Recently our organization purchased for a senior management one of the latest and priciest notebook in town, a Lenovo X300 ThinkPad priced at about USD 2,900 (July 2008).
The notebook at that time was not available in stock on many outlets since we called numerous notebook shops to enquire about its availability. In the end, we contacted Lenovo directly and was forwarded to a distributor who told us that we had to wait for at least 2 weeks in order to get hold of the notebook. Since the decision was already made to purchase this unit, we ordered the notebook and it did indeed reached us in 2 weeks time.
The initial comments we’ve got from people who looked and felt at it for the first time:
- It doesn’t look good.
- Wow, it’s damn light.
- The notebook bag seems heavier that the notebook itself.
- It doesn’t really looks like it’s worth about USD 2,900. Oh well.. maybe it’s whats inside that matters most.
- Wow, this notebook is worth more than my 7 year old car!
Once the notebook arrived, I never thought I needed to do anything to it and just passed the notebook the the senior management staff.
A few weeks later, I was requested by the senior management staff to assist in transfering Microsoft Outlook emails and data from the old notebook to the new X300 ThinkPad with Windows Vista Business installed. During this time, I had to activate the wireless connection on the X300 in order to connect to the Internet. Upon successfully setting up the wireless connection, I managed to connect to the Internet for a few minutes before the whole machine just freezed. Moving the mouse didn’t work. Pressing Ctrl + Alt+ Del didn’t work as well. In the end, it just hang and freezed and all I could do was hard reboot by holding on to the Power On button for a long time.
Restarting the machine, it prompted for Safe Mode or to start Windows normally. I went into Safe Mode and the machine loads up fine. Then I restarted to machine, this time it starts Windows normally but once the bottom right icons are about to load up, the machine freezed again. I was like thinking, oh no… I must have messed up the machine. I rebooted the machine at leat 5-6 times and finally decided I had to perform a system recovery through the provided recovery and rescue cd.
So I went through the recovery process, which took about an hour. Just when the system was initializing Microsoft Vista, the machine freezed again! I was getting worried. But one thing that I noticed just before the machine hang. the wireless indicator was blinking. So I thought it could be due to the wireless connection which is causing the machine to freeze. I quickly turned offthe Wireless Radio button at the back of the machine and did the recovery process all over again.
This time the recovery process was successful and the machine starts normally. So I thought I could get back to the original task which was to assist in transfering Microsoft Outlook data. Upon setting up the wireless and got connected to the Internet again the machine freezed after a while. Restarting the machine with wireless turned on also causes the machine to freeze on start up. This is getting annoying. In the end, I decided to give Lenovo Technical Support team a call.
Once I got through to the technical support staff, I told her about the problem. In the end, she suggested that I update all the drivers by going to http://www.lenovo.com/support then search for MIGR-69378 which will then display a list of drivers and software for the Lenovo X300 ThinkPad. She told me to check though the list of drivers and compare it against what was installed on my machine. If you manage to see the list of drivers, which is at least 10+ of them, there are quite a lot to compare against. This would take up at least half a day to compare! Anyway, i told the tech support that I would give it a try. She also advised me to go into msconfig, and disable all software from the start up to find out if the problem is caused by a start up program.
The first driver that I tried to update was the Wireless device. Did this but still no luck. It still freezes. Finally I gave up with the drivers and just sent it to the Lenovo Service Center at Plaza IBM. I sent it in at about 6pm and the next day at 11 am they called to inform me that the notebook is ready and that they have fixed the problem.
I quickly headed back to the service center to collect the notebook. Before leaving I tried the machine to ensure that it will start up. It did indeed start up normally but without any connection to the wireless hotspot. When I requested for permission to get connected to the IBM wireless hotspot, the service agent told me that they have no access, so I’ve got to try it back in the office.
Returning back to the office, I turned on the machine only to find out the machine still freezes when the wireless switch is turned on. Then I suspected that it might be a Microsoft Vista problem rather than X300 problem. So I did a Google search and ended up on a forum which mentioned about a faulty Dlink Wireless Router. Suspecting that the freezing problem is caused by the wireless router, I took the X300 ThinkPad back home and connected it to my Aztech Wireless Router… Walla! the machine started just fine without freezing. I could surf for a long time without the machine crashing or hanging. So I could now confirm and pinpoint that the problem was caused by the machine being incompatible with the Dlink wireless router in the office.
The strange thing is this. In the office, we have all sorts of notebooks. Some Dell, some Toshiba, some Compaq. some with Windows Vista, some with Windows XP. All these could connect to the Dlink Wireless Router with no problems at all!
Sigh.. I have spent way too much time trying to troubleshoot why this X300 ThinkPad doesn’t like the Dlink Wireless Router. In short, it’s quite a bad experience. I had anticipated that such an expensive notebook to not give any problems. Boy, I was wrong.
In the future, if given a choice between purchasing a Lenovo and Dell, I would definately go for a Dell as it does provide me with a peace of mind. I have been using my Dell Inspiron 6000 for nearly 3 years without any problems at all. Also, I have seen and experience the service support from Dell. If your machine is still under its warranty, they will send the technician to where you are in within 2 days and fix up your machine there and then. No questions asked!
Maybe the real problem lies within Microsoft Vista rather than X300. I don’t really know for sure. This is a long post. Hope it helps anyone having the same problem.
* Update 10 October 2008 – Problem Solved
After some more research on the Internet, I finally found this forum which has the solution to this specific problem. You will be surprised to see how easy the fix is.
Basically the problem is caused by a WinSock Corruption: To repair it, simply take the following steps
- Click on Start button.
- Type Cmd in the Start Search text box.
- Right mouse click on CMD and choose Run As Administrator. Allow elevation request.
- Type netsh winsock reset in the Command Prompt shell, and then press the Enter key.
- Restart the computer.
After running these steps, the Lenovo X300 did not freeze anymore. I’m glad the problem’s solved. But I still don’t understand why WinSock could go corrupted. After all, it’s a new notebook and everything should be new, updated and most importantly, problem free.
But at least now, we all know that the cause of the problem is software related rather than hardware. So Lenovo X300 may not be that bad after all. If you all notice on the left side bar of this page, under searched terms, you will notice that there are people searching for terms such as X300 freezing. So I know I’m not the only person having this problem.
For those having the same problem, do update us on any findings and whether the solution solves your problem.