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Windows 7 on Lenovo S10

January 5, 2009

Last night I managed to install the leaked beta of Windows 7 on my Lenovo S10.  I haven’t had much chance to play around on it yet, so here are a few initial impressions:

1.  Driver support for the S10 is awesome.  I didn’t have to install a single driver from a third party EXCEPT for an energy management driver from Lenovo (more on that below…).  All USB ports, wireless and wired network connections, bluetooth, etc., were found and properly configured.

2.  The full Aero interface with all transparencies and effects was the default interface when I logged in, which was not the case with my previous install of Vista Ultimate.  For the life of me, I couldn’t get the Aero interface to activate in Vista even with the latest drivers, but in Windows 7, I didn’t even have to ask.  It was already up and running (and running quite quickly, too, I might add).

3.  The new icon-based taskbar is awesome and even though most people will say it’s a rip off of Mac OS X’s Dock, I can honestly say that it’s a huge improvement over any taskbars or docks that came before it.  The “Start” menu is still there and available, though it doesn’t say “Start” on it, just like Vista.  The Start menu is still your overall launching pad for your applications, so it’s not quite like the Dock in OS X, which is merely an icon-based launcher that requires you to drag icons onto the Dock if you want them to be available.  But where the new Windows 7 taskbar IS similar to the Dock in OS X is in it’s handling of open application windows.  In previous incarnations of Windows, if you had 20 Internet Explorer windows open, you’d have 20 little indicators down on your taskbar (unless you used the previously horrible window grouping feature).  Each indicator would have it’s own unique label depending on which web page was open.  Now, in Windows 7, when you launch IE, the IE icon on the taskbar illuminates, indicating that it’s active.  If you open 20 IE windows, only that IE icon is in the taskbar.  If you move your mouse over the icon and let it hover, all 20 web pages will appear as little thumbnails, akin to Vista’s thumbnail preview.  If you move your mouse over one of the thumbnails in Windows 7, that particular application or web page will be brought to the front of your desktop temporarily while all other application windows are pushed to the back.  If you move your mouse off of the thumbnail, your windows magically come back.  So Microsoft has married several technologies into one, easy-to-use device.  It’s the old Windows Start menu and taskbar, mixed with the OS X Dock and Expose feature.  It may sound busy, but it’s actually quite understated and very well done.  Even on the low-power S10, the graphics were snappy and smooth.

Overall impressions so far are pretty good.  I’ll need to play around with it more in-depth later, but so far it’s pretty good.  Like I said above, driver support was incredible.  Having installed Vista previously on this S10, I know that hunting around for good Vista drivers is a pain in the ass, but nearly all devices were discovered natively by the Windows installation.  The only item missing was an energy management driver from Lenovo.  For anyone out there installing Windows 7 onto the S10, you will probably notice a device in the Device Manager console that is not identified.  It’ll be listed under Other Devices as an Unknown Device.  If you right click on the device and go to Properties and then to the Details tab, you’ll see a drop down list with Device Instance ID or Hardware ID.  In the lower portion of the Details tab, you’ll see something like ACPI\VPC2004.  After doing a bit of Googling, I found that this is a Lenovo energy management device.  Oddly enough, the driver for this device is not located on the Lenovo site under the S10.  I had to download the energy management driver from the Lenovo IdeaPad Y730 and install that.  After I installed that driver, the device was recognized properly.

One other little problem I’m having:  Veriface doesn’t seem to work on the S10.  On the Lenovo S10 driver support page, Veriface is offered as a download for Windows Vista.  I never tried to install it under Vista so I’m not sure if it works there or not, but I did install it under Windows 7 and it’s giving me problems.  Veriface, for those who don’t know, is an application that uses the built-in camera in the S10 to do facial recognition.  This application allows you to log in to your computer simply by looking into your camera.  However, using it under Windows 7 on the S10 gives me an error.  When the computer first boots, I’m taken to the log-in.  Veriface loads and then tries to contact the camera, but after about 20 seconds, it says that no camera was found or the camera could not be contacted (something along those lines).  I believe the camera in the S10 is connected to the USB, so I’m wondering if Veriface is loading BEFORE the camera is found and fully loaded by the USB driver.  I’m wondering if I could introduce a delay or a dependency for Veriface to wait for all USB devices to be found and configured before it loads.  I’ll have to look more into that.

