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kenatsun
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Registered: ‎02-18-2009
Location: United States
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Message 1 of 10

How to solve T410 performance problems at the system level?

At my house we have two almost identical T410s, named KENTHINK and SUZY.  SUZY has much worse performance than KENTHINK.  At random times, it will grind away for a minute or more, and sometimes until it is rebooted, on some ordinarily easy task. I have tried all the usual performance tuning fixes (removing bloatware, malware, unneeded background processes, etc), to no avail.  Also did hardware tests (memory, etc) and everything passed.

So now I'm looking at reinstalling Windows on SUZY.  Researching this option, I came up with the comparison of the two machines shown in the attached screen shots.  (The screens are from the Windows 7 Pro System Information utility.)  There are several differences that might be relevant:

I've had several thoughts about what to try next.  Each option raises some issues.  For reference, see the attached comparison of the two machines shown in the attached screen shots.  (The screens are from the Windows 7 Pro System Information utility.)  The options and issues as I understand them are:

1. SUZY has 4GB of memory, while KENTHINK has 8GB.  So maybe add more memory?


2. Can't do that, because SUZY has a 32-bit operating system, which I have read can only handle up to 3GB of memory.  So maybe upgrade to a 64-bit Win 7 Pro system?


3. Can't do that, because you can run a 64-bit system only if your processor is 64-bit enabled.  KENTHINK has System Type: "x64-based PC"; SUZY has System Type: "X86-based PC".  According to http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch001121.htm, this means SUZY's processor is not 64-bit enabled.  How can this be, given that they  have identical processors (described on the System Info report as "Intel Core i5 CPU  M 520 @ 2.40 GHz, 2400 MHz, 2 Cores, 4 Logical Processors")?


4. Another difference is that SUZY's BIOS is dated 2010, whereas KENTHINK's is the latest one available, dated 2013.  Might the older BIOS be why SUZY shows up as just a 32-bit machine?  Would a BIOS upgrade turn it into a 64-bit enabled machine?  And/or could upgrading the BIOS directly help performance?  And if upgrading BIOS is a good idea, how dangerous is it if done by an amateur like me? 

 

Would be grateful for any help on any of these questions.

 

~ Thanks in advance

~ Ken

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Message 2 of 10

Re: How to solve T410 performance problems at the system level?

According to your attached word file, both T410 have an i5 M520 processor, which is perfectly capable of 64bits. There is nothing stopping you to upgrade SUZY to 8GB RAM and install a 64bits Win7, (the serial number is the same IIRC).

 

Regarding BIOS, which version do you currently have? 

 

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kenatsun
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Message 3 of 10

Re: How to solve T410 performance problems at the system level?

Thanks so much, Tasurinchi.

 

The BIOS in SUZY (the machine with problems) is listed as "Lenovo 6IET72WW (1.32), 8/27/2010".

 

The BIOS in KENTHINK is listed as "Lenovo 6IET85WW (1.45), 2/14/2013".

 

Do you think I should upgrade the BIOS before I try the 64-bit upgrade?

 

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Message 4 of 10

Re: How to solve T410 performance problems at the system level?

Well, according to the change log there have been several improvements in the BIOS (source: click me!)

 

I would do the upgrade, there is always a small risk of updating BIOSes, so I would recommend you to use the CD Bootable ISO Image which yo can get from here: BIOS Update Bootable CD.

 

Before updating make sure to have a full charged battery, and the notebook connected to AC. You can find further instructions in the readme file linked first in this post.

 

Good luck and keep us posted!

 

.

 

 

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kenatsun
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Message 5 of 10

Re: How to solve T410 performance problems at the system level?

Tasurinchi, your instructions worked fine: the BIOS upgrade went smoothly.  The SUZY BIOS now appears in that report as "Lenovo 6IET85WW (1.45), 2/14/2013", as it should.

I think my next step will be to upgrade to the 64-bit system, which brings up one more question:  How/where can I get a copy of the 64-bit Windows 7 Pro to install on SUZY?  Since KENTHINK is already has a 64-bit system, do you think it would work to make a rescue-and-recovery disk from KENTHINK and use it to install 64-bit onto SUZY?  If not, any other advice?

~ Thanks yet again!
~ Ken

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Message 6 of 10

Re: How to solve T410 performance problems at the system level?

Good news you got it working!

 

I would try to get an original Win7 install disk from an computer shop or a trustable seller from eBay, Amazon, and so on. 

 

I personally don't like recovery disks, since it has many additional software I don't want, like or need, but that's just me  ;-)  You can try to find original recovery disks too, but I'm not sure if Lenovo still provides them.

 

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kenatsun
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Message 7 of 10

Re: How to solve T410 performance problems at the system level?

Thanks again Tasurinchi.  Your response brings up a question that I've never known the asnwer to, and that seems important right now: 

 

Is an operating system like Win 7 Pro generic, in the sense that any valid copy of it can be installed on any Windows-compatible laptop?  Or is it necessary to get a Win 7 Pro copy that is specific to the brand and model of laptop (e.g. my Lenovo T410)?

 

I share your preference to be free of bloatware, but I wonder if there is some system-level software of some kind that is needed to make an installation work on my particular machine. 

 

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Message 8 of 10

Re: How to solve T410 performance problems at the system level?

Any generic Win7 will work. What I normally do is to do a clean install of Windows and then download Lenovo System Update (download it from here!), which will deal with all Lenovo specific drivers and programs.

 

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kenatsun
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Message 9 of 10

Re: How to solve T410 performance problems at the system level?

Thanks still one more time, Tasurinchi!  I think my path is now clear. 

 

As a courtesy, let me say that you probably won't hear anything more on this thread for about 6 weeks.  That's because I'm traveling during that time and probably won't get a chance to take the next step till early April.

 

 I'll report back when I've taken the next step. I hope this thread will stay open till then.

 

~ Thanks, Ken

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Message 10 of 10

Re: How to solve T410 performance problems at the system level?

No problem! Good luck with the install and once you're back let us know how it went...  :-) 

 

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