Windows 7 on Thinkpad T61p

After installing Windows 7 beta on one of my home machines, I decided to go on and put it on my company T61p.

Since I had Bitlocker enabled, I decided to do clean install there too. I won’t go through details again, but in short: all went smooth and nice and about 30 min after I started I had working Windows 7.

I’d like to share here some tricks, which I had with my notebook. Win 7 is still a beta and I already encountered the first glitch I had. It was connected with my Thinkpad’s sound.

The issue was very annoying: I had my audio drivers installed and Windows was reporting them working OK. However, no sound was coming out from my speakers and/or headphones. You know the small green bar, which shows the level of the sound, right? That bar was also moving, indicating that sound should come out, but alas… silence!

I did some mad searches and nothing. Tried to replace the drivers (no need, by the way, out of the box drivers work just fine), and still nothing.

I phoned a colleague, who shared that he was experiencing the same issue, but “the sound magically came out after some time”. Good to hear, but still not an option.

So I stared to dig in the issue. After like 1h I already had it resolved.

The issue was simple (once you resolved it), and quite dumb 🙂 . The main problem comes from the fact that:

  • Thinkpad has additional volume buttons on the keyboard
  • We’re very used to them and we expect they work seamlessly every time
  • However, in Windows 7 beta regarding this issue the things are still.. beta!

As I already said, the issue was stupid. If you mute your audio with audio mute button, the audio gets muted, but Windows does not catch that event. So the icon remains visible as “non-muted” and Windows (software) does not care to “unmute” the audio, if you move the slider. No matter what do you. Restart does not help.

The only thing, which will help you in this case, is to press “volume up” or “volume down” buttons, the ones just right the “volume mute” button. Once you do that, the Thinkpad enables the sound back, and  then you’re just fine.

I’m sure that will be fixed for the RTM (I already reported the issue, and I’m sure it’s not only me). However, that was the first “struggle” with Win 7. I’m sure there will be more (it’s beta after all!), but that’s the risk of installing and using beta software 🙂 .

Happy hacking!

15 thoughts on “Windows 7 on Thinkpad T61p

  1. Doncho,
    The issue you are reporting can be reproduced on XP and Vista too… when you haven’t installed Lenovo hardware buttons drivers 🙂 They are packed with “Fn+” software. Just go to Lenovo download page or run proprietary System Update

  2. Awsome…. I tried to install, uninstall drivers, played with control panel, the speaker UI, driver versions,….. and almost gave up.
    But your little trick worked 🙂 thanks for sharing.

  3. Thank you so much for this…it was driving me absolutely nuts! This fixed it…I had it on a docking station so always used my keyboard volume controls.

  4. Hei where have you found that. I always looked for that but i neve found it. Coooollll.
    Thank a lot for sharing. I´ll visit your blog, and i hope to find other nice tipps.

  5. i wanted always know that…now i know that and i have to say thank to you.
    i´ll visit your blog again and again.

  6. Thank you for this post and the comments!! This made a HUGE difference for me! I am running a T61p with Windows 7 x64 (RTM) and had this EXACT problem!

    Using the volume button indeed DID resolve the problem. I’ve also gone to the Lenovo site and downloaded the “Hotkey driver for Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000 – Notebooks”. This driver IS compatible with Windows 7 (32-/64-bit).

  7. Thanks much for the info. I had the same problem after installing Windows 7 on my X60s and went through the number of driver uninstall/reinstall, trying out Vista version driver etc for nearly 4 hours!!

  8. Awesome!! Like many others I had the same issue with an X61s. Spent many hours messing with the drivers before finally finding this site.

    Thanks again!!

  9. AHHHHHHHH, you know I ran my T60 as a testtop for ages never cared about sound but then today I said I’d throw 7 on…NO SOUND!

    looked for an hour or two…found your thread.

    Life saver, LIFE SAVER! thanks millions.

    I feel like I lost 20 IQ points because its such a silly thing! GOOD SHOW!

  10. remains visible as icon or “cut” and Windows (software) does not care “bump” sound, if you move the cursor. No matter what you do. Restart does not help.

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  11. Awsome, I had tryied many ways like installing, uninstalling even I had formated again with win7 but nothing happened. But your solution simply super.Thanks dude.

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