The install page provides a list of currently supported systems, languages, and operating systems.
- Download the Software Installer and click the link to download the program. The download dialog appears.
Note: The download dialog will vary by which browser you are using.
- Click Open to start the download process or Save to download the file to particular location so it can be launched manually. Once the download has completed and the file has been opened the license agreement appears.
- Once you have read and agreed to the license agreement, select I accept the terms of the license agreement. Click Next to begin the installation process. You will be presented with two install options which allow you to determine where the Software Installer icons will be installed.
- Make your selections, then click OK to launch the program.
The main screen of Software Installer provides three selections:
This is the default selection on the main screen and is the main purpose of this application.
Select Install or upgrade driver(s) or software, then click Next. The "Find Updated Packages" screen appears.
This screen provides many options, but for most users, it is recommended that you accept the default selections and simply click Next.
This is the default selection and is recommended for most users. With this option selected, the application will query the Support Web site and retrieve software and driver packages that are newer or not yet installed on the system being used. This is the most powerful feature of this application. This feature prevents the user from having to search through all the drivers on the support site to determine which updates are needed.
By default the following locations are searched for updates on the local system:
There may be times when an alternate location may need to be searched. For example, in a corporate environment the supported updates for a system may be stored on a network drive or other location. To add an alternate search location, browse to that directory, select it, then click the "<<" button. Once the alternate search location is added, it will appear in the search locations area.
Note: If you do not have a \DRIVERS or \IBMTOOLS directory on your system, a \DRIVERS directory will be creating for you automatically when the application installs.
If a search location needs to be removed, select the location that was added, then click the ">>" button. This will remove it from the list.
Note: Only added locations can be removed; the C:\DRIVERS and C:\IBMTOOLS directories can not be removed
By default, drivers that are retrieved from the Internet are stored in the C:\DRIVERS directory. This is the recommended selection, but some users my wish to change this to a location of their choice. This feature is useful for enterprise customers who wish to update clients from a network location that contains all the drivers supported in their custom environment.
If the "Retrieve latest information on the internet" selection has been chosen, the following two dialog boxes appear.
Connecting to web service: This dialog box is displayed as the client tries to establish a connection with the support Web site.
Once a connection has been established the user will see a series of XML files being retrieved. This indicates the application is in the process of determining which updates are applicable to the system being used.
Once the client has completed searching the internet for software and drivers, or if the "Retrieve latest information on the internet" selection was not selected, the application will search the local directories for drivers and software. The following dialog box appears during this process:
If Software Installer is unable to determine the machine type and model of your system, the following error appears:
Software Installer looks in BIOS to determine the machine type and model of your system. If the model is not recognized the application will query the server again with your machine type only. If the information is not correct, the "Invalid machine type" error will occur. Check your BIOS information screen to ensure the machine type and model match what is written on the label that is on your system. If they do not match, you must contact the Support Center or an authorized service center to have this information corrected. This error is usually caused when your system is serviced and the system board is replaced and the information is not re-entered correctly by the servicer.
If a connection to the server cannot be established, the following error appears:
This error typically means that the client system does not have internet connectivity. Click OK to return to the previous screen. The "Retrieve latest information on the internet" option will no longer be selected. Please correct the internet connection, reselect the radio button to search the internet, and try again.
If communication with the server is lost during the query process, the following error appears:
This error indicates that the connection to the Internet was lost. Click OK to return to the previous screen. The "Retrieve latest information on the internet" option will no longer be selected. Please correct the internet connection, reselect the radio button to search the internet, and try again.
The following error will be presented if personal firewall settings are set to block access to this application.
Please modify your personal firewall program to enable access to Software Installer.
Software Installer inherits the proxy settings from Internet Explorer. To modify your proxy settings to use Software Installer go to the Windows Control Panel and select the Internet Options icon, then click on the Connections tab to set your proxy or socks settings. Please contact your network administrator if you do not know what these setting should be.
Note: Software Installer uses passive FTP to access files from the support site to be compatible with most firewalls and routers. This must be enabled if a firewall is being used. (This is enabled by default in most cases) If passive FTP is disabled the application will hang when checking for updates from the internet.
If new software or drivers are found on the Internet that are relevant to the system being used, a license agreement appears.
This agreement applies to all software that will be available to download on subsequent screens. Accept the terms of the agreement and click Next.
Once the license agreement has been accepted, the "Download Packages" screen appears. The software and drivers that are listed are either not installed or are at a back level version. By default, all packages will be selected for download, but the user can make changes, if desired.
Once the items have been selected for download, click Next to start the download process. The "Loaded KB" column indicates how many KiloBytes have been received and an overall status bar of the total download appears at the bottom of the screen. If the download needs to be paused, click Stop. The download will resume from that point when Next is clicked again. You can also close Software Installer and it will resume from a partial download when Software Installer is run again if needed
Note: If an upgrade to the Software Installer application is available, it will be the only item presented in the download list. Click Next, and the application will automatically update itself to the newer version.
If no updates are available for your computer from the Internet, the following screen appears and the license agreement screen will be bypassed.
Click Next to proceed to the install screen.
This screen allows you to select which updates you would like to apply. All newer versions of software or drivers are pre-selected by default, including those that you do not have installed at all. Uncheck any that you do not want to install. If a driver or software package has a "<--" symbol listed in the Installed Version column it indicates the driver is at the most current version.
