[UPDATE: Forget Windows 7. Upgrade to Windows 10 for free while you still can! Installing Windows 10 on the Lenovo 3000 Y410.]
There’s an update to this article below. I’ll write a full update later but for now, I think you can get the general idea from the short take.
Lenovo does not officially support Windows 7 on the Lenovo 3000 Y410. However, you can get all devices to work without much problems. Here’s how.
- Backup your files somewhere and prepare to install Windows 7. Since the DVD drive of Y410 is not that reliable (based on Lenovo support forum as well as my own experience: it works some times, but mostly it doesn’t), you’re better off installing from USB. To do this, get an ISO image of the Windows 7 DVD (if you’re downloading from torrents instead of Microsoft Store, be sure to verify the image). Then, download, install, and use the Windows 7 USB/DVD tool to create a bootable Windows 7 Installer USB.
- With the prepared USB in the drive, reboot your Lenovo Y410. During the POST message while booting, press F12 and select to boot from the USB drive.
- Install Windows 7. Very straightforward. Just a few clicks and not more than half an hour, your Windows 7 should be ready to use. The USB installation method is faster than DVD, by the way.
Now, it’s time to configure hardware. On start up, the Wireless works but there are several missing devices. You’ll need a working Internet connection to perform the following steps.
- Connect to the Internet and let Windows run some updates. It will get all your drivers for you except one.
- Once Windows finish updating, shutdown your notebook to let Windows install the updates.
- After reboot, click the Windows Logo (start button), and select Devices and Printers.
- In there, right click the notebook icon (whatever name you gave your notebook) and select Troubleshoot. Let Windows solve the issue. It will find that your Power Management driver is missing. A window will show up. In there, click to download driver from Lenovo. Save and run the driver. This will give you the Energy Cut and hotkeys driver so you can turn on camera and bluetooth.
- Once the driver’s installed, press FN+ESC to turn on the camera. Windows will automatically connect and download the camera driver.
- For bluetooth, head on to Lenovo Support download and get the Chipset driver for Vista. Install it. Then, get the sound card driver for Vista and install it. Use FN+F6 to enable bluetooth. Windows will automatically download and install bluetooth drivers for you. You can’t actually install the Bluetooth drivers provided by Lenovo before installing the Chipset and Sound drivers.
- Once you have Bluetooth enabled, install the Bluetooth driver for Vista from Lenovo. This will add some missing drivers. You can connect a bluetooth device and Windows will add more drivers as needed. If something’s missing, use Vista drivers if you can’t find Windows 7 drivers.
- Now your Lenovo 3000 Y410 is all geared up with Windows 7! Be sure to install antivirus before you venture out to the Internet.
I had trouble with the Wireless sometimes. It was OK at first but after some Windows updates, it didn’t work. Well, after installing the Chipset and Sound drivers, it’s suddenly working now as I’m writing this. Phew… I thought I had broken the thing! By the way, mine is the Intel Wireless, not the Broadcom one… check which one Lenovo put in your Y410.
If you use the touchpad and would like to customize the buttons, scrolling, etc, install the ALPS touchpad driver for Vista. You can get this from Lenovo’s support download. It works perfectly.
If you’re still hesitant, let me tell you this: Windows 7 on Lenovo 3000 Y410 is better than XP. It’s faster and more responsive. It starts in less than a minute. It hibernates perfectly and wow… was I amazed at how fast it resumes frolm hibernation! Less than 10 seconds!
And of course, it will always be way better than Vista!
Now, hmm… I wonder if my XP trick will still work to disable the Caps Lock key.
Update: The built-in microphone is not picking up well. You’ll need to boost up the reception. See my answer to a question asked by a reader in the comments section for details.
More update: Thanks to ryanrudolf, every keys on the Lenovo Y410 can now work. Here I quote his comments:
“Multimedia buttons on the upper left (CD Player On/Play/Stop etc on the upper left) works fine on my system, IF windows media player is already open. If not, it does nothing.”
“All the buttons on my y410 are now working. I installed the ezbutton package on the lenovo support website. It should be installed in Compatibilty Mode Vista.”
Now that we can get everything to work on the Lenovo Y410 with Windows 7, let’s enjoy a better Y410 without having to upgrade the hardware! Although, I must say, I really like the specs on the new Y450… If only I have the cash he he.
Update as of 10 May 2010
I’ve finally formatted my Y410 and reinstalled Windows 7. It seems that things have changed a bit. I’ll write a new step by step guide later when I have the time but for now, here’s a short take.
After installing Windows 7, let it update over the net. After all updates, reboot the notebook. Then, install the Ricoh Multimedia Card Vista driver from Lenovo. That should take care of the unidentified hardware. Then, install the Lenovo Energy Cut driver. For sound, you will need to install HDA sound drivers downloaded from Realtek’s website. That’s all: Three drivers.
You can also install the Alps Touchpad driver from Lenovo. This should make it easier to configure the touchpad… only if you want to customize it, though (I did). If you like the Multimedia buttons to work (the Play/Pause, Stop, Forward, Rewind buttons), install the Lenovo EzButton drivers using Vista Compatibility mode (I don’t use the buttons so I didn’t install the drivers).
After reboot, run Windows Update again and you’ll probably have an update to Lenovo power management driver. Install it.