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FAQ (thinkpads.com - Frequently Asked Questions)

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FAQ (thinkpads.com - Frequently Asked Questions)

#1 Post by BillMorrow » Tue Jul 06, 2004 1:48 am

1) Can someone tell me __________ about model _________?

NEW - http://www.lenovo.com/psref/

OLD - ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/pc/pcinstitute/psref/

tabook/tawbook/ltwbook - A/T/X/R/Z series
tbook/twbook - 2xx, 3xx, 5xx, 600, 7xx, 8xx series
tibook/tiwbook - i series
trbook/trwbook - older R series
3book - Lenovo 3000 notebooks

If the FTP isn't working for you, do this (stolen from pundit):

1. Go to lenovo.com
2. Search for tabook in the little search box on the top right
3. The results will link you a http page (not ftp) which you should have no trouble accessing.


Once you buy a ThinkPad, go to: http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site. ... country=us

This site will lead you information such as system details, warranty status, downloads and drivers.

If you're not connected to the net with your Thinkpad, use another computer and enter the
model no. (e.g. 2645-9AU) in the "Quick Path" window under "Find a product".

2) I want to wipe the pre-load from my new ThinkPad and load (generic OS of my choice). Where are the drivers?

http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/detail. ... PAD-MATRIX

3) Can I just copy an URL from the IBM web site, and paste it into my post?

Of course you can, but only copy up to the first "?". Otherwise, if you're copying an URL from a page that you got to from your personalized page, you can cause anyone who clicks on the link to set a cookie on their machine with your personalized page info in it.

4) Is it OK for me to sell stuff in this forum?

Yes and no.

In the YES column:
Personal Items relating to ThinkPads or other IBM and non-IBM hardware.
Most anything else you think might be of interest to the users.

In the NO column:
Any NEW thinkpads or other NEW items which in the opinion of any moderator or the Admin is of a commercial nature.
Commercial solicitations of any kind.

If you have an issue with the above, please ask a moderator, special user, or the Admin, Bill Morrow..

5) Does EasyServ need my HDD to fix my ThinkPad?

Never send anything to EasyServ that isn't part of the problem. Period.

6) My ___________ is better than your ___________!

Please refrain from fighting classic battles like Windows vs
any-other-OS, top posting vs bottom posting, COBOL vs C, Edlin vs VI,
Coke vs Pepsi, etc, etc, etc on this Open Forum. It's seldom
that anyone will convert, and it just gets ugly. Take it to an advocacy group somewhere.
This forum is for ThinkPad issues.

7) I want to buy a used ThinkPad from _____________. They said there was 2 years left on the warranty. How can I be sure that's true?

Get the model and serial number of the system, and check it at:

http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site. ... arranty.vm

8) How do I get this thing apart?

Links to the Hardware Maintenance Manuals for all current and legacy
ThinkPads, as well as SelectaDocks I, II, III and WorkPad Z50, can be
found here:

http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/detail. ... MIGR-39298

And these links will guide you to sites for detailed removal and installation instructions and video demonstrations:


http://www-306.ibm.com/pc/support/site. ... ingPage.vm

http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site. ... PAD-MOVIES

9) Is there a website I can look up parts shipped with my ThinkPad?

http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site. ... yle=lenovo

10) How do I upgrade to XP on my Thinkpad?


11) Can you help me get Linux to run on my ThinkPad?

There's lots of help to be found here for Linux, and there's also a
mailing list dedicated to the subject at
http://mailman.linux-thinkpad.org/mailm ... x-thinkpad

Also, see:



http://www.linux-thinkpad.org/ (may be useful for historical interest only)

12) Can you help me remove the BIOS/HDD password from this
ThinkPad that I just bought/inherited/found/was given/stole/other?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: Cracking passwords is a highly charged subject that
reasonable people disagree over. Threads discussing it can be found
starting at:

http://zurich.ai.mit.edu/hypermail/thin ... /1095.html


http://zurich.ai.mit.edu/hypermail/thin ... /1132.html

13) Where did IBM hide all the screensavers and wallpapers?

ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/pc/pccwww/ww ... /wallpaper

ThinkPad 10-Year Anniversary screensaver:
ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/pc/pccwww/ww ... _ver_b.exe

These are not at Lenovo/IBM - use at your own risk:


14) Hey! Where's my Windows key?

IBM realizes that some customers want the Windows key functionality and
provides this utility to create one:

http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site. ... 44185.html

15) Why am I asked to enter my personal information when I join the forum? What will it be used for?