Anyway, so far so good.  Windows 7 is really looking tight.  I know trying to wrangle Vista onto the S10 was a bit of a chore and even after it was installed, it didn’t run very well.  Windows 7, even in beta, seems to really improve on performance while adding some awesome new features.  Windows 7 is basically what Vista should have been all along.  I can’t wait for the final product to see if the improvements featured in this beta will stick around.

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21 comments

  1. I have the same W7 running on lenove S9 everything works fine except like you said the veriface which worked in vista for me. one more thing is not working which was also a problem in vista is the touchpad driver multitouch and scroll with the win 7 driver it works as normal touchpad without troubles but multitouch and scroll dont work in vista it worked soso and crashed itself soemtimes but anything else woks very very satisfying


    • I haven’t tested the multitouch aspects of the touchpad, but scrolling is working fine for me. I am using a Vista driver directly from Synaptics’ web site, which I believe is slightly older than the one on Lenovo’s web site. It does the horizontal and vertical scrolling just fine. Like I said, I haven’t tested the multitouch, so I don’t know if the driver I’m using supports it, but I would assume so. Of course, I’m using the S10, not the S9. I don’t know if the touchpad hardware is different between the two models, but it’s worth a shot using the other driver.


  2. I am running the Windows 7 public beta on my Lenovo s10.
    Thanks for the tip on the energy management driver, I was wondering what the unknown device was. I am having another issue though. Whenever I try and hibernate the laptop, as soon as it powers down, it powers right back up again. Nothing I do seems to make it stay in hibernation. It sleeps just fine, so I don’t know what the problem might be. If you’ve had any similar issues, any info you have would be great.


    • Honestly, I’ve had just the opposite reaction on my S10. Whenever I hibernate, it refuses to wake back up. I have to completely power down and power back up to use the laptop. Sleep works fine for me as well. I haven’t messed around with it much, since it’s not a big feature I’ve used very often, so I don’t have any solutions for you. I guess the troubleshooting procedure would be to figure out if hibernation worked in XP or Vista on your S10. If it did, then maybe something is different in the W7 beta that doesn’t work with the Vista energy management driver. If it didn’t work in older operating systems, maybe it’s just a bad driver. Maybe I’ll mess around with this later to try and work it out. It’s interesting that it works in two completely different ways for us.


  3. Just installed 7 on my new S10, and I think it’s running awesome. Wasn’t using the veriface stuff before, so i’m not dissapointed. However, has anyone figured out how to USE the camera in 7? I see it,but in xp, I could double-click on the camera under My Computer and it would go to an interface where i could take a picture. Not under 7 I guess. . .i double-click the camera, and it just shows me information about it.


    • @bkd –

      If you install the Lenovo EasyCapture software, you can use that to open the camera and take pictures.


  4. solved the problem with the multi touch it was jsut about the icon if you set it to non animated icon in never crashes again

    still not got veriface to work but the cam works fine in skype and msn

    also quickstart still not work it start but then a message come files missing reinstall which not help


  5. Another things I’ve realized. . .when I first got my S10 and installed my 2gb of RAM, that’s all it saw. 2gb. . .I had read somewhere that the board had 512mb on it already.

    After installing Win 7, if you right click My Computer and Properties, the system reports 2.50GB of ram.

    I’m already liking where this is going. . .I hope they don’t cripple Win 7 before releasing the final. This may be my favorite version of Windows in a long time.


