Installing Windows 10 on the Lenovo 3000 Y410


The free upgrade to Windows 10 is going to end very soon. So I spent last night to update to Windows 10 while I still can!

I upgraded in the past from Windows XP to Windows 7. My unit actually came with FreeDOS but it works very well with Windows XP. Lenovo also provided Windows XP drivers on their support page. Windows 7 was not officially supported but we (helpful readers and I) were able to make it work reliably. But I missed the performance of one of the software I used which ran faster in Windows XP. So I removed Windows 7 and went back to Windows XP. Works like new.

But I don’t want to miss the free Windows 10 upgrade. Once you get it free, it will be free forever for a machine, even if you reformat and reinstall from scratch. So I decided to create a backup image of my Lenovo 3000 Y410 running Windows XP (I used the excellent Macrium Reflect Free). I planned to install Windows 7, get the free Windows 10 upgrade, and then restore the Windows XP image. Now that I’m on Windows 10… I’m not going back.

Wow! Windows 10 seems to work faster than Windows XP on the Lenovo 3000 Y410. It starts faster on second boot (not that bad on first boot), works faster, has almost all the drivers, and looks just beautiful.

You’ve got a few days left. Upgrade to Windows 10 if you haven’t already. If the upgrade prompt or reservation did not come up, don’t worry.

Upgrading to Windows 10 for Free

  1. Go to Microsoft site and download the Media Creation Tool. Don’t click “Upgrade Now”. Instead, click “Download tool now”. This way, you can create a USB key to first upgrade to Windows 10 (and get your Lenovo 3000 Y410 registered automatically), and then use the same USB key to completely reformat and install a fresh Windows 10.
  2. Use the tool to create the USB key. The tool will download the ISO and then create the bootable USB key. Although the Lenovo 3000 Y410 has trouble booting from some USB key setups, it works fine when created by Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool.
  3. This is a good time to copy files that you want to keep to external or network drives. The update won’t delete your files but we want to do a clean install after the upgrade.
  4. Once the USB key is ready, browse to it using Windows Explorer in Windows 7. Run setup.exe and let it upgrade your Windows 7 to Windows 10. This could take a while… over an hour (or maybe two… I left it running and went elsewhere).
  5. When asked if you want to check for updated files… well, that’s up to you. Since we want to reinstall anyway, don’t waste your time. Just install first. We’ll update later on the clean reinstall.
  6. After the setup, check to see your Lenovo 3000 Y410 is activated. Open Explorer, right click on This PC, and select Properties. You should see “Windows is activated” at the bottom of the page.
  7. If you haven’t backed up your files, now is a good time to do it. I used Macrium Reflect Free to backup the whole drive, so I didn’t bother with backing up files. I can mount the Macrium image file later using Macrium Reflect as if it’s a drive in the notebook and copy whatever I want later.
  8. After all backing up, copying files, etc, disconnect all external drives except the Windows 10 installer USB key.

Clean Reinstall after Free Upgrade Activation

The upgrade process left a lot of files from your old Windows installation. It also left the files it downloaded. That’s a few gigabytes of space wasted.There are also a lot of things from your past… apps you don’t use anymore, cruds from all your working files, etc. In my case, I partitioned the system for Windows and Data separately (C and D drives)… but I have things installed on both… it was a mess.

The good news is, once your Lenovo 3000 Y410 is activated, it will stay activated even after a full system wipe and reinstall. I think Microsoft registered your system signature when you got the free activation and then every time you reinstall Windows 10, you get automatic reactivation.

  1. Now, with the Windows 10 installer USB key still in the USB port, reboot your Lenovo 3000 Y410. Here’s one thing you need to be aware of: it seems that Windows 10 supports fast boot in this notebook. So when you shutdown and startup, or just reboot, you can’t enter the BIOS setup (F2 key) or boot device selection (F12 key). To really shut down, press and hold the Shift key while you click the Shutdown command in the Start menu.
  2. Press the power on button to start the notebook (remember to do a full shutdown in the first step).
  3. At the BIOS screen, quickly press the F12 key (repeatedly, if you must) to open the boot device selection screen. (If you don’t see the option to press F2 or F12 showing at the bottom of the screen, then you need to repeat step 1 for full shutdown).
  4. Select the USB key in the boot device selection and let it boot.
  5. When asked, press any key to boot the USB key.
  6. In the installation, select Custom (the second option), not Upgrade because we want to do a clean install.
  7. When it comes to the list of partitions, I deleted all my partitians one by one. Let Windows figure out what to do with it.
  8. Go through the installation process until Windows 10 is up an running.
  9. Connect to the Internet. You need the Internet to continue.

Installation of Drivers

On first boot up after a clean reinstall, you need to set up four drivers. You’ll notice that in a clean reinstall, the installer did not ask to check for updated files unlike in an in-place upgrade. In the in-place upgrade with the update performed, you only need to install three drivers. But that’s okay. Installing the drivers is a breeze.

