Question about IBM ThinkPad T21 Notebook

7 Answers

Notebook not powering on

There is no response from the notebook. When I press the power on button, there is no response even with the power adaptor connected. The battery light glows but there is no other action after I press the power button. This problems sometimes automatically resolves after several months of not using the laptop! but after powering on and off after a few days the same thing happens. could you please resolve. Thanks,

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  • rantony Dec 05, 2007

    thanks for the response. we will try this. right now we have taken out the hard disk and taken a backup of all the data. we will try out another power adaptor and let you know. thanks one again.

  • skyflyer Dec 09, 2007

    got the same issue. I have replaced memory and hard disk and cmos. and still got the same problem. have try to start from ac power and from batt power and both. this is weird the first try regarless of day hour will start normally. and can be restarted from windows option many times you want and will start fawless. BUT once you turn it off wont start againg unless you pull out battery and try from ac power along , or pull the ac and try from batt many times . you never know but after switching from power source BINGO!! start up after many attempts.

    can this be motherboard? if so why starts fine the next day?

    pls help.!! thanks

  • Thomas Ferraro Dec 26, 2007

    I have a T21 that has the same problem and I have a theory as to why.. granted its only a theory because I have yet found anyone who will verify or even look at it without charging 75+ per hr or have it shipped away for 2 weeks just to verify this.

    Going all the way back to old school computing I suspect that the CMOS battery has died. The reason I think so is that this problem happened several months ago and I put the laptop away until I had time to look at it. While working on another system I got bored while waiting and decided to try and see if the T21 would fire... lo and behold it started to go through its power-up and boot process... but then stopped responding. After about a dozen or so power-off and power-on attempts to see how far it gets through the process it went back to only brief flash of the power light when I press the on button and then nothing... btw the charge battery light does show solid green meaning the power supply is stable and the battery accepts a charge.

    Now here is the kicker... all batteries are chemical reactors in the sense that this is how they produce electricity. Even a dead battery still has a low amount of chemical reaction internally. Now if you had a flashlight that died and you set it aside for a few days/weeks/etc and then just for laughs turned it on it would in fact light-up.. maybe even moderate brightness or just dim for a few seconds/minutes then eventually it would fade and go dead again.

    This would also occur with a car with a dead battery because although you are not using or charging it.. the chemicals inside are still reacting... slowly but after awhile enough to produce enough of a charge for a brief time to indicate some life.

    IBM/Lenovo won't talk to you unless under warranty or pre-purchase an agreement in which then they would be more oriented in selling additional products/services than solving such a simple (read as unprofitable) problem. Additionally most local repair listings (77056 area) are for companies who promote being more oriented to being a big business than a personable solution to the individual (again trying to charge 75 per hr just to orient you towards spending more than its worth)

    Now why don't I myself just get one and replace it... well long story short there is a valid reason why I moved from hardware to software years ago.. I'm one of those guys who can walk past a car and hear exactly what is wrong with it (same with a pc) but you really do not want me to open up the hood!

  • amom Dec 28, 2007

    Will not turn off or on, screen glows.

  • birdie123 Jan 26, 2008

    If I kept battery and had the A/C adapter connected, then I can see the green power light on. After I pressed the ON button, only the hard drive light blinks a little bit then anything happened.

    If I removed the battery and have only the A/C adapter connected, not even the green light is lighted.

  • ripe1958 May 08, 2008

    Same problem - when you connect the power cable, you can hear a faint pop from the speaker, the HD light flickers once, the battery lamp flashes amber a few times thenh goes steady amber.

    I've tried the ideas here (remove and reseat the HD, RAM, battery, CMOS, CD drive), but no joy. I tried the 20-sec discharge (also 200 secs!) after removing the main and CMOS batteries, but no difference.

    Has anyone actually paid Lenovo for a solution that they are willing to share?

  • Anonymous May 16, 2008

    Yes, when I press the start button it will not turn on, could it be the memory or the motherboard?

