Windows 10 on your Panasonic Toughbook: to upgrade or not to upgrade?

Posted by Ed Lasher on 7th Aug 2015

Update (9/9/2016): We now offer Windows 10 64-bit as an optional upgrade on several of our Toughbook models.


As expected, reports have begun to roll in of driver issues on Panasonic Toughbook laptops after installing the new Windows 10 operating system. We saw the same thing happen with Windows 7 when it first came out. In fact,  installing Windows 7 in most Toughbooks is still an overly complicated, frustrating process if you don't know all the steps. Due to its new automatic update system, controlling which drivers are installed on Windows 10 may prove even more challenging than in previous versions of Windows.

We've already received several phone calls, emails, chats and  Facebook messages asking if it's a good idea to upgrade to Windows 10. While early reviews have been favorable, our advice right now is to hold off. We're currently testing out installations on several Toughbook models. Once we have worked out all the kinks, we will offer guidance on how to properly update your Toughbook's OS. Until then, keep using Windows 7.

If you'd like to eliminate the pop-up notification that asks you to upgrade to Windows 10, check out the  GWX Control Panel.

Testing Windows 10 on Panasonic Toughbooks

Most upgrade issues we've encountered with Toughbooks seem to be related the Panasonic Windows 7 load. Clean installs tend to, but do not always, work. The downside to that is that you will lose all your files and applications.

Below is a list of Toughbook models on which we have upgraded to Windows 10 from Windows 7. We will continue to update this list with model-specific notes.

We cannot guarantee that you will have success updating your Toughbook. If you choose to give it a try, make sure you back up all your data first!

CF-30

CF-30FCD54AM: Success! Windows 10 device manager does give an error code 48 saying that the hotkeys are not working properly. In our testing, however, we have found them to be 100% functional. We are not sure what is causing the error, but it does not seem to be a problem.

CF-31

CF-31AAAEA2M: Testing in progress. Same issue as with CF-19RHRAG1M. We did manage to get Windows 10 working by installing a clean OEM Windows 7 install and upgrading from that. This solution will not work if you have a Panasonic Windows 7 installation, and will not allow you to keep any of your applications. We are working on a more elegant solution. Stay tuned.

CF-31AGP7B2M: Tried to get around the Intel Dynamic Power Performance Management issue by renaming EtmDrvMgr.sys. The upgrade seemed to work, but within a few minutes of starting up, the cursor froze and the computer became unresponsive. The same thing happened with a CF-19RHRAG1M

CF-19

CF-19RHRAG1M: Testing in progress. We are figuring out a workaround to a compatibility issue related to Intel Dynamic Power Performance Management software that prevents the update from completing.

- Upgrade works if you only want to keep your files. If you want to keep your applications, the upgrade does not work.

- Update January 8, 2016: Tried renaming EtmDrvMgr.sys as suggested by Alejandro (comments below). Windows 10 upgrade seemed to work, but within a few minutes after booting up, the cursor froze and the machine became unresponsive.

CF-19FHxxxxx and CF-19CHxxxxx: These low-end models will upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 without any issues. The copy of Windows 7 on these models was a standard load, as no Panasonic load exists for them.

CF-52

CF-52PGPBP1M: Got a blue screen error message. "A required driver isn't connected or can't be accessed. Error code: 0xc000000f." We are still looking for a fix.

CF-53

CF-53JALZY1M: Straight upgrade worked fine. The only issue was the video drivers. After re-downloading them, this CF-53 MK2 ran Windows 10 without issue.

Windows 10 Compatible Models According to Panasonic Japan

At the time of this writing, the  Japanese Panasonic website lists just a few Toughbook and Toughpad models they deem eligible for Windows 10:

  • CF-19Z (mk8)
  • CF-31 [1/2/3/4] (mk5)
  • CF-53 [2/3/4/7] (mk4)
  • CF-54 [A/B/C] (mk1)
  • CF-AX3E (mk2)
  • CF-C2C (mk2)
  • CF-MX4E (mk1)
  • CF-LX3 [E/J] (mk2 / mk3)
  • CF-SX4E (mk1 Asia Model)
  • FZ-G1 [F/J/K/L] (mk2 / mk3)
  • FZ-M1 [A/C] (mk1)
  • UT-MB5 (mk1)
  • UT-MA6 (mk1)

These are essentially the newest models available, but bear in mind that Panasonic only benefits when people buy their new machines. As we have already seen, some older models will indeed work. All this means is that we will have to figure out how to upgrade without help from Panasonic.

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