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Hardware > Notebooks/barebones

Lenovo Thinkpad T420


Lenovo Thinkpad T420

Mark: Average

(This report is prepared by ecomstation.ru scout), source of information: Thinkpad T420 Eric Erickson, http://news.ecomstation.nl/article.php?id=11092&group=ecomstation.support.hardware#11092

A Summary of the hardware is:

  • 4180-MBU
  • Intel i5 4 Core
  • 4 Gig Ram
  • SATA CD/DVD and Hard Drive
  • Intel 82579LM Gigagit Lan
  • Centrino N 6205 WIFI
  • Intel GMA HD3000 Video Controller
  • Cougar Point HD Audio
  • 1600x900 Wide Screen

Some more details specs on the machine can be found at: http://www.frontierpc.com/computers/laptops/ notebooks/notebook/lenovo/thinkpad -t420-4180mbu-notebook-1019383376.html

Popped in a spare SATA notebook drive (200 Gig) and went for the install CD.

Install was results are so-so.

  • Intial install attempt was No-Go as it could not find the SATA CD/DVD Drive.
  • Restarted install and added OS2AHIC.ADD to the DASD options.
  • Used standard install defaults, except for SNAP as the driver. SNAP does not work at all with this unit. System hung at the SCITECH display (not logo display), but the line vesions. Left it for 2 hours, then started over with Panorama Driver this time.
  • Got into the installer. Installed Boot Manager (Air-Boot) and created a 3Gig test partition (drive was empty). Unable to format the drive as JFS. Install failed with a SYS0528 and SYS1311 errors. Unable to format as HPFS at all. Format dialog sits at 0% for hours. Back to start. (Both of these got support tickets opened).
  • Solution was to set AHCI to compatability mode in BIOS.
  • Back to install. Able to complete JFS format, but it takes a long time (~30 minutes) for a 3 gig partition. Still unable to format HPFS at all.
  • Go through all the install option choices. No network support available. Genmac does not see any supported chips. Select the 'No Adapter' option. Select OS2AHCI to be installed. Select UniAud
  • Let install rip. About 30 minutes later its all done and reboots for the final time.
  • Even though I selected OS2AHIC to be install, the driver was not copied to the boot volume (another support ticket). I searched the ..


  • UniAud fails during boot, not surprisingly.
  • Video is ok, but Panarama will only go max of 1080x768 and the brightness controls do not work. Which is really needed as the screen is dim.
  • All 4 cores recogonized and functioning under both ACPI 3.19 and 3.20.04.
  • RexxCps returned a value of 2.1 million clauses/second as an average.

Overall not too bad, but not good either. Lack of audio is minor, but video issues and no Lan (wired or WIFI) make this a non-starter, at least for now. Running AHCI in compatability mode seems slow, but you can not complete a JFS format in native mode, even with the latest OS2AHCI driver from the betazone.


Information is sent by: eComStation.RU Scout -- 2012-11-01 15:05:38



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Eirik Romstad
2012-11-19 01:09:20

I am surprised at all the problems this reviewer had. The T410 (which I run) and the tested T420 are not all that different. For example, both machines uses the 82577LM Gigabit Network Connection LAN connection. On my T410 the Multimac E10000E driver works excellent, and I see no reason it should not work on the T420.

Moreover, regarding brightness of the screen, Fn+Home and Fn+End works on the T410. As a matter of fact, there are so many similar features of the T410 and T420 that I would expect audio and many other things to work as well.

On the downside of the T410 (and then presumably also for the T?20): no suspend-resume, no wireless (still waiting for the MultiMac Intel 6xxx drivers), and some of the FnFx buttons do not work yet. That is part of the ACPI project, where progress is made, although not as fast as we as users would like.

For more concise installation instructions than this reviewer has produced, see my review of the T410: [url]

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