IBM T42p Thinkpad USB ports not working

by oneafrikan on March 3, 2006

OK, so I’ve never really liked the trackpad that comes on most or all laptops these days, but now I’m starting to get used to it and it’s not soo bad… I’m still missing my mouse a lot though – writing and working with email and Outlook is one thing, but coding with a trackpad is another story…

I’m hoping that I can throw this out into the ether and someone will be able to help me, before I have to send my beloved black beautiful Thinkpad back to IBM for a new system board, and (they officially say) between 5 and 10 work days downtime…

It all happened on Tuesday night when I left the Thinkpad on screensaver for a while, came back to the desk and tried to bring it out of suspend with the mouse and then the keyboard, then shut it down. Booted up on Wednesday morning, and both the mouse and keyboard weren’t working… Thought it may have been failure with both or either, but put the mouse into my desktop, and did the same with the keyboard, and they both work fine there. So basically it’s the USB ports that are not working… which is a bugger.

After a lot of reading and research, it turns out that sometimes if the laptop goes into suspend and you have the system set to allow the machine to cut power from the USB ports (which I unknowingly did) to save power, it will de-activtate the USB ports… and once it does that and you try to bring the machine back using the ports (like with an attached mouse etc) it can fry the circuitry, and the only fix is a new system board. So in desperation and denial, I tried everything I know to get it back, including:

  • uninstalling then reinstalling the USB ports after a reboot
  • disabling then enabling the USB ports after a reboot
  • updating the USB port drivers automatically and manually
  • going into the BIOS and disabling then enabling the USB ports from there
  • flashing the BIOS with the latest version, from the IBM/Lenovo website
  • attaching other devices that have different power needs – PDA, iPod, camera
  • periodically re-attaching mouse hoping that it will just work and it’s all been a dream

I also ran the recommended PC Doctor that comes with the Thinkpad, and it said that the USB ports were working fine…

The pain, the anguish!! ;-)
So there you have it – does anyone at all know any other tricks or fixes that I can use to try get the USB ports working again? without having to take it into IBM for a new system board!?



Thanks for the reply and perspective on the situation. I don’t need $1 million… I just want A.) $2000 to replace the laptop or B.) $500 – $750 to replace the board or C.) a new laptop from Apple equivalent to the specs I have now.
I guess I am asking for Apple to take responsibility for a flaw in their product that has caused me financial loss but in this day and age that would probably be asking too much.


by JD on January 29, 2007 at 5:17 pm. Reply #

Actually i wasn’t trying to offer “perspective” with the $40 solution. Just offering a workaround. This is a work laptop, and I’m getting a new one soon when Vista comes out… so I’m fortunate in that regard. If this was a personal laptop that I paid for, I’d have a different perspective… and be pretty p***ed at Apple too.


by HP laptop same thing on January 29, 2007 at 5:42 pm. Reply #

yes, something is wrong, call it what you want (“fried” “dead”, etc). i was just noting that the problem is not with the chipset that services USB, it’s something else between that and the physical port.

by Andrew on February 5, 2007 at 10:17 pm. Reply #

My ThinkPad R50’s USB ports blew when I connected my new Nikon Coolpix S10 camera. Got some error messages at shutdown (which I missed since I get up and walk away when it’s shutting down). Good workaround with the PC card, will have to try that, as I upload business photos frequently (real estate) and it’s a real bear not having USB capability. Would rather not replace my motherboard, as anecdotal evidence shows that isn’t a “for-certain” fix. IBM’s 1-800 number has been busy recently so I’m thinking Vista and the USB problem along with other issues has them scrambling.

by gk on February 12, 2007 at 1:23 am. Reply #

Have an IBM T42 thinkpad and a “fried” USB port as a result of an ipod shuffle. Sent it into IBM and they wanted to change the board. I thought I was alone, but happy to know that i’m in good company :-)
Can anyone recommend a USB PCMCIA card?

by Peter on February 12, 2007 at 1:50 am. Reply #

I belive I just “fired” my USB ports today. Setup: T42p, w/ mouse, keyboard, webcam and Palm 700p dock plugged into USB.

Came back from a meeting, put my 700p in the charger and…. black screen. Had to remove the battery to reboot… upon reboot, a burning smell appeared.

