Following a recent BIOS update, I find that it now takes around 10 or so minutes to get to the ThinkPad press F1 to set up screen, after that it gives me a screen that says ME is initializing.
I've tried rolling back to a prior BIOS and now both versions give me the same result. Sleep functions also seems to not work, but otherwise, once I'm into windows my T500 operates as usual.
In addition to rolling back the BIOS I've disconnected /reconnected the CMOS battery and turned off AMT. I've also made sure that all of my drivers are up to date.
machine is a 2081-cto running on win7
There were several forum discussions related to this, and most occured in 2009 and the versions of BIOS were not specified in the discussion. As the discussions have not grown in significant volume, these symptoms are generally considered to be random events. Newer versions of the BIOS have been released and the general recommendation is to upgrade to the latest version on the support site appropriate for your model.
If these long boot symptoms, following the BIOS update occur, multiple customers have reported success in resolving them by disabling Intel AMT and setting the security chip, TPM, as active in the BIOS.
Steps to disable Intel AMT and enable TPM settings as below.
Boot into BIOS
Select Intel AMT
Press Enter key on Intel AMT Control and select Disable