Having Issues /w Your ThinkPad? (A Diagnostic Guide)

Discussion in 'Lenovo' started by Hackez, Feb 29, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Hackez

    Hackez Notebook Evangelist

    Reputations:
    80
    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    31
    I have decided to create this guide for those who are encountering issues with their ThinkPad. If you properly follow the instructions below you should be able to effectively separate hardware from software issues.

    Basically the intent of this guide is to help you determine whether you need to ship your laptop into the depot for repair or if the problem you are encountering is a simple software issue.

    This is the exact same procedure that Lenovo tech support will walk you through, so you are essentially saving yourself time and effort by doing this before contacting them.

    -----

    What you will need:

    - CD Burner
    - Blank CD
    - PC Doctor for DOS

    -----

    You can obtain PC Doctor for DOS from the following link:

    http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/document.do?sitestyle=lenovo&lndocid=MIGR-56222

    After you have downloaded the ISO you will need to use a program such as Nero to burn the ISO to a disc. Once that is complete simply ensure that the disc is present in your ThinkPad drive and restart your computer.

    Note: You may have to hit F12 at bootup and select your CD-ROM drive so that PC Doctor starts up properly.

    Note 2: The other viable option is to go into the BIOS and change your boot order so that your CD-ROM is executed before your HD.

    -----

    Once PC Doctor has started up, you will be presented with a blue screen asking you to make a selection. Just read the screen and make the appropriate selection which is normally simply 1. To confirm your selection simply press enter.

    It may take a few moments for PC Doctor to load, so just be patient.

    You should now see a screen with several drop down menus along the top of the screen. The menu you are interested in is diagnostics. You can navigate using the arrow keys and make selections using the enter key.

    Once under the diagnostics menu select run normal test and allow the diagnostics to run. This can take from fifteen minutes to an hour, so don't expect it to be a quick and painless process.

    Once the tests have been completed view the on-screen input to see the results. Also be sure to press F3 to view the testing log, under here is where you will find any errors that occurred during the diagnostics.

    WARNING: If any errors or notifications are listed under the testing log after pressing F3, record them fully. I would suggest calling Lenovo technical support and notify them of the errors you encountered. They should be able to tell you what the three/four/five digit error code you received means and if it is necessary for your computer to be sent in for repair.

    Well, that concludes this rather short guide. I recently used this process to diagnose a GPU error that was causing my system to lockup repeatedly when playing games. (I could play for approximately fifteen to thirty minutes and then the sound would loop and the entire computer would freeze up) It turns out that the GPU/motherboard is defective.

    -----

    Thanks,

    Hackez
     
  2. webdtc

    webdtc Notebook Deity

    Reputations:
    52
    Messages:
    751
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    30
    Thanks for the guide. I'm not sure if mine has a problem but yesterday I played World of Warcraft for 3 hours with no issues at all for one session and then later I played again and my computer just shutdown after about 15 minutes. I didn't try again, but I guess if it keeps happening I can use this guide as a resource.
     
  3. Hackez

    Hackez Notebook Evangelist

    Reputations:
    80
    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    31
    I wouldn't worry about one time issues like that. It's when you can effectively reproduce an issue at will that you need to be concerned. (Such as my problem described above happens ALL the time)
     
  4. assisterah

    assisterah Notebook Geek

    Reputations:
    1
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    15
    Thanks for your guide!
    I was planning to ship my T61p today. I got a speaker/sound issue that has annoyed me for a couple days. I will definetely check my system follow your direction before I send it back.
    I'm really sorry for your story, I know you have sent your t61 back to Lenovo more than two times, is your problem solved?
     
  5. Hackez

    Hackez Notebook Evangelist

    Reputations:
    80
    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    31
    If you send me a PM with as much detail as you can include regarding your speaker/sound issue I can give you my opinion on the issue. (I'm an IT Technician)

    The utility mentioned above can also help you narrow down not so obvious issues you may not even be aware of before sending your machine in for repair. This way you can avoid receiving it back and noticing a hidden issue that you missed earlier.

    Unfortunately my issue with Lenovo is still ongoing after six months of owning a defective machine though a manager is currently working with me to see if we can resolve the issue. (I'd love a refund at this point...>_>)
     
  6. wrighton

    wrighton Notebook Consultant

    Reputations:
    10
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    30
    This should be a sticky. It will save many people a lot of time.

    +1 for you.
     
  7. morphy

    morphy Notebook Deity

    Reputations:
    587
    Messages:
    911
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    30
    +rep

    reminder: anytime someone posts something useful or helpful please rep them.
     
  8. The Fire Snake

    The Fire Snake Notebook Virtuoso

    Reputations:
    426
    Messages:
    2,889
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    55
    Thanks for the guide. The more we can fix ourselves the better. I read your whole experience and I feel bad for you. I have read similar stories about the machine coming back worse from repair then before it went in. Other than the motherboard problem you have, what do you feel about the machine in general? If you had to do over, what would you get?

    +1 rep
     
  9. Hackez

    Hackez Notebook Evangelist

    Reputations:
    80
    Messages:
    512
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    31
    To be honest I would still want a ThinkPad T61P. I simply love everything about it, once the issues get squared away I'm sure I'll be quite content with my choice. If my issues don't get squared away and I get a refund I'm either going to build a desktop or head over to xoticpc.com and get a Compal J/FL92.

    It hasn't been all bad with my previous ThinkPad and this one though, I simply can't use any graphic intensive applications. Everything else has worked great on both of them and I have used them without issue. Luckily being as busy as I am I don't really have the time to game anymore so it hasn't affected me adversely. However I have some college curriculum around the corner that utilizies graphic intensive applications so this issue needs to be fixed ASAP. I'm being handled personally by a manager now and am shipping the machine out on Monday for repairs to a small engineering repair facility in NC as opposed to a standard depot for repair. They are much better trained and specialize in "high quality" repairs or so I'm told. Only time will tell...
     
  10. Teh_ROFFLES

    Teh_ROFFLES Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    Specs:
    Windows Vista Home Premium
    T7300 @ 2.00 GHz
    3 GB Ram
    Nvidia Quadro NVS 140m




    My story's kinda a long one so bear with me. when I first received by T61 around June 2007 I noticed that when I played games the fan was pretty loud. It didn't really bother me though because I usually play with my around-the-ear headphones so it drowned out the sound. Near the end of the year the fan had gotten louder and louder and around the end of December the fan died. So I send it in to the depot and they send it back in about a month, around late January.

    Recently over the past couple of weeks I've been trying to play ANY game and the laptop shuts down after about 2-3 minutes into the game. It even shuts down when I play Return to Castle Wolfenstein! THAT GAME IS OLD! Although in some games it runs for maybe half an hour and then dies. Another symptom is that the fan is running constantly blowing warm/hot air.

    So this morning I decided to run the PC Doctor DOS test and it shutdown during the test........at first I was worried and now I'm just getting annoyed and pissed off. I hope you can help me, but since it's Saturday most people are out and about while I'm trying to fix my damn computer! I'm going to try to do a clean install of Windows before I call up Lenovo and what pisses me off even more is that this computer's under warranty until June, 2010! :mad:
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page