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.