Blog: ThinkPad

I am having trouble with my machine overheating. I found two useful tools to look at the temperature on the cores of the processor.  The programs are: 

RealTemp - This program will monitor the temperature on each of the cores (for any modern Intel processor) and also periodically log the results to a file.

Tpfancontrol - This is a program specifically for ThinkPads which shows the temperature and allows you to control the fan speed somewhat. It does show the fan speed and how it changes as the temperature on the cores change.


I was trying to post a job on Yahoo hotjobs (using a new ThinkPad running Windows 7), but after I would choose a location & select "Post Job", it would take me back to select a location.  After trying several times across two days, I finally tried to submit a "help form", but I was unable to determine if the form was actually being submitted and I never heard back from Yahoo.  After about a week (and I tried several different days through the week), I was going to sing into Google Analytics.  When I tried to log in with our account credentials, I received the error message “Your browser’s cookie functionality is turned off. Please turn it on.”  I knew it was not turned off, but followed their help and went to Tools, Internet Options, Privacy, Advanced, and verified "First-party Cookies" were not blocked.  While trying to discover what the problem was, I looked under websites to see if it was listed as a blocked site.  I found more than 100 sites listed as blocked including all the major search engines (I did not add them, so they must have come from the factory).  When I removed, I began to be able to post jobs.


I had problems with my laptop after installing the PGP desktop (in order to use the PGP Whole Disk Encryption).  Most times, when I would reboot, the PGP boot application would not take my domain password.  I would have to use a one-time recovery token to get booted.  A co-worker found, in the PGP forums, a reference to this being a conflict with the ThinkVantage fingerprint software for some ThinkPads (T400, T500, X301, X200, W700, etc.).  I uninstalled the fingerprint software and the problem stopped immediately.  I ran this way for more than a week without any issues.  I installed the fingerprint software again and, so far, it seems to work.  Time will tell if the problem comes back and the fingerprint software has to be uninstalled again.


One of our employees had a Lenovo ThinkPad T60 laptop that had the nifty "feature" where he could not boot into Windows without having the laptop plugged into power. In addition, when he removed power from the laptop, the system would hang. My testing was able to narrow that down further to where if the laptop was not plugged into external power AND there was no live Ethernet cable plugged into the NIC, these symptoms would arise. After updating drivers and the BIOS and checking the ThinkVantage Power Management settings, I found a setting in the driver advanced properties called "Deep Smart Power Down". The way this feature was intended to work is to save battery power when there is no active cable plugged into the NIC. Unfortunately, what usually happens is that the system locks up during the "hot-swap" remove session that Windows sees when DSPD runs. Disabling this setting resolves the problem quite nicely and everything is running off of battery like it's supposed to. [more]


A word of caution when upgrading the hard drive on a ThinkPad T43, R52, X41, or X41 Tablet.  These systems contain an IDE to Serial ATA bridge that allows IDE hard drives to be used with the Serial ATA controller.  This configuration can cause programs to function incorrectly and/or slowly when using a hard drive/firmware version that is not approved by Lenovo.  An unapproved hard drive/firmware version will generate a POST Error 2010 at system startup. [more]

The Lenovo website on this issue:

List of approved hard drives/firmware versions:

In addition, some Hitachi hard drives purchased on the retail market come pre-installed with a firmware version that generates the Error 2010, but also appears to be up-to-date to Lenovo’s firmware update utility.  Specifically, I ran into this issue with the Hitachi TravelStar HTS7210xxG9AT00.   In order to load a firmware version that will not generate the error, you must update the firmware manually.  Instructions can be found here:

Another good reference site for this issue:


The recovery partition on ThinkPads installs in two different sizes depending on how you install it.  If you revert to factory settings, the recovery partition should be 4-5 GB.  If you restore the system from a Rescue and Recovery backup, the recovery partition will only be about 500MB.  The down side is that Rescue and Recovery installs/upgrades write files to the recovery partition.  The 500MB partition fills up very quickly and prevents you from upgrading/installing Rescue and Recovery.  Your two options at that point are 1) research Rescue and Recovery to see if there is an install parameters that prevents files from being written to the recovery partition (in the interest of time, I have not done this), or 2) remove the recovery partition and then install Rescue and Recovery.