Reviving a Dead Thinkpad

Tuesday night I flew to San Francisco on business. I checked into my hotel, and went to turn on my Lenovo Thinkpad T61p to finish a time-sensitive project for a client. I pushed the power button, but the machine was completely dead, no sign of life whatsoever. No lights illuminated. Not a hint of sound of any kind. The battery could not possibly have been dead, but I plugged the power supply into the wall, plugged the power supply’s cable into the computer, and tried again – – no luck.

It seemed to me that I had experienced this before, back when I worked for Novell, with this very same machine. I had traveled to Waltham, arrived with a dead computer, and the IT guys were able to get it running again. My memory went no further than that, and up until about five minutes ago I’ve been unable to use the Thinkpad.

As I went to Google the address of a computer shop to service the ThinkPad, using my other computer, it occurred to me to first Google “thinkpad dead.” I came upon a blog post – – see the link below. Pure gold!!! The experience I had with the Novell IT guys came back to me as I read the blogger’s account of his own experience:

“So I called up IBM support and explained the situation. The guy on the other end then let me in on the secret power button code to revive your dead Thinkpad. After assessing the situation (totally dead laptop) he warned me: `Okay, this is going to sound totally bizarre, but I want you to give this a try…’ He then had me unplug the AC adapter and take out the battery. Then, you push the power button 10 times in a row at one second intervals. Next, you push and hold the power button for 30 seconds. Then you put the battery back in and push the power button… and she lives. The computer came back, good as ever.”

I just followed these steps myself, and I’m up and running again! And, I’ve documented this solution in case the problem ever happens again.

Mike Masnick’s Blog » The Secret Thinkpad Powerbutton Code To Bring Dead Laptops Back To Life.

One Response to “Reviving a Dead Thinkpad”

  1. Spencer Says:

    The best part is that, if you had taken this to a repair shop, I would bet a large amount of money that the 16 year old kid that worked on your laptop would have just googled the same thing, and followed the same steps you did.

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