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harrisb
Posts: 1,033
Registered: ‎04-20-2008
Location: Cary, NC
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Re: Drivers List for a Bloat-Free W520 Laptop Achieved?! [Need your thoughts!]

[ Edited ]

@PanEuropean

 

Why did you need to install Windows 7 with UEFI? Planning to have boot drives greater than 2.2TB? Just curious. There is no speed difference in the boot process with today's hardware, but maybe there's some other hidden benefit like being able to have more than 4 active partitions on a disk.

 

Anyway, I'm glad that you got the mSata SSD installed and are experiencing the speed of the SSD. Your 10 hours must have been a marathon for sure. I much preferred my approach which took all of 30 minutes to accomplish.

W520, i7-2820QM, BIOS 1.42, 1920x1080 FHD, 32 GB RAM, 2000M NVIDIA GPU, Samsung 840 Pro 480GB SSD, Crucial M500 mSata 480GB, WD 2TB USB 3.0, eSata Plextor PX-LB950UE BluRay

W520, i7-2760QM, BIOS 1.42 1920x1080 FHD, 32 GB RAM, 1000M NVIDIA GPU, Crucial M500 480GB mSata SSD, Hitachi 500GB HDD, WD 2TB USB 3.0
RAID Mirror
PanEuropean
Posts: 488
Registered: ‎02-17-2009
Location: Vancouver Island

Re: Drivers List for a Bloat-Free W520 Laptop Achieved?! [Need your thoughts!]

[ Edited ]

eladbari wrote:
I still find things\drivers that they mention there-which are a riddle to me:
SMIF (System Interface Driver) ?
IMSM (Intel Matrix Storage Manager) ?

I don't even see those drivers...and they might be suitable for the W500 and not the W520..so Im wondering how much this link really helps.

 Hello Again Eladbari:

 

First off, I have to tell you that I am by no means a computer wizard... I am an 'intermediate' computer user, so, don't rely upon me alone as an authoritative source.

 

To the best of my knowledge, the 'System Interface Driver' is sort of like a little personality module that tells the W520 that it is, in fact, a W520.  I don't know what the heck the thing does, or how it works, but you might want to think of it as being the 'passport' or the 'identity card' for the notebook.  As Lenovo wrote in the reference article that I mentioned in an earlier post, "The device driver install sequence is dependent on the System Interface Driver install being the first to be installed. This driver has common DLL's that other Lenovo utilities use."

 

You are probably having difficulty finding the System Interface Driver because you are looking within the W520 Device Driver File Matrix for a download called "System Interface Driver", and there is no download there by that name.  This is because the System Interface Driver is included in a small bundle of software that is called Hotkey Features Integration.  It's not offered as a standalone item.  Think of it like the toy in the Happy Meal at McDonalds - you can't get the toy by itself, you have to buy the Happy Meal, and when you do that, the toy is included.

 

As for the Intel Matrix Storage Manager, I'm not exactly sure what that thing does either, but I believe that it manages how the computer interacts with the various hard drives that are connected to it or installed within it.  I think that the software called "Intel Matrix Storage Manager" is not used on the W520 series computers. Remember that I told you that the reference article was out of date, and did not address W520s, it just provided conceptual guidance.

 

The W520 series use a piece of software called "Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver", instead of the Matrix thing.  If you go to the  W520 Device Driver File Matrix, you will see that there are two different versions of that driver listed under the category heading of 'Storage'.  One is for the basic W520, and the other (which includes a 'console') is for W520s that have a RAID (redundant array of independent discs) installed in them.  It is unlikely that you have the RAID option.  In any case, if you install the RAID version of the driver (the one with the console included) on a non-RAID W520, all that happens is that you get a little console application installed that is of no use to you.  This console application won't do anything (except perplex you by its presence in your menu bar) until you launch it.


eladbari wrote:
...is there any chance you could address what I wrote on my previous post? especially the NVIDIA drivers from Lenovo's site.

Eladbari:

 

I was as explicit as I could possibly be in my original reply to you (towards the top of page 1 of this post).  You SHOULD NOT be downloading drivers from anyone except Lenovo.  Don't even think about downloading video drivers from Nvidia.

