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6 Posts

01-17-2014

USA

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HOWTO - Brick a W540 in easy steps

2014-01-17, 19:47 PM

1) Take a Samsung Pro 840

2) Image drive to Samsung Pro 840

3) Replace drive with Samsung Pro 840

4) Use Recovery CD set to install Windows 8 on newly installed Samsung Pro 840 drive (now in machine)

5) Done

 

Looks like new motherboards are needed.  Stuck at the Lenovo splashscreen.  2 Machines out of 2.

Solved! See the solution
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2 Posts

01-16-2014

Orlando fl

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Two W540 both stuck at thinkpad splash screen

2014-01-16, 22:32 PM

I've checked the USB port contacts on both machines and they are fine.  The first one got stuck on this screen after I finished running the recovery disks and clicked on the reboot computer button.  The second one was working fine until I tried to boot from the Samsung 840PRO SSD from the first machine.  I was usign an external USB cable to boot into the HD when I tried it on the second machine and I can read the drive on other computers so I know it's not a connector on the drive.  I can swap the ram, HD, and even tried disconnecting the CMOS battery and nothing has worked.  Once it tries to read from that one drive it seems to lock the computer up permanently.  Has anyone ran into an issue like this?

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2 Posts

01-16-2014

Orlando fl

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Re: Two W540 both stuck at thinkpad splash screen

2014-01-17, 17:01 PM

Looks like there are other people having the same issue with Linux.

 

Link

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10398 Posts

01-02-2010

US

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Re: HOWTO - Brick a W540 in easy steps

2014-01-17, 23:21 PM
pull the drive and try to boot into the BIOS

Rich


I do not respond to requests for private, one-on-one help. Your questions should be posted in the appropriate forum where they may help others as well.

If a response answers your question, please mark it as the accepted solution.

I am not an employee or agent of Lenovo.
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66 Posts

12-31-2011

Miami

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Re: HOWTO - Brick a W540 in easy steps

2014-01-18, 0:13 AM

How about reformatting the SSDs and do a clean install instead?



 

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314 Posts

03-30-2011

CA

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Re: HOWTO - Brick a W540 in easy steps

2014-01-18, 2:10 AM
Why are you using the Recovery CD's to install Windows onto a drive that you've already put an image onto?
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204 Posts

12-31-2013

US

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Re: HOWTO - Brick a W540 in easy steps

2014-01-18, 2:51 AM

Dban the 840 pro and fresh install the OS, never ever clone.


W530 | 3840QM | 32g @ 1.35v CL9 1986z | 512g 840 Pro | 1t HGST 7200 | FHD AUO v.4 | Quadro K2k | GOBI 5k | Centrino 6300
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314 Posts

03-30-2011

CA

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Re: HOWTO - Brick a W540 in easy steps

2014-01-18, 3:38 AM

wrote:

Dban the 840 pro and fresh install the OS, never ever clone.


What's wrong with cloning?  I've cloned my hard drive 3 times as I've upgraded my current laptop and I've never had a problem.  It's not the right solution in every situation but why *never* clone?

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9 Posts

01-18-2014

Germany

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Betreff: Two W540 both stuck at thinkpad splash screen

2014-01-18, 10:55 AM

Jup, I managed to brick mine twice by upgrading to 32GB RAM(the machine only came with 8GB, I used this one) and running Windows 7:

I have installed Windows and Linux in "Legacy" mode, which works around the EFI issues with GRUB. I only use Windows once in a while...

A few days after upgrading to 32 GB, I tried to boot into Windows, which gave me a black screen. Well, there was nothing important on that machine, so I just recovered Windows. Afterwards I started installing updates. When I came back later that day, the screen was blank and the machine wouldn't get past the BIOS-splash... I got the mainboard replaced on-site the next week. That evening I tried booting Windows again...black screen. This time I watched it installing updates. Windows Update went fine, afterwards I launched System Update. The machine rebooted...stuck. At least I still had to enter the power-on password this time, which gave me a black screen...

