Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lenovo X200 downgrade to XP - part 2

Just to recap (and this applies in general to many laptops, not just Lenovo's) the steps in the downgrade from Vista to XP are (a) find the XP drivers for your hardware (in this example the Lenovo X200) and download them (b) go into the BIOS and switch your HDD to 'compatibility mode' and (c) boot up with the XP install disk. After that fine tune as needed. But that's not all as (as in life) there are alternatives.... like a call to Lenovo support to get the optional XP install disk.

Or, if you really want to do the job yourself have a read of this variation on the theme...

X200 remove Vista and install XP - Lenovo Community
Well, to install Windows XP you will need a Windows XP cd of course.

Insert the Windows XP cd in your external optical drive. Set the boot order in the BIOS so that your external optical drive is boot up before your hard disk. Reboot and follow the instructions :smileyhappy:
X200 remove Vista and install XP - Lenovo Community
However, I got "Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer" msg and asked me to quit the setup.

Seems it couldn't recongnize my harddisk
X200 remove Vista and install XP - Lenovo Community
Go into you Bios (by clicking on F1 while booting) and go to "Config" -> "Serial ATA (SATA)" and amend type to "Compatibilty" mode.

Afterwards press F10 to save and exit.

Now you should be able to install XP.

Once XP is installed, do not amend SATA type to original one, this would lead to a boot error.
X200 remove Vista and install XP - Lenovo Community
This solution works but however, I doubt it's the best solution because basically you're using old SATA drivers to run your Harddrive now. Here's what I did. You'll need another computer for this.

1. Get a Windows CD and copy the ISO to your PC.

2. Download nLite - Link

3. Download SATA Drivers - Link

4. Add Sata Drivers to your nLite Copy

5. Burn a Copy of this new Windows with Drivers.

6. You're set! No more BSOD.

Notes: The SATA drivers will unzip themselves in a folder make sure you pick the right one (9M). Instruction on how to add drivers on nLite are pretty easy; add "Single Driver" (read their forums for more stuff you can do to your installation).
X200 remove Vista and install XP - Lenovo Community
Actually, since this is a montevina based machine, you need to start with a XP cd that is SP2 or higher. You do need to go into the BIOS and change the SATA mode to Compatibility. Once you have installed Windows XP, you need to download the IMSM driver from lenovo's website. Once you have installed the IMSM package, go back into BIOS and change the SATA mode back to AHCI.

If you use an XP cd that is SP0 or SP1, you will blue screen on PCI.SYS. If you don't change the SATA mode to compatibility, you will likely blue screen with a 07B error.
X200 remove Vista and install XP - Page 2 - Lenovo Community
This is the way to do this.

change the sata controllor to compability.

install xp sp3.

after installation install the Intel matrix storage manager from the driver page

reboot and change the sata controllor to ahci again. The driver will be automatically installed.

install .net from the ms site.

install system update from the lenovo site.

run system update.

after this installation there are still some drivers missing.

wifi, bluetooth, modem, and two pci devices.

but the tricky thing is the two pci devices.

for this one you need first to install this one

and after reboot you install this one

Now you can update xp with all the necessary updates. and you're done.

there are still some missing tools like active protection but this you can download from the site too!
X200 remove Vista and install XP - Page 2 - Lenovo Community
i used nLlite with my own XP Pro disk and Lenovo drivers. With no prev experience with nLite, I found it very easy. Will do this from now on.
Windows XP Clean Install
Welcome to the Windows XP Clean Install/Downgrade Guide!

I've seen a lot of threads asking how they should do a clean install and what they should do when problems occur. So I've made this thorough guide so everyone can have a stable, clean, and complete installation of Windows XP without any 3rd party software. ThinkVantage applications are considered 3rd party software. This Clean Install Guide can also help with slow boot up times (mine went from 90 seconds to 30 seconds from the moment I press the power button to a usable desktop), BSOD's (Blue-Screens-of-Death), a slow, unstable system, adware, spyware, viruses, and many more problems. The Guide can be used to install XP on any ThinkPad, e.g., T61(p), R61(i/e), X61(s), T60(p), etc.