 

There are two ways you can obtain the correct video driver - one method is manual, the other method is automatic.

 

To obtain the video driver manually, go to the W520 Device Driver File Matrix, select the driver, download and install it.  There are three different drivers listed under the sub-heading 'Video', but if you pay close attention, you will see that the second group of drivers, identified as 'nVidia Display driver (NVS 4200M, Quadro 1000M, Quadro 2000M)' is only for use on W520s that are running the Windows Vista or Windows XP operating systems - something you are not doing.

 

This means that you want to download and install the 'Intel HD Graphics Driver' appropriate for your computer (you have to pick either a 32 bit one or a 64 bit one, and make sure you don't pick the one identified for use with Windows XP), and you also want to download and install the 'nVidia Optimus Display Driver' (again, you have to pick the appropriate one, either 32 bit or 64 bit).

 

------------------------------------

 

Now, having said all that, I am going to give you some advice, which I am giving you "straight from the heart".  It is clear that you are relatively inexperienced with this whole concept of driver installation on Lenovo laptops.  This forum is a great place to come if you would like to read posts to learn more about these concepts.  But, quit screwing around with your computer, and use only the ThinkVantage System Update application to automatically keep your computer up to date.  This application will go to the Lenovo website, identify the correct drivers for your computer, and download and install them for you.  That will keep your computer running properly.

 

You started this thread off with a question entitled 'Drivers List for a Bloat-Free W520 Laptop', but it is clear that you are not really sure what is a driver and what is an application.  That's OK, all of us were at that same stage of the game once. What I am trying to say - politely, respectfully, but now forcefully - is to quit messing with stuff that you don't have the prerequisite knowledge to mess with.  Your attempts to make your computer go faster are becoming a bit like a teenager putting a fart-can exhaust on Mom's Honda in an effort to make it more powerful.

 

Michael

W520 (4270 CTO), which replaced a W500 (4062-27U), which replaced a T42P, which replaced an A21P...
Guru
ColonelONeill
Posts: 7,075
Registered: ‎12-26-2009
Location: Toronto
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Re: Drivers List for a Bloat-Free W520 Laptop Achieved?! [Need your thoughts!]

You can get by using NVidia's drivers, although you run a risk of undesirable behavior. If you're willing to go through the hassle of trial and error, then by all means; I blew up my T400's Windows install quite a few times in messing with drivers (yay system restore).
W520: i7-2720QM, Q2000M at 1080/670/1340, 21GB RAM, 500GB HDD, FHD screen
X61T: L7500, 3GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase
RAID Mirror
PanEuropean
Posts: 488
Registered: ‎02-17-2009
Location: Vancouver Island
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Re: Drivers List for a Bloat-Free W520 Laptop Achieved?! [Need your thoughts!]


harrisb wrote:

 

Why did you need to install Windows 7 with UEFI? Planning to have boot drives greater than 2.2TB? 


Hi Harris:

 

Well, there were several factors that motivated me to configure the computer to use the UEFI boot technology.  One was a desire to migrate to this technology now, so that when a future version of the Windows OS is released, I can take advantage of (promised) UEFI benefits without having to do a rebuild from scratch.  Another was that I have read many reports, some of which have been written by Lenovo, that the UEFI boot technology speeds things up.  And, finally, yes, I do have a 3 TB drive attached - although I don't have any plans to boot from it at the present time.

 

The switch over to the UEFI boot technology has been, for the most part, pretty easy.  It did require me to use a Microsoft issued W7 Pro CD with SP1 slipstreamed into it, which (regrettably) has caused the loss of some Lenovo customizations, for example, the Lenovo-specific 'Help and Support' menu, the unique little ThinkPad icon in the 'Devices and Printers' section of the computer, and the Lenovo recovery partition on the boot drive with R&R pre-installed and ready to go.

