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T60 cursor frozen: any solution?

T60/T61 series specific matters only
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eric99
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:12 am
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA

T60 cursor frozen: any solution?

#1 Post by eric99 » Sun May 13, 2018 5:23 pm

So, my T60 developed the frozen cursor problem a few months ago. That's what inspired me to buy first a T420, then a T61, searching for a solid replacement. I had never heard of cursor freezing on a TP before, but after it happened to me I found lots of threads about it, here and elsewhere, most of them several years old.

There were lots of "solutions" proposed, but nothing definitive. In most cases the posters who said they 'solved' the problem reported it started again, weeks or months later.

For those who have not heard of this problem: The cursor just up and freezes. Stops working and nothing can be done to get it moving again. Reboot is the only option. It's quite frustrating....it is more likely to happen after the computer has been used for awhile; also more likely after using the trackpoint. But it can happen at any time, out of the blue.

Some things help in the short-term: Updated video driver worked for awhile for me, but eventually the freezing came back. Similar stories abound in old threads.

Is there a real fix out there, that I missed? Thanks.
T420, Win 10, Xubuntu 18.04
T61, Win 7 Pro x64, weak Thinklight
T60, workhorse till the cursor started to freeze

eric99
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:12 am
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA

Re: T60 cursor frozen: any solution?

#2 Post by eric99 » Sun May 13, 2018 5:55 pm

P.S. To be clear, when I said the only way to get out of frozen cursor purgatory was to reboot, I should have made clear that you have to press the power button and hard-crash the PC. Nothing else works.
T420, Win 10, Xubuntu 18.04
T61, Win 7 Pro x64, weak Thinklight
T60, workhorse till the cursor started to freeze

kfzhu1229
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Re: T60 cursor frozen: any solution?

#3 Post by kfzhu1229 » Sun May 13, 2018 11:36 pm

eric99 wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 5:55 pm
P.S. To be clear, when I said the only way to get out of frozen cursor purgatory was to reboot, I should have made clear that you have to press the power button and hard-crash the PC. Nothing else works.
There are quite many reasons to why this happens.
I had this happening to me when I was using a T43 quite a few years ago and back then I don't know much about computers so didn't bother to fix it. Turned out mine was due to a funky power management driver AND faulty memory stick.
Anyways, here are some possibilities that I know of which can cause this problem:
1. Improper install of power management driver / power manager. Do a clean install of OS of your choice and do not install any drivers power related, see if problem disappears.
2. Faulty memory stick (s). Diagnose if your memory is faulty by a software of your choice. I usually use memtest86 or Windows Memory Diagnostic.
3. Faulty motherboard (Common for T4x machines due to chassis flex). One of the chips on the motherboard (usually the southbridge) is having some cold solder joints. This usually gets temporarily resolved by flexing the chassis in certain ways. This is the most fatal one out of the three and requires a motherboard replacement.
Another reason could be short circuiting in the motherboard. In this case usually certain chips or capacitors get super hot that it burns your hands if you touch it. (Usually only happens if you have a super high TDP CPU installed, i.e. Pentium 4 machines)
4. Bad battery circuit. Remove the battery and see if problem persists.
5. Bad external devices. Unplug all external devices and see if problem persists.
6. Bad capacitor (s). Check if there are any blown capacitors. (Usually only happens if you have a super high TDP CPU installed i.e. Pentium 4 machines)
7. CPU/GPU Thermal protection. Check your temps and see if they reach to the threshold before shutdown (usually around 100C, but 90C+ is already terrible temps)
_________________________________
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
2xT43 14.1" 2.26 SXGA+ 2gb 1*fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
Flexview UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10

dr_st
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Re: T60 cursor frozen: any solution?

#4 Post by dr_st » Mon May 14, 2018 2:21 am

eric99 wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 5:55 pm
P.S. To be clear, when I said the only way to get out of frozen cursor purgatory was to reboot, I should have made clear that you have to press the power button and hard-crash the PC. Nothing else works.
In other words, it's not a "frozen cursor" problem. It's a "frozen system" problem.

It happens to my T60 sometimes. Not often enough to bother me to look for a solution. After all, it's an 11-year old system, that's not even in the secondary system class anymore. I expect it will get worse with time, but whether it will take 1 year or 10 years for the system to become "unusable", I cannot know.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), X1 Carbon (20HQ), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG, X61 7673-V2V
T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

kfzhu1229
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Re: T60 cursor frozen: any solution?

