Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Windows 7 32-bit and 64-bit on Lenovo G530-4446-38U

Windows 7 is the latest and greatest operating system from Microsoft. Windows 7 is what Windows XP was to Windows 2000, in other words, it is version 6.1 while Vista is version 6.0, similarly XP was version 5.1, while 2000 was version 5.0. That's where all similarities end, internally Windows 7 is different from Windows Vista, thus drivers, software, and everything else won't function in Windows 7 just as well they have functioned in Windows Vista. There is a saying, I don't know who coined it, perhaps me, it goes "a computer is designed for an operating system, not the other way around." For example, best operating system for Socket A board designed and optimized for Windows XP, is in fact Windows XP. If you install Vista onto your socket A system, you will have some issues. Similarly, your laptop was designed for Windows Vista 32-bit, and so best operating system for your laptop is Windows Vista 32-bit.

Windows 7 is much more appealing than Windows Vista, it's everything Vista wasn't, but, it is not mature enough for day to day use, in my opinion. I'd wait another 2 years to get it. There are some people out there, especially programmers, who'd love to have Windows 7 for testing purposes, and so this blog is aimed at mature programmer community with extra skills.

Know that Lenovo Power Manger does not work in 7 anymore. Probably due to different operating system APIs. You will loose the ability to turn hardware wifi on or off. It's best to avoid installing it altogether. But if you insist, you will have to go to PMDriver folder and copy all files from Vista64 or Vista to the main directory of PMDriver, otherwise you will receive PMEBLib.dll is missing error. You might want to grab LPM from U450P instead, it installs alright, but still wifi hardware on/off does not work.

Don't touch video driver, 7 comes with the best available driver already. Video driver from Lenovo will install but, your screen will flicker and there will be slow response time when video modes are changed, or operating system is prompting administrative nag message.

Chipset drivers are already installed, though you might want to run chipset installation program anyway. Grab chipset drivers from U450P. Camera, LAN, Card Reader, Audio, Modem, Touchpad, and Hard Drive Quick Test should install ok, if I remember it properly. Just select Vista SP2 compatibility mode. WiFi driver that comes from Microsoft works fine but, you might want to grab upgraded drivers from U450P to use Intel My WiFi technology.

To install Intel Wireless Link 5100 from U450P, you will need to install and use Microsoft Orca to modify .msi in two places, to allow installation on VersionNT=601. Places to modify are within UI Flow Conrol, and Installation Sequence, you will have to look for those. Modify anything that says VersionNT=600 (that's Vista for you) to VerisonNT=601, Windows 7. MSI package will install and work on Windows 7 once it is modified.

That's pretty much it. In fact, if you don't mind limited LPM functionality, software incompatibility, lose of Windows Ultimate Extras abandonware, and some minor usability issues, Windows 7 could be used day in day out on your G530 laptop! Though my advice, only use 7 for software testing, wait until Windows 8 comes out before you switch your daily user to Windows 7.

Installing Windows Vista 64-bit on Lenovo G530 4446-38U

Lenovo G530, model 4446 type 38U is an excellent mid grade laptop. Intel Core2 Duo T6500, 3GB RAM, 250GB Hard Drive, solid IBM construction, I got mine for $499. However, it comes with Windows XP 32-bit. You can install Windows Vista 32-bit on it, the drivers are there, but when it comes to installing Windows Vista 64-bit, it's a little bit tricky. You have to use drivers from other Lenovo products, and because the underlying hardware is not really compatible with 64-bit you'll have Windows Update problems. Before I tell you how to install it, let me tell you that 32-bit Vista is probably a much better choice for everyone, simply because it is more compatible with the rest of the world. As a matter of fact, Windows XP 32-bit or 64-bit is probably even better than Windows Vista. However, if you're a programmer like me, you probably want latest and greatest, "gratest" being in quotation marks of course. Let's do a fresh install of Windows Vista 64-bit.

Step 1. Install the operating system, be sure to delete all existing partitions during installation, start from scratch.

