NVIDIA Optimus Graphics is not supported with Windows XP - ThinkPad T420, T420i, T420s, T420si, T520, T520i, W520


For ThinkPad (T420, T420i, T420s, T420si, T520, T520i and) W520 systems with Microsoft Windows XP installed, there is an error message when installing the NVIDIA graphics driver. The installation of the graphics driver can not continue.

nVidia Graphics Driver error in Windows XP


Affected configurations

The following Lenovo systems running Microsoft Windows XP:

  • T420, T420i, T420s, T420si
  • T520, T520i
  • W520


Additional Information

Two unknown video controllers are listed in Device Manager.

Unknown video controllers in Device Manager



ThinkPad (T420, T420i, T420s, T420si, T520, T520i and) W520 systems include Optimus graphics technology from NVIDIA. Optimus technology is not supported with Microsoft Windows XP. To resolve this issue, the Optimus technology needs to be disabled in BIOS. The discrete NVIDIA graphics should instead be selected. Follow the instruction below to change the selected graphics.

  1. To enter BIOS setup, press the F1 key when the Lenovo / ThinkPad logo is displayed when first powering on the system.
  2. Select Config on the first screen.
  3. Select Display on the second screen.
  4. For the Graphics Device selection, change NVIDIA Optimus to Discrete Graphics.
  5. Additionally, OS Detection for NVIDIA Optimus can be enabled.
  6. Press the F10 key to save the changed selections and exit BIOS setup.

BIOS setup

Please note that if the "OS Detection for NVIDIA Optimus" option is enabled in BIOS, the appropriate graphics will be selected based on the installed operating system. If a supported operating system is installed, the Optimus technology will be enabled. Otherwise, the discrete graphics will be selected.


Click here to see the ISV Certification page for ThinkPad W520.


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  • Alias ID:
  • Document ID: HT062424
  • Last Updated :17 Jun 2014
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