Installing Windows Server 2008 EE on a Lenovo ThinkPad T61p

ws2008 This morning I installed Windows Server 2008 Enterprise x64 VL on my Lenovo ThinkPad T61p.  The VL stands for volume license and it allows me to activate via our corpnet KMS server or through MAK key activation.  The bits I installed are likely the RTM bits.  They are still being hammered and the build I installed has not been declared the shipping version just yet.  Patience grasshopper.

The installation is really painless.  In fact, if you are doing a Core install, you simply won't believe how fast the installation actually is.  We interviewed some candidates for my team on 1/22 and I had proposed to the interview team that we should hand my HP 6910p to them, the Windows Server 2008 DVD, and tell each one of them to install and activate a Core installation.  I thought it would be a great test since it only takes 20 minutes but I guess the other members of the team thought it would freak out the candidates. 

So how easy is the install?  Here are the steps I go through:

  1. Consider updating your ThinkPad T61p to the latest BIOS.  This link is to the .ISO file for the 12/27/2007 7LETA9WW (2.09-1.08) BIOS.  I use the CD .ISO because the Windows installers Lenovo produces don't run on Windows Vista x64.

  2. Using a blank hard drive (or one you are going to whack in setup), boot the T61p from the Windows Server 2008 DVD.

  3. Proceed through the setup instructions and install the bits.  The installation is nearly identical to installing Windows Vista because it uses a nearly identical WinPE environment, SKU prompts, etc.  Which reminds me, you can install Standard, Enterprise or Datacenter from the same disk.  I used Enterprise.  Because I was using the VL media, I am not prompted for a product key.  If using MAK activation, you will have to supply a product key later.

  4. After installation is complete, you are forced to set the local administrator password.  You must use a complex password.  For instance, P@ssw0rd works but password does not.

  5. You will be presented with some initial tasks on the first login.  Change the machine name, set the time zone, turn on update notifications, etc.

  6. After you dismiss the initial task list, the Server Management console will launch.  Go to the features and add the "Wireless LAN Service" feature.  This is required if you plan to use wireless connectivity from Windows Server 2008.

  7. Go to the Lenovo drivers download area (US English).  The obvious prerequisite is that your T61p is attached to a working Ethernet connection.  Windows Server 2008 includes inbox drivers for the Intel 82566MM Gigabit Ethernet card in my T61p.

    1. Download the video drivers.  The Lenovo ThinkPad T61p I use has the NVIDIA video chipset, so download 7kd634ww.  This install package is the Windows Vista x64 NVIDIA drivers.

    2. Download the wireless drivers.  My T61p has the Intel 4965agn chipset so download 7kwv50ww.

    3. Download the Intel chipset drivers (oss704ww).

  8. Unpack the drivers by double clicking the .EXE's you just downloaded.  They are unpacked by default to c:\drivers\win

  9. Install the Intel PM965 chipset drivers by executing c:\drivers\win\intelinf\infinst_autol.exe.  Reboot when prompted.

  10. Install the NVIDIA video drivers by executing c:\drivers\win\video\setup.exe.  Reboot when prompted.

  11. Install the Intel wireless drivers by executing c:\drivers\win\wlanint2\vista\drivers\v64\iprodifx.exe.

Other Optional Installs

  1. Launch the Server Manager console and install the Desktop Experience.  This provides the ability to use Windows Media player, turn on themes, and other user oriented applications.

  2. Turn on the Windows Audio service.

  3. Turn on the Windows Audio Endpoint Builder service.

  4. Download the Soundmax drivers (7ka213ww).  Double click this exe and let it expand to c:\drivers\vista\audio.  Run setup from this location.

At this point you have a pretty functional Windows Server 2008 machine with full audio, video and networking.  I usually stop here because I don't really worry much about Bluetooth support, the fingerprint scanner, etc.  We have a few people running Windows Server 2008 on their T61p's as a full time production machine.  I'll probably get some other instructions from them on the remainder of the drivers they install.

