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T400 and Windows 10: My experience

Windows 10 on Lenovo hardware
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jmcafee
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T400 and Windows 10: My experience

#1 Post by jmcafee » Sun Aug 02, 2015 3:17 pm

Upgrading to Win 10 Pro RTM (not the beta) on a T400 was definitely more painful than any other recent Windows upgrade that I've experienced on desktops or other Thinkpads. The result is quite mixed, and you need to weigh the benefits and detriments, and be aware of the "gotchas".

My T400 includes the switchable graphics and a fingerprint reader. Incompatibility of both of these with Windows 10 is the main reason that I'm reverting to Windows 7.

I attempted 7 installations, including in-place upgrade of Windows 7 and fresh installs on a new partition. Before performing any installation, you **MUST** disable in the BIOS the switchable graphics detection by the OS, and choose either the discrete or integrated set.

The Bad
* Not knowing the graphics issue (true also for Win 8 as I later found out) was the source of many, but not all problems. With the switchable graphics enabled, any warm reboot leaves you at a blank black screen without any cursor or response to the keyboard. This is a killer during the OS install because you are inclined to power off at the worst time and corrupt the installation process. However, if you are patient and let the installation go a long time (assuming that no user input is needed), you will see the screen when cycling a sleep/wakeup or cold boot.
* The Windows 7 in-place upgrade went on for over 1.5 hours on a very clean system with only about 5 major applications, so long that I thought the installation was stuck in an infinite loop. I aborted the upgrade and rebooted. Win 10 automatically recognized the failed upgrade, and offered to revert or restore (I forget the phrase) the previous OS. Accepting the offer yielded a red screen with the Win 10 spinning thingy going overnight about 8 hours without any success. Goodbye old OS.

With switchable graphics disabled and installation to a fresh partition, the process was mostly quick and smooth, but still had a few hiccups:
* In the final stages you are asked to accept default configuration settings, or customize to your preference (which I highly recommend because there are several egregious functions that default to enabled). I routinely had to go through this dialog twice for some unknown reason.
* I routinely had the system freeze hard starting about 20 seconds after the fresh desktop appears after installation, without any KB or mouse response. This repeated several times after hard power off/on, but eventually stopped. I was able to launch the task manager prior to the freeze and saw significant CPU usage by Defender and OneDrive, but it is not clear if these are the culprits. If you encounter the freeze try letting it sit for a few minutes to see if it spontaneously resolves.

Other functional limitations:
* Some of the Thinkpad function keys do not work. For me the radio control is the most important omission. Since Lenovo didn't support Win 8, don't expect any drivers for Win 10. [EDIT: Win 8 is supported, but apparantly not 8.1.]
* The fingerprint reader is useless in the OS (but works at bootup).
* The trackpoint and touchpad scrolling doesn't seem as functional with native drivers vs. Lenovo's in Win 7. I didn't explore this too much, and maybe it had to do with the Edge browser.
* The Edge browser doesn't accept plugins at this time. LastPass and Adblock Plus are the 2 most important for me.

The Good
* Win 10 is fast. Noticeably faster than Win 7 in bootup, app launch, and system responsiveness.
* All hardware was detected with native drivers except as described above. It was nice to see the radios natively supported.
* The Edge browser is lightning fast. I didn't install Chrome or FF in Win 10, but I would expect that these guys are in for a whippin'.
* The OSD of speaker volume and screen brightness is natively supported, though I prefer the Lenovo graphic in Win 7.
* WiFi connections and switching are remarkably fast, almost instantaneous.

You can be the judge of the Win 10 UI, aesthetics, and threat to your privacy. I find Win 7 elegant and mature. The Win 10 UI is more edgy and more active. But if you don't pay attention in your Win 10 configuration there is a whole lot of information that is shared with MS, websites and apps for personalization of ads and a "better experience". I find that Wi-Fi Sense (Wifi sharing with contacts, and connection to suggested hotspots) is one of the more egregious threats.

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Re: T400 and Windows 10: My experience

#2 Post by Temetka » Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:54 pm

I don't blame you on going back to Windows 7.

Yes, Windows 10 is very fast. It also has a lot of privacy concerns and the whole pushing updates deal depending on ther version you install.

I totally wiped my SSD and installed linux.
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Re: T400 and Windows 10: My experience

#3 Post by agklimit » Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:18 am

My experience with Win10 on T400 was exactly the same. Initially I was happy with the upgrade, but day by day I've started noticing problems that have led me back to Win7. The biggest frustration was the system overheating (TPFC did not help as much as it does under Win7). Also, I've lost the ability to regulate screen brightness via keyboard. All in all, I think that this is the point where my T400 says good bye to Windows upgrades (I've had Win8 and Win8.1 for a while, but that was always clearly worse experience than Win7, and even worse than Win10).
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Re: T400 and Windows 10: My experience

#4 Post by vcfvct » Sun Aug 30, 2015 2:14 pm

I have the same experience.
Especially the freezing you mentioned is very annoying. I have to switch back to windows 7.

