I am testing one of the new Lenovo ThinkPad W510 models. If this machine is going to be considered for future purchase, it really needs to be able to run Windows Server 2008 R2 and Hyper-V. In order to do that, certain minimum requirements must be met for the drivers that are supported. This typically involves running a video driver beyond the standard VGA driver so that you get projector support. Networking must obviously work as well.
In order to install and configure Windows Server 2008 R2, some up front planning is a good idea. You should download the latest drivers from the Lenovo.com Support and Downloads area. You should also make sure and keep a copy of the SWTOOLS directory that came with the machine.
The order you install drivers and software does matter in a couple of cases. I always manage to figure that out by trial and error. Mostly error. For that reason, I take notes as I go along and here are some recommended steps and pitfalls to avoid. Enjoy.
Installation Steps I Followed:
The rest of the software installs without incident with one exception. The Bluetooth stack did not install, and I have no desire to troubleshoot that so you are on your own. It should also be noted that the Pantone X-Rite drivers and application also installed and worked for me. Make sure you have the power management drivers and audio already installed. The screen calibration drivers and software are in the X-Rite directory under SWTOOLS. This driver set and software is not on the Lenovo download area at the time of this post.
I have not been running Windows Server 2008 R2 very long so I cannot tell yet how stable this configuration is. But I was frankly pretty shocked that most of the drivers and software installed without issue including the screen calibration tool. I did see one BSOD but I haven’t determined the cause. I believe my USB 3.0 hard drive enclosure might have been the culprit because I heard it make a funny noise before the BSOD occurred. I will keep watching this situation but I haven’t seen any issues for over a day now. I’ll certainly know how stable this environment is over the next 3-4 weeks.
After installing all of the above, I installed the Hyper-V role. Make sure you have the BIOS set to support Intel-VT. If you had it disabled then enabled it, make sure to power off your machine to pick up this change. Once Hyper-V was running, I created a 64 bit Windows 7 Enterprise virtual machine. Just for fun, I allocated 8GB of memory to the VM to see if the W510 was really using all 16GB of memory properly. It sure appears it is. Here are those screenshots. In the first screenshot, I captured the allocation when starting the VM.
In the next screenshot, I grabbed a screenshot of the OS already installed looking at the properties. Click the pics for larger views of the screenshots. Enjoy.
[NOTE for 2/23] If you decide to install the Lenovo Power Manager, make sure to install the two prerequisites. The power management driver is the first one, and the .Net Framework 3.5.1 Features that can be installed from Server Manager.
Does enabling hyper-v on 2008 r2 disable sleep mode still like it did on 2008?
Yes. Installing the Hyper-V role disables sleep on all laptops. However, there's a convenient solution.
This will only work properly with Windows Server 2008 R2.
Ok it's been 13 days since the post. How has the installation held up. If everything is good then this will be my decision maker to purchase. I'm a database admin and having a native and stable Server 2008 R2 along with SQL Server '05 and '08 on a laptop is a dream! Thanks for the great and helpful post.
No problems so far Manuel but I didn't use the machine at all last week while I was in Seattle at the MVP Summit.
How has it been holding up? I just got three blue screens today while running Hyper-V on the W510 w/8GB ram. I have 3 VM's running: Win2k3R2 as DC with 512MB, 1 2GB Win2K8R2 for SQL 2008R2, 1 2GB SP2010.. It seems to be something about a processor clock missed on the BSOD. Have you seen anything like this?
It's ashame, I thought I was approaching Nivana with this configuration and performance was good.
I returned the W510's. I only had a 30 day eval period.
Sorry, I don't know.
Do you have hyper-threading turned on?
Yes, I have 8 virtual processors going . Some are "parked" occasionally in resource monitor. I have an Core i7-820 chip. I wonder if there is a way to turn off the parking? I never expected a processor didn't respond in time message.
THanks for your help. It's a wonderful machine... probably even more awesome with 16GB or RAM.
THanks for your help and the Guide to aid my installation.
Thursday, February 11, 2010 12:25 PM by Arthur
# re: Installing Windows Server 2008 R2 on a Lenovo ThinkPad W510
Yes Sleep mode is not possible with running virtual servers, so its automaticly disabled
Thank you for helping with setting up my W510 with drivers for server 2008 R2 64.