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Windows 8 on a Thinkpad X61

Windows 8 on ThinkPads
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Windows 8 on a Thinkpad X61

#1 Post by Ashley_Pomeroy » Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:32 pm

A couple of days ago I installed the retail version of Windows 8 on my Thinkpad X61, upgrading from XP SP3, and I've written about my experiences here:

It generally worked fine, but there were a couple of problems. The brightness control buttons, for example, changed the on-screen brightness slider, but the screen brightness didn't change (this was independent of the "adaptive brightness" problem that some people have encountered); and after plugging in an external monitor with the VGA connector, no amount of fiddling would get it to work. Going to the adapter properties and clicking "update driver" - something I normally wouldn't do in XP - seemed to fix that, although to complicate things I subsequently rolled back those drivers and installed the official Windows 7 versions from Lenovo's (incredibly slow) support site. It seems that Windows 8 plonks in some generic monitor and graphics driver at first. No doubt lots of official Windows 8 drivers will be forthcoming. The ThinkVantage software suite is now gone, can't say I'll miss it much; I have no idea if the hard drive motion sensor is working behind the scenes.

Hang on, going here I see a list of their recent drivers, which has some for Windows 8.

Peter Meinl on this very forum suggests some alternative drivers which might be worth trying. As he points out, Snap doesn't work on a 1024x768 screen - but it will work on an external monitor, e.g.:

It's not a particularly big loss.

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Re: Windows 8 on a Thinkpad X61

#2 Post by mikemex » Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:43 pm

1) Yes, Lenovo's support site is very slow. I wonder why haven't they fixed it yet.
2) My sister has Windows 8 Preview running on an X60 and it runs fine.
Main: i5 3550, 16GB, Z68 Pro3 M, 64GB SLC, 320GB HD, GTX 650Ti, 21.5 FHD LED
T420: i5-2520m, 8GB, SSD: 64GB SLC (boot) | 128GB MLC (storage), HD3000, HD (1366x768), 6 Cell, BT, WebCam
X220: i5-2520m, 4GB, SSD: 64GB SLC (boot) | 128GB MLC (storage), HD3000, HD (1366x768), 6 Cell, BT, WebCam, FP

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Re: Windows 8 on a Thinkpad X61

#3 Post by Fixed_Rider » Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:49 pm

1024x768 is the minimum resolution for Win8.
1366x768 is the minimum to use the snap feature.

Still on Win 8 RP on my x61 and I have zero issues with it. I'll upgrade in the next couple days and report back if anything changes.

Gotta love running a new OS on old hardware.

On a side note: Win8 RP runs flawlessly on my daughters T43p. Only required the wireless card driver and display driver from Vista to work.
ThinkPads: T420 W520, X61, X61s, T61, T43p (SATA Mod by RBS) & iPhone 5

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Re: Windows 8 on a Thinkpad X61

#4 Post by Ashley_Pomeroy » Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:11 pm

With regards to video drivers I've had another go. My upgrade install put on a "microsoft basic display adapter" dated 2006. It seems to work and gives this WEI:

The problem is that it doesn't pick up a second monitor; or rather it does, but it seems to think that my external monitor is actually the Thinkpad's screen. There's no option to project to a second monitor. If I do the "search online for a driver" it tries to install an updated driver, but fails ("the system cannot find the file specified"), which is odd because it worked the first time.

If I install the Windows 7 drivers from Lenovo's site the process works and I get Intel's media accelerator in the display properties control panel, with a driver dated 2009. Multi-monitor support is a breeze. Unfortunately the WEI test now hangs when it gets to the Direct3D 10 texture load assessment. In fact I have to restart the machine to dismiss the window.

So, I can run the WEI test, or use external monitors, but not both. I know which one is more useful for me.
Last edited by Ashley_Pomeroy on Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Windows 8 on a Thinkpad X61

#5 Post by Sandstorm83 » Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:59 pm

I would definitely use the Lenovo Windows 7 drivers as it supports multi-monitors and if you use any OpenGL software as the Windows drivers do not support OpenGL at all.

I did the same on my X200 but it passes the WEI score without a hitch.
T61 -- T7300 4GB W7Px64
X200 - P8600 4GB W7Px64

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Re: Windows 8 on a Thinkpad X61

#6 Post by pmeinl » Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:12 am

For my X61s installing the Intel Chipset support for Windows 8, see [url]http://petermeinl.wordpress.com/2012/10 ... nkpad//url], made all the difference.
After installing this Win8 update recognized the chipset properly and via device manager, update driver, search automatically a good display diver was installed. It supports external monitors and its performance index is 3.1
X61s Win8 64 bit, 160GB Intel X25-M SSD

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