 

The biggest problem I am having right now with the UEFI technology is that I can't use my 3 TB Seagate FA GoFlex Disc to contain my Windows backups.  The backup process always terminates with a 0x8078002a error.  It seems that this is because Seagate, in an attempt to make a 3 TB drive usable 'out of the box' by Windows XP users, is fudging things so that the driver reports 4096 Bytes Per File Record Segment when in actual fact the drive is 1024 Bytes Per File Record Segment.  I have posted an inquiry at the Microsoft Technet Forum (I'm a TechNet subscriber), and I am still gathering information to learn how to solve this problem.  I kind of think that unless Seagate releases a tool to 'un-fudge' their drive, I'm going to be screwed so far as using this drive for my backups.  The drive works well for file storage, though (this is truly perplexing...)

 

Anyway, for me, the jury is still out on this UEFI technology. In the meantime, the computer is working very fast and very reliably.  I owe you a big 'Thank You' for everything that I learned from reading your posts here in the community, prior to undertaking this adventure.

 

Michael

W520 (4270 CTO), which replaced a W500 (4062-27U), which replaced a T42P, which replaced an A21P...
Guru
harrisb
Posts: 1,033
Registered: ‎04-20-2008
Location: Cary, NC
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Re: Drivers List for a Bloat-Free W520 Laptop Achieved?! [Need your thoughts!]

[ Edited ]

UEFI is backwards compatible with previous disk partitioning. 2TB and lower disks are usuallly physically 512 bytes/sector. The newer AF disks (3TB+) are using 4096 physical sectors mapping to an emulated 512/byte sector appearance. There is a patch for Windows Update that addresses the 4096 issue in Windows 7. You might try to install that and see if your issue with the Seagate drive is mitigated.

 

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/982018

 

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135

 

 

W520, i7-2820QM, BIOS 1.42, 1920x1080 FHD, 32 GB RAM, 2000M NVIDIA GPU, Samsung 840 Pro 480GB SSD, Crucial M500 mSata 480GB, WD 2TB USB 3.0, eSata Plextor PX-LB950UE BluRay

W520, i7-2760QM, BIOS 1.42 1920x1080 FHD, 32 GB RAM, 1000M NVIDIA GPU, Crucial M500 480GB mSata SSD, Hitachi 500GB HDD, WD 2TB USB 3.0
RAID Mirror
PanEuropean
Posts: 488
Registered: ‎02-17-2009
Location: Vancouver Island

Re: Drivers List for a Bloat-Free W520 Laptop Achieved?! [Need your thoughts!]

Hi Harris:

 

Yes, I did install that hotfix, it didn't seem to help.

 

To prevent thread drift (this is Eladbari's post, after all), can we continue our discussion about my boot and 3 TB drive issue at this new post: Problems with UEFI Boot?

 

Thanks, Michael

W520 (4270 CTO), which replaced a W500 (4062-27U), which replaced a T42P, which replaced an A21P...
SCSI Port
eladbari
Posts: 53
Registered: ‎10-14-2011
Location: US
0

Re: Drivers List for a Bloat-Free W520 Laptop Achieved?! [Need your thoughts!]

@PanEuropean

Thanks again for a lovely [and also harsh] post :]
I am not a computer wizard at all! But I do know a bit about everything. I do know the difference between a driver and a software\application,,,yet this is my first laptop and it is a bit confusing. Especially with all the tons of drivers that Lenovo supplies..which is very good! yet, Not for my purposes...which are not IT and not having all the business tools- yet just have a clean fast working laptop to run the graphics apps I want.

Your offer of using the Thinkvantage System Update is a pretty good idea. I just thought its another bloat app from Lenovo and that it will Update all of the drivers automatically without the option of selecting ONLY what I want. [but i see now that u can so its good!].

Questions is:

1. To use that feature-I would have a clean install of Win7 and then I have to connect to the internet to use the ThinkVantage update app. Wouldnt Windows 7 update come in the way and try to download the tools by itself and interfere, no!?
How would you solve that before connecting to the net?

2. Installing a clean Win7 on a Lenovo..without all of its tools & perks.. would it be a bad thing that the Blue Button of Thinkvantage wouldnt be occupied? That Toolbox I mean...
Maybe I could Assign something else to that?

