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Weird problem.

The external AC-DC power supply on my ThinkPad died. I had a replacement sent via overnight.

It's recharging the battery just fine, (fronm 85% to 100%) but the computer doesn't know it's plugged in. What I mean by that is if I hover over the battery icon, it tells me 100% available but doesn't continue with "(plugged in)" like it always has.

That wouldn't be bad, but it's acting in the battery saver settings mode, putting the computer to sleep if it isn't used in 5 minutes. When plugged in it's supposed to never go to sleep.

I tried to get on the Lenovo forum, I reset my password - that worked. Then when I logged in it wants me to complete my profile, but whenever I press submit, it brings me right back to a blank complete my profile. I tried this on Firefox and Edge.

Surely there must be a way to fix this but I can't figure it out.

Any ideas?

Thanks,
Bob


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may or may not help but i have had similar problems with a laptop and solved it by disconnecting the power, removing the battery, waiting ten minutes then reinserting the battery and then plugging the power back in.

worth a try - it seems to wake the laptop up to the battery and power settings again

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Bob, I haven't seen a Thinkpad in decades, but here's a wild guess: your problem description suggests a bad jack. Is it possible the jack allows power to flow but a connector part is broken that signals the computer it has something plugged in? For example, you've probably seen this happen with headphones, when you plug them in and the built-in speaker is supposed to go silent but does not.


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Thanks for the tries.

I can't get the battery out of this one, and I can't test the jack.

The battery is charging, but I am concerned that if the computer doesn't know it's plugged in, it might not go to trickle charge and overcharge the battery.

It's going in the shop this morning.

I've used ThinkPads for years, and they generally give me no trouble.

Another thought entered my head. The night before I woke up to find a bad external power supply, Microsoft did an update to my computer. Now I don't think the MS updated could have damaged the power supply, but I wonder if that had something to do with the computer not recognizing that it's plugged in. Hmmmmmm...


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Originally Posted By: Notes Norton
... Microsoft did an update to my computer...something to do with the computer not recognizing that it's plugged in
Interesting hypothesis. I don't know but the coincidence is convincing.

I do remember many posts from you about how you have always used ThinkPads and always kept one as a gig backup. Smart. Do yours still have that pencil eraser thingy that works as a joystick?


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My MS update on each of my computers took 2 days.

Sadly, I would not doubt that it may be the problem.

...Deb

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Originally Posted By: Matt Finley
<...snip...> Do yours still have that pencil eraser thingy that works as a joystick?


Definitely! It's one of the things I absolutely love about ThinkPads.

I can do everything without taking my fingers off the keyboard.

Everything I can do by taking my hand of the keys and putting it on the mouse, everything I can do by taking my hands off the keys and stroking or tapping the glide strip can be done with my index finger on that eraser head and thumb on the buttons under the space bar. My fingers never have to leave the 'nipples' on the F and J keys.

Since it takes tome to move my hands off the keys and back on, having the eraser head is a time saver.

It took a little time to get used to it, but once I did, I never wanted to go back to mouse or glide strip.

Now back to my problem.

I took it to my computer guy, who doesn't have a spare of the new type power supply that Lenovo is using. It connects to the computer with a USBC port.

He asked where I got it, I told him Amazon. I wanted to buy from Lenovo, but they won't ship for 4 days, and Amazon did overnight for no shipping charge.

He told me he suspects one of two things:

1) The power supply might be a forgery knock-off that isn't communicating with the computer properly

2) When the old power supply died, it could have damaged something in the motherboard that lets the computer know it's plugged in.

We talked about my options and it seems the most logical thing to do is get a power supply from Lenovo and see if it's the problem. If the problem doesn't go away with the new power supply, then he'll investigate the price of getting a new motherboard vs. me buying a new computer.

He also said I can probably use this for years on battery just by watching the battery icon in the task bar, when it gets to 20% plug it in, when it gets between 80 and 90% unplug and run on battery.

I've used ThinkPads since the IBM model R30. They are usually extremely dependable and this is the first one I've had unusual trouble with, so I forgive them.

I just retired a 2002 with WinXP from stage. It's still working. I'm planning to put linux on it. The only thing I've ever replaced is the CMOS battery ($5). I retired my other 2002 when I dropped it and the hinge was broken (it still worked). One nighters are hard on gear.

