Lenovo Problem: No Wireless Reconnect After Standby

Warning to our frequent readers: This is not about usability or webstandards.

I wrote about issues with my Lenovo T60p laptop recently, and have made a guide to eliminate one of the most annoying problems I ever had with a PC:

After standby, the computer was unable to reconnect to the wireless network. As this is a corporate computer, several of my colleagues experienced the same problem.

Bad thing is that it’s very hard to report this to Lenovo, and I must express my surprise they can ship and sell a laptop where it by default can’t connect to wireless after standby.

Having said that, here is a simple guide on how to switch off “Deep Smart Power Down” for the Intel Pro/1000 PL network card, and “Power Save Mode” for the Atheros wireless card.

I decided make this guide publically available along with links to where I found the information. Thereby I hope that others with this problem can spend less time searching for the solution, and hopefully it will also make Lenovo pay attention to the other stuff I mentioned in the previous post, where I think better solutions could have been chosen.

Guide: lenovo-wireless-problems-after-standby.pdf

More info:

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29 Responses to “Lenovo Problem: No Wireless Reconnect After Standby”

  1. Thomas Baekdal Says:

    Welcome to the “Lenovo Sucks” club :)

    I too got loads of problems with wireless on my T60, and it is not limited to that model range, my previous Txx computers had similar problems.

    Not to mention. My T60 takes forever to connect to a network, regardless if it is wireless or not (this is never a problem with my Dell – it just connects instantly everytime). And, this is a common problem (everyone in the office got similar problems)

    Thanks for the guide though.

  2. Mailand Says:

    It not just the T60 – the X60s has the same problem…

  3. Mean Dean Says:

    I think your post finally pushed me over into the “I’m gonna get a Dell or HP” camp.

    I live and work near enough to Morrisville, NC thinking I could work out a deal.

    Last week I emailed them “howdy neighbor, where can I get a look at one of your laptops …” I got a robotic response to call their call center.

    I emailed them back I told them I’d be traveling abroad and would like to see the machine personally – so I’d rather just visit instead of call.

    They reply back with an email to the showroom in the foreign country to which I’ll be visiting.

    I email them again explaining that I’d like to purchase the machine from a manufacturer down the street if possible – I get an exact copy of the robotic response I received the first time.

    This coupled with your network problems above have me convinced that a Lenovo is a no-go.

  4. Supples’ Pub » Blog Archive » links for 2007-08-02 Says:

    […] justaddwater.dk | Lenovo Problem: No Wireless Reconnect After Standby (tags: lenovo thinkpad proactive) […]

  5. Jenny Says:

    I’m having this exact problem, but what happens if under Device Manager

  6. Jenny Says:

    I’m having this exact problem, but what happens if under Device Manager \ Network Adapters \ I’m only showing 1 option? I’m only seeing the Intel PRO/1000 PL Network Connection and no other? Therefore, I can’t do steps #8… of Jesper’s workaround.

    Any suggestions? Help please.

  7. Marc Levoy Says:

    *** Lenovo Thinkpad T60p annoyances ***

    I bought a Thinkpad T60p in May 2007, pre-installed with Windows XP Professional and SP2. The hardware is excellent, as many online reviews correctly attest. However, the laptop has many software “issues”. In particular, after using it daily for 3 months, I have compiled the following list of problems. Some of these are reported elsewhere in various online Forums, including on this Forum.

    1. Sometimes when the display turns off (after a period of inactivity),
    it can’t be turned on again, e.g. by pressing a key or moving the
    mouse. To remedy this, I have to put the laptop into standby, e.g. by
    closing the lid, then resume it again. Doing so of course drops my
    wireless connections. Setting the display to never turn off in the
    ThinkVantage power manager has no effect; the display still turns off.

    2. Sometimes when resuming from standby, my Wi-Fi no longer works. The LED says it’s on, but the ThinkVantage wireless connection status display says it’s off, and no WLANs can be found. Sliding the radios switch off and on does not repair the problem. To remedy this, I must reboot the laptop. This problem is particularly widely reported.

    3. Sometimes the cursor starts freezing every few seconds, making it nearly impossible to operate any programs. To remedy this, I must reboot.

    4. Sometimes when resuming from standby, one or more of my USB ports no longer work. Sometimes, none of them work. Typical devices plugged into these ports are a Logitech optical mouse, a PalmOne Treo 650, an SD card reader, or a USB key. To remedy this, I must reboot.

