Thursday, February 22, 2018

UPDATED 22.02.2018
I no longer have an access to ThinkPad T500, so probably it's the last update you'll receive.

Hi!
I'm one of the many owners of Lenovo ThinkPad T500. It's been a great machine since it was released in 2008, but unfortunately, it has been out of official Lenovo support for some time now. The last operating system with full driver support is Windows 7. On this site I'm going to explain how to get the T500 up and running with the latest OS from Microsoft - Windows 10, especially how to install switchable graphics card drivers.

Drawbacks of Windows 10

Windows 10 is the latest version of Microsoft's operating system. Apart from many great features it brought, some are very controversial. One of those "features" is total automatisation of the update process. For inexperience home users this is really a great thing, but for non-standard hardware it can really mess things up, because there is no way to cancel installation of a driver. Even worse, users are no longer prompted that an installation even takes place!

How to install switchable graphics driver

Some versions of ThinkPad T500 have a feature called switchable graphics. It allows to switch between discrete ATI graphics card for graphically heavy tasks and integrated Intel chip to conserve battery power. It's a great feature, but sadly there are no official drivers for Windows 8 and up to support it. Here I'm going to explain step-by-step instructions how to make a clean install of Windows 10 and then proper drivers to get it working. It also should work for other ThinkPad models equipped with switchable graphics such as T400 and W500.
I do not take any responsibility for any damages caused by installation of those drivers or doing anything written on this site. Windows 10 is not officially supported by Lenovo on those machines, so keep that in mind. I was writing this guide in February 2016, so all of this applies to Windows 10 version 1511 from november 2015. Because of the way Microsoft is releasing updates for Windows, it may or may not work in the future.

You should download all the software from link below and save in somewhere, preferably on USB drive before installation of Windows 10, because right after that you shouldn't connect to the internet to avoid automatic driver installation.

Here is the list of software to download:
  1. Bios update utility
  2. Power management driver
  3. ThinkPad Switchable Graphics Driver
  4. Power Manager
  5. AMD Catalyst™ Driver for AMD Radeon™ HD 4000, HD 3000 and HD 2000 Series
Lenovo has removed the drivers from their main support page. In order to download the drivers go to Lenovo's support page for end-of-life products:
https://download.lenovo.com/eol/index.html
Just in case that Lenovo servers would be unavalible I've uploaded the drivers on my google drive folder on the bottom of this page.
If you downloaded the software, let's get to work!
  1. Make sure you've got the latest version of BIOS. The latest is 3.23 or 3.25 depending on a machine. To update your BIOS download and run "Bios update utility".
  2. Make sure you've got enabled switchable graphics in BIOS. Check it under CONFIG->DISPLAY set Graphics Device to "Switchable Graphics" and OS Detection to "Enabled".
  3. Do a clean install of Windows 10. Make sure you have your wireless switch in ON position, but DO NOT CONNECT to any Wi-Fi network and unplug the network cable before installation. Otherwise Windows 10 will automatically start to install drivers and can mess things up! If you forget this it will be the best to format your disk and start over. When Windows 10 is not connected to the internet during installation, you will be able to create an offline account only. Don't worry, it can be switched to online account later on.
  4. Install "Power management driver" - n1cku04w.exe
  5. Reboot the machine, you will be prompted for that anyway.
  6. Install .NET Framework 3.5 using this guide. It's necessary for graphics driver to run properly. Just select a drive letter of your Windows 10 installation media.
  7. Install "ThinkPad Switchable Graphics Driver" - 7vd619ww.exe set it to Windows 7 compatibility mode.
  8. Install "Power Manager" - n14u405w.exe When it finishes extracting uncheck "Install Power Manager now" and click finish. Then go to C:\DRIVERS\VISTA\PWRMGRV\ and find a file named "SETUP.INI". Open it in notepad then change "AppName=Power Manager" to "AppName=WIN7_Power_Manager". Save it and run "Setup.exe" with compatibility mode set to "Windows 7" to start the installation.
  9. Reboot
  10. Right click on the "Power Gauge" now located on the taskbar and switch to "High Power" to enable ATI graphics card.
  11. Install the latest driver for ATI card - 13-1-legacy_vista_win7_win8_64_dd_ccc.exe
  12. Reboot
  13. Again, right click on the "Power Gauge" and switch to "High Power".
  14. Connect to the internet for the first time :D Windows will automatically install all the remaining drivers and necessary updates. The screen may flicker, because newer display drivers will be installed.
  15. Reboot
  16. Enjoy Windows 10 your ThinkPad :)
As far as I know it's the only way to get switchable graphics working properly on Windows 10. I tried many times to install it without Power Manager (like I did on Win 8.1), because I like to keep things simple, but it didn't worked. The Power Gauge on the task bar is just ugly. If anyone knows how to mod it, please let me know in the comments (yes, I tried to replace png graphics in dll file, but the file is signed and the gauge refused to work completely).

