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ThinkPad NotebooksThinkPad T400 / T500 and newer T series Laptops Knowledge Base

ThinkPad Wi-Fi turns off if system is moved


I have an R400, model 7440-DK5 and over the last month or so it has been having a very peculiar problem: the Wi-Fi keeps turning off when the laptop is moved - If  I pick it up and move it to another table. The Wi-Fi doesn't return until I reboot the machine.


What is particularly puzzling about this is that the problem appears due to something physical, say jostling the laptop, but is resolved by restarting the system, which would suggest that it is a software/firmware issue.


Some more details about the problem:

- When this happens it's as if the computer forgot it had a Wi-FI adapter at all. All Wi-Fi related items disappear from the Device Manager and there is no longer an option to connect to a wireless network.


- The Wi-Fi indicator light turns off


- Bluetooth remains functional as normal

- The laptop does not have to be in normal mode when jostled; if it is asleep or in hibernation and I move it, it will likely resume without Wi-Fi

- Sometimes restarting does not fix the problem. If this is the case usually what works is leaving it off (and stationary) for 5 or 10 minutes and when I turn it on again the Wi-Fi will be back on.


- The situation does not change even if I have the laptop connected via the AC adapter.


Things I have tried:

- Updating the driver (tried both versions 13 and 14)

- Toggling the radio switch

- Not allowing the device to turn off to save power



This could be a physical connection or oxidation issue.


With the system powered off and AC unplugged, try removing the wifi card and reseating it in the slot . Oxidation happens over time in some connections and varies with metal used at the connections/connectors of the slot.


Pull the Wi-Fi card, rub a pencil eraser gently over the contacts to remove any oxidation (darker shade of copper) and then re-seat it it in the slot. Check antennae connections to be sure they are not loose.


The following link is a video guide on the procedure to remove the card.

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