Windows 8 on the Lenovo X220

I have been running Windows 8 RTM for some time on my Lenovo X220 laptop (non tablet version). I would say I have had quite a few issues compared to e.g. the Win7 RTM which was hassle free.

Note that the Windows 8 Lenovo beta drivers are here:

These are updated pretty regularly so worthwhile back checking often, and keeping a note of the versions that you installed.

The main issue I have outstanding is that the Lenovo Power Management Driver installs but doesn’t seem to do anything. When the device locks, the fan speed goes up until it is quite loud, although CPU utilisation whilst locked seems normal. I am using the driver file called

On the plus side:

  • Windows 8 is fast, although I have a 256GB Samsung SSD installed in my X220, which helps. However it doesn’t seem any faster than Windows 7.
  • All my programs have worked so far, including fallout 3 which is a pig to run on anything.
  • Graphics performance seems the same with out of the box drivers, no issues there, see above.
  • Touch pad works OK with the beta drivers – scrolling is a little hit or miss, but you scroll, zoom etc in Metro which is nice. I bought a Microsoft Wedge Mouse, which is much better for vertical and horizontal scrolling, but doesn’t support other Windows 8 gestures so I sent it back.


  • I had 2 things unknown in device manage, base system device and unknown device. One was the media card reader driver, I don’t know what the other one is.
  • I had a nasty issue on my first build where explorer went into a crash loop and you could not do anything. This was supposed to be fixed in the developer preview. I had to rebuild. Deleting the local profile might have fixed this.
  • Metro doesn’t work with proxy servers which is really bad. Basically half of Windows 8 doesn’t work in the office.
  • My headset didn’t work properly with the default Windows 8 drivers, had to install the Lenovo sound drivers, and now it is working fine.

Battery life seems better with the Lenovo Power Management Driver, but still have the fan issue. I was expecting it to install the power meter on the task bar, but maybe they won’t implement that in Win8 given the new start screen.

Overall, it has been a bit of a painful transition, akin to XP to Vista with drivers and other issues, but I wouldn’t go back now, Win7 feels a step backwards.

Update: There is a newer Power Management driver – The fan seems a bit better, but frankly I am not sure if it does anything. I do have an intermittent issue when it resumes from sleep and just displays a black screen sometimes. This is resolved by putting into sleep again – close the lid, then open.

Posted in Windows 8

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