In case you are wondering, the Desktop Experience and audio driver installs are required if you plan to capture any demos with Camtasia 5.

Enjoy Windows Server 2008 on your smoking Lenovo Thinkpad T61p !!!

Comments (20)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Interesting point at

  2. Martin says:

    Hi Keith,

    Knew we could count on you for this guide! Thanks a mil!

    I’m having significantly more problems with the install on the x64 Standard edition, but some of this could be that I misinstalled the chipset drivers. When extracting the ZIP on the Intel site of the Intel INF Utility / Chipset Support Software, I extracted it to a driver store folder, rather than to the program files (x86)intelInfInst installation subdirectory. There’s no easy way to uninstall, and it’s telling me now that I’ve moved the stuff to where it ought to be, that the components are already installed. I may get desperate and reinstall from scratch.

    The installation problems I’m experiencing are with the following T61p drivers:

    1. Intel PRO1000 driver’s PROSETDX application [This was broken under the RC.]

    2. Intel 4965agn

    [This is newly broken under the RTM. I’m running the MS driver, not the Intel driver.]

    3. Power Manager, both current and previous builds. [This is new to the RTM, and installed fine under the RC. The ACPI driver itself installed fine. The PM utility just halts when installing.]

    4. UltraNav Utility.

    [This is new to the RTM. The driver installs fine, but the Utility doesn’t bring up an installer at all when you double-click. But under Control Panel, it shows it’s installed. When I uninstalled to try again, it damaged the Control Panel–>Mouse function, with an error, "Unable to Connect to the Synaptics UltraNav Pointing Device Driver." This persists even now that I’ve erased and reinstalled the UltraNav *driver* itself.

    5. System Update 3.13.

    [This is new to the RTM. It installs, but then says it cannot find new updates.]

    6. Rescue & Recovery 4.2.

    [4.1 was also broken under the RC. It doesn’t matter in itself, but as I understand it, the CSS and Fingerprint Reader drivers/apps need R&R installed in order to function.]

    I’ll let you know in a day or so whether the clean reinstallation went any differently the second time around, but for now I’m going to avoid the UltraNav utility like the plague.


  3. Martin says:

    Final update after REinstalling Windows Server 2008. Some of this is my fault.

    1. The Intel Chipset and 4965agn drivers installed fine after I read the fine print on the installer ‘readme’s. Intel has chosen some unorthodox install procedures, which I had not followed as carefully as needed.

    2. Power Manager installed fine. What I had done incorrectly was to delete some of the foreign language installation files (bloat) before running the setup. Apparently Lenovo has created some dependencies that flummox the setup.exe if all the bloat isn’t there. I’ve also discovered that Productivity Center and the UltraNav driver have the same dependencies. My guess is that the rest of the ThinkVantage utilities have the same stuff. (I thought for a while maybe it was Simplified Chinese that also had to be included, but that’s not the case.)

    3. R&R and SU still don’t run. Good riddance!

    The installation has gone just fine after all. This OS rocks! Great work!

    (… Now if only you could uninstall some of the MS accessories: Windows Calendar, Contacts, Notepad, WordPad….)

    Cheers, Keith!

  4. Anthony says:

    I am wondering if any of your co workers were able to get the sleep function to work. I installed the power management software, but sleep doesn’t work.


  5. Keith Combs says:


    Did you install the Hyper-V role?  It breaks power management.


  6. Anthony says:

    Ah, yes. Did not know that! Thanks!

  7. Anthony says:

    Bummer it can’t be re-enabled. Looks like I am not the only one who thinks so….

  8. Keith Combs says:

    Yea, but I don’t use suspend so you are talking to the wrong person.  Frankly, I totally understand disabling this for a server product.  I’d be pretty upset if I had a server that decided to go to sleep.

    There are a number of people (Microsoftees) that are trying to use WS 2008 as their production OS.  Why struggle with that?  I’d either dual boot or just but another hard drive.