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Re: T400 and Windows 10: My experience

#5 Post by vcfvct » Sun Aug 30, 2015 2:16 pm

Temetka wrote:I don't blame you on going back to Windows 7.

Yes, Windows 10 is very fast. It also has a lot of privacy concerns and the whole pushing updates deal depending on ther version you install.

I totally wiped my SSD and installed linux.
What did you install? i am considering Mint. Not sure how the driver is supported.

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Re: T400 and Windows 10: My experience

#6 Post by Temetka » Fri Sep 04, 2015 11:46 pm

Temetka wrote:I don't blame you on going back to Windows 7.

Yes, Windows 10 is very fast. It also has a lot of privacy concerns and the whole pushing updates deal depending on ther version you install.

I totally wiped my SSD and installed linux.

I am now running Windows 10 as my primary OS with Linux in a dual boot setup. I still like linux and have used it for years, but man Windows 10 is very, very nice.
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Re: T400 and Windows 10: My experience

#7 Post by Omineca » Sat Sep 05, 2015 12:43 am

I'm down to one windows computer now. It's on Windows 7 (rolled back from Windows 10) and I use it for watching TV and installing software on smartphones that don't play nice with Linux. Other that that, it's Debian LXDE on everything.
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Re: T400 and Windows 10: My experience

#8 Post by WVZR1 » Sun Sep 06, 2015 2:50 pm

Temetka wrote:
Temetka wrote:I don't blame you on going back to Windows 7.

Yes, Windows 10 is very fast. It also has a lot of privacy concerns and the whole pushing updates deal depending on ther version you install.

I totally wiped my SSD and installed linux.

I am now running Windows 10 as my primary OS with Linux in a dual boot setup. I still like linux and have used it for years, but man Windows 10 is very, very nice.
The OP was commenting regarding a T400 and most others have. You mention "very nice" but is that in regards to W10 on a T400 or just a general observation of W10 perhaps on a different machine. I think that it's important maybe to comment regarding the T400 with the 'switchable graphics' which seems to create considerable issues.

If the 'very nice' is actually a T400 what did you perhaps do to make it a 'pleasant experience'?
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Re: T400 and Windows 10: My experience

#9 Post by ZaZ » Mon Sep 07, 2015 5:47 pm

Temetka wrote:Windows 10 is very, very nice.
How so? I was going to do it on my Dell, but passed after I had to wait for the download.
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Re: T400 and Windows 10: My experience

#10 Post by Temetka » Mon Sep 07, 2015 7:06 pm

RE: T400. No, I don't have one. I have a T410 with an i5 CPU. The specs are in my signature.

RE: Very nice. The entire OS is amazingly fast and smooth. Cortana works very well for me. My only complaint it the window border colors don't match the overall scheme. But I hear that is going to be addressed in a forthcoming update.

It's such a nice OS, the I am contemplating removing my linux partition. While I like Linux a lot, I mainly boot into to it to tinker around. But I don't do anything serious in it other than listening to music and browsing the web. That being said I wish Rainmeter was as configurable as conky. I love conky very much.
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Re: T400 and Windows 10: My experience

#11 Post by pjk » Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:42 pm

agklimit wrote:Initially I was happy with the upgrade, but day by day I've started noticing problems that have led me back to Win7. The biggest frustration was the system overheating (TPFC did not help as much as it does under Win7).
I've had overheating issues with the T400 on both Windows 8.1 and 10, I think the fact that there are no officially-supported Lenovo power management drivers/UI tools for anything past Win7 is probably why.

Luckily for me this is a secondary laptop that I keep as a backup and for experimental things. I need to understand Win10 because supporting small business computing is what I do for a living, but at this point I'm not inclined to install it for daily personal/work use other than as a testbed.

Pity, because I was hoping Microsoft had learned their lesson on Windows 8. Nope. In fact, some things are much worse than 8. (All the snoopery stuff, the haughty way they don't tell you any details about system updates and make them very hard to control, sneakily do all sorts of things like pre-emptively download 4-6GB of installer files for Win10 even if you'll never choose to install it, etc etc.)

I was contemplating a T410 (last 14" T-series Thinkpad with 16:10 display panel) but now I may consider something a little newer in case I eventually decide to go past Win 8.1 on that device.

Kubuntu 14.04 LTS does work pretty nicely on the T400, I'm using it more and more on that device. And it's got the "transparency effects" that I liked in Win7, too. Boy do I hate this "flat UI" trend. Ugly, ugly, ugly...
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Re: T400 and Windows 10: My experience

#12 Post by Hans Gruber » Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:25 pm

pjk wrote:
agklimit wrote:Initially I was happy with the upgrade, but day by day I've started noticing problems that have led me back to Win7. The biggest frustration was the system overheating (TPFC did not help as much as it does under Win7).
I've had overheating issues with the T400 on both Windows 8.1 and 10, I think the fact that there are no officially-supported Lenovo power management drivers/UI tools for anything past Win7 is probably why.