Step 2. Download 64-bit drivers and software and burn them to a CD.
You may also want to grab Lenovo VeriFace, Lenovo Easy Capture, and Message Center Plus from here. Also let's not forget Lenovo One Key Recovery from here. However, know that I believe all these additional software is not necessary, in fact I consider it all garbageware! Especially Lenovo VeriFace, trust me, it's horrible in practice.

Step 3. Let's update BIOS, if you haven't done that in the past. Once you done, restart will be required.

Step 4. Install drivers and software in the following order. NOTE: Clicking on an installation file, let's say 52ch04ww.exe, does not actually install drivers, but only unzips them, to install you will have to go to C:\Drivers folder.
  • Chipset ... c:\drivers\chipset\setup.exe ... restart required
  • Display ... c:\drivers\intel onboard graphics driver\setup.exe ... restart required
  • Wireless ... c:\drivers\WLAN\52wi07ww\Vista\x64\Install\Intel PROSet Wireless.msi ... custom installation, make sure to choose My WiFi technology
  • LAN ... c:\drivers\vista\lan\52la05ww\DrvInst\x64\setup.exe
  • Power Manager ... c:\drivers\vista\lpm\52pm06ww\setup.exe ... restart required
  • Audio ... c:\drivers\vista\audio\52au11ww\v64\setup64.exe
  • Modem ... c:\drivers\modem\52md04ww\v64\setup64.exe
  • Card Reader ... c:\drivers\cardreader\52fl08ww\setup.exe
  • Camera ... c:\drivers\camera\52ca10ww\CmDrvLdr.exe ... select restart later
  • Touchpad ... c:\drivers\touchpad\52tp10ww\TpDrvLdr.exe ... select restart later
  • Hard Drive quick test ... restart your computer
Don't worry if restarting takes a little bit longer than usual, once Windows Updates are applied it will become normal again. DO NOT force a shutdown if it's taking long.

Step 5. Let's apply Windows Updates. You are going to have problems installing Service Pack 2, simply because your laptop's hardware is not really compatible with Vista 64-bit operating system.
  1. Let's apply first 51 updates. Do know that if you select all updates at once, your installation will fail and you will end up wasting 2 hours. Thus, let's only do first 51 updates. Once you go to windows update, 52 updates will be selected for you, scroll down and uncheck Windows Defender Definitions. Install 51 updates. You are installing IE8 with these updates so you'll have to intervene with installation in about 40 minutes or so. ... restart required
  2. Now, let's finish up with all the important updates. Do not select Windows Ultimate Extras yet. restart required
  3. Check windows update to see if there are any more important updates left, if yes, download them. Do not install Windows Ultimate Extras yet. Repeat this process as necessary, as new updates could pop up if you haven't gotten them before. Eventually you'll come across one lone KB955430 update, which is titled Update for Windows Vista x64-based Systems, this update is really easy to spot, because when it's offered to you, there will be nothing else available. This update is meant to determine if your system is compatible with Windows Vista Service Pack 2. More likely than not, it would determine that your laptop is not compatible with SP2. ... restart your system
  4. Let's check Windows Updates again, is there Service Pack 2 option available? If not don't fret, we'll download and install it later. Now though, install Windows Ultimate Extras and all optional upgrades, and possibly a language pack of your choice.
  5. Once you are done with Windows Update, it's time to install Service Pack 2. First though, let's make sure your system does not have SP2 already installed, this will save us grief of downloading almost 1 GB from Microsoft. Click Start, in the box that says Start Search, type winver, and press enter. About Windows dialog box is displayed, it should say Version 6.0 (Build 6001: Service Pack 1).
  6. If it says Service Pack 1, we need to apply Service Pack 2. Download it from Microsoft here. It is 754 MB, so it should take you some time to download it. Be sure to burn it to a CD for later use. After you download SP2, go ahead and install it.
  7. Now we are going to check Windows Update one more time. You should see no updates, this does not mean that Windows Update is hiding updates from you because your system is not compatible with SP2. Any future updates, short of SP3, will show up in Windows Update, don't worry.
Almost done, once everything above is done, it's time to defragment your hard drive, then you can install software.