How to install Mobile Broadband and GPS drivers

For those who have Ericsson F3507g mobile broadband card installed, just install drivers from links below. As far as I know, other drivers didn't work with Windows 10. I really don't remember where exactly I got those drivers, sorry :( They are probably from Dell, but they just work, so I don't change them. If you made original drivers working with Windows 10, let me know in the comments. But wait, there is more! Ericsson F3507g comes with GPS built-in, so you may also want to install "ThinkVantage GPS". To get it working when you want, just launch ThinkVantage GPS app. It will wake up GPS receiver and start to acquire the signal. Make sure you've got a good sky visibility, or you can even go outside, since it's not very sensitive indoors. When you turn GPS on for the first time, or if you haven't used GPS for long time, leave your laptop outside for 10-20 minutes. It will download an almanac from GPS satellites.
To make GPS work, you need to have a SIM card inserted under the battery. It doesn't need to be valid, without a SIM card the whole broadband card doesn't work for some bizarre reason. Windows 10 will use GPS in maps and other programs as soon as it will fix onto satellites, otherwise it will use Wi-Fi triangulation to determine your coarse position.
  1. Mobile Broadband Drivers
  2. ThinkVantage GPS
What doesn't work

When ThinkPad Power Manager is installed, do not install "Lenovo Battery Gauge" and these fancy Lenovo modern apps from store. Battery Gauge and Lenovo Companion caused bluescreens with indication that it failed due to TP Power Manager. These apps are useless anyway and require you to install "Lenovo System Interface Foundation" to work.

You will also see an unknown device in device manager called "PCI Simple Communications Controller". It's really Intel AMT management engine interface. If you're a regular, non-corporate use you shouldn't be bothered, since it's used in large companies to remotely manage computers. If you want, you can just install drivers from Lenovo's website for your peace of mind ;)

You may see other two unknown devices. They are the Ricoh 4-in-1 card reader. Just install a driver from the support site.

Please let me know about your experiences with switchable graphics on T500. If anything is wrong or missing in my tutorial, please contact me.

Here is the link to my Google Drive:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B-lx2g0mMBJ8VVpJNDRwXzRhMXM?usp=sharing


17 comments:

  1. I really appreciated your guide and I could setup Win10 on my Thinkpad T500 following your direction.
    I have a question for you. I can enable the ATI card selecting "High Power" profile on Battery Gauge -> Switchable Graphics, but every time I reboot the PC I find that the "Low Power" profile is enabled and I have to switch manually again on "High Power".
    Do you experienced the same issue? Do you have a solution for this?

    iok

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  2. Thanks for your perfect Guide. With it, it was easily possible for me to set-up my T500 with the Option to use the switchable graphics Feature.
    I can'T tell you anything about the reported Problem from the user above, since I haven't restarted that often after the set-up was finished.
    I had another Problem, after the first restart after installing the actuall Driver 13-1-legacy_vista_win7_win8_64_dd_ccc.exe I wasn't able to Switch to the High Power graphics Card. Windows reported me an error with another Desktop view,I think. But it worked afterwards also in High Power mode.

