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IBM Thinkpad T42 and T41 BSOD, Freezing, etc.

:: Monday, October 17th, 2005 @ 2:24:12 pm

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I love Thinkpads, and swear by them. However, I’ve had a history of problems with them that I believe can only be hardware-related. My brand-new Thinkpad/Lenovo T42 has been having sporadic BSOD and freezing issues similar to what this guy is reporting. He reports that “it would freeze at random moments, shut down spontaneously and then fail to start up again, and sometimes not come on at all.” Although my current T42 only has BSOD and random freezing problems, my old T41p had the EXACT problem the guy at TechnoTaste reported. When I sent it in for repair, I was told that they couldn’t find anything wrong with my system. But I’m SURE that it’s a hardware issue; having a machine refuse to even show the BIOS start screens is really bad. And given that I had the same problems with a brand-new installation of Windows XP SP2, I’m sure that it’s not a software issue.

But what can I do? If I send it in and they can’t reproduce the problem, I’m pretty much screwed. The only reason I have a T42 is because my T41p died 3 days before I had to leave for a photo trip. I still love the machine, but it’s starting to get frustrating. If I can’t keep it stable, I’m going to have to dump IBM.

UPDATE A link to someone else with the mysterious problem. This is not isolated to my machine. It’s interesting that the person said that it was location-dependant, because I was so stumped that I started to think the same thing (when I’m on boats on the ocean, symptoms show up much more frequently). At least my T42 is only BDOD’ing, and not having the strange problem of not starting up again.

UPDATE 12/30/05 Problem solved.

| Oakland, CA | link | trackback | Oct 17, 2005 14:24:12
  • joechang

    eric, i’m on a t42 with no problems, but an earlier model. running 2000 and ubuntu dual booting, no strange shut down issues thus far. also got rid of XP as soon as I got it.

  • echeng

    Yeah. It may be an XP notebook driver issue. My desktops, which all run XP, are solid and never crash.

    I updated the Radeon 9600 driver, and hope that it will help with the BSODs.

    By the way, if you are a Thinkpad user, you should download the new IBM Software Installer, which detects all of the drivers you need for your particular system. A fresh install of XP can now be done by installing XP and then running the software installer, which will install all of the IBM drivers automatically.

  • http://www.alexking.org/ Alex

    I hear those Apple PowerBooks are nice. ;)

  • jauder

    I certainly hope that is not the case as I’m getting a brand spanking new T43. My only problem is deciding if I want a 14 or 15 inch screen.

  • DAVID WONG

    Well, guys, i got those famout BSOD problems, and tried to figure out ways during past few months. Apparently it’s ATI video driver problem. So, i uninstalled ATI driver problem. Thanks God – I haven’t seen blue screen problem since then. Hope this could help if u look for compromise.

  • dennis

    I’m getting similar BSOD problems on my Thinkpad T42 (with ATI Radeon 9600). I took it to IBM/Lenovo service center and they gave it back after three days saying there was a problem with motherboard and they have rectified it. However, I’m getting BSOD frequently. Tried Windows 2000 and also Win XP SP2. Haven’t been able to get a dump though. Will try to attach it next time. Any suggestions to this problem. It seems there must be acommon reason if the problem is so prevalent. Thx.

  • http://echeng.com eric

    I’ve posted an update, and details about having fixed the problem.

  • Steph

    Hey eric I’m having basically the same problem, only with an IBM Thinkpad T20 which was recommended for Windows 98/2000. I always have BSODing on it, and its running Windows XP Pro. Its starting to annoy me, when your doing important homework and it happens. If you could get any advice on it, i’m seriously willing to try it. I ahve a feeling mine is related to either HDD or Motherboard issues, but i honestly havent a clue. it always says something about the dump memory aswell. :/ thanks.

  • Joanna Gonzales

    I have problem regarding with my t42 too. I get this blue screen error after an hour or so. Then if i tried to open it again, it wouldnt. I have to wait for like 30 minutes befpre starting it up again. :(

  • Ansarikaleem786

    i have a ibm thinkpad t42, till now it was working good but now it have some problem, when i switched on it ,nothing is displaying here on the screen.the power led and beside of that one led is on. but hard disk drive led is not on. please give me any suggesion what to do.

  • Simatwo Kirwa

    This is Kirwa inNairobi.

    I have the same problem … IBM T42 freezing at random … at times it fails to start and gives BIOS Beeps (related to system board … see ref site: http://www.bioscentral.com/beepcodes/ibmbeep.htm )

    I have another IBM T43 which is less problematic but at times exhibits similar faults – in both I dual boot – the OSes – openSuSE Linux 11.3 + Ms Windows 7 and openSUSE Linux 11.2 and Ms Windows XP respectively.

    Who can help me out??

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