    • @bkd –

      I don’t think Windows 7 uses all 2.5GB even though it sees it. If you check out Task Manager, you’ll see that the processes are only allowed to access 2GB. From what I’ve been reading, this is a limitation of the hardware in the S10, so no operating system will be able to use 2.5GB even if they can detect 2.5GB. I’ve heard the same thing from people who’ve installed OS X on their S10. OS X sees 2.5GB but only uses 2GB. It’s too bad, because I hate the thought of memory just being wasted like that. Oh well. 2GB is still enough to handle the most common computing tasks.


  6. Veriface worked fine on my S-10 when I was running Vista. Not the case with Windows 7. Im also having issue with some of the gadgets I was trying to install. The only other gripe I have is the one thing I really liked about Vista was the new Windows Mail. Im sad that they did not include this Email client with Windows 7. Other than that Im really loving this new OS. The new Windows Explorer is as beautiful as it is simple and brilliant.


    • @steve –

      Since I normally use web-based email, I didn’t even notice the lack of an email client. That’s odd that Microsoft would do that. Apparently, they’re removing Mail, Movie Maker, and a couple other apps completely, trying to force people to use the downloadable Windows Live apps. According to Microsoft, by removing the pre-installed versions of Mail and other apps, it makes it easier for Microsoft to issue OS updates. I’m in the process of downloading the Live version of Mail. I’ll play around with it and see how it handles. For the record, if you want to download these apps yourself, you can go to http://download.live.com. I’m not sure if you need a Windows Live ID account to download, but I’m sure you’ll need one to actually use the apps.
      Okay, while I was writing this reply, I finished the Live Mail download and installed it. Very easy setup. It looks great. Very streamlined. It feels much more connected than older versions of Outlook Express or Mail that I’ve tried. I probably still wouldn’t use this more than I’d use a web-based mail system like Gmail, simply because I’d have to download this on each computer I use, then set up each account, etc. If you’re used to using a native Windows app for your email client, this Windows Live version looks and feels pretty tight. But if you’re like me and tend to simply use a web browser to access your mail, this probably won’t win you over to native apps.


  7. Are you guys installing the 32bit or the 64 bit version of Windows 7 onto your s10’s?


    • I’m pretty sure the Atom processor in the S10 doesn’t support 64-bit, but I could be wrong. I think the 270 is a 32-bit only processor. So to answer your question, I installed the 32-bit Windows 7.


  8. Found Live Mail shortly after I posted my last comment. I really do like it. Kind of like a new modern Outlook. If you like web based email,then you should really like this email client. I have set it up to check my Comcast,MSN and Yahoo accounts. The real beauty is it can check all your email all at once. No more logging into all of your accounts to check your mail. Brilliant! As for 32 vs 64 bit. The atom is only a 32 bit processor so I am running the 32bit version.


  9. I have just installed the touchpad driver directly from Sypantics website (after deinstallation “the newer” driver from Lenovo). Scrolling works well, but I have no multitouch function. It may be a good compromise between functionality and stability, especially in Beta Windows 🙂


  10. im planning to buy s10.
    i wanted to intsall wi7 to it
    BUT hte quickstart and recovery?
    does it work fine?


  11. Today I installed Windows 7 on my Lenevo and all the driver fixed automatically, but only one driver APCI/ did not fix, so installed manually. and it is working fine. thanks


  12. I have installed win 7 ultimate 32bit on my lenovo and I just love it. runs very fast with my 2 GB of ram I didn’t want to install office since i don’t want to slow down my system. seems like lenovo has all the drivers for win7 available


  13. i also have win 7 home premium on my s10e, but how do i enable or disable the bluetooth? i have installed the driver for it, but the upper button Fn+F5 doesn’t seem to work anymore… how do i know when it is on or off?


  14. lenovo s10 t3 recovery cd lost and harddrive crashed, where can i find a sata driver so i can install win 7 again?


  15. hi there! after a google search about Unknown device in my fresh install of win 7 32 bit in lenovo s10-3c found your site. i installed every single drive from lenovo site but nothing helped me. happily ideapad y730 energy management driver 4.3.1.3 worked!! many thanks for your help 🙂



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