11-02-2012 02:07 PM
I've just taken the plunge for Windows 8 via the upgrade offer, but seeing as I already got a copy for my desktop PC with the 64-bit disc included, and that the S206 I bought came preinstalled with 4Gb of RAM (almost half of which is unusable in a 32-bit environment), I decided to boot from the 64-bit disc through an external USB DVD rewriter and install fresh. I had previously made sure that the Lenovo support site had Windows 8 64-bit drivers available.
Well, was I in for a shock.
First of all, practically every installer tried to extract to the C:\Drivers folder, dumping all the files in a single subfolder with no hierarchy. Then it tried to access the individual files from sub-subfolders which didn't exist. The only way I could get them to install was to create the folders it was missing as the error messages cropped up, dump a copy of the driver files into those folders, click retry, and repeat until it said it was done.
Secondly, the Catalyst drivers didn't find any graphics card. I downloaded the latest version from the AMD website, and that picked it up fine.
Thirdly, when I installed the audio driver, it said that the device I had was not the one that the drivers were intended for, and it would install generic drivers instead.
Fourthly, the Lenovo energy management program defaulted to the balanced profile which was the only one to totally disable the backlight to the LCD screen. Boy did that one take some time to sort out.
Fifthly, installing the wireless and Bluetooth driver seems to have not added in Bluetooth. I'm fairly sure it had Bluetooth to start with. The network adapter is still using the Microsoft driver.
Sixthly, the webcam does not appear in my devices list. Skype can't see it at all. Neither driver supplied on the website can actually find a device. I have just had the laptop back from repair due to a faulty keyboard, and I've not actually had a need to test it before now so I wonder if it maybe was left disconnected or maybe the camera in the screen frame is a dummy - I may have to restore the old Windows 7 operating system to check that...
Finally, when I tried to install the Synaptics touchpad drivers, clearly marked as 32 and 64 bit in a single installer, the installer told me it's not designed for a 64-bit system and told me to get the correct version from my vendor! The Synaptics website doesn't have Windows 8 drivers up yet.
So basically the default drivers leave the PC in a working condition but I currently have no Bluetooth, no webcam, I'm stuck on either high or low performance energy management, basic audio with no options, basic touchpad with no configuration.
So, for Lenovo: Your drivers leave a lot to be desired and need reviewing.
For other users: If you want to adopt 64-bit Windows 8, prepare to spend a lot of time fiddling with drivers.
For anyone with more knowledge than me: Can anyone suggest how I might get the above hardware fully functional?
01-14-2013 04:28 AM
After seeing that Lenovo have updated some of their installers, I decided to give it another go and see if I could get 64-bit Windows 8 on it.
First hitch, it was a bit of a struggle getting the computer to recognise the USB DVD drive. In the end I had to plug it into the USB2 port (The not-blue one), go into BIOS, save and exit and immediately go back into BIOS before it would be recognised as hardware.
It seems Lenovo overhauled all their installers, because they all extracted with the correct folder hierarchy. The only problem was with the "WLAN Driver and Bluetooth Driver (Ralink, Atheros)" (0swg11ww.exe) which totally failed to find the correct target installation executables after extraction. Also I'm sure this laptop had bluetooth connectivity but it didn't find any bluetooth hardware, but I'm not bothered too much about that as I use Logitech devices with unifying recievers anyway. When I finished installing them manually I checked on a tip-off I read elsewhere on these forums that the installer keeps the computer using the Microsoft driver, rather than switching to the Broadcom driver. I told it to change drivers (Some fiddling about in Device Manager) and it works fine.
Lenovo Energy Management still installs with the "Balanced" profile having zero backlight brightness, totally out-of-line with the other two profiles. I note that while the RSS feed says Lenovo Energy Management was updated on 29/11/2012, the download page says the latest version available is the initial 24/10/2012 release. Also the WLAN/Bluetooth driver was supposedly updated on 09/01/2013 but the download page says the latest revision was released on 09/12/2012, and when I installed the AMD Catalyst graphics drivers (supposedly v8.0.881.0) it actually installed the latest version (v12.10).
Clearly in the case of the Catalyst drivers the page hasn't been updated to reflect the updated driver release, but the on the other hand Lenovo Energy Management software doesn't appear to have been updated at all. At least I have a copy of all the install files now though, so I can tell if anything does change by inspecting file sizes.
The computer is now in as useable a state as I would like it however, and this time it was for the most part a fairly smooth install.
02-03-2013 11:45 AM
Just a few updates:
Lenovo energy management doesn't operate the F-keys' hotkey functions properly unless you hibernate the PC then resume. This has been mentioned on a few other forum posts but it's worth reiterating for the next point.
Windows 8 energy management software currently only has the ability to switch between flight mode and normal mode. It can't individually turn the WiFi and Bluetooth hardware on and off. Consequently, if your Bluetooth is off before you try to install the driver, it will never find anything. To get it to work, you have to uninstall Windows 8 management, install Windows 7 management, reboot, change the power settings for your current profile so a button on the PC activates Hibernate, then hibernate the PC, switch it back on, press the hotkey for wireless management, turn on Bluetooth, install the Bluetooth driver, reinstall Windows 8 energy management over the top of Windows 7 energy management, and then it works. Don't forget to change the hibernate button back to whatever you prefer it set up as.
It seems key to a lot of these problems is the lack of correct functionality in the energy management software. With any luck, there will be an update to the software that fixes all these behaviours. I've subscribed to the RSS feed so hopefully I'll be notified if anything gets updated.