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IBM ThinkPad T41 Troubleshooting

Starting up

When I try to turn on my computer, it doesn’t respond.

Before turning it on, make sure the laptop is intact and not missing any vital parts.

If the computer doesn’t respond to pressing the power button, make sure the power button has been pressed long enough (about 4 seconds). If it isn't responding, make sure the battery is secure and tight. If no response, plug in the AC adapter and let the battery charge for awhile (about half an hour). If no response again, let the battery charge for 24 hours for it may be overly discharged. If computer still doesn’t turn on, replace battery entirely for it may be dead. If battery replacement doesn’t work, problems exist elsewhere and computer may need replacement of certain parts. Some parts that may need replacement include the motherboard and the power plug.

Error Codes

An error message has appeared. How do I handle it?

When you receive an error message you should press the “Access IBM” key on the keyboard to learn more about the error and solutions for it.


Something may be wrong with my computer, how can I test it?

To test for problems you might have on your computer, run the computer’s PC-Doctor.

To do this:

  • Click on the start menu.
  • Move cursor to all programs. Then move to PC-Doctor for Windows.
  • Click on PC-Doctor.
  • Then follow the prompt instructions to diagnose and solve any problems found.

Blank Screen

My screen is blank right when I turn on my computer or the screen goes blank while the computer is on.

Screen saver or power management may be enabled. To fix this, touch the trackpad, or press any key to exit the screen saver, or press the power switch to resume from standby or hibernation mode.

If you are using the AC adapter, or using the battery, and the battery status indicator is green, press Fn+Home to make the screen brighter.

If you continue having problems the screen may need to be replaced.


The battery just won’t charge.

The surge protector in the battery might be on. Turn off the computer for a minute to reset the protector, then turn the computer back on.

The battery won’t charge if it is hot. If the battery feels hot, remove it from the computer and allow it to cool down. After it cools, reinstall it and recharge the battery. If it still does not charge, replace it.

Hard Drive

The hard drive doesn't seem to work.

From the startup options, make sure the drive is included in the “Boot priority order” list in the BIOS Setup Utility menu. If the drive is in the “Excluded from boot order” list, the drive is disabled and the computer will ignore it. Selecting the drive from the list and pressing the "x" key will move the drive to the “Boot priority order" list, so the computer will not ignore it.

Also, if in the startup menu in the BIOS Setup Utility, there is an exclamation point "!", to the left of the hard drive or its child node, then the hard drive is disabled. To enable the drive, press the Insert key and clear the mark.

The hard drive makes rattling noises intermittently. The rattling noise is heard while:

  • The hard disk drive starts accessing the data or when it stops.
  • You carry your computer.

The rattling noise is normal for the hard drive and does not mean anything is wrong.

Optical Device

The computer's the sound quality from a CD is poor or nonexistent.

Make sure the disk meets the standards for your country. Usually, a disk meeting the local standards is marked a CD logo. If the CD does not meet the standards, Lenovo cannot guarantee that it will play, or if it does play, that the sound quality will be good.

Playback of DVD is not smooth in Windows 98 and Windows 2000.

If the Maximum Battery mode is selected and the computer has the Intel SpeedStep® technology, this problem may occur. The Maximum Battery mode switches the processor speed between low and high. Operation in this mode can severely lower the performance of the processor, and therefore cause the playback of a DVD to be jerky.

To avoid or reduce this problem, you may choose from the three other modes of operation:

  • Maximum Performance: Keeps the processor speed high at all times.
  • Automatic: Switches the processor speed between high and low, depending on how much the processor is used. If the use increases, Intel SpeedStep switches the processor speed to high.
  • Battery Optimized Performance: Keeps the processor speed low at all times.

To choose a mode, do the following:

  • 1. Start the ThinkPad Configuration Program
  • 2. Click Power Management
  • 3. Click the Intel SpeedStep technology tab
  • 4. From the list, select the mode you want
  • 5. Click OK


All or some of the keys do not work.

If the problem occurred immediately after the computer turned on from

standby mode, enter the power-on password if one has been set.

If an external keyboard is connected and the numeric keypad on the computer does not work, use the keypad on the external keyboard.

If an external numeric keypad or a mouse is connected:

  • 1. Turn off the computer.
  • 2. Remove the external input devices.
  • 3. Then turn on the computer and retry using the computer's keyboard.

If the keyboard responds as it should then carefully reconnect the input devices, making sure that they are connected well.

A number appears when typing a letter.

The numeric lock is on. To turn it off, hold "Shift" and press "NumLk".

If you continue having problems, the keyboard may need to be replaced.


The pointer moves around when the computer is running.

This problem might happen during normal operation even when not using the TrackPoint. This is normal for the TrackPoint and is not a defect.

The movement may occur when:

  • The computer is turned on
  • The computer resumes normal operation
  • The TrackPoint is pressed for a long time
  • The temperature changes

The external pointing device does not work.

Make sure the TrackPoint and the trackpad are set to Automatic in the ThinkPad Configuration Program.

If problems persist, detach any external pointing device, and try using the TrackPoint or the trackpad. If the TrackPoint and the trackpad work, the error might be due to the pointing device.

Make sure that the point device's cable is connected correctly to the computer, ThinkPad Dock II, ThinkPad Mini Dock, or the ThinkPad Port Replicator II.

The scrolling/magnifying function does not work.

Check the driver in Device Manager and make sure the PS/2 TrackPoint driver is installed. More specifically, drivers can be found in C:\IBMTOOLS\DRIVERS directory.

If you continue having problems, the keyboard or trackpad may need to be replaced.

Power Switch

The system does not respond, and the computer will not turn off.

Turn off the computer by holding down the power switch for 4 or more seconds. If the computer still does not turn off then remove the power adapter and the battery.


For more information, see the T41's manual.

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