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Paper Tape
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎03-16-2012
Location: United States
Message 281 of 347 (5,747 Views)

Re: x201 random shutdown...

Yes, I also observed that the fan still spin for a while when I put X201 into sleep mode. When this happens, I say, **bleep**, it will soon auto shutdown, and it does. Most of my random shutdowns are soon after going into sleeping mode, but still several times while I am working.
The reason you guessed is easy to prove,
if you struggle your computer to high CPU temperature (I made it to 98 C), then suddenly put it into sleep, see whether it will shutdown because not able to cool the CPU into required level. From my experiment, it is not.
Another question for you: how do you vacuum your X201? Using vacuum cleaner?
Paper Tape
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎03-16-2012
Location: United States
Message 282 of 347 (5,742 Views)

Re: x201 random shutdown...

I did many times of sleep and awake. The relevance between auto shutdown and fan spinning after sleeping mode is proven. But no evidence shows it is because the CPU is overheated. I put X201 into sleeping mode at different CPU temperatures ranging from 50 to 98 C, it can shut down at any temperature, meanwhile, it also can be OK at any temperature.
Fanfold Paper
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎11-08-2010
Location: Austria
Message 283 of 347 (5,737 Views)

Re: x201 random shutdown...

I simply vacuumed the computer with a vacuum cleaner, from the outside. It helped for about five standby entries. Now it crashes every time again.
Paper Tape
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎03-16-2012
Location: United States
Message 284 of 347 (5,718 Views)

Re: x201 random shutdown...

I opened the machine and used compressed air to blow off the dust in the fan, heatsink, and everwhere.

The first thing I noticed is the machine did get cooled. Previously, CPU temp was around 55 C in idle state, now it is 45 C, which is always good for your machine.

The next thing is my computer haven't got random shutdown since I cleaned the dust, it has been 3 days, and I sleeped the computer >10 times. Hopefully this could last forever. 


So this fact makes me reconsider your hypothesis of "when being put into sleep, the system tries to cool the CPU to certain temp, if not succeed, it will auto shutdown to protect the computer." It might be true. Whatever the underline reason is, cleaning the fan and heatsink is always good for you computer. Restricted by the small size of X201, the heatsink cavity is small, which is easier to be blocked than other big size laptops. One'd better monitor the temperture periodically, if the idle temp is over 50, there might be a problem, even cause the random shutdown. 

Paper Tape
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎09-18-2010
Location: USA
Message 285 of 347 (5,701 Views)

Re: x201 random shutdown...

I too also experience random shutdowns.  I have an SSD with 8gigs of RAM.  After poring over all of these pages, I have a couple of questions and experiences.


My experiences:

I had originally worked with Windows 7 x64 with a 320gig harddrive and I had a lot of restarts typically from my fan trying to keep my laptop cool.  It was like the fans were set just low enough and the CPU freq just high enough where the laptop builds up too much heat over time.  I tried to keep my laptop as up to date as possible but stopped after the bios 1.34 because I got sick of all the random shutdowns.  I then switched to Fedora 15 and  I also blew into my computer with compressed air to remove all the dust.  I personally couldn't tell the difference because it appeared to have a similar experience.    I had a lot less restarts, in fact it was very uncommon until a high workload.   Once I encountered a high workload, my laptop will not stay cool enough to keep functioning resulting the computer to initiate the shutdown sequence.  I then upgraded to Fedora 16 and I noticed my laptop had a more difficult time keeping cool with relation to the CPU frequency but I overcame this by keeping a watchful eye on my CPU workload and manually took control over the fan to bring the temperature down however I still encountered the random shutdown sequence for no apparent reason.  I decided to switch to Windows x64 again when I installed my SSD.  I completely forgot the restart issue and I encountered it the past couple of days after updating everything minus the bios.


Interesting Case:

When I used Fedora 16, my laptop unexpectedly (and quite literally) turned off verses having the shtudown sequence. My laptop would not power on for at least one hour (maybe it was closer to two).  I tried all the tricks that were posted on the internet such as removing the battery, pressing the power button so many times, so on and so forth.  Of course I checked the ram, removed individual sticks, removed the hard drive, removed the battery, removed all three in order to get the machine to post but it was literally a dead brick.  After I put it all together and locating the nearest depot in Germany on my trusty T60 (a US student looking for a German Lenovo Depot is a fun adventure) I decided to turn on the machine one more time because there is nothing more embarrassing than showing up and be proven it works right on the spot.  My laptop miraculously turned back on.  


My questions:

What is the temperature that this laptop should be running at under idle, small workload, and high workload?  

For me, idle: 67-70°C.  Small workload: 70°C-75°C.  High Workload 77-85°C.  as reported by TPFanControl.

Should TPFanControl report more temperatures than the CPU, if so, what?

Should I consider going into the Lenovo Depot and getting this checked out?

If yes, can someone provide the best German text to provide them that describes this issue we are experiencing?  I cannot articulate this problem in German.

Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎04-26-2012
Location: Germany
Message 286 of 347 (5,427 Views)

Betreff: x201 random shutdown...

Comparable problem on X1???


Dear all, I have just posted my problem under a nother headline but I see parallels to this thread. The display flickering that I have also often ends with the sleep mode/log-on display. Is there a solution yet?


Thank you!

What's DOS?
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎05-17-2012
Location: America
Message 287 of 347 (5,258 Views)

Re: x201 random shutdown...