  1. Open Explorer, right click on This PC, and select Manage.
  2. Click Device Manager. You’ll see three devices without drivers. Two are “Base system device” items, the other one is some video controller (I don’t remember the exact text).
  3. Right click the video c0ntroller device and select to update the driver. When asked, select automatic update. Windows will connect to the Internet and install the graphic card driver. The screen will flicker. Very fast.
  4. The “Base system device” items are the Ricoh SD card reader drivers. Although Windows already installed the SD card host, you still need the drivers. Good news is, you can use the Windows Vista drivers. I tried the Windows 7 drivers but they did not work or maybe the installer did not work. I happened to have my Vista drivers in zip files so I did not have to run the installer. Download the driver: LN1CAR29WW3.exe. If the installer won’t work, just using unzip tool to extract these folders from it: “MS”, “SDMMC”, and “XD”. I recommend using Bandizip (it’s free and it looks nice in Windows 10).
  5. Right click the base system device and select to update the driver. Select the manual update option and browse to the parent folder where you extracted the MS, SDMMC, and XD folders.
  6. Repeat the same same for the other base system device.
  7. If your Lenovo 3000 Y410 uses the Realtek sound card, the sound card seemed installed but there’s no sound. You need to install the drivers from Realtek (if you have the model with Realtek). I don’t know about the models with Conexant audio, though. You can download the drivers from here. I used version R2.79 (the latest as of this writing). After installing the sound driver, let your Lenovo 3000 Y410 restart.
  8. Now, even after restart, don’t panic if you don’t hear sound coming out right away. It takes a while for Windows to connect to the new driver. I see that happening every time I reboot, up to now. Wait a minute or two, and it should be working.

Have Fun!

So far, my Windows 10 installation in the Lenovo 3000 Y410 (model 7757, to be exact) works really well.

Just remember to do a full shutdown (press and hold Shift key while clicking Shutdown command in the Start menu) if you want to press F2 or F12 during boot. You don’t have to do full shutdown all the time. Just click the Shutdown button for a normal shutdown. Don’t get me wrong… maybe I am not using the correct term. But the normal shutdown is not sleep or partial shutdown. It really shuts down the notebook. You can pull off the power. When you boot, you don’t have the option to press F2 and F12 (access the BIOS and select boot device). But, the booting is VERY fast… less than a minute (now compare that to how long it takes to load Windows 7 or even XP on the Lenovo 3000 Y410).

Be quick, though. There’s only a few days left to get the free upgrade!

Installing Windows 7 SP1 on the Lenovo 3000 Y410 — 2012 Update


[UPDATE: Forget Windows 7. Upgrade to Windows 10 for free while you still can! Installing Windows 10 on the Lenovo 3000 Y410.]

I wrote in 2009 how to install Windows 7 on the Lenovo 3000 Y410 in this article here. Over the years, I haven’t had to reinstall until last week. With the changes in drivers support and Windows 7 Service Pack 1, the installation has changed a bit. After several tries, I now document the steps for your convenience.

Windows 7 is best installed on the Lenovo 3000 Y410 from a USB stick. The DVD drive is unreliable, or as in my case, not working anymore. Follow the steps in Creating Windows 7 Bootable USB Key Installer.

Plug in the bootable USB into the Lenovo 3000 Y410 and boot the notebook. While it is booting, press the F12 key and select to boot from the USB key.

Install Windows 7 as a new installation, deleting everything on your hard disk. On the first boot after installation, set up your Internet connection. Set Windows Update to automatically download and install all updates. Let Windows Update run for a while and restart when asked. Repeat several times until you have almost all drivers installed. You can check by right-clicking the Computer icon in the Start Menu, and selecting Manage. In the management window, expand the Device Manager. If you have all drivers except four “Base system devices”, then you’re ready for the next step.

Creating Windows 7 Bootable USB Key Installer


[UPDATE: Forget Windows 7. Upgrade to Windows 10 for free while you still can! Installing Windows 10 on the Lenovo 3000 Y410.]

Installing Windows 7 from a USB stick is faster and more reliable than from DVD drives. In fact, this is the only option for multitudes of netbooks and ultrabooks without DVD drives.

  1. First, get yourself an ISO image of Windows 7. If you can get the one with SP1 integrated, the better. You can create the ISO from your Windows 7 DVD, or download a copy somewhere. Click here for a Google search results to get an ISO maker.
  2. Download the Microsoft Windows 7 DVD to USB tool from Microsoft store.
  3. Place the Windows 7 ISO somewhere on the hard drive of a working PC.
    Plug in your blank USB keys (4GB and above), and run the DVD to USB tool. This will create a bootable USB key from which you can install Windows 7 by booting.

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Everything that happens, happens for at least one reason that every so often alludes us. When someone does an unreasonable thing, oftentimes it is because the person is unreasonable. This could be due to upbringing, society, education, or just unreasonable genetic codes. Pondering the reason will get us almost somewhere - specifically: nowhere.