    5. Last week I received a ThinkVantage error, “Irreparable damage to the battery has been detected. Replace the battery with a new one.” However, the battery seems to work and charge fine. Their “lenovobatteryreplacementpackage.exe” says Lenovo won’t replace my battery, but doesn’t say it isn’t damaged, i.e. their program’s results are ambiguously worded. They are also ungrammatical.

    6. If I am connected to the Internet, but not VPN’ed to my corporate network, all applications hang for about 30 seconds before launching. On occasion, I have seen these hangs even when not connected. Even the Windows Task Manager hangs on launch. Sysinternals tools show attempts to access a non-existent “Z:” drive. Clearing the My Recent Documents sometimes helps. This problem is also widely reported, and it may be a problem in Windows XP, not Lenovo.

    7. Sometimes I close the lid, but the laptop won’t enter standby or hibernate. This may be related to the 30-second hangs just described, but the hang is much longer, sometimes 20 minutes or more, and it sometimes happens when not connected to the Internet. It may correlate with running OpenGL programs, but not always. In this case (or perhaps in others), the laptop never enters standby, thereby draining my battery. To remedy this, I must reboot. After rebooting, the laptop sometimes finishes entering standby or hibernation as soon as I log in.

    Sometimes, I have resumed from hiberation, just to have the laptop re-enter hiberation spontaneously 20 minutes later, due to a previous, apparently hung, attempt to enter hiberation.

    8. The battery icon sometimes disappears. Logging out and in fixes this problem.

    9. Explorer.exe sometimes crashes. Sometimes it restarts automatically, but sometimes not. In the latter case, I must cold-reboot the laptop. This may be a Windows XP problem.

    On August 21, I attempted to solve some of these problems by updating my ThinkVantage software. I did this by invoking ThinkVantage “Update System”. That invocation first updated the Update software and rebooted my laptop (without warning!). Then, using the new update program, I requested all critical & recommended upgrades, but not optional upgrades. Upon rebooting, I discovered that I now had no Presentation Director. After installing the latest version of Presentation Director from the list of optional upgrades, my system hung during login.

    With the aid of telephone technical support in Atlanta, I restored my system, then attempted a piece-by-piece update instead of the failed automatic update. This manual process consisted of un-installing and installing updated versions of my Power Manager and ACPI Power Manager (v1.16 and v1.43), Hotkey driver, Atheros Wireless driver, and Access Connections (v4.42). Upon rebooting, the display of my ThinkVantage menus (upon hitting the blue buttom) were messed up, I received a variety of error messages I’ve never seen, like “Unknown ethernet port detected” (from ThinkVantage Access Connections), I saw no more balloon messages on connect or disconnect of wireless, and enabling or disabling radios using the physical switch on the side of the laptop did not bring up a dialogue box, as it had previously. Moreover, my bluetooth was permanently disabled.

    After 6 hours on the phone with technical support, 2 of which was spent in phone queues after being repeatedly disconnected, I restored my system a second time, and I abandoned the attempt to upgrade my ThinkVantage software. I will live with the annoyances enumerated above until I can find a better laptop.


    In summary, I have owned a succession of Thinkpads for about 7 years. My last one (before the current T60p) was a T42. This is the first time I have had significant problems.

    I suspect that the cause underlying these problems is poor integration between the laptop hardware, its drivers, and the ThinkVantage applications. The failure of both the automatic and manual upgrade procedures also suggests poor software quality control. The inability of Atlanta’s technical support people to walk me successfully through an upgrade, and the long telephone queue times, suggest a decreasing emphasis on customer service. Some of these problem may be related to the handoff of the Thinkpad line from IBM to Lenovo, but this is conjecture. I do note that the download instructions and release notes for the ThinkVantage software are written in ungrammatical English.

    Unfortunately, these problems make it difficult to use my laptop spontaneously, e.g. to show demos to people during meetings, and it makes giving talks to large groups a nervewracking experience. Since this is what I do (I am a professor of computer science), I will never buy another Lenovo laptop. I will also recommend to my colleagues and students that they not buy one.

    -Marc Levoy
    Computer Science Department
    Stanford University

  8. Nazia Says:

    You can try this steps that will help you disable power saving mode for Wireless:

    1. Press Win + R. This will open Run box.

    2. Type devmgmt.msc and press enter to open device manager.

    3. Select Network adapters and click + sign to its left.

    4. Right click on the Wireless entry.

    5. Select Properties.

    6. Click on Power Management.

    7. Uncheck the entry “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.”

    8. Click Apply and OK.

  9. Hannes Says:

    I do have the same problem with a Sony Vaio. After hibernating I have to “repair” the network connection in order to get an IP from my wireless router. Strangely I did not have this problem with my old router (having WEP encryption only).