After three days of phoning back and forth I was told that the mainboard had to be replaced (surprise!) which has to be done in a repair centre, because it had already been exchanged once(huh?). So...I now have a repair with the dreaded "Repair On Hold - Awaiting Parts" status...

 

In both cases, I tried to remove the main and the CMOS-battery, insert the original 8GB stick and removing the harddisk. Nothing worked...

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233 Posts

10-21-2012

Switzerland

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Betreff: Two W540 both stuck at thinkpad splash screen

2014-01-18, 12:48 PM
" I managed to brick mine twice by upgrading": Weird! Is this a compound consequence of UEFI + shaky BIOS?
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233 Posts

10-21-2012

Switzerland

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Re: HOWTO - Brick a W540 in easy steps

2014-01-18, 12:55 PM

Edit - merged threads, so removed link to thread that is no longer there.

 

Troublesome that a machine still shipping in small unit numbers (big corporate customers don't even have it on the list, hence neither my lab) already has 4 brick reports... Being already so late in the Haswell roadmap, i can't imagine that these w540 reports are early childhood teething issues either.

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314 Posts

03-30-2011

CA

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Re: HOWTO - Brick a W540 in easy steps

2014-01-18, 13:06 PM

wrote:

How related is this bricking mode to the one described by maxf here?

 


Well that is interesting.  If I'm reading this correctly, both posts specify the problem started when booting from a Samsung 840PRO SSD that had been transferred into the laptop.

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10 Posts

01-18-2014

USA

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Re: HOWTO - Brick a W540 in easy steps

2014-01-18, 17:42 PM

Has anybody successfully installed a W540 / Samsung 840 PRO / Windows 7 combination?  As that is what I planning to do as soon as I receive my W540.

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6 Posts

01-17-2014

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Re: HOWTO - Brick a W540 in easy steps

2014-01-18, 19:22 PM

I want to be clear and honest here. The other post mentioned by other's here is my colleague, I was unaware he posted. So this isn't two separate cases.

 

For what it is worth, this was the sequence:

 

1) Out distributor receives the machines with the 256Gb SSD in them, clones the drives to a Samsung 540 Pro 512Gb SSD, wipes the 256Gb SSD and ships them to us.

2) We ran the recovery CD set on the machine once received. At the end it asked us to reboot, we did.

3) We get the splash screen then it reboots itself

4) We get back to the splash screen and get stuck there. No beep POST, no way to get to the BIOS, boot from USB/CD or anything...Bricked.  Resetting the BIOS, pulling the battery etc...no Dice.

 

So, when we got our second machine (with Windows 7 by the way, working), we decided to take the SSD from the bricked device and test it.  We attached it to another machine via a USB device and could read contents etc.  All seemed fine.  We then put it into the second W540 and it bricked that one.  So we have an SSD which will, in our mind, brick any W540...This seems VERY strange because I have never in my 20+ years come across a hard drive or SSD drive that can brick a machine.

 

If we take hard drive out, same issue...Freeze at splashscreen.

If we take out RAM, beeps signally missing RAM.

If we detatch and short the battery to clear the BIOS, same issue.

 

So far it looks like we are waiting for Lenovo to come out and change the motherboard.

Considering the recent issues with Samsung's with Linux, UEFI BIOS and Secure Boot, I am worried that end-users would easily be able to brick laptops.

 

We have two other W540 that we have not tested anything on, but will more than likely try and show them the behavior when they are on-site.

There is an option during recovery to wipe the drive or the partition.  On a T440 we had blue screen during recovery when selecting partition only.  When using the whole drive the recovery works well but takes an AGE and a half.

 

We have only converted over to Lenovo's due to another supplier's quality dropping, but it looks like either Lenovo's new machines are equally poor in the Q&A department or they are just getting over their initial run issues.

