 10 takes longer because of its automated process. Upon detecting a change in hardware it will trigger an "updating hardware screen" and reboot while it checks with MS servers and Windows Update, before you reach the desktop environment. This takes more time which is more annoying especially since to set things up fully user intervention is of course still required. It tries to be automated, smart, and intelligent - I feel it gets in my way so my personal preference is to stick with 7, where I have more control.

However my experiences with 10 were mostly on HDDs which is how I concluded 10 to be unusably slow on an HDD, really needing an SSD to be productive (whereas 7 and XP are fine on HDDs). With an SSD the process is probably way faster than has been my experience and now that I have access to Windows 10 Ed I may try it out soon.
A well written, well reasoned post. Excellent!

I must admit though, between all the systems I have swapped W7 HDD's/SSD's between, I have never seen a BSOD due to driver issues. But then, there is always a first time I suppose? Also, if knowingly permenantly moving an HDD/SSD from one to another system, it makes sense to uninstall specific drivers to avoid potential issues.

Again, however, I have yet to have that issue for some reason?

My experience with WX is not just limited to casual use, it is based on intentional problem finding, backed up by a technician being present (Whom is also a close friend), so that any issues that may occur can be looked into & resolved where possible.

WX is indeed better on SSD, though it depends on the interface and medium. It boils down to whether it is a Sata 1.5Gb/s, Sata II 3Gb/s or Sata III 6Gb/s interface* and whether you are using mSata/m.2/NVME or 2.5" SSD as to the obtained results. Obviously a vanilla 2.5" SSD is best but machine restrictions can play into medium choice and interface specs.

All that said, I still do not trust WX/Microshaft, not to break activation or just plain not work when swapping units or simply upgrading (I have known parts ugrades to break activation E.G CPU or Mobo) and I refuse to tie my system to microsoft via a registered email/outlook account.


**** Edited to add externally linked information for clarity ****

See here for an explanation on sata I/II/III and the respective Read/Write speeds of each interface

**** Edited to add externally linked information for clarity ****
X31 2672-58G 1.7ghz 2GB RAM
Dell Latitude E5500 2.2GHz 4GB RAM
M73 10AXS06G02 G3220T
M73 10AXS38G00 i7 4785T
L412 4403-72G i5 520M 8GB RAM W7U
T420 4236-9N8 i7-2640M 16GB RAM W7U & MacOS
T430 2349-TDG i5 3320M 8GB Ram W7U
X220 42902-WG i5 8GB RAM MacOS

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Re: Stick with my T420 & T430?

#21 Post by brucehe » Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:25 pm

I have also been considering the longevity of these models. I take care of my daughter's computer that she and her partner use for their farm business in VT. They need to stay up for managing their 100 person customer base spreadsheet for orders and Quick books. They have a T400, 8GB 250GB Samsung SSD, and a T420 6GB msATA SSD that keep on going but I also have been wondering about the upgrade path. While i was there I moved her T400 W7 SSD to the T420 to use as the main machine. Just updated a few drivers and it works fine. I replaced the keyboard on the T40, hinges and the LED backlit LCD because of a few vertical lines, not sure it really was the LCD. They are pretty hard on the machines dirt and handling wise but they keep on going. I am unsure how the newer machines will hold up to their abuse. My current plan is to get them anotherT420 as a back up machine so they can slide the SSD directly into it or perhaps clone another drive for it. The T400 then becomes a web browsing machine. Any other ideas?

Thanks,

Bruce
W520 FHD Quadro 2000M, T60 XGA with T60p board (wife), HP 8710w IPS multimedia, Yoga 2 10 inch W10, X230T, X200s for sale
Under my care, T61 4:3, T400 Intel 8GB Ram 256GB SSD, 2X T410, T420, T430,

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