I use 2 ThinkPads on the gig, but bring 3. The third one is up and running all the time, so if something fails, all I need to do is move the USB to Audio interface from one computer to the other. Since 2002 I've done this twice. The first time a hard drive was making noise. I don't know if was going to fail or not, and didn't want to take the chance. The second time the CMOS battery failed and it was easier to use the second computer than to fiddle with the DOS date and time adjustments.

ThinkPads are so reliable, they have two (redundant) ThinkPads on the International Space station that control all the life sustaining systems (oxygen, pressure, etc.)

So I had a power supply fail after so many years of using them. I guess that's a good track record.

Notes


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If you can try and boot up on a Live CD/DVD OS and see what that displays in the system tray charging icon.

If it's the same deal then the issue may have caused the old PS to blow or caused by the old PS.

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Thanks!


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Yeah, that was my first thought as well, it might not be an "official" Lenovo charger. In practice, I've found Thinkpads to be quite forgiving, but the most recent one I've owned was an X240 so that was a while back.

I second the suggestion about the jack being bad. I'm not sure how modular this particular Thinkpad is vs the old ones, but in the past it was relatively trivial to pop the keyboard off and swap the jack out - at least that's how it was on the W520 I had years ago.


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The official from Lenovo power supply is on the truck for delivery today.

If it doesn't work, then when the old one died, my computer guy suspects it may have taken out something on the motherboard.

If that's the case I'll balance the cost of repair vs. a new ThinkPad.

This one works fine on batteries, but it never leaves my desk. Watching the battery monitor so it doesn't overcharge or undercharge is a bit of a PITA, but the thing that bugs me most is I usually leave it on all day. If a customer contacts me with a problem (which is indeed rare) and it's turned off, I will have to wait until the computer boots up before I can help.

So I'll get it fixed one way or another.

BTW if I got a fraud on Amazon, they did a good job. It looks just like the old one, and the instructions and safety warnings look official too. But if you are going to make a fraud, it's to your advantage to make a good one. wink

Insights and incites by Notes


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If the power jack and sensor is on a separate pcb you could just replace that.
It might also be in the battery itself.
You could also check on eBay for a motherboard.
But depending if the genuine PS fixes the issue or not and repair price.

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Thanks.

I just ordered a new computer. I might re-purpose this for a backup stage computer since it works plugged in. A backup computer is just insurance. I'm using an old IBM model for backup now. I've never really needed to use it, and once or twice a year I plug it in to see if it's still working. The battery is usually dead but it works.

I figure if this one takes the place of the ancient backup, the battery will be dead if I ever need it, and in the course of a 3 hour gig it won't overcharge.

I might also check with Lenovo and see if they can fix it for a reasonable price after I get all the software and data on the new computer.

I hate getting new computers. While I love the quickness and improvements, it's just a giant time sink to get it set up and all my apps on it.

Oh well, you gotta do what you gotta do wink

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So did the official Lenovo power supply make a difference?


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Nope. It seems the one I got from Amazon wasn't a fake.

Local computer guy did some research and said a motherboard replacement is the best option for repair, and that will cost as much as a new computer.

I got a great Christmas deal at Lenovo: $3499.00 computer for $899.99. The deal is gone from the Lenovo site so I got lucky. I think it was last year's model.

Of course, I dislike getting my stuff off my old computer and into the new. The data is no problem, it's all backed up with SyncToy but reinstalling the apps involves a lot of time. But it'll be better once it's done.

Since I haven't gigged since March, I should have the time, but the roof needs tending, and I'm spending a lot of time making new BiaB products, since it's my major source of income now.

But the mortgage is paid off, the cars too, and we can survive on what we have coming in.

Notes


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The last version of Acronis that I have does have a feature that will copy then restore all of your programs onto a new computer. I didn't try it so I don't know how it works but it might be something that you might want to look into.


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Have a look on eBay for the motherboard, I have replaced many laptop motherboards from eBay.

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Thanks to both of you !!!

I'll try those ideas.


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I'm getting a new laptop to replace mine that was dying and am tempted to try the Acronis Universal Restore option, but a little leary as I've never done that before (I've always restored to the same system, never a different system). I will definitely take an image of the factory install first, so I can backtrack if necessary. If it works, it would be a great way to jumpstart the installation process.


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I still say, and Pipeline concurred, it's very possibly a bad jack.


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