Now, no USB functionality. Mouse opital light goes on, but it is not recognized by the system, nor are any other devices.

Options? Motherboard or start over? Does anyone know if this would still be under warranty (purchased system in June 2005)?



by MCC on February 13, 2007 at 9:09 pm. Reply #

I got the same problem just like gbuster. R50e usb’s shows power with no function whatsoever. any electronics freak out there who knows how to open a laptop and un-solder and solder the usb’s back in? anyone? Can anyone post the vid on youtube on how to fix your malfu#ing functioning usb ports on an IBM Thinf#king pad???hehehe

by MarkyDoodle on February 15, 2007 at 4:06 pm. Reply #

I have NEVER even handled an iPOD, much less owned one, and an iPOD has NEVER been connected to my R51, yet I also have the dead USB port problem. Others have mentioned further up in this thread as well about connecting other hardware than an iPOD causing dead ports. Oddly, I also lost the sound card at the same time. Like others, the port still sends power (I use them to charge my iPAQs at night), and I also noticed frequent USB port surges prior to them quitting altogether. I’m going to try to pitch a fit with IBM/Lenovo, to see if I can at least get a decent discount on a new mainboard (works with an amazingly large number of people with Dell).

by Eric on February 19, 2007 at 11:16 am. Reply #

Mine on my R51 didn’t quit… but when I plug an external HDD or even a memory stick I get the message “this device can perform better connected to a USB 2.0 port”… and they ARE 2.0 ports…

by Stubby on February 21, 2007 at 10:15 pm. Reply #

This thing happened with my laptop, and I’m thinking the only solution is to send it in to the repair guys and get a new motherboard to replace the old one. The problem is, is that when I plug something in, the lights flash etc. but nothing appears on my computer, so obviously there is power to the ports, but there is no data transferring accross from the device to the computer.

P.S. If anyone has any better ideas about how to solve this obviously troublesome problem, other than getting the pro’s to replace the mb, then I would greatly love to hear it.

by Tom on February 23, 2007 at 2:53 pm. Reply #

Same as others, USB ports have power but devices not recognized on T42p. Never had I-pod connected to this computer, but have used external portable USB hard drive. Not sure exactly what triggered failure. For those wondering about warranty availability, you can check status on Lenovo website. It will identify your computer and report when warranty expires

by John Smith on February 25, 2007 at 5:19 pm. Reply #

USB ports not working – IBM T42p
Plugged in MP3 player to charge the battery and next morning the USB ports not working. Good to know from this blog that I am not the only one. I have updated the BIOs to 3.21 (the lastest)
My notebook in under warranty so I will call IBM or Lenovo.
If there is OS fix then I will keep you informed.

by James on February 27, 2007 at 9:38 pm. Reply #

My ipod shuffle just fried the usb ports on my Dell laptop last night…unbelievable!!!!

by stevef on March 1, 2007 at 1:31 am. Reply #

My Thinkpad R50e is suffering from what can only be described as a “dodgy external hardware” problem.

I recently purchased a Netgear USB wireless adapter for my home network. I had never had problems with my USB ports until that fateful day.
Ever since then I’ve been getting the XP message “this device can perform faster etc…” even though all (both) ports on my laptop are USB 2.0.

This happens every time I plug something into the ports, not just the network adapter. Basically it looks as if the heat generated by the adapter has shorted my USB ports, as they tend to come back on occasion (at full speed) but will drop off back to USB 1.1 speed for no apparent reason.

I originally thought it was a dodgy Netgear driver, since the moment I uninstalled it, and installed an update, the ports came back to full speed. I was overjoyed for two days thinking I had got to the bottom of this problem.
Unfortunately this morning while copying some files onto my USB stick at full speed, about 400MB into a 700MB copy, USB got disconnected and the port dropped back to 1.1

This is driving me nuts. I have a 4 port PCMCIA USB card which I can use, but it still doesn’t power my external USB hard drive. I think I’ll have to get a new laptop, once I pay off the mortgage, car, overseas trip to see my parents, dentist….crap…

by Douglas Quaid on March 1, 2007 at 6:20 am. Reply #

I’m having the same trouble. My system wouldn’t come out power save mode, so I rebooted. After that no USB whatsoever. Could this be some sort of hybernate mode the USB controller is put in? I can’t image all the ports/controllers are fried. BIOS setting perhaps? (ASUS motherboard).

by EZA on March 1, 2007 at 10:09 am. Reply #

Here’s something new for us guys with fried ports:

“Fried Southbridge USB controller

The Southbridge chip (containing the USB controller) may have been damaged by static electricity:

Short answer: your southbridge is about to die, get your system board replaced. Hopefully its still under warranty.