    Trying all different settings for the power-save mode did not help, but thanks for the guide. It was worth a shot. Now I am searching for a possibility to run a script on resume to “repair” the conn automatically.

  10. Hannes Says:

    Ok, I got a workaround:
    1) Get HibernateTrigger from http://www.rpi.edu/~desimn/suspendtrigger/
    2) Get devcon from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/311272
    3) create a .cmd script that does “devcon restart ”
    4) Make HibernateTrigger call that script on resume

    That’s it. The nice thing is that the script gets execuded even before you log in again. Thus if you resume your computer and log in a couple of seconds thereafter you will have wireless connection instantly.

  11. vishnu Says:

    hi!! i have the same problem as jenny’s……my device manager shows only 1 network adapter…no wireless entry…….
    please help out on this issue…

  12. Bo Says:

    Hannes workaround works fine on a MacBookPro running XP with Bootcamp. Here there is no “Power Management” tab for the wireless network adapter.
    After standby I just execute a .cmd executing
    devcon.exe restart PCI\VEN_168C*DEV_0024
    Thank a lot.

    BTW: when I try linking to the
    Guide: lenovo-wireless-problems-after-standby.pdf,
    I get the error message:
    You don’t have permission to access
    /wp-content/uploads/2007/07/lenovo-wireless-problems-after-standby.pdf on this server.

  13. Jesper Rønn-Jensen Says:

    Thanks for mentioning the problems with download. Thomas has just fixed the problem recursively for all our static files, so please try downloading the pdf again.

  14. Akash Upadhyay Says:

    I have Sony Vaio
    I have also same problem. I have used all the trick but i could not solve. From Device Manager i have do whatever i cam? But still i have same problem. How can i solve my problem could you help me.
    my email is wildambu@hotmail.com

  15. Tien Says:

    This seems to be a problem with the Intel PRO chipset?? I have the same problem with an NEC Versa. I highly doubt it is a Thinkpad problem!

    The problem only happens in some combinations too. On my old wireless access point, I didn’t have this problem. I just switched to a wireless router from my wireless ISP (uses HSDPA for broadband), and I have this problem.

    The workaround my wife discovered was to connect to my old access point and then switch back to the wireless router, but that workaround will not work much longer as I remove my old wireless access point. Thanks for the many workarounds here!

  16. Henrik Says:

    Hello Jesper

    Did you ever get this Lenovo reconnect issue fixed???

    Thanks in advance

  17. Jesper Rønn-Jensen Says:

    Henrik. Of course I got it working. There is a link to the guide that I compiled in the article above.

    See Guide: lenovo-wireless-problems-after-standby.pdf in the article.

  18. ankit Says:

    i have a problem with hibernate. when i down my lid then my laptap goes into the hibernate state but when i resume my laptap then system automatically restarts. this is really a very big problem because after restart disk checking takes place and improrper shut downing takes place.
    do you have any solution to solve this problem?

  19. T61_user Says:

    I did what Nazia suggested in a Lenovo T61 and now the wireless reconnects fine after coming back from hibernation! Here it is again:

    1. Press Win + R. This will open Run box.

    2. Type devmgmt.msc and press enter to open device manager.

    3. Select Network adapters and click + sign to its left.

    4. Right click on the Wireless entry.

    5. Select Properties.

    6. Click on Power Management.

    7. Uncheck the entry “Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.”

    8. Click Apply and OK.

  20. techcafe Says:

    i’ve attempted to address each of your problems below:

    1. display turns off, regardless of windows’ power settings

    make sure the system firmware and drivers (all of them) are up-to-date. why ALL drivers, because *every* device driver on the system must be fully ACPI compliant for the system’s power management features to operate correctly; the standby mode is particularly finicky if *every* device driver on the system is not fully ACPI-compliant. btw, it’s not uncommon to find bugs and features that are not fully implemented in early releases of the drivers, as you probably already know.

    the latest BIOS firmware can be found here:
    T60p BIOS update
    T60p WideScreen BIOS update

    to update the BIOS, simply download/run the Windows executable (ThinkPad BIOS update utility). the updater will guide you through the process, Windows will be restarted, at which point the BIOS updater intercepts the normal boot sequence and presents you with a screen of options. select & proceed with the BIOS update option and WAIT for the machine to power off automatically. turn the power back on and you’re done.