Luckily for me this is a secondary laptop that I keep as a backup and for experimental things. I need to understand Win10 because supporting small business computing is what I do for a living, but at this point I'm not inclined to install it for daily personal/work use other than as a testbed.

Pity, because I was hoping Microsoft had learned their lesson on Windows 8. Nope. In fact, some things are much worse than 8. (All the snoopery stuff, the haughty way they don't tell you any details about system updates and make them very hard to control, sneakily do all sorts of things like pre-emptively download 4-6GB of installer files for Win10 even if you'll never choose to install it, etc etc.)

I was contemplating a T410 (last 14" T-series Thinkpad with 16:10 display panel) but now I may consider something a little newer in case I eventually decide to go past Win 8.1 on that device.

Kubuntu 14.04 LTS does work pretty nicely on the T400, I'm using it more and more on that device. And it's got the "transparency effects" that I liked in Win7, too. Boy do I hate this "flat UI" trend. Ugly, ugly, ugly...
I don't have a T400 but I have a T500 and it runs like Dante's Inferno on discrete graphics. With integrated graphics it can be tamed using TP fan control. I suggest using TP Fan Control if you are not already using it.
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Re: T400 and Windows 10: My experience

#13 Post by pjk » Sat Sep 12, 2015 5:45 am

Hans Gruber wrote:I don't have a T400 but I have a T500 and it runs like Dante's Inferno on discrete graphics. With integrated graphics it can be tamed using TP fan control. I suggest using TP Fan Control if you are not already using it.

Unfortunately I sometimes connect it to a DVI monitor via a dock and on this model you have to enable the ATI graphics in order to get a signal from the DVI port, apparently. And once I've installed the OS using that display configuration I'm disinclined to change it afterwards, especially given the fact that there is no official support for the newer OS's from Lenovo on that model and I've recently read here from people how they have big problems if they try to do that in Win8x/10.

My other T400 runs Win7 and not only do I like Win7 much better than 8/8.1/10, I don't have any overheating issues with it either. :)

So this LT will remain in occasional use (and mostly with Linux), and my next round of updates will probably include some Thinkpads with official support for the newer OS's. Thanks for the tip though. :)
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Re: T400 and Windows 10: My experience

#14 Post by TonyJZX » Thu Oct 15, 2015 1:38 am

My favorite T400 has this happen:

http://imgur.com/Yb9QG58

I did not reserve but it has already downloaded Win10 and it is 'preparing'.

I already have a desktop with all the Win10 files on it so its not costing me in bandwidth but it is a bit presumptious for MS to go this far.

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Re: T400 and Windows 10: My experience

#15 Post by RealBlackStuff » Thu Oct 15, 2015 4:27 am

Don't forget that you have only 30 days to go back to your previous OS, if you don't like W10.
After that, you'll have to install your old OS from scratch and loose all your old data (unless you have a complete backup).
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Re: T400 and Windows 10: My experience

#16 Post by Pokrzept » Thu Oct 15, 2015 4:43 am

@RealBlackStuff you want to tell us that W10 download itself even if you really don't want it, and resides on local drive all time long, but if you want to migrate and test it, it will delete your data without further notice after 30 days ? :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana:
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Re: T400 and Windows 10: My experience

#17 Post by RealBlackStuff » Thu Oct 15, 2015 4:56 am


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Re: T400 and Windows 10: My experience

#18 Post by JAJO » Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:59 am

Hello there,

Any update on it?
Anyone else was trying Windows 10 on T400 with Intel/AMD GPU's recently?

Thanks.
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Re: T400 and Windows 10: My experience

#19 Post by lenovo_or_bust » Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:05 am

I have a T400 on Windows 7 Home Premium. Finally decided to respond to the update to Windows 10 nags, having backed up all files. But it always fails to upgrade (after a long wait) on 0x80070005. This even after trying to start from a burned DVD ISO from the Media Creation Tool. It's a very common upgrade error across many brands of hardware on W7. Already exhausted all the myriad solutions from MS and the forums.

So what I'd like to know is, has anyone done the straight update to W10 from W7 32bit but without the above error?
(I have a 2nd T400 that was on 64 bit Windows 7 Ultimate, that one upgraded incredibly smoothly without a single installed program failing or preference being lost).

This W10 hardware compatibility list page:
https://support.lenovo.com/us/en/documents/ht103535
shows the T400 to be not supported at all.
So is that the answer?

