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ThinkPad W510

Standard Features

ThinkPad W510

Linux Installation

As of 2010-03-01 the following problems exist with the W510 under Linux:

  • Audio on some W510's has been "destroyed" after running for a while. It has been confirmed that speakers have melted in t400s and t410s as well, this is unrelated to Linux.
  • nVidia FX 880M requires driver >= 195.36.15. Earlier versions have stability or graphics corruption problems.
  • Resume results in corrupted display objects with driver less than 195.36.15
  • To enable brightness control in X, append 'Option "RegistryDwords" "EnableBrightnessControl=1"' to the Device-Section of xorg.conf, orginal source: This may result in a high-pitched whine after lowering the brightness within X. ALso, brightness is not lowered and raised in the same increments (on Archlinux).
  • Suspend not implemented yet in USB 3.0 (xhci) driver - system cannot suspend unless driver is unloaded first -
  • System can only resume from suspend once - acpi related kernel crash occurs on resume (but system continues to operate), next resume shows BIOS screen and hangs -
  • Lenovo will solve this resume issue in a BIOS update expected near the end of April.
  • Wired networking stuck at 10Mbit without manual change using ethtool. For Ubuntu Karmic this can easily be fixed by manually downloading and installing the e1000e driver from Intel. After installing this driver however, the wireless stopped working me.

(NOT true for me on kernel 2.6.33 ethtool says " Speed: 1000Mb/s " -mstragowski)

  • Archlinux cannot easily be configured, as the wireless and ethernet cards both require drivers that are not present in the 2009.08 release. (This may be a problem for other distros, as well.)
  • For some distros and configurations, Turbo Boost may not work properly (as of kernel 2.6.33). Built in Linux utilities do not currently show Turbo Boost activity, but Intel Powertop or i7z will show actual CPU state properly, including Turbo Boost and advanced C-states. To see whether Turbo Boost is working and detected, perform a task that fully utilizes one core (while others are mostly idle), run i7z and see whether the multipliers are stuck at 11x--TEST WHILE ON AC POWER. (For me, Turbo Boost sometimes works. I wonder whether there's a problem with laptop_mode and/or cpufreq_ondemand. --quinxex)
  • 2-finger scroll on touchpad not working even wtih gpointing-device-settings
  • The fingerprint reader (USB ID 147e:2016) is recognized by fprint and should be supported. However, attempting to enroll a print results in an error "-22".


  • On Ubuntu Karmic, Wireless can be enabled by installing linux-backport-modules-karmic. This adds missing firmware for 6000-series cards. This does not seem to work with the 2.6.31-20 kernel but I have no problems in the 2.6.31-19.
  • All Versions: System cannot suspend unless SUSPEND_MODULES="xhci" is added to /etc/pm/config.d/unload_modules (may need to create this file) Note that this does not resolve the "crash on second resume" problem.
  • On archlinux, ethernet will work after one manually installs the newest kernel26 package, while wifi requires the appropriate microcode package, iwlwifi-6000-ucode.
  • The Nouveau open source nVidia driver [1] works at full resolution without freezing (but without 3D acceleration). This driver is included in Ubuntu Lucid. Note that you may experience elevated (but safe) system temperatures when running Nouveau.
  • Full touchpoint support can be activated by installing gpointing-device-settings - this allows middle click scroll, etc.
  • To control brightness without the (admittedly minor) nvidia driver issues, do not add the EnableBrightnessControl option, but instead switch to a virtual console to change the brightness--this change will remain when you switch back to X.

Hardware notes

  • The W510 ships with a large (nearly doubled size of the old 90W) 135W power supply. However, it is possible to plug old (90W) power supplies, but they get rather warm. Upon boot there's a notification message, that a power supply with reduced performance is connected.
  • If the binary nVidia drivers are not installed the system runs about 10 degrees warmer and uses a few watts more power. It seems the open source 'nouveau' driver does not have power saving functionality with the nVidia chipset. The program "nvclock" might be able to alleviate this, but I haven't tried.
  • A high pitched noise can sometimes be heard when the computer is running. I was informed that this is the CPU's power management unit. If it annoys you it can be disabled in the BIOS.
  • The computer does not boot at all when some USB keyboards are plugged in at power on. This is a problem with the BIOS and not with Linux or Windows. The only solution is to unplug the keyboard and plug it in again once the laptop is past the BIOS screen and booting as normal.

Pages in category "W510"

The following 80 pages are in this category, out of 80 total.