When installing new drivers or software it is always prudent to close all other applications and to be sure to have a backup of your current system. Luckily, ThinkVantage System Update is the perfect tool to back up your system and is available to you as a ThinkPad or ThinkCentre user.
A reminder message will be displayed for you to back up your system if there are new drivers or software to install. If you do not have Rescue and Recovery currently installed, click on the blue text to download and install Rescue and Recovery to create a back up of your system. If you do not want to see this reminder in the future simply check the bock to not see the message again.
What does it mean if some of the installable items have a yellow background?
Certain software and driver packages can not be automatically installed without the user taking a particular action. These items can be unchecked, so that you can proceed with the download, or select one of the items with a yellow background and follow the instructions. In most cases instructions will be given to uninstall a particular driver manually, priorto continuing. Thiscan be done from the first page of the application by selecting the "Uninstall currently installed driver(s) or software" option.
To begin the installation of software and drivers, click Next. Please make sure all other applications are closed first, to ensure smooth installation of the software and drivers. Once the install has been initiated, it cannot be interrupted.
Note: You may see various screens pop up and disappear, as the items are installed. This is normal and is part of the install process.
As each driver is successfully installed, a blue check appears. When all items are installed a message appears, indicating that the installation of the selected packages completed successfully.
It is possible that certain software or drivers may not be able to be installed automatically. If this occurs, a yellow triangle will be displayed next to the item, and a dialog box appears indicating which items did not automatically install. Select an item in this box to receive instructions on how to install the item manually or to automatically launch the manual install process.
The Software Installer supports returning to a backlevel version of a driver. To install a backlevel driver, select the version in the "Available versions"column to see other versions that can be installed.
It is very important that the current versionbe uninstalled manually, prior to installing a backlevel version of a driver or software. If you attempt to install a backlevel version of a driver over a current version, the following message appears:
You may click OK to continue to install over the previous version, but serious problems may occur and this is not recommended. To avoid problems, uninstall the current version first.
Once all drivers and software have been installed correctly, close the software Installer. A message appears, indicating that you must reboot your computer. Click Yes to reboot and complete the installation process.
Note: Certain updates like BIOS require that the system be rebooted more than once for the installation and update to be completed. The user will receive directions on the screen regarding what to expect, inthe event that a multiple reboot is needed. It is very import that instructions for installing BIOS or the embedded controller are followed carefully. Your system must be plugged in with a fully charged battery and the update process must not be interrupted once the update has begun. Failure to follow the instructions may cause harm to your computer.
Software Installer also provides the capability to uninstall installed drivers and software. This feature differs slightly from what is available in the Microsoft Windows "Add Remove Programs" facility because it allows the users to uninstall certain components of an application rather than the entire application. To access this function choose it from the first screen of the application, then click Next.
The Uninstall Package screen is displayed.
To uninstall a driver or application select it from the list, click Remove, then follow the directions. Many drivers require that you reboot the system after uninstall is complete.
This feature is different from the "Add Remove Programs" feature in the Windows Control Panel in that it allows you to uninstall components of certain drivers or software to customize your configuration.
The Software Installer provides a facility to view the currently installed versions of software and drivers on your system. To access this facility choose "View driver and application version information" from the first screen and click Next.
The following screen will be displayed:
From this display you can click Print to save a record of the versions of your installed software or to use as a troubleshooting aid when working with a support engineer.
If you are having problems using Software Installer on a supported system please contact the Support Center.
We always welcome comments (good or bad) or suggestions for new features to the tool. Please use the feedback feature at the bottom of this page to submit your comments.
Note: Do not use this form to submit a technical question. We cannot respond to technial questions submitted through this feedback form.
- Many ThinkVantage Technology applications are not included at this time. Support for these applications is coming soon.
- BIOS and Embedded Controllers can not be back leveled through this application.
- The ThinkPad A2x, A3x, R30, R32, T2x, and X2x systems BIOS and Embedded Controller files cannot be updated automatically. These updates must be manually downloaded and are available on the ThinkPad BIOS file matrix.
- Diskette and firmware updates cannot be installed automatically. These include the Hibernation utility diskette and the hard drive and optical drive firmware updates. These must be manually downloaded from the Web and updated from diskette.
- The ThinkPad UltraNav Wizard 2.01.00 uninstall fails after it is upgraded from version 1.
- The Mediamatics DVD software update will appear as an available installation file, but will not install on systems where the base program is not installed.
- On ThinkPad R30 systems, the High Rate Wireless LAN MINI-PCI Combo card may be displayed as an installable package, even if the system does not have wireless networking.
- On the ThinkPad R30, the Intel Speedstep Technology Applet is listed twice on the Uninstall page.
- Upgrading the DVD software on the ThinkPad T21 may not function properly. This system was released prior to automated installation being available.
- Some driver updates may not be shown in the download list unless the latest Microsoft fixpacks have been installed through Microsoft Windows Update.
- For some systems, the currently installed version may not be listed. Updating the drivers to new versions will correct this problem.
- The \DRIVERS directory must not be write protected for this application to get new updates from the internet.
- Version 6.0, Service Pack 1 of Windows Internet Explorer must be installed on the system. If Service Pack 1 is not installed, downloads may not work correctly. Use Microsoft Windows update to update your system to the current level.