I am having a similar problem. My X201i started with random shutdowns like described above.  No warning just a complete power failure. Then I started getting them and my machine would not indicate that the power was connected (no light) and would not turn on either with ac connected or not. I found I could get it working again unless I removed the battery and then the ac and then replugged in the ac at which point the indicator light would turn on and the computer would turn on. It would be fine for a while and then the power failure would happen again and I would repeat the process. This worked for a few days until now there is simply no response (no indicator there is power and no response to power button. I have checked and voltage to the board and it is good. The connection pins to the battery are also good. I ran the Lenovo diagnosis software and both the battery and the motherboard tested fine. At this point I am assuming the motherboard is shot, but I am now a few months out of warrantee so I guess I am up a creek. Any chance of getting help on this one from Lenovo?


I should mention that I have been living out in the bush in South Sudan for the last 5 months so high humidity and dust, but when I checked the heat sink it was clean and the computer never felt hot.


I had enjoyed the computer up to this point, but am now quite disappointed.

What's DOS?
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎05-24-2011
Location: 11211
Message 288 of 347 (5,226 Views)

Re: x201 random shutdown...

DId it run the memtest on the ultrabase? I'm having the same issue on my x201, getting worse every week. Cleaned the fan, but suspect the ultrabase to be the culpit; it has barely any vents at all, doesn't dissipate any heat. While running the tpfancontrol, I notcie significant drop in temperature only by opening the lid slightly. My conclusion is that while using the ultrabase with the lid closed, the laptop doesn't get sufficient cooling. You're right; it's a design flaw, and Lenovo have better to man up and acknowledge the blunder. Seems to me that reputation no longer counts for anything in the computer hardware business.

Paper Tape
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎06-21-2012
Location: UK
Message 289 of 347 (4,924 Views)

Re: x201 random shutdown...

[ Edited ]

I've started having this shutdown problem when using CPU a lot, in an office at about 21C room temperature, not using docking station.

Running RealTemp may help to diagnose this -  It shows the current and maximum CPU temperature, per core, so after a temperature-driven shutdown it will show something like 100C as the max temperature (actual shutdown temp depends on your CPU).


Tweaking TPFancontrol doesn't seem to help. 


It did help a lot to prop the x201 up on some supports (about 3-4" high), taking care to avoid the hot parts on left side, and keep the lid open even when using a monitor - temperatures dropped a fair bit and I haven't had a crash yet.  This greatly improves the airflow - if you still have shutdowns, you could point a desktop fan at the laptop as well.  Ridiculous to have to do this, but it saves having to get a new laptop.


Reducing priority of the high-CPU tasks using Process Explorer also seemed to help.


Repeating the high CPU task (using Strawberry Perl under Win7 64-bit, "cpan -i HTML::WikiConverter" on fresh installation), with the prop+open lid and reduced priorities, I didn't get a shutdown.


I have just vacuumed the fan exhaust part from outside, will see if that helps.

  • (Warning: Apparently it's best to do this in short bursts and not too close, in case the suction spins the fan while off, generating a current that might damage the laptop.


Using Intel SpeedStep to run the CPU at lower clock speeds (frequencies) might help when not using too much CPU (see below).


Dust may well be a problem as the x201 has operated at higher room temperatures over the last year (30C in some cases), and had some high-CPU usage without crashing, but it's probably the sustained high-CPU usage that is the problem, while plugged in.


For those who want to experiment with lid-open type scenarios when using separate monitor+keyboard, here is some info from tests I did on an x61, which had the same problem under WinXP:


  • Laptop in inverted V shape - highest temp in TPFC was 50C
  • Laptop closed and upside down - highest temp in TPFC was 54C - now using this position a lot
  • Laptop open and normal position - highest temp about 60 to 62C?
  • Laptop closed, normal position - highest temp 1-2C higher

At least with the x61, you could use an inverted V shape (like an A without crossbar) and get better cooling, or have almost as good cooling just by flipping the laptop over while lid closed.  Worth trying with the x201 perhaps


The biggest cooling win seems to be from having the extremely hot area on bottom of laptop (under F1-F6 keys) on top, where airflow can easily cool it.  Not much help if you aren't using a keyboard+monitor though.


Under XP, the solution was to enable Intel's SpeedStep so that Windows automatically reduced CPU frequency sometimes:


  • In the Windows Power Options control panel applet, just set the profile to something other than Home/Office Desktop, e.g. Portable/Laptop. This has the side effect of enabling SpeedStep for frequency control, and result was that temperature dropped like a stone to normal 60-65C level. You must set this in the Power Options applet not just Lenovo's Power Manager tool.
  • RealTemp, CoreTemp and TPFC are all within 2C of each other. Also, CPU utilization shows as 55% of 798 MHz in RealTemp, and about 15% of 1600 MHz in CoreTemp. Interesting that RealTemp and CoreTemp don't agree on the clock speed!
  • GPU temp also dropped, but that's effect not cause

Under Windows 7 with the x201, I already have SpeedStep enabled, reducing frequencies, as can be seen in RealTemp, but I still had a shutdown.

  • I think SpeedStep stops temperature-shutdowns during "normal use" (say CPU from 5% to 50%) as it generates less heat through reduced frequencies.
  • At higher CPU utilisations, you simply need better cooling to avoid the shutdowns - so SpeedStep helps but won't prevent all shutdowns.


For anyone having this:

  • Install RealTemp to show CPU temps and frequencies, Process Explorer to show CPU utlisation, and TPFanControl to get more control over fan (but it's not enough by itself, I already used this)
  • Try different physical positions for the laptop including and lid open/closed
  • When not using keyboard+monitor, consider using a laptop cooler gizmo with separate fan
Paper Tape
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎06-21-2012
Location: UK
Message 290 of 347 (4,917 Views)

Re: x201 random shutdown...

I've had this with and without the Ultrabase, but the Ultrabase doesn't help because it stops any airflow getting to the hot area under top left of keyboard, and doesn't have a fan anyway. See my other post.
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