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Re: T400 and Windows 10: My experience

#20 Post by JAJO » Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:45 am

lenovo_or_bust wrote:I have a T400 on Windows 7 Home Premium. Finally decided to respond to the update to Windows 10 nags, having backed up all files. But it always fails to upgrade (after a long wait) on 0x80070005. This even after trying to start from a burned DVD ISO from the Media Creation Tool. It's a very common upgrade error across many brands of hardware on W7. Already exhausted all the myriad solutions from MS and the forums.

So what I'd like to know is, has anyone done the straight update to W10 from W7 32bit but without the above error?
(I have a 2nd T400 that was on 64 bit Windows 7 Ultimate, that one upgraded incredibly smoothly without a single installed program failing or preference being lost).

This W10 hardware compatibility list page:
https://support.lenovo.com/us/en/documents/ht103535
shows the T400 to be not supported at all.
So is that the answer?
Do you have Intel GPU only, or both - Intel/Radeon?
If both, did you try to set up in Bios to use one of them and than perform the upgrade to Win 10?
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Re: T400 and Windows 10: My experience

#21 Post by Donal » Sat Jun 11, 2016 4:48 pm

I've tried twice at least to install the Widows 10 update. I think the first time it was about 16 hours altogether, stuck on 99% installing. So I googled and it seemed the solution was to just let it keep installing no matter how long it took. This last time was about 30 hours at 99% and I said heck with it and pulled the plug. Checked the forum and found this thread. I went into my bios and changed the switchable graphics to one or the other, and disabled the setting to allow OS to recognize switchable graphics or something like that. It is now downloading widows 10 update and is at 73%. I did this update on a T61 and it went right thru. I had just upgraded these computers from Vista to Win 7 on account of apps no longer supported in Vista. Then the other day, I wanted to install some rinky dink app, but it required newer than Win 7, so I figured I might as well take the time and update to Win 10.

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Re: T400 and Windows 10: My experience

#22 Post by Donal » Sat Jun 11, 2016 4:51 pm

I was referring to a T400 in the previous post.

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Re: T400 and Windows 10: My experience

#23 Post by Donal » Sat Jun 11, 2016 5:37 pm

Just hit 99% installed. Now we will see.

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Re: T400 and Windows 10: My experience

#24 Post by Donal » Sat Jun 11, 2016 6:00 pm

Not looking good. Still on 99% complete.

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Re: T400 and Windows 10: My experience

#25 Post by Donal » Sat Jun 11, 2016 9:30 pm

Still on 99% complete. Maybe this T400 will remain on Windows 7.

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Re: T400 and Windows 10: My experience

#26 Post by shawross » Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:53 pm

I have installed W 10 on all my thinkpads including two T43's . Initially I did this just to digitally sign the mobo to W 10 and the installs went smoothly.

A T400 which I had given to my brother I tried to install W 10 and it wasn't a pleasant experience but I actually finished the install. I setup the bios to use the Intel graphics as I remember. After the install the T400 ran hot and in Windows 7 I never had any heat issues.
Consequently I went back to Windows 7 for the T400.
Also I updated windows updates and then I disabled windows updates and set Action Center not to give windows update warnings.

Windows updates is the weak point for W7 now so update periodically and then disable is my recommendation.

I would initially recommend to install W10 to get the digital signature before going back to W7.
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Re: T400 and Windows 10: My experience

#27 Post by lenovo_or_bust » Sun Jun 12, 2016 2:21 am

With my T400 I only succeeded in installing Windows 10 by doing a new clean install. The update route was a failure. However having done it, it's a much faster smoother machine (32 bit W10 with 4GB RAM) that manages sleep/unsleep better too. Never got the fingerprint reader to work on the T400, has anyone else?

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Re: T400 and Windows 10: My experience

#28 Post by Donal » Mon Jun 13, 2016 12:23 am

Was able to upgrade another T400 to Windows 10. Did not change bios or anything. It finished updating somewhere between hour 9 and hour 16. I had gone to bed.

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Re: T400 and Windows 10: My experience

#29 Post by Donal » Wed Jun 15, 2016 2:19 am

To continue. Tried installing Windows 10 , again, on the T400 that I had pulled the plug on after 30 hours. I had decided to let it go, as long as it would take. Downloaded and installed Windows 10 up to 99% pretty quick- like in an hour or so. Just a few minutes ago, 37 1/2 hours after I started, it finished up the download and install, and has been restarted and is now upgrading Windows. Hooray! It is at 22% right now. I am considering this a success story. I had been asleep, and happened to wake up and checked on it, noticing it was exhibiting activity that it wasn't previously. :banana: :lol:
Last edited by Donal on Wed Jun 15, 2016 2:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: T400 and Windows 10: My experience

#30 Post by Donal » Wed Jun 15, 2016 2:22 am

Don't know if it makes a difference or not, but before I started, this time, I went into bios and changed the graphics setting to integrated, and OS not to detect switchable graphics.

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