Long answer: a number of Intel chipsets for Pentium IV and Pentium M processors have a design flaw that makes the southbridge (which contains the USB host controllers) especially sensitive to static electricity. As a result there is a (small) risk that when plugging in or removing a USB device causes damage to the chip. Usually, the first symptom is broken USB 2.0, behaving in exactly the way you described (ie, works under Windows, but only after some waiting and as if it was connected to a USB 1.1 controller, not a USB 2.0 one, and not at all under Linux unless you unload the USB 2.0 driver). This tends to lead to a completely dead chipset a short time later, so better get it serviced NOW.

And btw, my story continues, today I sent an official support request to the IBM guys, I’m expecting a call today, so that I can hand in the T-Pad for repair…in the meantime I’ll go on the perfect time for a repair ;-)


by gbuster on March 1, 2007 at 12:29 pm. Reply #

Thanks gbuster for the info. Mine were fried after I picked up my shuffle from the table, then walked across a carpeted floor and plugged the shuffle in, so ESD may be what happened. Wonder if the metal case of the ipod had anything to do with it?

My symptoms are exactly the same as everyone elses. Screen went black, would not boot for several minutes, and no USB. The mouse optical light comes on and all looks fine in the software, but nothing works.

Fortunately I had a usb 2 pcmia card lying around, and it works fine. Not an ideal solution, but I don’t want to spend $2000 on a new laptop to go with my $75 shuffle.

thanks Apple! Nice job.

by stevef on March 3, 2007 at 4:43 am. Reply #

have you guys checked your network devices ?? and your mountmanager?? both in device manager / lemme know if you have and if so are they functioning properly

by orlando newbrain on March 6, 2007 at 9:11 am. Reply #










by URIEL on March 9, 2007 at 12:39 pm. Reply #

You may need to fully drain all the power from the machine to resolve this known USB ESD problem.

Try the following-

1) Shut your machine down and ACTUALLY REMOVE THE A/C POWER CORD (important).

2) Press the On button for about 10 seconds (with the power cord still disconnected).

3) Reconnect the A/C line cord and restart your machine. USB devices may be working like new about the time you sign into Windows.

You may or may not need administrative access to reinstall device drivers, if necessary (like if you change USB ports, etc.)

Tried, works on IBM/Lenovo desktops. System contained Intel 82801GB USB chips, but I dont know if it is the chips causing the problem, or other circuitry.

by BeforeYouReplaceMotherboard on March 9, 2007 at 8:31 pm. Reply #

Tried the solution above (un-plug – hold the power down for 10 seconds, etc.) – did not work.

Did you drain the battery first?

Talked to IBM support – they suggested to run windows/thinkvantage updates – did not solve it (as expected) – will call them again and keep everybody posted

by Alex on March 13, 2007 at 9:07 pm. Reply #

Hi Guys,

2 days before I returned from my snowboard holidays and today my thinkpad t42 returned from IBM Repair Center Germany. They replaced the system board without complains, I just unpacked it and tested USB functionality. Everything is running fine again, USB Ports work properly and mount every device I connected so far…so a troublesome story has finally come to an end…I didn’t had to pay anything, since the T42 was still in warranty…so I would recommend any T-pad user with broken USB ports to hand the machine in, it took only 10 days shipping and repair time…

good luck 2 anyone and greetz

by gbuster on March 14, 2007 at 5:04 pm. Reply #

I have the same problem with my R40, but USB is working partially – I can connect USB stick from Sandisk, but it doesn’t work with Kingstone USB stick. Funny.