  • ArabianFancy Jul 15, 2008

    I just got an Ibm Thinkpad T21 for my daughter. The owner said it was working fine when she sent it etc. It took two weeks to get to me because of an address problem, so has been that long since it powered up.

    I plugged the power source in and I have a green light flashing and making a clicking sound, with or without the battery in . It will not come on for any reason. I left it plugged in all night hoping it would charge etc. but it still does the same thing

    HELP! I have a very sad 10 year old who's first computer wont' work!

  • ArabianFancy Jul 22, 2008

    I found out the problem with mine! I gave up and bought a new laptop then had the brilliant idea to try the new power cable on the old computer and IT CAME RIGHT ON! WORKS GREAT! Try a new power cable before you give up.


  • hellenp Dec 26, 2008

    I also bought mine from Big pockets. Absolutely useless. I will send back. Worked for about 30 mins and won't come on at all now.

  • birdie123 May 11, 2010

    I have a T21, 2647-57U. I checked the IBM's manual, it seems that I need a 12P3369 for the replacement. Does other system board work with my 2647-57U ?

    TIA for all kind of help.

  • birdie123 May 11, 2010


    if it's motherboard's problem, how can you make sure the motherboard you got will not cause the same problem ?

    thanx for your solution posting.



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Actually fixed the problem with Mandy's by simply trying a different POWER SOURCE! ( bought her a new computer and tried the new cord on the old computer and it fired right up.....sigh... just my luck, but I found a good home for the IBM.)

Posted on Nov 08, 2008

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I`M HAVING THE SAME PROBLEM i recieved delivery yesterday of a IBM T21 PIII 800 Laptop - 256Mb - 30Gb - DVD-ROM - Wifi - XP from exellent for cd/dvd`s SH-- with computers/laptops i have tried all the solutions posted (THANKS BY THE WAY) but it still won`t boot up (bloody thing) i`m going to send it back and see what they say HAHA CANT WAIT

Posted on Nov 08, 2008

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I have see two more unit with the same problem, I agree with anarpy. this is motherboard failure. you can not being pulling out batts and pressing buttons for x seconds and plug here or there x times. just to get the cmos disconect takes about 10 minutes work after many screws 2b removed.
want to fix the problem get another motherboard period.
I got one at ebay for 35 us and problem was fix.
just make sure seller has 100% feedback.
rgds 2 all

Posted on Jan 30, 2008

  • skyflyer Jan 30, 2008

    birdie 123,

    eventually will fail like any other new or used electronic device.

    I guess is imposible to tell how long is going to solve the problem I had. but so far is working perfect.

    but we all came here 2 find out how to fix it.

    I did tryed all the tips in this page. but none FIX IT .

    I replaced mobo and there is no more fail to start this unit

    so basically what I found is that the only way 2 fix this power failure is replacing the mobo.



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Its a manufacture deffect, something about some capacitors that wont discharge after power off, i did the following, take out the battery, and unplug the bios bat too, press the power button for at least 20 secs, then put the bat again, it should power up, or you can replace the motherboard

Posted on Jan 29, 2008

  • anarpi Jan 30, 2008

    there is no way to know if a working MoBo will suddenly die again, cause they are deffective, perhaps if its a refurbished one, that means that the capacitors where changed, but i guess they only change the wrong one, and not all, so keeping this laptop functional its a gamble


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I have the same problem, and i fix it. Well no fix but now in few seconds i can start notepad when i want to. My battery dead. Without the battery, you can start if you hold down the power botton while you get in/get out quickly the ac connector several times .Try it!!!!

I think the intelligent battery or same cheap condensator in the power module is the problem (so when you connect the ac power connector you can hear the charge of it).

you can restart without problem but if you switch off you will need to repeat the process to start the notepad.

Posted on Jan 10, 2008

Just try to take off the hard drive and install it back properly.
Take off the Ram clean it and install it back.
Also be sure that your power adapter is not having any defects.

Rate me if it solves

Posted on Dec 05, 2007

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