The guide is somewhat tedious to follow due to its length. Please follow the guide carefully and make sure not to skip anything or else your computer will be incomplete. This guide can also be used as a downgrade from Vista to XP.
ThinkPad SuperGuide
Windows XP Clean Install

Method 1 (manual driver installation)

1. Backup data if necessary.
2. Use the Driver Matrices to download the following drivers/software and their respective readme's to an external storage device:

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lenovo ThinkPad project de-evolution - backtracking from Vista to XP - part 1

Is it possible - or desirable - to uninstall Vista and install XP instead on the Lenovo X200? Well let's find out.

First up we'll need to dig up the specific XP drivers and download them in advance... and then do a web search to locate any helpful advice (preferably from people who have already done this).... and interestingly Lenovo offered this downgrade as an option for new buyers, so there are genuine Lenovo disks around that will do this job. (That sounds the easiest way.)

As you'll read below downloading and installing the drivers in the correct order is your typical time-consuming trial-and-error hair-pulling business, and happily Lenovo appears to offer both a free tool to semi-automate the process (ThinkVantage System Update) and a fully-automated disk at presumably some (hopefully small) price. Read on for all of the fun....

Lenovo Support & downloads - Drivers and software - ThinkPad X200, X200s, X200 Tablet
Download the most common drivers and software
Click the category below to quickly jump to the driver you need, then click the driver's version number for more information on how to obtain the file.
Lenovo ThinkPad X200 XP Drivers | Laptop Drivers Download
Lenovo ThinkPad X200 XP Drivers
Lenovo Support & downloads - ThinkPad X200 support
Downloads and drivers
Product support

Product: ThinkPad X200 [change]
Operating system: Windows XP [change]
Lenovo Support & downloads - Drivers and software - ThinkPad X200, X200s, X200 Tablet
Download the most common drivers and software
Click the category below to quickly jump to the driver you need, then click the driver's version number for more information on how to obtain the file.
Intel AMT
Communications - Bluetooth
Communications - Modem

Hard drive
Networking - Ethernet
Networking - Wireless
Networking - Wireless WAN
Optical drive

Power management
System utilities
ThinkVantage Technologies
Windows install supplements


* View all files for the ThinkPad X200, X200s and X200 Tablet systems.

Vista > XP Downgrade for Lenovo X200 - FlyerTalk Forums
You will need to order a system with Vista Business or Ultimate to qualify for the XP downgrade. The system will be preloaded with Vista and shipped with XP downgrade discs.

1. Yes, you will be able to switch between XP and Vista any time you want. Make sure you create the Vista recovery discs first before loading XP.
2. The XP recovery discs will recreate the Lenovo preload image with the drivers and ThinkVantage applications integrated.
3. Yes, you will need an optical drive to load the XP recovery discs and to create the Vista recovery discs. A generic external optical drive will work just as well as the Media Slice.
3. Lenovo's page on downgrading to XP should cover the important steps in your downgrade process.
Vista > XP Downgrade for Lenovo X200 - FlyerTalk Forums
I just did this with an X300. As above poster says, it comes with Vista installed and you have to get a separate CD with the XP downgrade. This is not an instll disk, rather replaces Vista on the hidden service partition and then you install from this. So any subsequent restore of the OS using Lenovo Rescue and Recovery will restore XP. To go back to Vista, you need to use a Vista CD, made with the Lenovo utility before you do the XP downgrade, to put Vista back into the hidden service partition and then do an install.

After the XP install, most drivers for my X300 worked fine, but not the WAN wireless. This was downloadable from the Lenovo website and worked fine.

I did run the machine with Vista for a while prior to making the decision to downgrade. Only one thing worked better in Vista than in XP and that was the WAN integration - Vista handles this natively, with XP one has to use either Access Connections or the software from the service provider.
Vista > XP Downgrade for Lenovo X200 - FlyerTalk Forums
I'm trying to downgrade an X200 using my customer's XP (upgrade) installation CD (w/ valid PID), and the setup is failing after all the drivers have been loaded and Windows Setup is started, with a BSOD of a "07" error (I can give the specific BSOD error number later, but it refers to New Hardware, Viruses, hard drive erros, and suggests running "chkdsk /f".

