Sunday, July 25, 2010

Windows 7 and ThinkPad X40

With my shiny new TechNet Standard subscription in hand, my first target was my beloved ThinkPad X40. You'll remember I replaced the 1.8" hard drive with a KingSpec solid state drive.

I maxed out the memory at 1.5GB with a $19 DIMM from 5R Processors.

I built a USB drive with Windows 7 Pro and Office 2003 and Office 2010.

I booted the USB drive and Windows 7 was installed in about 30 minutes.


Device Manager didn't look so good. Lots of yellow exclamation marks! I started Googling them one by one but came across one suggestion that was just too simple: Run Windows Update. Duh!

Since one of the exclamation marks was the wireless adapter, I plugged in an Ethernet cable and fired up Windows Update.

Fixed it.


The video card wasn't recognized. Back to Google. It wasn't so simple this time. The Intel chipset the X40 uses simply doesn't have Windows 7 drivers.

There were a couple of people who claimed they had overcome this but there were almost always comments that that solution hadn't worked.

I finally took the simplest solution with no dissenters and tried it.


Now I have a 2.7lb. sub-notebook running Windows 7 with all the features working fine.

Next? A ThinkPad T42.


Mitch said...

Thanks. I'm confused about which video driver to use. After downloading, I extract the files and there are many .inf files in a Win2000 directory. Which do I choose? Thanks for any advice.

Ben Moore said...

It's been so long ago that I can't recall. I would think that you could just point the Device Manager to the files you extracted from the i855_win7.7z. I've taken screen shots from my X40 to see if that helps you. If you need more details from that system let me know.

Mitch said...

Thanks. I was just able to point to the directory where the inf files were and it worked.

Anonymous said...

Can you comment on how the Kingspec has performed over time in your X40? Any issues with speed?

Ben Moore said...

The Kingspec has been unusable. If you dig around that model (32GB KingSpec 1.8" PATA/IDE SSD Solid State Disk (MLC) P/N KSD-PA18.1-032MJ) doesn't support TRIM.

The Readers Digest version of what that means is that it will grind to a halt over time. And there is nothing you can do to correct that.

When it was fresh it was smoking. Within a couple of months (and I make very light use of that laptop) I was experiencing 10-20 second long hangs. This worsened over time until I gave up and put the old HD back in it.

That HD is so slow that the system tries my patience.

The X40 is really old now (7 years) so I'm not sure I'm willing to invest any more in it.

Currently I just use it to read my RSS feeds in bed while my wife washes her makeup off. I've been tempted to just use my iPad with Chrome for that.