3. do you think that there are other small Lenovo tools we might have skipped which could be important?
Weve talked about the Lenovo Power Management tool which os a Must!
Well..how about that ThinkVantage Active Protection System- tool.
"its like airbag for your laptop". :]
Do you think its a must? And do you think theres another Lenovo tool which is also a must?

Thanks again, mate! Thank you very much :]
RAID Mirror
PanEuropean
Posts: 488
Registered: ‎02-17-2009
Location: Vancouver Island

Re: Drivers List for a Bloat-Free W520 Laptop Achieved?! [Need your thoughts!]

[ Edited ]

Hi Again Eladbari:

 

I know that the computer comes with tons of drivers, but you have to consider that the computer also comes with tons of hardware components inside of it.  Years ago, when the only components a computer had were a screen, a keyboard, and a floppy drive, you only needed three drivers.  Today, the W520 comes with everything except a Nespresso machine built into it, and all of these things need drivers.  All I can say is Alhamdulillah that the computer also comes with Lenovo System Update installed, otherwise, it would be a full time job to stay on top of everything.

 

It is not at all necessary to carry out a 'clean install' before using the  Lenovo System Update application.  In fact, if a computer is not working properly, you can run that little application (or, download it, install it, and run it, if it is not already present) and frequently that will solve whatever problems exist.

 

I don't think that it is easily possible (meaning, not possible with the level of competence that you and I have) to reassign the Blue ThinkPad button to another purpose.  Besides, it has a very valuable purpose right now - if ever your computer does not start up properly, you hold that button down when you start it up and it will launch Rescue & Recovery, which is kind of like the 'parachute' that comes with the computer - it's something that will let you get out of trouble if you ever need it.

 

Respecting all the other Lenovo Tools (there is a list of all of them at this link), here is my personal opinion of each of them.  But, remember, what one person might think is not of any great benefit might be, to another person, the most important and useful thing in the whole list!

 

1) System Update - it is awesome, for sure download and install it, and use it to fetch your updates.  Be aware that if a new piece of software is released on the first day of the month, it might take a week or so before System Update takes note of it and makes it available to you.  In practice, this does not present a problem.

 

2) Active Protection System - The computer contains an accelerometer somewhere inside it, and Active Protection can detect if the computer has just been dropped or has just begun to fall off the table, and park the heads of the hard drive before the thing hits the floor.  Your computer might get wrecked, but at least you won't lose your data.  It is excellent, be sure to install it.

 

3) Fingerprint Software - Personally, I don't need this, because I usually have my computer in a dock, with the lid closed, and it's easier for me to type a password than to reach over, open the lid, and swipe my finger over the little lens.  Fingerprint readers are a 'feature', but they might not be a 'benefit' to every user.  If I was a rocket scientist and had top secret stuff on my computer, I would probably say that it is the most important thing of all.  But, there are no secrets on my computer, and I mostly use it at home, so to me, it is not of much benefit.  It's kind of like my car - the car came with built-in attachment points for a child seat, but I have no children, so the attachment points are of no benefit to me.  But my neighbor, who has two preschool kids, probably thinks those attachment points are the most valuable feature on the car.

 

4) Access Connections - This application is probably of great value to people who move around a lot, or people who connect their computer to complex networks.  I only connect to my home network, or to public internet connections in hotels and airports when I am traveling.  So, Access Connections is of no benefit to me, I don't install it. 

 

5) Productivity Center - This is only intended for people who use Windows 2000, Windows Vista and Windows XP.  You and I are using Windows 7, which pretty much includes all the features that the Lenovo Productivity Center application offers, so, not only do we not need this, we should not install it, because it is not intended for Windows 7 systems.

 

6) Client Security Center - Like the Fingerprint Software and Access Connections, I think this is mostly intended for rocket scientists who are dealing with state secrets and who work in large corporations or government agencies.  I don't bother installing it.  Unless you are a rocket scientist, you work in a big corporation, or you have a huge stash of porn on your computer, I think you can live without it.

 

7) Power Manager - (by this I mean the Power Manager application, not the power manager driver) - it is excellent, really superb, I highly recommend you install it, even if your computer spends its entire life plugged in.  It will allow you to fine-tune the performance of your computer to suit your tastes.  It gives you more granular control over the computer than the 'basic' power management functionality offered by the Windows Power Manager.