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7 Posts

07-29-2010

Germany

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Re: HOWTO - Brick a W540 in easy steps

2014-01-20, 15:00 PM

One of our customers has reported exactly the same problem today. The W540 is on it´s way back to us. Still have no idea how a SSD can ruin the mainboard?

 

P.S.  The T440s at leased bricked the Samsung Pro SSD and not the other way round ;-)

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893 Posts

11-05-2009

US

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Re: HOWTO - Brick a W540 in easy steps

2014-01-20, 15:48 PM

Its acting the same way my W530 does when a USB 3 device is left in upon reboot, but since the issue remains when its unplugged, it seems that the drive always "appears" to the machine, or screws the boot sequence. 

 

very strange issue indeed.


Just a volunteer. Please post your questions in the forum, as I will not reply if they are sent in a personal message.

W530(2436): i7-3720QM, HD4000 + K2000M, 32GB RAM, 1TB, 750GB Ultrabay, 250GB mSATA , Ubuntu 18.04
Yoga 14(20FY): i5-6200U, HD 520 + 940M, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Ubuntu 18.04
Yoga Home 900(27ibu): i7-5500, HD5500 + 940A, 8GB RAM, 500GB HDD, Windows Insider Fast
X1 Tablet (20GH): m7-6Y75, 16GB RAM , 256GB NVMe , Intel® HD Graphics 515
Legion Y530(15ICH): i7-8750H, 32GB RAM, 512GB NVMe + 500GB SSD, UHD 630 + 1050Ti
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6 Posts

01-17-2014

USA

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Re: HOWTO - Brick a W540 in easy steps

2014-01-20, 21:31 PM
We have lenovo SWAT meeting at 9am tomorrow morning to attempt diagnose the issue. Should that not resolve, we have next business day so will get the motherboard swapped out.
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6032 Posts

10-29-2009

NC

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Re: HOWTO - Brick a W540 in easy steps

2014-01-21, 2:01 AM

karemlore

 

I'm aware of W540 brick issue, in fact I bricked my own system last week and had to replace the motherboard.  The failed motherboard is currently in the hands of ThinkPad BIOS team and I'm waiting for the investigation result.

 

I'm confident that you need a new motherboard to revive the system (which of course is covered under warranty), but until I get the investigation results, I have no idea whether the same problem would happen again with new motherboard or not.

 

I will definitely post back here when I have more info to share.  I'm really sorry for this inconvenience.

 

Also, I will send you a private message, would you please check it?

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6 Posts

01-17-2014

USA

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Re: HOWTO - Brick a W540 in easy steps

2014-01-21, 2:27 AM
We put the drive into another W540 and it bricked the second machine. I am confident that any machine we put this drive into will become bricked. I will also post back anything we learn from our SWAT team investigation. We have our distributor backing us up too as we have a big order to make but can't while this issue is outstanding. Should NEVER happen. Should always be able to get to the BIOS.
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233 Posts

10-21-2012

Switzerland

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Re: HOWTO - Brick a W540 in easy steps

2014-01-21, 8:54 AM

"We put the drive into another W540 and it bricked the second machine. I am confident that any machine we put this drive into will become bricked."

As the 840 EVO is arguably the most popular SSD choice for W users, the issue requires an immediate warning to all customers, followed by a BIOS fix.

The hours lost on bricking and fixing it cost $$ (on both sides) and lead to a PR issue.

Raise a red flag alert and prevent customers from trying the 840 till a fix is out and applied.

 

I'd add a printed red label to all the new w540s shipping today: Flash BIOS before connecting an SSD!

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7634 Posts

11-19-2007

US

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Betreff: Two W540 both stuck at thinkpad splash screen

2014-01-21, 16:08 PM

I saw the other thread on this and merged.

 

Let's try to find the common factor... is everyone running this Samsung drive?

 

Can we get basics of BIOS versions and other info?  

 

I'll also connect with someotherguy on this.  

 

Thanks

 

Mark

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