Friday, December 5, 2008

Solution to Thinkpad X200 Random Freezing Problem


Around one month ago, I got my new Thinkpad X200 and I was very happy. I plugged it to AC power and enjoy installing new programs on new Windows Vista. Until I found out later that my new Thinkpad randomly freezes when running on battery. The cursor turns into an Vista's wait cursor, and I cannot do anything with the system. Even Ctrl + Alt + Del gave me no response.

The freezing becomes really annoying when I have to do a presentation to professors at my university. X200 freezed, locked up, and I can only hold power button to do a hard-shutdown!

I begin to dig deep into this problem. The first clue was ThinkVantage Access Connections, my X200 often freezes when I mess with wireless connectivity too much. So I uninstalled it but the freezing problem still persists.

The next clue was Intel Turbo Memory (ITM) and ThinkVantage Active Protection System (APS.) I found this from "Random Lockups when on battery" thread of tabletpcreview.com.

From my understandings, The ITM is a fast memory which provides fast access to some hard disk/virtual memory contents. And APS provides shock protection to hard disk and is one of the best Thinkpad's features. The problem happens when Windows Vista push Turbo Memory into power-saving mode and then APS trying to access Turbo Memory content. The freezing is then happened. Please correct me on this if I am wrong.

The fix was easy. You just need to go to Vista's Control Panel -> Power Options -> Change Plan Settings ->Change Advanced Power Settings ->Hard disk ->And then disable "Windows Hybrid Hard Disk Power Savings Mode"

After I changed my settings for default plan, no single freezing occurs when on battery! I am now so happy with my new Thinkpad X200 :) I think I can blame no one but Lenovo for this problem. They should do some more deep QA on their Thinkpads before start shipping. I think this problem is very serious and it affects Thinkpad's brand IMHO.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the clear explanations. It happens on the X200T version too - that is the tablet version.

.:: m3rLinEz ::. said...

I'm glad my post is helpful to you :)

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I've been experiencing random freezes. So frustrating! I hope this works :)

Steeve said...

I have the same problem on battery or plugged and I'm on WinXP.
I didn't find the parameter for hybrid HD

Anonymous said...

Thank you! It seems to work for me (X200 tablet with vista). I thought I needed a solid state drive.
~j

Thomas said...

I am having this problem repeatedly on my X200 running WinXP. Any suggestions?

3m said...

this post was a big help when i bought my t400; do you know offhand if lenovo/microsoft have fixed this problem? my startup times are shite and i want to reenable this...

umaisagu said...

today my thinkpad x200 couldn't start. The cause was becoz my lil son actually had pulled out the adapter wayer which still running the laptop. I've tried to switch on but still unable to show the windows. seems that it might be a motherboard failure. The led light which only appear is the round Z symbol and power symbol. Any idea? I actually set my laptop to stanby befor this problem happened.

umaisagu said...

I just got the answer. Just to share and it's clear that x200 has issue on SLEEP mode.

http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/document.do?lndocid=TVSU-UPDATE

LENOVO should inform customer on this! what a SHAME!

Anonymous said...

Thanks. I had the same problem, after changing it looks good so far.