Windows 7 x64 on ThinkPad T61p
Posted by jpluimers on 2010/03/06
Somehow, the latest Windows Vista automatic update screwed my laptop.
It didn’t manage to make a System Restore Point, but in stead managed to remove all previous restore points.
In addition, my laptop now performed like a dog because of excessive disk activity on the primary HDD (login took 30 minutes).
Safe Mode and Safe Mode with Network were fine, so I tried to figure out what was wrong, but gave up after a day of investigating with Process Monitor and Process Explorer, and stopping/pausing allmost all services and killing/pausing almost all processes.
So: I bit the bullet and Installed Windows 7 x64 on my fully loaded T61p.
The machine has dual 7200 rpm 500 Gb drives (I have not used physical DVD’s or CD’s in years), with 4 Gb of memory (the official maximum, but I recently heard it can actually handle 8 gigabyte fine).
It functions as a host (my work is almost exclusively in a virtual machines so I can separate things), so it needs to be a balance of functional but lean installation.
Most of the installation process was straight forward (in fact much more straightforward than getting Vista on it).
Here is the run-down that includes the things I bumped into:
- Installed the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool to copy the installation DVD to a bootable USB stick (I know there many guides on doing this by hand, but I like to be pragmatic).
- Booted from the USB stick and did basic install
- Be surprised about how much hardware was supported out of the box
- Installed these Lenovo drivers (most from the T61p drivers and software matrix):
UltraNav driver (for thehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TrackPoint– which I love – and the TouchPad – which I disabled)
FingerPrint driver (I really like the biometric fingerprint login over typing my password)
Hotkey driver (more formally called “features integration”)
4-in-1 Ricoh multi card reader driver (which is not on the driver matrix, and supports SD/SDIO/MMC/MMCplus, MS/MS-Pro, xD Picture Card, and IEEE 1394/FireWire)
- DAEMON Tools Lite (a virtual CD/DVD player – ideal on a 2 HDD setup)
- GhostScript and FreePDF (so I can print to PDF files and view PostScript files)
- Adobe Reader (there are faster and smaller PDF viewers, but nothing beats the original)
- Google Chrome (my favorite browser, I use other browsers for testing web-stuff, but those are in virtual machines)
- Fiddler2 (for monitoring HTTP/HTTPS traffic when things go wrong, or I need a direct download URL of something
- Skype (the new 4.x, even though it is almost unworkable compared to the old 220.127.116.11, the old version keeps crashing under Windows 7. I moved my Skype Chat History)
- VMware Workstation (note that officially you need version 7 to run Windows as host or guest, 6.5.3 does seem to work for some people)
- 7zip (my favourite compression tool)
- My standard BIN directory with my favourite light weight command-line tools (did I mention I’m from they keyboard age? Hence the love for the TrackPoint)
Windows 7 feels a lot faster than Windows Vista, and requires a lot less memory for itself (slightly more than 1 gigabyte, where Vista needs almost half a gigabyte more).