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ThinkPad won't turn on

No matter what I do, I can't get my ThinkPad to turn on.

Drained/bad battery

Check if your battery is drained by plugging in your AC Adapter. Make sure that your adapter is 65W and 20V. Your ThinkPad's battery indicator on the back of its monitor should be glowing orange, and your ThinkPad should be fully charged once the indicator stops glowing.

If the battery indicator does not glow, you may have to replace your battery. A guide for battery replacement can be found here.

Bad display

It is possible that it appears nothing is appearing because the display is faulty. In order to replace the screen, you can follow the replacement guide provided here.

Keyboard Won't Respond

I'm pressing the keys on my keyboard, but nothing is happening on my screen.

Sticky Keys

If the key does not reset to its normal position after pressing it, or if it takes longer than normal, then your keys are most likely sticky from some foreign substance. To clean the key, use a thin, hard object (the thin end of an mechanical pencil with no lead sticking out will do) and gently pry the key from the keyboard.

With a moistened cloth, wipe under the key until clean, then put the key back on.

Keys Can't Be Pressed

If a key cannot be pressed, then there may be something stuck under that key. To check under the key, use a thin, hard object (the thin end of an mechanical pencil with no lead sticking out will do). Gently pry the key from the keyboard. Then, remove the obstruction.

Computer Won't Boot

My ThinkPad turns on, but it doesn't get past the loading screens.

Not Enough RAM

The minimum amount of RAM needed to boot your ThinkPad is 1 GB. To check how much RAM you have, unscrew and remove the bottom panel of your ThinkPad.

Hard Drive Error

If your ThinkPad can turn on and the optical drive is working, follow the directions on this page. It will guide you through the process of reformatting your hard drive in an attempt to make it work again.

Microsoft: Creating A System Repair Disk

Audio Distortion

I don't hear anything, or it sounds unclear.

Loose Headphone Jack

To check if the problem lies in the headphone jack, plug in different headphones at a time. If another pair of headphones work, then the problem is with the ones you are currently using. Otherwise, the headphone jack is faulty.

Faulty Driver

Go to the Control Panel and navigate to:

System and Security --> System --> Device Manager (on the left-hand column)

Then, expand the drop-down menu for "Sound, video and game controllers". Find the respective audio driver for your ThinkPad, right-click it, then click "Update Driver Software...". You should have to restart your ThinkPad after the update.

Failure to Read CD's and DVD's

My laptop doesn't recognize the disks when I insert them.

Optical Drive Does Not Respond

First, check if the CD or DVD is dirty. If so, clean it with a microfiber cloth. If the optical drive is still not responding, open it and check if the laser lens is obstructed or dirty. If so, remove the obstruction or clean very gently with a cotton swab dipped in 91% isopropyl alcohol. If the disk drive still does not respond, it may need to be replaced. To learn how to replace the optical drive, follow this guide.

Video Distortion

The display on my laptop does not look right.

Incorrect Resolution

Everything on the screen looks too big/small.

For some computers, the optimal resolution is not set. To change this:

Windows 7 - Go to the control panel, then, under "Appearance and Personalization," click "adjust screen resolution," and then set the resolution to 1600 x 900.

Certain Videos Flicker, Appear Blurry, or Colors are Distorted

For some computers, the latest drivers for the video card is not installed, causing the video to appear distorted. To check for the latest drivers, open the control panel and navigate to:

System and Security --> System --> Device Manager (on the left-hand column)

From there, expand the drop-down menu for "Display Adapters" and find the respective video card for your ThinkPad (NVidia, AMD). Right-click your video card, then click "Update Driver Software...". Then, when prompted, restart your computer.


While you are working, your computer becomes unbearably hot to the touch.

Dust in Vents or Fans

Computers can overheat due to excessive dust and other materials stuck in the vents or fan. To fix this, check if there is excess dust in your fan. If there is, use a compressed air duster to carefully blow the dust off the vents and fan.

However, if there is no dust in the fan, it is likely that there wasn't enough thermal paste applied to the CPU.

Fan Not Spinning Properly

If you notice that the fans within the ThinkPad are not spinning or are making unusual noises, they might need to be cleaned or replaced.

If the problem persists, consider purchasing an external laptop fan to keep your ThinkPad cooled.

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