But not so much, as I cannot connect my new Nikon D80 :(

by Martin on March 20, 2007 at 4:01 pm. Reply #

Damn! Good thing I got mine to work, as I’m buying myself a Nikon D80 for my birthday, and having USB connection is vital!

gbuster: took me like 2 months to resolve everything, so good on yer!! German efficiency when you need it most in a hardware supplier! ;-)

In general – looks like the system board and power management is the one to blame…

by Gareth Knight on March 20, 2007 at 4:27 pm. Reply #

Taled to IBM/Lenovo – they offered to fix the laptop (it is still under warranty).

I bought D-Link DUB-C2 PCMCIA card instead – so far it works fine. I would rather spend $40 than live without the laptop for 10 days.

by Alex on March 23, 2007 at 11:24 pm. Reply #

Tonight I went to plug in my 2nd gen iPod shuffle… The instant the iPod touched the docking station, my Laptop (Dell Inspiron 9200) instantly turned off. After rebooting, it will no longer recognize any devices plugged into any of the 4 USB ports. They’re still supplying power and and I can recharge devices through the USB port, but I can’t communicate with any devices. This sucks and my laptop is out of warranty now.

by Tim on March 29, 2007 at 8:30 am. Reply #

I have a user in Salt Lake City who could not print on from her T42 to a Dell 944 printer. We thought it was a bad print head or cartridge. However, troubleshooting and replacing those items did not resolve the issue. She purchased a new printer from store but the same result was observed. When either printer (old or new) was attached to her son’s desktop computer, everything worked fine.

So it was not the printer or the USB cable causing the error. I called Lenovo and told them of the issue. Since the laptop was in warranty they immediately suggested replacing the motherboard. Apparently, there is an issue with a malfunctioning Southbridge in the T42 motherboards. Otherwise, why would that be an immediate suggestion by Lenovo technical support? Lenovo had this fixed in 3 days with an onsite tech coming to her home an replacing the motherboard. Warranty and on-site service paid off for my Portland Oregon based employer in this case!

This is an unusual problem because some USB devices work while other’s do not. For instance, a USB mouse works fine. Also sometime windows XP Test Page print fine and sometimes they do not. It never printed from Word and Office 2003 detect and repair did not resolve the issue.

by System Administrator on April 6, 2007 at 8:29 pm. Reply #

Hi !

I have a T41 and the USB port keeps recognising and then disconncting the printer…

Any ideas?



by Rakesh on April 7, 2007 at 3:33 pm. Reply #


Just tested USB memory stick for the first time in my T42. Didn’t see it at first in my explorer and checked status in disk drives. All was well, USB port and drivers were OK and system identified my Kingston Data Traveler 2.0 GB.

I rebooted with memory stick on. Now memory stick (drive G:) was working fine, but network drive that had been assigned to G: was missing !! So I just changed network mapping and booted again.

For some reason USB memory didn’t take the first free drive letter (I:), but wanted to use G: !!!

Both USB and network drive work now OK.

by kalle on April 13, 2007 at 9:07 am. Reply #

Looks like USB support on the T42p is somewhat flaky…
Still seems to me that best solution is to try and power your device separately to the T42p, and to config your machine not to use suspend mode…

by Gareth Knight on April 13, 2007 at 9:43 am. Reply #

The T41, T42, T43 and T60 laptops are very similar. I have researched and found their many idiosyncrasies can usually be resolved by updating all of their IBM/Lenovo firmware, drivers and software to the latest available using Lenovo’s System Update 3. One word of caution, look at Lenovo knowledge base MIGR-64439 if you are using software that uses LIBEAY32.DLL. The laptops are all hugely sensitive to the order in which drivers are installed. Installing them in the wrong order can cause Access Connections 4.12 – 4.23 and Wireless NIC ON\OFF [Fn5] to fail.

