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First time ThinkPad or IdeaPad user checklist

Several compiled community suggested tips for new users - assumes Windows preload.



Tip 1 - Be your best instructor

  1. Read the user manual and any related paper that comes with it. This will help you to solve common doubts about laptop functions.
  2. Check Lenovo's support site www.lenovo.com/support.  Many user guides are available in pdf format, there are also hardware maintenance manuals for ThinkPad / Thinkcetre systems, and many useful articles on Thinkvantage applications.  The Idea section of the site also contains many tips relevant to your particular model.  This community can also be a great source to answers you don't find on the main support site - search the KB and the community, and if you don't find the answer, start a new discussion. 

Tip 2 - Test the charging system

  1. Connect the power AC adapter to the laptop and ensure it starts charging.
  2. When the battery reaches 100%, unplug the AC and run the laptop until it discharges below 10% - even 5%.  The battery "learns" it charge boundaries and this can help the battery gauge read more accurately..
  3. Connect the power AC adapter and fully charge your battery.
  4. Repeat these steps two times.

Tip 3 - Check the screen

  1. Look at the screen and ensure it doesn't exhibit any scratches or broken sections.
  2. Change the current wallpaper to a solid color. You need to test with these colors: black -> white -> red -> green -> blue. This is a simple test to catch any dead pixels. (It is best to identify any issues while the laptop is still new and within Lenovo or reseller's return policy period.  See pixel policies on support site - ThinkPad screens can be replaced if they exhibit more than 2 defective pixels - 2 or fewer are unlikely, but considered normal for laptops.
  3. Try other screen resolutions (lower and higher).

Tip 4 - Create a factory recovery disk set

  1. Generally you laptop comes with a preinstalled backup program (for example, Lenovo OneKey Recovery for Idea or Rescue & Recovery on ThinkPad).
  2. Use this kind of application to create a factory recovery disk set - important to do first.
  3. As an added precaution, some community members recommend making a second copy of each disk, identifying each disk with a numbeer/letter, and saving each one inside a plastic black box in a safe and dry place.

Tip 5 - Conectivity Check

  1. If you have Ethernet, connect your laptop with a patch cord to a router (with DHCP enabled -by default it comes enabled-). Open a browser window and enter to any webpage.
  2. If you have WLAN  (Wifi) card, detect all available networks and use one (only if you have access). If it ask for a password, input it. Open a browser window and enter to any webpage.
  3. If you have Bluetooth, try to detect any enabled Bluetooth device (for example, a cellphone). Try to send or recieve files from it.
  4. If you have WWAN, just follow your carrier instructions to set your connection. If you have done with configuration, open a browser windows and enter to any webpage.

Tip 6 - USB/FireWire/eSATA test

  1. Connect an external storage device (external disk or stick, for example) and copy two different files.
  2. Disconnect it securely and plug it again.
  3. Test several file transfer proceedures - copy, open, delete files.

Tip 7 - Optical drive test

  1. The basic test is reading/writing all main disc format that your optical drive supports.
  2. For example, if you have a DVDRW, you need to read first a DVD, then write one with your own content. Then read a CD, then write one with your own content.  You probably covered this when you made your recovery disks in Tip 4.  (You did make that set of backup disks didn't you?)

Tip 8 - Keyboard workout

  1. Test all Fn + (key) options to check for proper functionality.  These rely upon hotkey drivers, and future video, network, or driver and application updates can occassionally affect the functionality of these features, so it is good to test to see what they do before any changes are made to the system.  That way, you will know what was "normal".
  2. Open a text file and use all the alphanumerics keys to write - ensure all keystrokes result in expected characters.

Tip 9 - Touchpad tests

  1. Move the pointer a few times in all directions.
  2. Test if it sensitivity is right for you - if not, check control panels and look for touch pad application control, or under mouse controls.  In most cases there is a control panel that allows you to adjust tracking speed, sensitivity, and toggle on / off the touchpad while typing.

Tip 9 - Drivers updates.

  1. If you have issues, check for applicable updates on Lenovo's support site, www.lenovo.com/support.  ThinkPad customers may also run ThinkVantage System update tool to automatically check for, and apply updates to their systems.
  2. Generally updates are a good thing and may safegard you against known issues which you have not yet experienced.  However, in some instances, updates can introduce new side effects as it is impossible to test with every combination of other hardware and software.  Use your best judgement if you aren't experiencing any issues.  Some recommend the "if it isn't broke, don't fix it" approach, while others recommend always keeping up to date.