    I do the latter since it’s the cleanest approach to keeping boot configuration data collisions from occuring.  I stopped doing dual boot about 10 years ago.  I stopped fighting sleep/resume about 5 years ago.  Life has been great since.


  9. Jack Zhang says:

    Thanks a lot,  tried to install Windows Server 2008 EE from vmware workstation 6.02 on SuSE Linix 10.3 x64. (4GB total,  assign 3GB to 2008 Server)

    Cannot pass the step of setting Adminsitrator’s password.

    I will try again using P@ssw0rd from this article.


  10. Martin says:


    You might shed any apprehensions about the multiboot process if you download EasyBCD. It’s amazingly straightforward at configuring multiboot for Vista/NT6/Longhorn, or any OS, for that matter.  

    In the three months since I started using it, the MBR has corrupted twice, but it never got to the point where I wasn’t booting into the primary OS, and EasyBCD never gave me trouble resetting to the desired configuration. Plus, the program assists you in backing up the BCD file.

    Mahmoud al-Qudsi, the author, is also exceedingly responsive to tech issues.

    BTW, tne reason to consider running WS as your workhorse OS: Server Manager. (Nice job, guys!)



  11. DaveLev says:

    I just completed what I believe to be the exact same steps you did on my Lenovo T61p, using your documentation as my guide.  You’ve documented everything very well.

    A few issues that came up that I thought other readers could benefit from.

    You said you picked the Enterprise Edition, but didn’t specify if you did the Full install or server core.  I assumed Full install, because the rest of your article eluded to enabling desktop experience.  However, up above, you referenced how fast server core would install.  It’s nice to see that 64 bit is the only option when using the dual-core chip included with the T61p!

    The optional steps needed some additional clarification:

    Turn on the Windows Audio service – I started it, which in turn automatically started the Windows Audio Endpoint Builder.  However, when you reboot, they won’t be running unless you change it from manual to automatic, and hit apply or okay.

    Turn on the Windows Audio Endpoint Builder service – As with the Windows Audio service, you must set this to automatically start, and hit apply/okay.

    The only other items you did not document were how to get the remaining "unknown devices" under "other devices" to install properly. I assume you didn’t do this because you were not intending to use it for much outside of your demos.  Four of the five "other devices" I had were fixed by installing the 4-in-1 reader software from Lenovo’s site, however, I still have one device that is showing up as an "other device" and I’m not sure what it is.  Windows Update, Microsoft Update, and "Check for driver updates online" don’t know what it is either.  

    I installed Lenovo’s Power Manager software, which installed just fine.  The icon shows up in the bar down below, and I can change the power plans using it.

    I can’t be certain, but it may be for the security chip.  I don’t have the fingerprint reader or bluetooth.

    Some of the function keys work (brightness, keyboard light, etc).  Perhaps its a driver for those?

  12. DaveLev says:

    Aha – figured it out – the Lenovo Thinkpad power management driver.  Works:

    Hope this helps!

  13. adam says:

    I got my T61 up and running with server 2008, very nice, but i really misses the ‘offline files’ i found the service but i’m not able to enable it. Gets an error message.

    Any thoughts about this? How to get it to work?

  14. Dan Sheehan says:

    What drivers did you use. One of the links you posted took me to Windows XP 64bit drivers?

    I have installed Windows 2008 64bit, but wasn’t sure if I should used Window 2003 64 bit drivers, Windows XP 64 bit drivers, or what since there don’t appear to be any official Windows 2008 64bit (or 32bit for that matter) drivers.


  15. Keith Combs says:

    I always try to use Windows Vista drivers.

  16. dimitris krekoukias says:

    What about bluetooth? Driver installs but I get 3 unknown devices every time I turn it on, and a simple bluetooth mouse gets paired but doesn’t actually work.

  17. Keith Combs says:

    I don’t think bluetooth works.

  18. Jivko velikov says:

    Everithing works fine, but no sound.

  19. Keith Combs says:

    Did you turn on the Windows audio service?

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