If you do not want all of the Lenovo based software on your system try following directions I received from Lenovo in 8/2006. They apply to T41 or 42 and 43 laptops but you MUST check to make sure. It helps with speed and general improvement with the series performance. Make sure to take XP system restore points liberally during this process so you can return to the previous state if necessary!
Please follow the steps below exactly to resolve wireless issues.

a. Download and unpack: Power Management: MIGR-4GXPEG , Hot Key. MIGR-38953, Wireless card driver: MIGR-62875 , Keyboard Customizer MIGR-44185 Access Connections: MIGR-4ZLNJB
b. Uninstall Access Connections, Intel ® Pro set/wireless software and Seabring.api (if present) from add/remove programs.
c. Create short cut to c:\drivers\win and c:\drivers\w2k and place on desk top.
d. Install PM driver from the Win shortcut (*.exe) and reboot.
e. Install Hot Key from the Win shortcut (*.exe) and reboot.
f. Install Intel driver from the Win shortcut (*.exe) and reboot unit. Test FN F5. Wireless card should be in panel and you should be able to change the power state.
g. If able to change power state, install Access Connections (A.C.) from the W2K shortcut. (*.exe) and reboot. ** Note: if you only delete A.C. in some cases the Admin flag for restricting profile creation may be set. If this occurs, uninstall A.C. and profiles. Then reinstall. Recreate profiles including any security protocols required by the routers they are connecting to.
h. Test FN F5 (should work) and then try to connect to router through A.C.
Please respond to this email if this has corrected your issue.

If that step doesn’t work please you can use the vb script to scrub the wireless card driver and
and do a fresh install. Please run the vb script and I hope it resolves the problem. Remember to change the .txt to .vbs.
(See lenovo help for: intelwlancleanup.txt)

1. Ensure that there is no current active wireless connection, the radio should be off.
2. Use Add / Remove programs to uninstall any instance of the Intel wireless LAN adapters software.
3. Use Add / Remove programs to uninstall any instance of Intel Sebring.
4. Double-click the IntelWlanCleanup.vbs file to launch the script.
Note: When the script is finished searching the system, it will pop up a report informing the user which files were found and are about to be deleted. Click OK to complete the cleanup process.
5. Once the script is complete, rename the C:\DRIVERS folder to C:\DRIVERS_BACKUP (for example). This step is to prevent Windows from automatically finding and installing an old version of the wireless driver from a folder that could be located in the plug-n-play search path.
6. Reboot the computer. If the Found New Hardware wizard launches, click Cancel to exit the wizard without installing any new drivers.
7. Install the current Intel wireless driver package. Click here to download the driver.
8. When you launch Setup.exe, choose the option to install, or to modify the driver package (one or the other will be presented to the user).
9. When asked to select which options to install, select both the Intel wireless driver, and the PRO/Wireless application.
10. When the installation process completes, reboot the system
11. Rename C:\DRIVERS_BACKUP to C:\DRIVERS (to restore the system to its original state).

by System Administrator on April 13, 2007 at 7:31 pm. Reply #

Hey guys,
Have a T40 notebook here, I’m a tech myself.
What I’ve found so far is that for some reason any time I install Service Pack 1 or 2 for Windows XP the USB ports don’t detect anything. Just plain Windows XP with out Service Packs USB ports appear to work fine.

I’ve installed many patches, tried USB port fixes. Installed the latest BIOS.
But there seems to be a problem with an update to windows.

Just a heads up. If you are installing Windows XP with out service packs, remember the Blaster and Sasser patches available from Microsoft.

Hope this helps someone.

Cheers, Dan.

by Dan Bworks on May 31, 2007 at 2:13 am. Reply #

Hey Guys,

this is a litte bit off topic, but anyways:
Yesterday my Ultrabay CD-RW died (it didn’t mount any CD whatsoever anymore)…so having made good experience with IBM’s customer support (they replaced the mainboard for free, as mentioned earlier) I sent a support request via IBM’s website, describing my problem…1h later I received a call from customer support..the guy promised to replace the ultrabay drive as soon as possible and today (!) I received a package via UPS, containing a new CD-RW drive! All I can say now is that I’m deeply impressed of IBM’s customer service…and I can tell you now that I won’t by any other notebook brand anymore (besides an Apple maybe, despite of the ipod story) if Lenovo manages to continue this excellent customer service…so thanks IBM and 10 points for their excellent service!
–End of hymn of praise :p —


by gbuster on June 12, 2007 at 12:00 pm. Reply #


I have an Acer Aspire 1700 notebook with 4 USB ports none of which work on their own. Checking with a multimeter I find no power to any port. If I plug in an external powered USB hub I can use any of the ports.