The info asked for is not used by anyone here for any purpose. But please use your correct email address, name and city/state/country/planet.. :)

16) I looked in tabook, and it says model 1234-OIU comes with the frammitz booster. But the specs on the web site don't mention it. Which one is correct?

Historically? Go with tabook.

17) How do I get into my ThinkPad’s CMOS?

Early models:
Press CTRL-ALT-INS when cursor is in upper-right corner of screen.

Later models:
Press and hold F1 key while powering-up laptop.

Newer models:
While the "To interrupt normal startup, press the blue Access IBM button" message is displayed at the lower-left of the screen, press the blue Access IBM button, then select “Start setup utility.”

18) What is the best way to clean my ThinkPad’s LCD? What about the case? Can I just use Windex and a paper towel?

Windex, napkin, and paper towel are big no-no’s. Use a lint-free/micro-fiber cloth and screen cleaning fluid (which is a mix of water and Ethanol). Never spray the cleaner directly onto the screen, always spray it onto the cloth first. You can use the same cleaner for the case, or just a slightly watered cloth. These cleaning supplies are available at Office Depot, Staples and other office/computer supply stores.

Additional suggestions from members - use at your own risk:


To remove oily finger prints from the case, you can use the moist towelette from most restaurants/McDonald's/KFC's.


I prefer using Armor-All leather wipes. While I wouldn't go near my car with that crap, I find that it cleans rubberized surfaces without damaging the finish. YMMV.


Clorox Disenfecting Surface Wipes:
These work great for cleaning the case on a ThinkPad with the rubberized paintjob. Just be careful to blow all the loose dust off the case first. Also, keep the wipes away from the keyboard. Use compressed air for that, anything wet will simply cause the dust to go under the keyboard, which will eventually make things worse.

Clorox BRAND. That does not maen it has bleach in it

Just be careful when using. As anything that gets rubbed againt the paintjob would, if you press down too hard and rub too vigorously, you might screw things up worse. I wipe the surface with gentle to moderate force and I use them about once every two or so weeks.

19) I hate the UltraNav (Touch Pad)/TrackPoint on my ThinkPad. How do I turn it off?

There are several ways to do so:

A) In the BIOS, under Config>Keyboard/Mouse.

B) In Windows, run ThinkPad Configuration Utility, and click the Touch Pad/TrackPoint icon.

C) In Control Panel>Printers and Other Hardware>Mouse, under the UltraNav tab.

20) On my ATI VPU based ThinkPad I can’t set the resolution higher than 1280x1024 via the Dock/Mini Dock/Port Replicator’s DVI pass-trough port. What should I do?

For some unknown reason IBM’s ATI driver has this limitation. You can remove it and install Omega Driver, or use Patje’s Mobility Modding with the generic ATI Catalyst driver. Note, the generic ATI driver (with Patje's Mobility Modder) doesn’t support 1400x1050 resolution via DVI, Omega Driver does.

21) Using IBM’s ATI driver I have compatibility issues with some of my games. I really want to play these games. Is there a solution?

Remove IBM’s ATI driver, and use one of the drivers mentioned above.

22) I see dead pixels!

What's Lenovo's policy on dead pixels?

See http://www-1.ibm.com/support/docview.ws ... &loc=en_US

For systems purchased on or after January 1, 2008, see http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site. ... MIGR-69856

23) I had to send my baby to EasyServ! Is there a web site that I can check on its status at least every 15 minutes?

See http://www-306.ibm.com/support/ezserv/index.jsp

24) Buy now or wait for rumored TX__ with a 400GB HDD, a 12Ghz CPU, the hottest GPU ever dreamed, a foldup 20" screen, and costs and weighs less than half the price of current T models?
jfh wrote: Don't base your decision on what MAY come SOMETIME. There will always be a better/faster/cheaper option after you place your order.

If you don't need it now, wait. If you do, don't wait.
25) How do I make the Battery Maximizer or Power Manager utility show "time remaining" instead of "percent remaining?"
davidspalding wrote:Recent versions of Power Manager offer this. Left-click on the battery icon on your Windows Taskbar, and select the Show > Remaining time when on battery option. (Other options may include "Remaining percentage" and "Wattage when on battery.") Some versions of Battery Maximizer do NOT offer this option.

If you don't see this option, then you might try Software Installer (or System Update) to update your software.
Harryc wrote:Hi Bill,
Unless I missed it, I don't see a link to the search engine for the thinkpad mailing list archive in the FAQ here. Can you add it?


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