The Lenovo ThinkPad T420s is a business-class notebook computer built on the Intel Sandy Bridge platform.

 

Features include a magnesium alloy rollcage, 7-row keyboard with TrackPoint and the Lenovo UltraBay. The 14.1-inch 16:9 display is LED backlit with 1600x900 (HD+) resolution. 

 

Configured with a second-generation Core i3, i5 or i7 processor, integrated camera, optional hybrid graphics and multiple wireless options, the ThinkPad T420s provides an excellent balance of mobility, performance and connectivity.

 

The resources assembled here are intended to help owners get the most out of their ThinkPad T420s. Please use the contact form at the bottom of the page if you would like to suggest any additions or changes.

 

 

 

WINDOWS 10 INSTALLATION on the THINKPAD T420s

 

  1. Create a bootable installation USB using Windows 10 Media Creation Tool

  2. Press F12 at startup and select the USB as your boot drive

  3. In Windows setup (for a clean installation):

    • Select “Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)”

    • Delete any partitions on your target drive

    • Select the unallocated space as the location to install Windows

  4. The system will automatically restart during the installation process

  5. Complete the Windows guided setup and the system will proceed to the desktop

  6. Wait a few minutes for Windows to finish installing various drivers and updates. You can monitor the progress by going to Start Menu > Settings > Update & Security

  7. Install and run ThinkVantage System Update to search for the latest Lenovo drivers and utilities

  8. Adjust UltraNav settings as desired in Start Menu > Settings > Devices > Mouse & touchpad > Additional mouse options

  9. To enable right click with two finger tap:

    • Open Registry Editor (Windows + R, type regedit then hit Enter)

    • Navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Synaptics\SynTP\TouchPadPS2

    • Change the value of 2FingerTapAction to 2

    • Restart computer to make changes active

    • Source

 

Notes:

  • Switchable Graphics does not yet work with Windows 10. Either Integrated (Intel HD Graphics 3000) or Discrete Graphics (nVidia NVS 4200m Optimus) can be selected by changing the BIOS setting at startup under Config > Display > Graphics Device.

  • To enable two-finger tap to right-click, follow the instructions here

 

 

WINDOWS 7 PROFESSIONAL RECOVERY DVDs

 

  • Images of the three DVD set to recover Windows 7 Professional to your ThinkPad T420s can be downloaded here (alternate source here)

  • Instructions for use of these images are in the included Read Me file

 

 

macOS 10.12 SIERRA

 

  • A guide to install macOS 10.12 Sierra on the ThinkPad T420s is available here

 

 

STORAGE

 

  • The primary drive bay accommodates 2.5-inch, 7mm drives and supports SATA III (6Gb/s) speeds

  • An mSATA SSD can be installed in the second MiniPCI Express slot that provides a SATA II (3Gb/s) interface

 

 

RAM SUPPORT

 

  • The ThinkPad T420s supports up to 16GB of 204-pin DDR3 1866 PC3-14900 non-ECC RAM

  • Install two modules of any capacity to enable Dual Channel memory support

  • See discussion below regarding different BIOS versions and RAM speed

  • Recommended RAM: Crucial DDR3 1866MHz PC3-14900 – available in 8GB and 16GB kits

 

 

BIOS

 

Official Lenovo BIOS

The latest official version of the T420s BIOS is available from Lenovo here

  • The official Lenovo BIOS limits RAM speed to 1333MHz (PC3 10600)

  • If the BIOS is updated to version 1.41 or higher, it will no longer be possible to roll back to an earlier version with the official installer

 

Whitelist Removed + Advanced Menu BIOS

This modified version of BIOS version 1.41 will:

  • Remove the "whitelist" check to allow the installation of a wider variety of internal components such as wireless cards

  • Unlock RAM speeds up to 1866MHz (PC3 14900)

  • Unlock the Advanced menu in the BIOS allowing numerous additional settings to be modified

  • Download the 1.41 Whitelist Removed + Advanced Menu BIOS here

    • MD5: 92cc0805cb41769e92dab2b0ac34a505

    • Source

 

DISPLAY OPTIONS

  • The ThinkPad T420s includes a 1600×900 (HD+) 14.0-inch LED backlit display

  • The stock 1600×900 display panel can be replaced with one of the following Alienware M14x 1600×900 panels for improved color performance and viewing angles:

  • Upgrade kits are available to install a 1920×1080 (FHD) display panel in the T420s. Additional details here and here.

WIRELESS

 

The ThinkPad T420s was originally configured with one of the following wireless Mini-PCI cards:

  • Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 3x3 AGN

  • Intel Centrino Advanced-N + WiMAX 6250 2x2 AGN

  • Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 2x2 AGN

  • Intel Centrino Wireless-N 1000 1x2 BGN

  • ThinkPad BGN (RealTek) 1x1 BGN

 

The following newer wireless Mini-PCI card can be installed:

  • Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 Plus Bluetooth (FRU 04W3814) - up to 867 Mbps data rates on 802.11ac connections (300 Mbps maximum on 802.11n connections)

    • ​It may be necessary to cut or tape over pin 51 on this card to allow Bluetooth to operate correctly​

  • The whitelist-removed BIOS will be necessary to install this newer card

 

 

BLUETOOTH

 

  • Select models of the ThinkPad T420s include Bluetooth 3.0 (FRU 60Y3271 or 60Y3275)

  • Bluetooth can be upgraded to Bluetooth 4.0 by simply swapping out the daughter card located under the palmrest

  • Lenovo Bluetooth 4.0 daughter cards:

source

 

 

BATTERIES

 

 

 

CONTROL FAN SPEED and HEAT

 

 

 

IMPROVE BATTERY LIFE

 

 

 

WINDOWS 7/8/10 ADJUSTMENTS

 

Increase the speed and responsiveness of Windows by doing the following

 

 

DISCUSSION FORUMS

 

 

 

DOCUMENTATION

 

 

 

DRIVERS

 

Lenovo ThinkPad T420s drivers

 

 

LENOVO PARTS LOOKUP

 

http://support.lenovo.com/us/en/partslookup

 

 

LENOVO WARRANTY STATUS LOOKUP

 

http://support.lenovo.com/en/warrantylookup

 

 

REVIEWS

 

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