The drive is malware and error free.

Hiren's (v. 10) boots to the "Mini XP" just fine, so the optical drive is working. Setup also fails in the same way when I attempt to install with an XP OEM disk (not an "upgrade" version).

At this point, my current theory is that the X200 (Thinkpad) is so hardware-specific and picky, that only the factory installation disk for XP will work, and that any attempt at installing XP from a standard Installation CD will fail. I hope I'm wrong, and am hoping someone can tell me that they've been able to successfully install a Vista-to-XP downgrade using a standard XP Installation disk, and how they were able to do it.
Vista > XP Downgrade for Lenovo X200 - FlyerTalk Forums
The easy workaround is to go into BIOS and change SATA mode from AHCI to compatibility. That will at least get XP to boot. You can then install the Intel Matrix Storage Drivers and switch back to AHCI.

Lenovo's XP preload/recovery image already have the SATA AHCI drivers already integrated so you don't have to mess around with it. Windows Vista and 7 already has the necessary driver built-in.
Vista > XP Downgrade for Lenovo X200 - FlyerTalk Forums
Thanks to the both of you, you were exactly right. "Needing the Drivers" was something that I suspected, but I thought that the only way to get them was off the Lenovo Factory Restore Disk. But the next post mentioned
"AHCI" which is something that I have seen/recognized in various BIOS's, but never have had to deal with.

Turns out, that was the problem and the solution. I went to BIOS, flipped the switch from "AHCI" to "Compatibility" and instantly on the next reboot the Windows XP Professional (Upgrade) Installation Disk was working just fine, with no BSOD.
Vista > XP Downgrade for Lenovo X200 - FlyerTalk Forums
The Next Step: Installing ALL the X200's Drivers
I'm going to post this for posterity, on the chance it helps someone else.

I just spend almost 4 hours getting the last 5 drivers installed. First thing, you'll do well to have a USB NIC to use to connect to the internet, until you can download and install the wireless network drivers.

I'll try to keep the rest in as sequential an order as I can remember. It's 3:35 a.m., please keep that in mind...

1) I installed SP3 Standalone, a copy of which I keep on my USB thumbdrive. Good move. Dramatically reduces the number of updates you need to wade through at Windows Update.

2) Same-same for IE8. Also good to do this before going to Windows Update, but after the wireless interent (or wired, I suppose) is up and running, so that you can update IE8, and not have IE6 and all it's updates, IE7, etc... cluttering up the Update window.

3) At Lenovo's Driver download page. Someone somewhere mentioned something about installing some kind of automatic software to find, download and install all the drivers automatically. I read this after spending 3 hours trying to find them all one at a time. Unfortunately, the message I got from Lenovo when trying to run this tool was that it was only designed to be used with Windows 7. Might have been a glitch, and might work for someone else. Figured I'd mention it early so that if it does work, someone doesn't waste time.

4) The Lenovo Drivers are REAL tricky. You'd like to think it's just a matter of downloading them, saving them, launching then and the installation is automatic. No, no, NO ! Don't think that way. That thinking cost me 2 hours or more. After running the installation/set-up/whatever file, you then MUST read the "read me" text file on the Lenovo driver page, because many of the drivers have a different installation method. A few want to be run from a specific directory (usually where the set-up file dumps them), and one wants to be run from the Start > Run > cmd (command line). Many of the "set-up" files do not actually set-up and/or "install" anything (although some do), they just copy the data from where you launch the set-up to a "C:\drivers\win\..." directory. You have to go there to actually launch the REAL installation executable. Oh yeah, and at least one of the drivers needs to be installed by working backwards from Device Manager>Update Driver>Install from specific location and then aim the wizard at the driver directory that you find in the "read me" file.

MAIN POINT: Read ALL the "read me" files. It's goofy stupid, tedious and time consuming, but the only alternative is to miss this point, and keep hunting for drivers when their installation files are buried on your hard drive already.

