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HELP! IBM ThinkPad T23 will not boot!!!

by rsottney / February 10, 2007 2:03 AM PST

Okay, here's the story ...

I bought this IBM ThinkPad T23 on eBay last summer. It's worked great, with no real problems. But I think it got a virus or something.

A few weeks ago, it would just randomly freeze up on me when I was using it. I couldn't move the mouse, use the keyboard, or CTRL-ALT-DEL ... nothing! The only way out of it was to remove the battery and start again.

After a few weeks of running anti-virus scans and cleaning up my system, NOTHING was working. So I checked out the latest system updates on the IBM/Lenovo website. I downloaded a new video driver and a new BIOS update. I don't know why, but it said that *might* be the problem.

I restarted my system so they would take effect, and now I can't even turn it back on.

I have power. It starts up, I can hear the fan begin to run, and then a second later the fans stops, and then it starts to run again, and then stops again, and on and on and on - back and forth in one-second intervals. That's all it does now. I never get past the black screen. I can't go into SafeMode, or get past the black screen to get into my system to do anything that might fix it. The power button still works, though. I can turn it on and off without going to the battery. I just can't get into the OS or the DOS, or anything!

So HOW do I fix it?!

I'm not above wiping the system completely clean, if it'll get it working again. The only problem is, because I bought it on eBay, I do NOT have a master disc. So I have nothing to reinstall on the system - and I asked IBM already, but they do not sell copies of the master disc.

Any ideas?


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Does a Linux LiveCD boot and run?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 10, 2007 3:21 AM PST

Sorry to hear that no restore CD is handy. Sadly to reinstall XP or repair Windows required such. Try Linux LiveCDs.


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by wscarano / February 10, 2007 10:09 AM PST

try removing the ethernet/modem card (access from bottom of unit).

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IBM reboot
by jimroad471 / February 10, 2007 9:51 PM PST

this is a long shot but try it anyway. Unplug power and remove battery. Then press "on" switch 10 times. Then press on switch and HOLD for 30 sec. Now, plug in power but do not reinstall battery. Let's see what happens. I have a an IBM g41 that runs perfect without the battery 'cause it appears to be shot. Good luck!!

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Power On Switch working again
by Madhyamika / May 18, 2010 6:00 AM PDT
In reply to: IBM reboot

I just experienced a similar problem to this post. My T23 battery is practically dead. As I tried to boot the T23 without power cable it started a bit and shut down, I'm not sure if it ever completed the start-up. The system shuts down. I then plug in the power cable. Push Power Button many times and nothing happens. The T23 is dead and unresponsive. Then I found this post.

I followed your suggestion, push the power-on switch a few times. Removed the battery pack. Push the power on switch for a few times more. Nothing happens. Then I unplug the power cord for a little while. Plug it in again. This time I get the Power On working. System boots up. It worked as you suggested.

Still can't understand what happened to the T23 that disabled the Power On button. But thanks for the help.

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Thank you
by Nowaycom / October 14, 2010 9:10 PM PDT
In reply to: IBM reboot

The long shot worked well for me.
This power button no response with only a single blinking of the disk light started after I reset the Bios to default!
The process worked first time
Thank you again

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(NT) Thank you thank you thank you
by morgancaroline / May 7, 2013 10:24 AM PDT
In reply to: IBM reboot
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Same problem
by homunq / May 8, 2007 5:32 AM PDT

I bought a lot of 5. They had a password (all the same) and I fried one of them trying to solder on a EPROM reader to get the password - then succeeded on the second one. So when one of them went bad like this yesterday, I had one for parts. When cold, boots - eventually (2-3 minutes later) freezes in black with fan spinup/spindown and even power button nonfunctional (have to pop the battery to turn off). Right after that - doesn't boot or anything, fan updown, but at least the power button turns it back off.

I tried replacing the fan, and even the CPU - no go. Searched, found this msg, reporting progress. Next try: leave it in the freezer, see if it lasts longer when I take it out (overheat problem).

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i have the same problem
by boring8956 / October 25, 2007 7:19 AM PDT

hi i have the same problem, i have an IBM thinkpad t23 that i recently bought from someoen n Ebay, and it ran good until yesterday, when i turn it on all of the lights turn on for a second, then only the power, and one other light turn on, and the fan sounds as though it is turning on and off, so i need help too ... what is the problem? and how do i fix it? anyone?

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Me too
by CyberAxe / November 6, 2007 7:13 PM PST

I have the exact same problem

how it happend to me however is i was waiting on my wii copying files and was playing with wiimote it hit off the bottom left of my laptop (not that hard) and the screen went black and had to remove the battery to switch off

same problem when i try to start it nothing happens exxcept fan whirring on and off occasinally if is shake it when it powers on teh laptop light switches on but other than that nothing

i also tried taking it to bits today took out the ram put it back in even the cpu and made sure nothing was loose but with no sucess and now i have 3 screws leftover which i couldnt figure out where they went!

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Help is on the way!
by animelover828 / December 3, 2007 12:19 PM PST

I used to have the same exact problem you did with my IBM Thinkpad model T23 laptop AFTER it came crashing off of my bed to the floor around Thanksgiving of this year. For a while, whenever it was on and received even the slightest jolt or brush it went crazy, became unresponsive, and the screen turned funny colors. Of course, this came as a great annoyance to me. So, using my own igenious cleverness, (basically I just shook the computer like a wrapped present) I discovered a screw had gotten loose and fallen out. Then, I hit it. I know it sounds stupid and unhelpful, but it made it work... at first. After a while it began to not start up and just kept making the same whirring noises with the vent. That made me cry. Then, I stepped on the keyboard in anger, held my foot there, and pressed the power button. It worked... sort of. Whenever I moved my foot it did the same thing it was doing before with the screen. So I began to focus pressure on specific parts of the keyboard, using my heel. I narrowed it down to the Tab, Caps, Q, and A keys. Whenever I held them down and pressed the power it would work, of course this presented some major problems. So, I began thinking about how to overcome this new dilemma, leaning on my elbow on the left side of the computer, right below the keyboard. Just out of boredom, I pressed the power button while in this position and it worked! I held this for about one or two hours (ouch) so I could check my email and everything, not daring to move. Then, I forgot what I was doing and moved my elbow so I could streach and yawn. In mid streach I realized I had moved and looked down, only to find it was still working. Its been working fine ever since. So I'm pretty sure its not the software, it some part underneath the area where I mentioned that seems to come a loose.

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by Walan12 / June 13, 2008 11:23 AM PDT
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I read that and
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 13, 2008 12:02 PM PDT
In reply to: Solution

The end posts are not solved.

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IBM T20 boot problem
by Kikicuba / February 9, 2009 2:48 PM PST
In reply to: I read that and

I recently purchased an IBM T20, that would not go beyond the IBM screen F1 and F12 options. I simply removed the MINI PCI Ethernet/Modem Combo Card and I was able to boot to BIOS as well as load Windows XP with no problems.

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