Question about IBM ThinkPad T21 Notebook

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Multiple strangeness with ibm t21

My problems all started when my power cord died, i think. I didnt realize that consequently i was on battery power and the laptop died while i wasnt watching. I have a docking station, so I'm using that, but 1) I cant get my laptop to connect wirelessly while docked, and 2) my screen goes blank even tho i can hear the laptop is still running. If i disconnect the battery to log the computer off (pressing the power button doesn't do anything) and then restart, the screen comes up fine for a while. .....
any ideas????

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Re: multiple strangeness with ibm t21 - IBM ThinkPad T21 Notebook PC Laptops

Check your power settings

Posted on Dec 30, 2007

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Computer was on AC power. Left unattended it shut down. Would not wakeup. Shut down fully, it would not come back up. Get a 2 short beep code. Invites an F1 to go to setup. Won't go to setup. Screen then...

Can you tell if your AC power cord is working? (Is there a light on the computer that comes on when it's charging?) If the power pack went dead, your battery could've died and now you get no power to the PC which is why it won't boot up.

To test, take out the battery and plug the AC cord in and try to boot up. If nothing at all happens without the battery, then your power cord or power pack is dead, and you just need to replace it.

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My thinkpad t21 just died! It started 2 weeks ago when I would turn it on, sometimes the screen would not light up or come on. I could see in the shadow, if there was a light on the screen that it was...

Remove the battery and power cord. Hold the power button in while connecting the power cord hen the battery. This will reset the power distribution settings. If this does nor resolve the issue then you need a new power supply. With this machine a new computer would be less expensive.

Dec 15, 2009 | IBM ThinkPad T21 Notebook

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IBM Thinkpad T21

This is a common problem with the T20 series Thinkpad. The problem is with the power management chip. Unfortunately, you will have to replace the motherboard to fix it. Since these are a bit on the older side, you can get a motherboard off Ebay at a reasonable price.

Aug 04, 2008 | IBM ThinkPad T21 Notebook

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IBM Think pad T21 Notebook can not boot!! Help please

Run IBM BIOS Setup
Utility to reset the time and date.

Jul 17, 2008 | IBM ThinkPad T21 Notebook

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IBM T21 doesn't start

try to start it with the battery out by pluging it straight, the battery is dead and its causing problems

Mar 13, 2008 | IBM ThinkPad T21 2647 Notebook

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IBM T21 Thinkpad

Here are the solutions ive gathered for this problem:


IBM has finally given me a fix for the T21 I am working on for a

customer. I asked them "What if it doesn't work, then what. Their

response was "GAURENTEED to work". Here it is:

1.) Unplug the power cord and the battery.
2.) Press the 'Power' Button 10 times repeatedly.
3.) Then hold the 'Power' Button down for 25 seconds.
4.) Put the battery back in and plug the power cord back in.
5.) Should power up right away.

This did work THIS time on the machine I have in front of me. I hope

this works for all of you. If you have any other questions, please

feel free to email me and ask any questions

Oh and just one more thing to help you out.

This problem is caused by an overcharged capacitor (supposedly) and

the error ONLY occurs IF you leave the laptop plugged in too long with

the battery in. If you ONLY plug it in when you are using it, then it

should not overcharge. And actually I would suggest that you unplug it

about 20 min or so before you are done using the system.


I have been a IBM Thinkpad T20 user for last 3+ years and I think it

is an very sturdy system that it's been working non-stop for such a

long time with not a single problem even after so much of abuse it

went thru in my baby's hands......until last week when it just wont

boot up. Then I found this post online....I tried the refrigerator

option also to no avail. Finally I just removed the battery and AC and

let the system sit for a 2 days in a cool place near window. Third day

I plugged in battery, plugged in the AC, and voila, it comes up fine.

Right now I am backing up all my files and I'll keep you posted if it

experiences a boot problem again. If I don't post again, assume it's

all working good again !!

Bottom line is that it could be the overcharged capacitor in my case

and letting it sit alone discharged it completely.

Good luck to you!


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.


I have a T22 that won't power on. After removing the AC power cord, I had to repeatedly (as fast as you can press it) press the power button until it powers on. I was not able to do a normal shut down, it would just hang. So with the battery removed and the AC plugged in pull the AC power cord.(Try to do it when the hard drive light is out!)I have cycled thru several power ups with no problems after doing this.
Hope this might help somebody else.
I would love to know which capacitor is being affected on the motherboard. this way you could install a momentary switch with resistor to ground to drain the capacitor.


Thanx to all the authors of these solutions

Nov 08, 2007 | IBM ThinkPad T21 Notebook

4 Answers

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I had a similar problem after My pc got damp in a bag in the rain. I contacted IBM and was given this fix which I am supprised worked but it did so here it is cannot hurt to try. Remove the main battery and the mains power supply press the power on button for 17 seconds. This I think is to drain all the power from the laptop altogether. Replace the mains lead and turn on. Once the laptop has openen up into windows turn it off and replace the mains battery then power on again. In my case this worked I hope this helps.

Oct 17, 2007 | IBM ThinkPad T21 Notebook

3 Answers


i have the same problem. actually its a common problem for many T21 and other old IBM laptops.
i searched that you have to take all power (batery, adaptor)
press the power 10 times and press it for 30 secs then reinsert the battery or adaptor and try to power it on.
they say its done to discharge a certain capacitor that got overcharged after overcharging the battery.
that worked for me before but now my T21 wont start any more with this process.

May 20, 2007 | IBM ThinkPad T21 Notebook

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