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.

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