Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Lenovo T400 : Random Shutdowns / Logoffs Anybody?

Here at the new job I got a Lenovo T400 laptop, and it’s been a bit of trouble.  Has a habit of randomly logging me out as if it’s going to suspend, but then never suspending.  Which means a cold boot.  That wreaks serious havoc on virtual machines, let me tell you.  Sometimes it just goes for the classic bluescreen, too.

The help desk has exhausted their “supposed to fix it” fixes, including:

* Do a blue-button system/bios update.

* Disable the fingerprint scanner (I love help desks.  Who’da thought?)

* Swap out the dock.  Swap out the AC adapters.

Best guess is that it has something to do with power management, since that’s normally when the computer would think it has the right to go ahead and shut you down – because you’ve got critical battery.  But this happens consistently on a machine that is plugged into AC with 100% battery.  I’ve mucked with the power management (including hitting combinations that basically say “never shut down no matter what the battery is” to no avail).

What’s really annoying is that this seems to be a systematic problem, as other T400 users in the company report the same problems, so it’s certainly a systematic thing and not just a random bad machine.  Sad, seems like a good box otherwise – built in webcam, 120gig drive…

Anybody run into the problem who found some other odd, “disable the fingerprint scanner” type of solution that actually worked?

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Same problem with Lenovo X200 machines. It's terrible

Anonymous said...

I'm experiencing same situation with two T400's here...

Matt Linden said...

I have had the exact same problem. It has been very intriguing that it only happens at my desk at work. It longer periods of working at home or other locations, it never happened. I suspect either some noisy power outlets at work or a large fluorescent light right over are causing it. I'm going to run for a week (or until it happens again) with the light off. I'll let you know if that seems to solve it. You might want to look for something similar.

Matt Linden said...

Definitely wasn't the light or the location of the power cord relative to a VOIP desk phone. I'll keep trying bizarre ideas.

Matt Linden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sbenhador said...

ֲ These 2 updates slve these issues on X200 - I'm trying on T400 and will let you knw if it worked.

Intel Storahe Managaer 8.5 can be downloaded here:
http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Product_Filter.aspx?ProductID=2101
ֲ
ThinkVantage Power Manager 1.45 here:
http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/MIGR-70602.html
ֲ

Anonymous said...

we are experiencing the same problem with 20 or more T400 ...

are there any updates or fixes on this problem?

Anonymous said...

I'm having the exact same problem when I'm docked at work, however it only happens after I lock my computer, come back and ctrl-alt-delete to unlock it, work for a minute and then bam, shutdown - that never completes btw, it just hangs. If anyone figures this out, I'd love to hear it!

Duane said...

Yup, had the exact same situation as last poster -- walk away from computer, come back, shutdown.

The only solution I found was, if I knew I'd be away from the computer more than like 20 minutes, was to actually do a Hibernate on the thing. That prevented the shutdowns.

ketherius said...

My T400 hangs when left idle for more than 15 min.

I think it's a software problem, because I booted a Linux live cd and left it idle for hours - the problem didn't appear.

Duane said...

Ketherius, most likely some subtle incompatibility in software with the hardware, as not all machines do it. But yes, under Linux it was certainly not a problem. Best guess I ever got was that it was something in the power management.

My machine ultimately gave up the ghost, too many cold boots I suspect, and began bluescreening on startup (that's never good). So I've got a new machine, same model, but the problem no longer occurs.

ketherius said...

My T400's problem was fixed by a recent Windows update - so you were right, Duane.

Anonymous said...

Same issue with my T400. this week alone it happened 3 times. System just shuts down unexpectedly. Have to remove power cord and battery before I do cold restart.

Anonymous said...

i was having the same problem, I suspect, it's Lenovo Fingerprint Software that is causing the problem. I have uninstalled my previous version, I boot up with "unknown device". Downloaded a later version, 3.2.0.350 from Lenovo website and installed it. By default the service is not enabled - so if you want to use it, you have to set the service to start up automatically.
On my side... for 3 days and multiple sessions of screenlock, I no longer experience the same problem. I think, the issue is with the Fingerprint software. Here is what I have done;
- downloaded and installed the latest Fingerprint software 3.2.0.350
- bios > security > fingerprinter reader > change to internal
- and i use 3rd party screensaver.

Tommy said...

for my issue, i deleted the Lenovo power management software and it corrected the issue. I suspect the conflict between Lenovo software and windows xp power management software.