5) Oh yeah. Do the CHIPSET drivers. Duh. They solve I think 2 of the last oddball hardwares missing drivers. SM Bus Controller, I think. I should note here that ALL the drivers I needed came from the Lenovo Driver page. Other forum's posts have people saying they can't find them there, and they are going to other sites, and using drivers for other models of laptops, etc... Completely unnecessary; everything I needed was on the Lenovo site.

6) Install the Proset utility, but don't install any of the software; it's not needed. Just the driver is good enough. Windows Wireless Configuration can run the wireless just fine; you don't need to different softwares installed, both trying to do the exact same thing. Plus, Proset is junk and WZC gives massages with happy endings.

7) Lessee, what else... Oh yeah, don't forget to install the software for the tablet stylus pen. I downloaded software directly from Waccom (Google "x200 stylus") and I think it's different than the software you would (probably, I was in a hurry and was tired of looking at Lenovo) find at Lenovo. The Waccom software was quick, and seemed more functional than what I think I remember was on the Vista O/S. Not my computer so I can't say for certain. The Wacomm software has a "calibrate" function if the stylus is 3/4" from where the mouse is (mine was). "Calibrate" fixed that in about 30 seconds.

8) Umm... Well I went crazy and used Easeus Partition Manager (used to be Magic, I think) and made an 11 Gbyte partition after all the installing, updating, drivering and fiddling was over. It's on a 320 Gbyte drive, so there's plenty of room. Then, I used XXClone to make a clone of the newly-installed Operating System with all the drivers and stuff, and all the TIME invested into it, so that if the O/S ever goes bad for whatever reason (infection, etc...) the clone can be used to re-create the newly-completed installation, so I won't have to do all of that stuff all over again. Won't help if the HD goes bad, but now that I've discovered HDD Regnerator v 1.71, HD's don't go bad for me anymore. (little hint, there....)

9) Activate your O/S before you clone it.

10) I like MyDefrag's "Monthly" data compaction and reordering script. Knocks at least 5 seconds off the boot time, and on really fragmented machines it cuts the boot time in half.

11) Disable all the crap services, like "Help & Support", "Error Reporting", "Fast User Switching", "Secondary Logon", "NetBIOS / IP Helper", "Remote Registry" and few others. Google "Black Viper" for a couple more. Switching Auto Connection Manager from Manual to Automatic will speed up the boot process by about 2 seconds, I think because it doesn't have to "manually" decide it has a wireless card and think about whether or not to make a connection (equals delay).
Vista > XP Downgrade for Lenovo X200 - FlyerTalk Forums
ThinkVantage System Update is the name. You probably downloaded version 4, which is for Windows 7 only. XP and Vista users should use version 3.14. It finds, downloads and installs all the drivers that you need. It's a great time saver.

WRT driver installation order, I always install the chipset driver first before the rest like display, network, etc. The chipset is the interconnect between CPU and all the devices, and the CPU needs to know how to access the interconnect before it can access the devices.
Vista > XP Downgrade for Lenovo X200 - FlyerTalk Forums
If your XP were tablet edition, the stylus would be supported out of the box. XP Tablet Edition was one level above Pro, and available only through OEM channels. If you run XP Pro with tablet driver, you won't have the Tablet Input Panel (TIP) and handwriting recognition. Nevertheless, the Wacom Penabled driver vastly improves on the built-in driver.
Lenovo Support & downloads - Downgrading from certain versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7 to Windows XP
Downgrading from certain versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7 to Windows XP
Lenovo Support & downloads - Downgrading from certain versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7 to Windows XP
Lenovo is providing Windows® XP Professional Recovery media and/or Windows Vista Recovery media as a way to downgrade from certain Windows Vista® or Windows® 7 operating systems running on Lenovo Think PCs.

Eligible operating systems include:

* Microsoft® Windows Vista® Business
* Microsoft® Windows Vista® Ultimate
* Microsoft® Windows® 7 Professional
* Microsoft® Windows® 7 Ultimate

Lenovo customers having a qualified operating system may purchase a Windows XP Recovery CD or Windows Vista Recovery CD by contacting their local Support Center.