 

8) Rescue and Recovery - another excellent, very valuable piece of software.  I suggest you install it.  Be aware that this application is a real Swiss Army Knife - in addition to providing a 'rescue environment' that allows you to get yourself out of trouble if your computer won't start normally, it also includes backup functionality.  You can install the rescue environment without the obligation to use the backup facility.  This is quite a complex application, you should download the manual for it and read it.

 

9) System Migration Assistant - unless you are planning to switch from one ThinkPad to another, this is of no use.  For me, once every three years, I do switch from one ThinkPad to another - and then it is of great use.  Think of it as a moving truck - essential if you need to move house, but generally useless otherwise.

 

------------------------------

 

There are a few other Lenovo ThinkVantage applications that, instead of being 'global' in nature (intended for every ThinkPad in the world) like the ones above, are specific to the W520.  These are listed on the W520 Device Driver File Matrix under the heading 'ThinkVantage Technologies'.

 

10) PC-Doctor DOS Bootable CD - if you download this, it lets you create a CD that you can tuck away in a corner of your desk and use to determine if your computer has a physical defect (a broken part) if it does not work properly.  Won't hurt you to download it and burn it onto a CD.  You never know when lightning will strike...

 

11) ThinkVantage Communications Utility - probably quite useful if you use the built-in microphone and speakers on the laptop to make Skype calls.  I use a plug-in headset when I use Skype, so, I don't think this is necessary for me.

 

12) ThinkVantage GPS - only of use if you have a cellular modem built into your W520.  A cellular modem is one that you use a SIM card in - the SIM card gets inserted into a little tiny slot that is only visible when you remove the battery.  If you don't have the cellular modem option installed in your computer (it is an option that you have to order and pay for when you order the computer), then this software is of no value to you.

 

13) Message Center - another application that is only intended for use by people running Windows 2000, Windows Vista, or Windows XP.  Not intended for use by those of us who run Windows 7.

 

Hope this helps you.

 

Michael

W520 (4270 CTO), which replaced a W500 (4062-27U), which replaced a T42P, which replaced an A21P...
SCSI Port
eladbari
Posts: 53
Registered: ‎10-14-2011
Location: US
0

Re: Drivers List for a Bloat-Free W520 Laptop Achieved?! [Need your thoughts!]

Michael. You ROCK! :]

Thank you for explaining about all of these mysterious apps by Lenovo.

1. About the Power Manager:
A. if you only talk about the application and NOT the Driver.,,then why is the driver needed? Shouldnt the driver be the Thing you need to install in order to use the application of the Power Manager?

B. Also- How do you find yourself using this power manager in Real life situations? Theres basically a big slider there. Have you ever used it in any way?

2. About Rescue and Recovery:
usually these things slow down performance when they work in the background. Anyways..im going to format and install windows7. will this app create that "LENOVO RECOVERY" partition drive again? Is there any way of controlling settings of it? i cant find any trace of this software on my stock W520. was it pre installed there?

Thanks!
Guru
ColonelONeill
Posts: 7,075
Registered: ‎12-26-2009
Location: Toronto

Re: Drivers List for a Bloat-Free W520 Laptop Achieved?! [Need your thoughts!]

The driver sits between the hardware and Windows, and Power Manager sits on top of Windows. Hence, the driver is necessary regardless of whether or not Power Manager is installed.

Power Manager has more ThinkPad specific controls. For example, it has charging thresholds, always-on USB controls, turning off that beep when you plug/unplug the AC, CD-ROM speed/noise, Turbo Boost+, etc. Generally, this stuff is hidden behind that giant slider, so you need to click the Advanced mode in the top right corner.

Rescue and Recovery is an iffy one. I tend to do my backups manually, so if you have an alternate backup solution, R&R isn't too necessary.
W520: i7-2720QM, Q2000M at 1080/670/1340, 21GB RAM, 500GB HDD, FHD screen
X61T: L7500, 3GB RAM, 500GB HDD, XGA screen, Ultrabase