Any thoughts as to how I get power to what are otherwise working ports.



by doublej on June 17, 2007 at 6:16 am. Reply #

Hey its Austen here… i have had my Thinkpad a31 for about two years now. yes it is old… but i am a simple kid with a need for video games… anyways one day i decided to plug in my iPod… and. yeah it fried my USB ports. just like anyone else i have tried anything to fix it… the sad thing is i connect my PCI slot USB hub in and it also does not work. so im out of luck myself. my laptop is so beat up anyways… i am done with windows products… i want a intel based mac :). (i dont blame my iPod for breaking my computer… i blame the poor designing. Thanks a lot “Lenovo”)

by Austen on June 29, 2007 at 5:10 pm. Reply #

Great site.
My Dell Inspiron 9200 laptop USB failed a couple of weeks ago. Had put it into suspend mode hundreds of times. But this time when I tried to get out of suspend it had done a reboot. First time that had ever happened. USB hasn’t even looked like working since. Mouse and hub show that power is there OK.

This is what I’ve tried that might work for others. Tried a known PCMCIA card with USB ports but also no go. Tried a bluetooth mouse but the bluetooth module isn’t working, or seen in the BIOS.

Tried the Dell diagnostics that come with the machine – all tests are OK. Updated any drivers form the Dell site. Reloaded the BIOS.

Went through the DIY wizard at the Dell site:

Have reloaded Windows and booted up 2 versions of Linux but nothing.

If you want to get inside the 9200 then get the excellent Dell 9200 service manual here. Even comes with a template to lay the screws out on!

Looks like I’m up for a new motherboard. Waiting for a quote from Dell but am expecting a high price. Cheapest seems to be buy via ebay.

Cheers, Keith (Oz)

by Harufy on July 8, 2007 at 4:58 am. Reply #

I have a T42p and today had the USB port loss happened to me as well. I’ve been using a dock and connecting a wireless keyboard and mouse via the 2 USBs on the dock, and then using the laptop’s USBs (on the side) for charging a bluetooth headset. What appears to have caused my failure was connecting a new smartphone for syncing to the other USB–I hooked up a Motorola Q yesterday to it to download some files. That procedure went fine, but today I had the (now familiar to thread-followers above) “machine went mysteriously dead” experience and when I rebooted the USBs (both on the laptop and through the dock) were no good.

I am going to try the USB PCMCIA Card solution in the interest of expediency. My take from this thread is that I ought to then hang a powered USB port off of that for things like the phone and other powerhungry items–of course, it will be ALL USB items for me on this machine from now on…

But I am not sure we can blame Apple–they may provide the mot popular powerhungry USB device and thus may be the most common trigger of the issue. But I suspect it’s any device that requires significant power.

by Thane on July 30, 2007 at 12:02 am. Reply #

Hey all,
I have a Acer Aspire 17003sc Gf notebook and
had the same problem for a time too.
Today it worked again after i uninstalled all usb ports and the thinks that belongs to it.

It worked with me and i hope it will work with you guys too.


by TitaniumV6 on August 11, 2007 at 7:55 pm. Reply #

I am just adding myself to the numbers who have slow USB ports on an IBM T41, and wasted a lot of time.

by Linus on August 30, 2007 at 6:32 am. Reply #

I have a T43 and the same problem. It began when it started crashing after I would plug in the AC adapter while it was running on battery power. It still crashes when I do that, so now I treat it like a desktop and just leave it plugged in all the time :/ Also, as far as I can tell, the USB ports STILL don’t work.

And in previous weeks, when they did work, they didn’t work as 2.0. :anger:

by loud on September 27, 2007 at 7:50 pm. Reply #

it would appear my USBs are fried on my Inspiron 9200, connecting a second external HD (both are powered drives). Am on a contract at the moment with no time for repair and need a mouse and Tablet + external hard drive – so I hope I can get a PCMCIA > USB2 card tomorrow, otherwise life has just become very difficult.

How Annoying

by 3DBob on October 24, 2007 at 11:02 pm. Reply #


I had the same problem… The USB devices would’n find as an USB 2.0 device.

I have an IBM T42 with Win XP Pro SP2.

While reading this thread I get an idea to DISABLE THE POWER SAVE MODE ofthe USB HUB DEVICE in the Hardware Management.

