Ramblings from another nerd on the grid
Here are my notes on how I install Windows Vista Ultimate x64 to a Lenovo ThinkPad T61p. There are a number of features present in Windows Vista I do not install or use. Therefore, you will need to make changes to the procedures where applicable for things like BitLocker partitioning, domain joins, etc. The focus of the following notes are to have a machine that will run lean and mean, allow for access to Microsoft's corporate network via VPN, and be the starting point for application installs.
The reason you see me disable a number of features below is to free up resources for the virtual machine environments I run. You can certainly experiment with some of the adjustments I make below and decide for yourself.
You will of course need media. I use the Windows Vista Ultimate retail media. I also set a few BIOS setting the way I prefer. Here’s the setting preferences I have:
Config | Display | Brightness = High Config | Serial ATA = AHCI Config | CPU | Intel Virtualization = Enabled
Config | Display | Brightness = High
Config | Serial ATA = AHCI
Config | CPU | Intel Virtualization = Enabled
Although I am recommending the AHCI setting above, please note there is a bug associated with that setting if using an Ultrabay hard drive adaptor and second hard drive. In that situation until the bug is fixed, you must flip the Serial ATA setting to Compatibility and add the second hard drive to the boot order of the machine. If you don't, you will see one or more bugs we've already identified and reported to Lenovo. They are working on BIOS fixes at present.
I use retail media for all of my installs. I want to see what you see. The following installation is based on the full Windows Vista Ultimate DVD kit. I am of course using the x64 disk and product key that comes with it.
DOWNLOADS and INSTALLS
I only install a small subset of all of the available drivers and software for the T61p from Lenovo or Microsoft. My reasons are multifold. I want to squeeze as much performance out of the machine as possible in order to run my applications and virtual machines. I also tend to reinstall my world every few months. I was doing weekly installs during the Windows Vista development cycles. I am also getting ready to install Windows Vista SP1.
Don't let this concern you. I have actually installed everything via the nice Lenovo System Update client. Lenovo does a great job of testing the drivers before they put them in the Support and Download area. I trust the drivers there more than I trust the drivers coming off update.microsoft.com. In fact, if I see a driver pop up in Windows Update, I will check the Lenovo area before I install it. If it isn't on the Lenovo/IBM site, it doesn't get installed.
OS CUSTOMIZATIONS and NOTES
As I mentioned at the beginning of this, my goals for the installation of Windows Vista are to run lean and mean. In order to accomplish that, I modify or disable several services in Windows Vista. I am trading functionality, for a reduction in disk I/O, disk space conservation, and reduced CPU load. I want to make sure I give as much performance as I can to the virtual machines I run on a daily basis for my job. The Lenovo ThinkPad T61p is a very powerful machine and you should consider running Windows Vista with it's default settings before you start disabling functions.
Here are the modifications I make:
That’s how I install things. It’s a core OS install and I’m sure there are a number of other applications you might be interested in like the fingerprint reader. You’ll find before you start installing applications that the T61p is fast, very fast. Pay close attention to performance hits from other software and applications. I would recommend a Complete PC, Ghost 12, True Image or some other backup before you start installing and changing the configuration above.
Your operating system is ready at this point for application installs, domain joins, etc. Before installing applications, I enable the administrator account and set a strong password for it and the ID originally created above during Vista installation. I use the admin id for my application installs. After your application installs are complete, you should consider disabling administrator. I rarely if ever use it again after doing the installs.
I hope you find this information useful. Enjoy.
This is pretty much what I did with my Thinkpad T60 a few months ago, although I am crippled with a Core Duo and not a Core 2 Duo, so I could not get any 64-bit goodness. I have been looking at eBay auctions of Core 2 Duo chips and they are very tempting
You set it to do nothing on a lid close? Not even turn off the LCD? That's my standard preference as you don't burn the battery on a display you can't see. Help quite a bit on heat also.
No worries. The LCD screen does not stay on.
Have you looked? (not as easy as it sounds sometimes) It probably does eventually go off due to the display timeout but is it running in the meantime? It definitely will be unless you tell it to turn off on close. Not a big deal but it's something I've run across alot since I use old laptops as servers for my farm.. :-) My main web server is a Thinkpad T30.
The T61p LCD goes off at about 1" before lid closure and contact. Now setting the webcam in the frig in order to prove the light goes off is another subject entirely.
Hey that's cool! I receive an T61p next month when we get new companylaptops :)
Lucky you !!!
Did you have any luck finding a TPM driver for 64bit?
These are some damn fine tips!
Nice overview of your installation. One week ago I reinstalled my T60p notebook and used your notes to get the Windows Vista up and running.
One thing to mention for others is that disabling "Windows Search" service might not be an option when using Office 2007. Searches in Outlook and OneNote won't work anymore. So maybe small note in your orginal post on this.
Searches still work in Outlook, they just work slowly. I haven't tried OneNote.
what were your reasons for disabling superfetch?
Thanks so much for helpful blogs.
I am hoping if you can help me a little.
I ended up to your blog a while I am googling for WINDOWS 2003 SERVER ENT ON THINKPAD T60.
I just got a new T60 laptop with xp hom on it and would like to upgrade it to Windows 2003 server.
However I am faced with these IBM settings like security and hardrive AHCI..etc.
Those things are all new to me.
I owned several Dell Latitude notebooks but first getting Thinkpad.
I booted up the thinkpad with windows 2003 CD and got an error saying it can't find the HD.
Anyway, I would think steps will be pretty much similar to install for VISTAE or XP.
I would appreciate if you can give any advise.
I pretty much agree with your steps except that I had to apply sound driver. Without it mic support is broken (required by my VoIP application).
I've just got a shiny new Lenovo T61p to replace my Dell D820 but it hasn't been an entirely