Lenovo Thinkpad T400s: Random Shutdown

As I have been complaining on my twitter (sorry about that, by the way), I am having problem with my lenovo T400s.

First, T400s just stopped booting. I couldn’t even reinstall OS.
At that time, Lenovo’s support team, called smart center, helped me just fine.
They sent me new hard disk fast, and it fixed it. Well, that was no-brainer.

When I got new hard drive, I’ve decided to try Windows 7.
So I installed new OS. I was happy for a while, then I start noticing that T400s shut herself down abruptly. No blue screen.

First I thought that was Windows 7 thing. It was only once a month thing for a while, so I ignored. After a couple month later, this random shutdown is becoming weekly thing, then almost daily thing… So I start researching online and called lenovo.

This is still ongoing, but this is what has been happening until today.

  1. Google shows so many users are having same problem worldwide (random shutdown). This issue was discussed at lenovo’s forum. It was hot topic actually, that thread had over 50 pages! Luckily, one guy called Mark (sounds like he works for lenovo) confirmed problem and put solution in the forum: change motherboard. Sounds simple.
  2. Called lenovo. Told them about forum and everything I learned from my research, and I asked them to change motherboard… their answer was NO. ToT
    Their claim: Information on forum is not official so lenovo will not do anything based on some users “opinion”. I told them the forum is under lenovo.com, so it is as close as it gets to official forum, but didn’t change anything. So, I decided to just follow their instructions….
  3. Run PC-Doctor (diagnostic software by Lenovo) and see if there are error comes out. This took 6 hours. Nothing come out. So I called again, and I got new instruction: Reinstall OS.
  4. Reinstalled OS. First I did recovery to Vista, then upgrade to Windows 7 (with Win7 upgrade disk I bought from lenovo). Didn’t work. After googling and calling lenovo, I found out that their Windows 7 disk has some error. So I clean-installed it… Worked fine for 24 hours, then T400s gave up on me again… 
  5. Called again. I did everything they asked me. They still think it is software problem. They claim the application I installed is causing the shutdown. I only installed office, browser, no tricky app. I once again explained what I found in lenovo forum, and how changing motherboard seems the best idea. They ignored me. Now they want me to re-install OS again, and use that machine WITHOUT installing any additional software for a while! Without any application, what I am going to do with it for weeks? I told them that is the stupidest thing I ever heard from support people and that I am not their tester. I used my angry voice, which I normally use only a couple of times a year. 🙂
    They put me on hold, and after 5 min, the person came back and asked me to send my thinkpad to them. That was yesterday.

So, I am going to send my thinkpad to lenovo today. Let’s see what they will do.. I remember second person I talked to told me that, even if I send my thinkpad, with current condition, they may have nothing to do and just send it back to me. So I told them not to return if they could not do anything but call me first. That’s when I probably have to use another angry voice. See what will happen.

I am leaving this so that other frustrated Lenovo users may be able to find interesting, hopefully useful.

Will update later.

[update: 2010/07/12]

My thinkpad came back in 5 days. They could not confirm the problem I was having, but maybe because I was mean, they changed motherboard “as precaution”. Since then, I had no problem for a month.

So, it was hardware problem…

I still don’t know why they had no record on this, considering all the cases reported on Lenovo forum.

Overall, I guess I am OK with lenovo support now. I don’t think they are great help, but I have seen much worse. Sometimes I was frustrated with how they could not comprehend my simple question, but their action was pretty quick.

Finally, for those who are experiencing the same problem, I recommend talking to lenovo, and ask for motherboard replacement. Don’t bother reinstalling OS like I did. 🙂