    If it's really, like the above user mentioned, I have no Problem with it, since I preffer working with Low Power graphics and siwtch to Hight power once I really Need it. I makes a difference in temperatures and power consumption.

    Again, thanks for your Guide.

    Matthias

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  3. You can always check your current graphics card in Device manager of by right-clicking on Lenovo Power gauge. I read on german ThinkPad forum that it's better not to switch off or put to sleep your ThinkPad with AMD graphics turned on.

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  4. Thanks for the walkthrough. I've run into two problems though:
    1. BIOS version update available is now 4.x; after installing it I've got previous copy of W10 non-bootable. This is just a warning, I reinstalled it anyway.
    2. .NET 3.5 Offline installer is no longer available, but turning online briefly to download required parts seems OK.

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  5. I am using Windows 10 on my Lenovo ThinkPad E565 without any issue. I heard people are facing issues on HP probook G2 after upgrading.

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  6. Thanks for your perfect description of the way to install the switchable Graphics. It was very easy to manage your step-by-step-instruction.
    MR

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  7. LENOVO W500 Windows 10 Drivers

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bw-www3tTUeEV0tNYkRCdTRPOUU


    I have zipped all related files that I needed for Lenovo W500

    Intel AMT SOL and LMS
    Intel 4 Express Chipset WDDM
    Ricoh Card Reader
    AuthenTec Inc. AES2810 Fingerprint Sensor
    HDA CX11270 Soft Modem

    All I suggest you do is extract to C:\DRIVERS and search for drivers in that folder, and anything that doesnt pick up, just install manually.

    All the best!
    Alex Catlow

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  8. Sorry I forgot to mention, but if anyone needs help with a USB Boot disk, I zip mine up and send it your way

    It is a little big however

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  9. ThinkPad W500 machines follow all procedures,except DO NOT install #11.
    #11: ATI card - 13-1-legacy_vista_win7_win8_64_dd_ccc.exe
    This will install drivers for HD3650 instead of v5700.
    ATI Mobility Fire GL5700 drivers should be already be installed or available by this stage.
    Go to Device Manager, Display Adapters, GL5700 should be installed, if its listed success your done! If HD3650 is listed, Update driver software, Browse my computer for driver software, Let me pick from a list of drivers on my computer(if its not listed you may have to go online to allow Windows to download ATI V5700 drivers), Select ATI Mobility Fire GL 5700. Repeat install starting at #4 through #10.Your done.

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  10. Thanks Alex!
    Had given up getting switchable graphics to work on W500 4061-A67 until reading this article.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Vielen Dank für diese perfekte Anleitung! Ich habe mein ThinkPad T500 soeben erfolgreich mit Windows 10 Home (1607) aufsetzen können. Bis hierhin hat alles einwandfrei funktioniert und auch nach mehreren Neustarts bleibt das Gerät stabil. Jetzt muss ich nur noch die fehlenden Treiber, die im Gerätemanager angezeigt werden, nachinstallieren.

    Gruß
    Kevin

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  12. I installed Windows 10 Pro on my T500 mode and everything is working except for the Intel Wifi 5150 card that is not windows 10 compatible according to the Intel site. I install an Intel 3160 card that is W10 compatible, but cannot boot with the card installed, the 1802 error. With W10 already installed, I am hesitant to do a bios update with a "no whitelist" mod, since I have not found a verified source for a W10 update. Any suggestions?

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  13. Dude THANK YOU SO MUCH. This has been driving me crazy and none of the other explainations helped. I just set the driver to pci express and it solved my crash!

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  14. I can't get the brightness control working when I switch to "High Performance" mode. Does it work for you?

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  15. Thank you for the good guide here but most of the links are not working anymore, can you update them please ?

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  16. The Lenovo related links in the article above are now out of date. However it looks like those files can be found here (albeit with different names): https://download.lenovo.com/eol/index.html

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  17. I just want ot say thank you from from my good old T500, now with fully working Windows10! ;-)
    Best regards!

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