#5 Post by kfzhu1229 » Mon May 14, 2018 2:12 pm

dr_st wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 2:21 am
After all, it's an 11-year old system, that's not even in the secondary system class anymore. I expect it will get worse with time, but whether it will take 1 year or 10 years for the system to become "unusable", I cannot know.
Does this mean that the T6x machines have inferior build quality compared to T4x? I have a T4x mobo with a non-working ide connector, but never have I have one with stability issues.
Stability issue is something that I only see on machines as old as TP600.
_________________________________
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
2xT43 14.1" 2.26 SXGA+ 2gb 1*fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
Flexview UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10

dr_st
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Re: T60 cursor frozen: any solution?

#6 Post by dr_st » Mon May 14, 2018 2:37 pm

kfzhu1229 wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 2:12 pm
Does this mean that the T6x machines have inferior build quality compared to T4x?
No. How did you get to this completely unrelated conclusion?
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), X1 Carbon (20HQ), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG, X61 7673-V2V
T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

eric99
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:12 am
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA

Re: T60 cursor frozen: any solution?

#7 Post by eric99 » Mon May 14, 2018 6:17 pm

dr_st wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 2:37 pm
kfzhu1229 wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 2:12 pm
Does this mean that the T6x machines have inferior build quality compared to T4x?
No. How did you get to this completely unrelated conclusion?
"Stability" might not be the right word. To me, that implies wonky things happening, websites crashing, graphics getting goofy, etc.

What happens in this case is that everything is going along great, no issues, then out of the blue the system freezes. Frozen to the point the only thing to do is push the power button and crash it. It is a known issue on the T60, which seemed to impact a fairly sizable minority of T60 units when they were still 'young' about 10 years ago. Here is one of many threads about it: https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/ThinkPad-T ... td-p/96628

My T60 had a delayed onset of this issue. I bought it in 2015, it worked great until last year, then the freezes started. Online research yielded lots of threads about it, with multiple "solutions" that never seemed to work permanently.

It's like a car model that folks love---until their car develops a problem that impacts a minority of units shipped but which has no clear fix.

Frustrating.
T420, Win 10, Xubuntu 18.04
T61, Win 7 Pro x64, weak Thinklight
T60, workhorse till the cursor started to freeze

dr_st
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Re: T60 cursor frozen: any solution?

#8 Post by dr_st » Mon May 14, 2018 11:33 pm

eric99 wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 6:17 pm
What happens in this case is that everything is going along great, no issues, then out of the blue the system freezes. Frozen to the point the only thing to do is push the power button and crash it. It is a known issue on the T60, which seemed to impact a fairly sizable minority of T60 units when they were still 'young' about 10 years ago. Here is one of many threads about it: https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/ThinkPad-T ... td-p/96628
What is described in that thread likely has a different cause from the problem you are experiencing, even if the symptoms are similar. In fact, I'm not even sure all the people there are describing the same problem. For most of them, the freeze would occur almost immediately upon boot, after trying to move the cursor. A few of them mention that it turned out to be due to them using a dead battery in the machine. Is your battery dead? If so, remove it. My battery sure is not dead, and yet the machine still freezes from time to time (very rarely, as I said).
eric99 wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 6:17 pm
Online research yielded lots of threads about it, with multiple "solutions" that never seemed to work permanently.
You know why it happens this way? Because there is a whole lot of things that can cause this symptom, and most of them are not specific to any particular model. My old recreational desktop has started freezing more and more frequently due to what I can assume is age-related component failure on the motherboard somewhere. Years ago, my primary desktop experienced the same symptom (except it was during certain kinds of network traffic) due to what turned out to be a bug in the wireless card driver. And now the same computer also freezes occasionally (probably as often as the T60), with the same symptoms, even though one is a laptop, one is a desktop, and they have radically different hardware and operating systems installed. Yes, these things start happening as hardware ages, and are very rarely caused by a specific flaw unique to a specific model.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), X1 Carbon (20HQ), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG, X61 7673-V2V
T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

Cigarguy
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Re: T60 cursor frozen: any solution?

#9 Post by Cigarguy » Tue May 15, 2018 5:56 am

Call it whatever you want, freezing or crashing, it's the same thing. This is not a problem limited to a T60 but can happen to any device. On and off, I've been using a T60 (various config) as my daily driver for 6 years and never experienced this problem you're talking about on a regular basis. Sure once in a while it'll randomly "freeze" but this can be trace back hardware or software failure of some sort.

Previously I've had laptops that would randomly lock up due to RAM, wifi or HDD connection problem. RAM and wifi is easiest enough to diagnose. The HDD in the Ultrabay becoming accidentally disconnected and causing the system to freeze was a pain to diagnose. This is only some hardware faults that could cause a system crash. There are lots of potential software that could cause this too. The key is some patience and methodical diagnosing of the problem.

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