And it works fine!!!

After 5 months without USB 2.0 I get it back. *strike*

I hope it’s a solution for some peaple.

by Marcus on November 3, 2007 at 12:29 pm. Reply #

Same, same thing happened this morning to my T42p. It went to drop dead after plugging a scanner (which has been used many times before), came back after unplug power and taking battery out, but only found USB is gone. Tried this and that a bit, and then found this wonderful page. I can save a lot of my time and brain cells now ;-)

by roxon98 on November 24, 2007 at 8:15 pm. Reply #

My Thinkpad R50e has also suffered the same problem, on three or four occasions the machine has stopped (Ok Died) as I unplugged my digital Camera. To get the system to work again I have had to unplug the AC adaptor and remove the battery pack for a few minutes then the machine has worked as normal.

This happened again on Friday, it took approx 20 minutes with the battery removed to get the machine to boot again, today I found out that neither USB2 port works. I too went through the “Try another device routine”, after trying three memory sticks, a USB COM port, a hard drive and the Camera that seems to have fried the thing in first place I have come to same conclusion – The USB Ports are no longer.

Interestingly if I plug something into the top port the machine hangs for a while with the hourglass on the screen but then just goes back to whatever I was doing before. the lower port does not seem to do anything.

I’m going to try a Cardbus USB2 card until I can persuade my boss I need a new laptop, as it’s well out of warranty is it worth replacing the system board ?

It’s a shame as the R50 has been a great machine !

by Simon Bateman on November 29, 2007 at 7:55 pm. Reply #

Well, if it’s out of warranty….you shouldn’t replace the board..get your boss to buy a new machine ;-)… I guess the repair costs will be higher than the actual price for a used R50…but anyways, you could give it a shot and contact Lenovo support to ask how much the repair would be…
good luck!

by gbuster on November 30, 2007 at 1:05 pm. Reply #

Hi gbuster,

I just got quoted UK£100.00 to repair it by a third party repair centre.

Looks like a PC Card USB adaptor followed by a New Laptop….

by Simon Bateman on November 30, 2007 at 1:33 pm. Reply #


a friend gimme the hint to remove the battery and only use the power plug…

In most cases I get USB 2.0. I don’t know why but it works. With an plugged battery I doesn’t get any chance to plug and run USB.

Perhaps it helps some of you.


by Stefan on December 1, 2007 at 12:24 pm. Reply #

I experienced dead USB ports on my T42P with XP/Vista, but could not believe that the electronics were damaged. I got hold of a Linux boot disk and during the boot my USB mouse became alive again. This proves that I need to reinstall XP or Vista again to fix my USB driver problems !! I tried installing Vista SP1 to fix the problem but was advised by my IT staff that I need to reformat / reinstall from scratch. Goog luck with your IBM !

by Helmi on December 23, 2007 at 12:17 pm. Reply #

Thanks, Markus

Looks like DISABLING THE POWER SAVE MODE of the USB HUB DEVICE in the Hardware Management
worked for me!

I’m happy now!

Here are the steps:
1) open Device Manager (Control Panel -> System -> Hardware -> Device Manager
2) open Properties for USB Root Hub
3) go to Power Management tab
4) uncheck “Allow the computer to turn off…”
5) repeat steps 2-4 for each USB Root Hub

It helped me.


by Pav on January 31, 2008 at 10:19 pm. Reply #

Just thought I would add my experiences:

– Thinkpad T42P
– My USB ports have stopped working completely. No power even. The USB on the docking station does not work either.
– The machine intermittently powers off at random times, once or twice a week. It has happened while I’m working, and it has happened while I’m away from the machine. After that, it won’t power on until I remove the power adapter and battery, then press and hold the power button for 10 seconds.
– I have connected an iPod to it a few times. I don’t know for sure if the problems began right after using the iPod.
– I do recall a strong electrical odor some time ago. I don’t remember what had happened when that occurred, or if the problems began at that time.

I’m an IBM employee… I’ll be calling the IBM help desk soon to see what they can do, and I’ll post the result here. I can’t afford to switch to a new machine anytime soon, I’ve got too much time invested in installing software on this machine.

by Michael on February 27, 2008 at 3:22 pm. Reply #

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