Tip 10 - Unwanted software

  1. If you won't use a particular software, just uninstall it.
  2. Pay attention if that software start with "Lenovo" word. Generally it will extend your laptop functionality.

Tip 11 - Updating Windows

  1. Run Windows Update to get the latest patches for your operatingsystem.

Tip 12 - Create a new recovery disk set from current "system snapshot"

  1. Once you have everything working just the way you want it, consider creating a revovery disk set from the current system status.
  2. This is very similar to "Tip 2" but the option to select is different because you need to create a current system recovery disk set, not a factory recovery disk set.  This will build a set of disks that include all the updates that you have installed and may be a preferred point to recover to in the future - vs the original factory state. 

Was this information helpful?

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IPnaSh On 2010-11-03, 6:41 AM



Thanks for editing and improving my tutorial!

sos On 2013-09-06, 5:03 AM


Min en vecka gammal g580 fungerar enbart med laddare. Så fort jag kopplar bort laddaren blir skärmen svart och när jag kopplar in laddaren fortsätter dator att fungera som vanligt. Batteriet är 100 % laddat och helt nytt.  Jag har testat att koppla bort laddaren, ta ut och sätta tillbaka batteriet men utan resultat. Har jag gjort något fel?

Tack på förhand!


jgr5 On 2013-12-13, 17:48 PM

I am new to blogs, etc.  I have a Lenovo E535 Thinkpad.  Recently I cannot open an attached document to my email.  It has worked great for a few months and now I cannot open .pdf or .doc.  I have downloaded again the Adobe Acrobat and Firefox, and I get the same thing.  When I click on an attachment now, I get a "Save to computer" message, but clicking on it only gives a flash and then back to the same thing.  I don't know what else to do, and it is critical in my work to be able to download attachments.  I use bellsouth.net email (AT&T) and can't find anything in their troubleshooting that addresses my problem.  Any ideas?

amkeew On 2014-01-01, 14:29 PM

Ideapad U310 Laptop - How to partition HDD?


First time lenovo buyer. My ideapad U310 laptop configuration is as below


Local disk C - 420 GB / 396 GB available


System_Drv D - 199 MB / 158 MB available


Lenovo E - 25.4 GB / 22.0 GB available (SSD)


Lenovo_Part F - 19.5 GB / 8.12 GB available (SSD)


I am unable to partition my C drive (I want to partition as C - 100 GB for OS and H - 320 GB for my data).


Would appreciate any tips/help on how to partition HDD.






BillBrown On 2014-02-28, 5:50 AM

An 84-year old needs some advice, please. I have just opened up a new ThinkPad E531. It came with Windows 8, and during the install process, I was offered the option of upgrading to Windows 8.1 but I missed that process. (I think there was an option to skip, and do it later.) I have spent most of today looking for that upgrade option.

I would be very gratefrul for some--any--help or advice.

Best Wishes

Bill Brown

StevieGodson On 2014-06-07, 6:23 AM

Please help! All I want to do is ask a question. I bought a Lenovo IdeaPad A3000 yesterday. All was going well until this morning. After switching it off and then on again, my device has Chinese characters onscreen and will not switch on or off. I do not know where or how to find out what to do.

Thanks in advance, StevieGodson

intan On 2014-07-30, 6:02 AM

Hey.. I really don't know how this thing works..

Here goes..

I am using Lenovo ideapad flex 10.. windowx 8..

I tried to connect some devices to my blutooth but unable to find and locate them. They are indeed visible.

How does this bluetooth works in my ideapad10 flex 1 devices?

Do i need to setup anything?

I did setup mybluetooth thingy but still I can't find the solution. 

I did find out about this driver. What is this bluetooth driver about?

please help..

email me @ lovelymegastore@gmail.com

wenk_lfbg On 2015-01-14, 14:30 PM

I have a Lenovo C560 -  If want to do a system Save with One Key recovery,  I am told that the actual system does not support this save -  At the begin this worked alright  -  but later a recovery had to be made using the recovery stick - since then the system save does not work anymore. Also a recovery media cannot be made. Has this to do with the BIOS ? Everything else functions alright.

Teckki15 On 2015-01-24, 1:03 AM

I want to put some pictures on a cd. I have an S510p Think pad Touch. Cannot find instructions anywhere.Please help.

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