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Paper Tape
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-20-2011
Location: Australia, Melbourne
Message 11 of 17 (646 Views)

Re: L420 Windows XP Audio/Sound Problem

Hi Brucelee,


Capacity of HDD is 232GB, Free space 208GB. All that is installed on this fresh copy of windows xp sp3 is drivers.

Paper Tape
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-20-2011
Location: Australia, Melbourne
Message 12 of 17 (646 Views)

Re: L420 Windows XP Audio/Sound Problem


Hi ColonelONeill,


Yes the Stock Windows 7 image worked perfect.


I believe it’s a driver issue but I’m not sure which one, and if one of the driver's has a dodgy xp driver made. I have contacted Lenovo and logged a call but they so far have no luck and have received other calls to regrading this issue.

Paper Tape
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-20-2011
Location: Australia, Melbourne
Message 13 of 17 (631 Views)

Re: L420 Windows XP Audio/Sound Problem

Hi mate, have u fixed this problem yet?? if so how did you do so, thanks
What's DOS?
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎10-13-2011
Location: Alberta
Message 14 of 17 (627 Views)

Re: L420 Windows XP Audio/Sound Problem



I believe this is much more than an Audio problem. I think it is easiest to see in the audio but the system itself is extremly slow. If you look at the boot times (from power on to login screen) for the Windows 7 Lenovo image Vs. Windows XP Lenovo image, the XP takes over twice as long (Win7 takes about 35 seconds, WinXP takes about 1:25 sec). The slowness is also apparent when installing programs, using the internet. If you have task manager open while doing these operations you can see the resource usages max out.


Does anyone elses L420 have these issues. It seems like a bad driver or some incompatibility. I have tried speaking to Lenovo, their only options are send it back and get a new one (already done) or just use Win7.



Paper Tape
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-20-2011
Location: Australia, Melbourne
Message 15 of 17 (617 Views)

Re: L420 Windows XP Audio/Sound Problem

I reakcon its a motherboard issue,

I went to intell website n download all the drivers for it. It in fact made it slower. The issue has to be wit the motherboard as iv done a fresh install of xp, no drivers installed and still so slow.

i have giving up and now setting up windows 7 for half the teachers, will see how it goes.
What's DOS?
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎03-23-2012
Location: Canada
Message 16 of 17 (465 Views)

Re: L420 Windows XP Audio/Sound Problem

I have the same sound problem with a L420 and XP and I found a solution. It seems that my SATA CONTROLLER MODE OPTION set to Compatibility instead of AHCI (default option) in the BIOS. I think that you need to have the right driver installed in XP before changing this setting. If not you'll have a blue screen at startup.

What's DOS?
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎07-20-2012
Location: New York
Message 17 of 17 (375 Views)

Re: L420 Windows XP Audio/Sound Problem

I found the answer.


If you have installed Windows XP on a Lenovo L420, without utilizing the AHCI driver during install, you can install the driver after.  Below is how.  I think many of the steps can be skipped.  I have bolded what I think is the most important. 


The following was found here:


  • FIRST OF ALL, check under "Start => Settings => Control Panel => System => System Restore", that the option Turn off system Restore on all drives is not active, and that the drive where your Windows resides is being monitored. This will allow to undo the changes by pressing F8 when Windows reboots, if anything goes wrong.
  • If you are able to start up Windows and don't have AHCI enabled you probably have in your BIOS the IDE-mode enabled, right? If not, enable it and start up Windows as usual.
  • Now start by downloading the drivers from the Intel homepage - they're called Intel Matrix Storage Manager and can be found here.
  • Now that you have the drivers, e.g. in "C:\temp", create in there a new directory, e.g. "C:\temp\unpacked".
  • Open up a MSDOS-shell and unpack the drivers into the new directory by using the "-A -P" flags, so in my case it would be...
    iata82_enu.exe -A -P C:\temp\unpacked
  • Where you unpacked the files you should now see that there are files called "IaStor.sys", "iastor.inf" and "iaAHCI.inf".
  • Now, this probably is not needed and it won't do anything at all, but as I did it (while I was still experimenting) and everything is now working, you should do it as well - you never know: rightclick on "iaAHCI.inf" and choose "Install". Do the same with the "iastor.inf"-file. Nothing should happen - the system should act as if nothing has happened.
  • Now the real fun starts: go to "Start => Settings => Control Panel => System => Hardware => Device Manager", search in the list for "IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers" and in there you should see a couple of entries including your IDE controllers - something like "Intel ICH10 family....serial ATA controller". It might be that you see two such entries.
  • Select one of the "Intel ICH10 family....serial ATA controller"-entries, click with the right-mouse button and select "Update driver".
  • Answer "No, not this time", then "Install from a list or specific location (Advanced)", then "Don't search. I will choose the driver to install.", then "Have a disk".
  • A new window should appear asking you where the drivers are. Click on "Browse" and select the directory where the "IaStor.sys" & Co. were unpacked.
  • You should now see a list (or at least 1 entry) of different AHCI-ICH-controllers including the one you have - if not, deselect the checkbox which makes the system list only the compatible drivers.
  • Search for your ICH-controller. Have a look at the manual of your motherboard if you're not sure which one it is.
  • Once you found & highlighted your AHCI-controller ("Intel(R) ICH10R SATA AHCI Controller" in my case), click on "Next". At this stage Windows a message box will pop up showing a warning about not being able to verify the compatibility of those drivers. Just smile and continue the installation.
  • Now the system will install the drivers and it might take a looong time. Have a beer in the meanwhile as in my case I had to wait for about 20 minutes.
  • Once the driver has been installed, go back the the device manager, select (if you have it) the second "Intel ICH10 family....serial ATA controller"-entry and do again exactly the same. In my case the installation of the driver finished this time immediately.
  • After the drivers have been installed, reboot [maybe shutdown instead] the machine, go into your BIOS, change the settings for your HDD-controller from "IDE" to "AHCI" and start up Windows again.
  • If your Windows XP manages to boot then it means you did everything right - if the installation of the AHCI-drivers wouldn't have been successful your PC would now hang or reboot continously. If this happens go back to your BIOS, change AHCI back to IDE and boot Windows. If Windows still doesn't want to wake up, keep the key "F8" pressed at the very beginning when the OS boots to bring up a menu and choose the "Last good known configuration" to undo the changes described above.
  • Not finished yet: once Windows is up you should see in the taskbar that something is being installed - you might get the bubbles saying that some new HDDs have been found. Additionally if you look in the Device Manager at the "IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers" you should see that all you have listed in there is just a "PCI device". Again, be patient and have one more beer.
  • Again after ~10 to ~20 minutes Windows should tell you that it found new hardware, the AHCI-controller. Still wait until Windows asks you if you want to restart the PC.
  • Accept to restart it and after the reboot everthing should be ready. Under "IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers" you should now see your AHCI controller ready.


When I tried this I learned a very important lesson: YOU MUST USE THE DRIVER THAT IS FROM THE LENOVO WEBSITE not the Generic Intel Driver package you downloaded from Intel or from some 3rd party source.


The driver that you use for the Lenovo L420 is: 

Intel(R) Mobile Express Chipset SATA AHCI Controller


Before applying this fix, the L420 would take 1:35 to simply boot.  Now it boots in 10 seconds.  LOL

Oh, and the startup sound plays normally.


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