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Paper Tape
juanloco
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎05-22-2012
Location: Panama

w520 crashing/shutting down with minor shaking and moving.

Hi All,

 

I got the w520 at my job about a month ago, and so far I really love the performance and stability that it provides, but I am having a minor issue (which I feel could become major at any time).

 

The laptop will completely crash/shut down with very minor moving and shaking. I'm not one to flail my laptop around like a maniac, but I'm talking about switching positions while working in my bed, or simply carrying the laptop from room to room.

 

There's a related issue which I think has been documented here and that's the fact that video playback stops or stutters, while the laptop is being moved. I feel like the two issues are related, one is just a more extreme version of the other. 

 

There's a few things (i believe) I've ruled out:

 

  • I thought it might be related to the HDD protection, so I disabled it. The problem still persists, however. Maybe I'm not doing it right, or maybe there's some way to disengage the HD sensors even further, so any guidance would be great.
  • The battery on this laptop is a bit loose (also documented on the forums). I at first thought this had to be the issue, since the first couple of times it happened it was while moving my laptop around my house (on battery power). I have since discovered that the issue happens while connected to the power supply as well. Also the threads on here regarding the battery seem to all indicate that the slight looseness is not enough to displace the contacts to a point where the laptop would lose its power source.
  • I've read through most of the SSS thread, which seems to be the biggest on here and a widely known issue with w520 owners. I believe my problem is different in that the laptop doesn't randomly shut down while idling, or shuts down at all for that matter, it just crashes. I just see a flair of pixels (sort of like a glitch on an old nintendo console) and then it's gone. It all happens in less than a second so it's become hard for me to capture it in action, but I'm more than happy to post a video if that would help. More importantly,, the issue I've seen can be repeated consistently and by following exactly the same steps, which are: 1. move/shake laptop a little bit -- 2. Lose all your work cause your laptop is now off.
  • The issue happens whether or not I have already booted, which leads me to believe it might be hardware rather than software. In other words, I've seen it happen while working in Windows, on the Windows login screen, and on the Thinkpad BIOS screens.

 

Any help here would be greatly appreciated. I plan on getting on the phone with Lenovo tech support sometime this week, but if it's something that I can quickly fix with guidance from you guys, that would be ideal :smileyhappy:

 

Thanks!

Bit Torrent
ThorsHammer
Posts: 2,400
Registered: ‎04-08-2011
Location: USA
0

Re: w520 crashing/shutting down with minor shaking and moving.

Actually, your issue was one of the very first SSS scenarios reported last March or April.  I recall watching the YouTube video one W520 owner made of this exact scenario.

 

At that time we all thought the Active Protection System (APS) sensor and software was faulty but disabling it didn't help.

 

 

Paper Tape
juanloco
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎05-22-2012
Location: Panama
0

Re: w520 crashing/shutting down with minor shaking and moving.

Yikes, guess I should tak another look at that thread for more info. Do you remember if a solution was offered to that specific issue?

 

Thanks!

Bit Torrent
ThorsHammer
Posts: 2,400
Registered: ‎04-08-2011
Location: USA
0

Re: w520 crashing/shutting down with minor shaking and moving.


juanloco wrote:

Yikes, guess I should tak another look at that thread for more info. Do you remember if a solution was offered to that specific issue?

 

Thanks!


Until the root cause is identified, there is no known solution.  If Lenovo has identified the root cause, they have not disclosed it here to the best of my knowledge.

 

 

Paper Tape
juanloco
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎05-22-2012
Location: Panama
0

Re: w520 crashing/shutting down with minor shaking and moving.

Got it.

 

I saw a post about disabling CPU Power Management in the BIOS, which seemed to work for one user. I know there is no turnkey solution here, but I'm willing to try anything that's worked for other posters here.

 

I guess my question here is, what are some of the other effects that I can expect from disabling CPU power management. If this turns out to be the solution for me, I don't want to have this disabled if it means I'm losing an important piece of functionality for the laptop as a whole.

 

Thanks.

Punch Card
Weston
Posts: 31
Registered: ‎04-10-2012
Location: United States
0

Re: w520 crashing/shutting down with minor shaking and moving.

Let me guess, the laptop only shuts down when rubbed against something? And you have two or more ram modules? You should be able to cause the same shut down by rubbing the bottom of the laptop with a blanket. The shut down is caused by static electricity. 

 

The issue is faulty shielding on the ram bay door, leaving it ungrounded and prone to static pickup.  Luckily the fix is quick and easy. All you need to do is remove the ram bay door, bend the shielding tabs up so they make better contact with the laptop body, and reinstall it. 

Token Ring
alphaman
Posts: 273
Registered: ‎05-04-2012
Location: United Kingdom
0

Re: w520 crashing/shutting down with minor shaking and moving.

Interesting about the shielding and static electricity.

As well as doing that it could be an idea to move the RAM modules completely to underneath the keyboard? 

Punch Card
Weston
Posts: 31
Registered: ‎04-10-2012
Location: United States
0

Re: w520 crashing/shutting down with minor shaking and moving.

Bending the tabs up completely solves the issue. I had the same issue and I have had no issues since I discovered the root cause of the sudden shutdowns and bent the tabs up. (and I have 16gb of ram with all slot occupied).

 

Moving the ram to under the keyboard would have no effect and cause you to have the ram modules on different memory channels which would lead to a decrease in performance. 

 

 

Bit Torrent
ThorsHammer
Posts: 2,400
Registered: ‎04-08-2011
Location: USA
0

Re: w520 crashing/shutting down with minor shaking and moving.

Minor shaking or carrying the unit from room to room didn't sound like a static electricity issue to me, but hey, if it solves his problem, cool.

Punch Card
Weston
Posts: 31
Registered: ‎04-10-2012
Location: United States
0

Re: w520 crashing/shutting down with minor shaking and moving.

Shaking or movement on the bed/couch/table will create a static charge. Carrying from room to room will almost always involve some rubbing of the laptop on clothes or in the bag.

 

My laptop would crash whenever it was placed in a bag due to the static charge accumulated. With the faulty ram bay doors, they are very sensitive to static charge.