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I'm a Thinkpad newbie

T400/T410/T420 and T500/T510/T520 Series
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GeneL
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2021 1:17 pm
Location: Ladera Ranch, Ca.

I'm a Thinkpad newbie

#1 Post by GeneL » Mon Jul 26, 2021 2:14 pm

Hello everyone, This looks like a good community!
I am not a new user, I've had almost every version of Windows since 3.1, (Yes, even the troublesome Vista and ME.)

Right now I've got a somewhat unique problem.

My Toshiba laptop just died, and I had a clean install of the latest Win10 build installed on a SSD.

I re-installed that drive on my new-to-me T420.(I have another drive with Mint). It works, but I'm missing some drivers.

The buttons below the pad are non-functional, and I can't find driver software, nor a way of activating them. Also I'd like to activate
the fingerprint reader.

I know my T420 it was shipped with the last good windows, 7, but I also think that there was a special version with a utilities partition for the T420. I have a OEM version of 7, but I doubt it would recreate the original Lenovo build. I'm thinking I might be able to find the drivers, or I might have to reinstall 7 or 10, but I question either would install the specfic drivers. I went to the official Lenovo Site, but I couldn't find anything.

Thanks for any help!

Gene

BTW, I LOVE the build quality and being able to upgrade/fix the unit, I have a Bluetooth receiver on order.

imthedoctor
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2021 7:01 pm
Location: Sarasota, FL

Re: I'm a Thinkpad newbie

#2 Post by imthedoctor » Mon Jul 26, 2021 7:07 pm

Hi, I'm pretty much new too! anyways, I can recommend reinstalling Windows with a Thinkpad recovery disk(there is download somewhere in this site, long time lurker) or even better, Installing GNU/Linux tho

GeneL
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2021 1:17 pm
Location: Ladera Ranch, Ca.

Re: I'm a Thinkpad newbie

#3 Post by GeneL » Mon Jul 26, 2021 7:38 pm

Thanks for the reply, imthedoctor. Hoping to get this thing running right.

Oh, and I'm being asked to validate my install, even though I had it validated on my Toshiba.

ZaZ
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Re: I'm a Thinkpad newbie

#4 Post by ZaZ » Tue Jul 27, 2021 12:57 am

How did you acquire Windows 10? Typically when you buy a computer with Windows installed on it, the license is tied to that particular machine. It's usually not transferable to another machine, which is why it's asking you to validate. I find a clean install to be preferable as there's often driver issues as you seen, even if the license is interchangeable.
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RealBlackStuff
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Re: I'm a Thinkpad newbie

#5 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Jul 27, 2021 2:14 am

You can get older Thinkpad drivers here: https://download.lenovo.com/eol/index.html
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GeneL
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2021 1:17 pm
Location: Ladera Ranch, Ca.

Re: I'm a Thinkpad newbie

#6 Post by GeneL » Tue Jul 27, 2021 10:40 am

Zaz, If you knew, (know?) you can get 10 for free. I still have the upgrade disk I burned.

GeneL
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2021 1:17 pm
Location: Ladera Ranch, Ca.

Re: I'm a Thinkpad newbie

#7 Post by GeneL » Tue Jul 27, 2021 10:42 am

RBS, thanks, I am going to check that out.

WarMachine
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I'm a Thinkpad newbie

#8 Post by WarMachine » Wed Aug 11, 2021 11:31 pm

Hello,

Welcome to the forum. :)

Not necessarily a good thing to put a drive which already contains an OS on another machine. You saw that you could have drivers problems. They are not the only problems you can have. Some configuration might be done to adapt to the new machine. And that can be tricky. The time you spend to fix those problems can be superior to the time you put in a fresh install. It's nice to know too that you're pretty lucky to be able to boot with your SSD, most of the time, it doesn't work.

My advice is to save all your data, then install the drive in the new machine, to unplug all the other disks, memory cards, USB keys and so on, and do a new installation (which will delete the previous installation). Hence you'll have something clean and installed specifically for the new machine.

T420 are 7 era machines. I suppose some of them where sold without an OS, but most of them will come with a COA (certificate of anthenticity), with the 25-digits activation number. When MS put Windows 10 on the market in july 2015, they gave us the opportunity to do a free update from 7 or 8.x to the equivalent version of Windows 10. So, you could activate your new system with the activation number of you current machine.

Officially, this was supposed to stop one year leater (in july 2016) but it seems it's always possible nowadays. The people around me and me, also, have been able to activate Windows 10 installations with 7 key. Never heard of problems about that all this time.
When I installed Windows 10 on my T420, I had a 7 COA on it, and I had no problem to activate the new OS. No problem at all on one of my latest machines, a T410s. And my last one (a W520), has Windows 10 already installed on it, but I will change the disk in the coming days, I will reinstall, I have checked, I have a 7 COA, so I think I will be able to activate a Windows 10 install (in fact, I'm even sure, because the actual OS is activated with the very activation number I have on the COA).

You can always try. If the activation fail, the system will nevertheless be installed, and you'll have 30 days to activate it (so, 30 days to buy a new licence). :)

W.
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