    the latest T60p drivers can be found here:
    T60p drivers – Lenovo
    T60p WideScreen drivers

    latest Power Management driver for T60p:
    T60p PM driver
    T60p WideScreen PM driver

    alternatively, use ThinkVantage System Update to automatically detect/install what needs updating on your system, including the firmware:
    ThinkVantage System Update

    run Windows Update to check for any updates (when on the WU site, press the Custom button, not Express), otherwise you’ll only see the critical/security updates. select the desired Software/Hardware (optional) updates (checkbox the ones you want), then click on the Intall Updates link. restart the system, if required, then repeat as necessary, until there are no more updates available.

    failing all of that, you can probably solve this problem by disabling the power management (idle) timers in the BIOS. why? because it’s possible that they are not being updated properly (kept in sync) by Windows (likely due to bad device driver issues)

    the default hardware setting turns the display off after an idle period, usually 20mins. these (ACPI)parameters are stored in a shared area of NVRAM on the system board. normally, the system’s idle timers stay synchronized, that is, Windows and the thinkpad embedded controller are *supposed* to communicate in such a way so as to maintain the system’s ‘info area’ (where ACPI parameters are stored) in a synchronized state. that doesn’t always happen.

    so, to disable the hardware timers:

    – restart machine, press F1 when you see the IBM logo (enter your power-on password if applicable). you should then see the BIOS setup screen. look for Advanced settings (or similar), then Power Management. in there, probably near the top of the list, you should see several (3 or 4) settings related to the system idle timers (video, hard drive, and so on). just set them all to disabled, press F10 to Save the changes, then Exit the BIOS to restart the system. after that, the machine will start-up with the idle timers disabled, BUT when the operating system loads, Windows will automatically re-configure the system timers, based on whatever values you’ve set in the Power Management applet (Control Panel).

    btw, assuming you’re comfy at the commandline, you can play around with POWERCFG. for example:

    C:\powercfg /query
    displays current power configuration

    C:\powercfg /?
    show commandline parameters for powercfg

    2. and 3. erratic WiFi and mouse behaviour
    this is related to the power management component of the WiFi driver, the NIC is not being re-initialized properly after the system comes out of standby (outdated NIC driver and/or firmware). the mouse will also behave erratically b/c the NIC is hogging system interrupts. first, check the Lenovo site, there may be a firmware update available for the wireless NIC. failing that, launch the Management Console (right-click on My Computer, select Manage), select Device Manager. expand the Network adapters tree (in the right pane), locate the WiFi NIC, double-click on it, choose the Advanced tab, then disable all power save features. i’d also disable the power save features of the wired NIC too. ime, these features are never implemented correctly and cause too many problems.

    4. might be outdated USB drivers (XPSP3 may fix this) OR launch the Device Manager (see above), locate the ‘Universal Serial Bus controllers’ entry in the right-hand pane, expand the USB tree, right-click on the first USB device and select Update Driver, repeat for each USB device in the list.

    5. could be an issue with the embedded controller, which ‘talks’ to Windows via the ACPI sub-system about the battery’s health, etc. update the BIOS if applicable.

    6. VPN client misconfigured, Windows Explorer temporarily hangs as it tries to establish an internet connection through the inactive VPN. launch the VPN configuration applet and look for something like ‘default route’, change it so that VPN is not the default. also make sure that you have the latest version of the VPN client. failing that, you may also try changing the network interface(s) ‘metric’ values… ask me about this if required.

    7. and 8. there is either a driver, application software or both running that’s not fully ACPI-compliant/aware, thereby interfering with the standby process, which as i’ve already mentioned, is extremely finicky to begin with (but with good reason). in any case, do ALL firmware & driver updates.

    9. not enough info, the desktop (Explorer) can hang for a gazillion reasons. try Ctrl-Alt-Del next time it happens, then press T to launch the Task Manager and kill the unresponsive explorer.exe process (look in the Processes list if necessary), right-click on explorer.exe and select End Process. then, if the Desktop does not restart itself, go back to the Task Manager and choose New Task from the File menu, type explorer.exe in the Open field and press OK. the desktop should be revived.

    btw, you mentioned something about “poor integration”, which is another good reason to make certain that *everything* is kept up-to-date, particularly the drivers and underlying firmware and i’d do the ‘optional’ updates as well, just to cover all the bases.

    hope that helps…

  21. blue Says:

    i also have problem with explorer.exe on my lenovo laptop Y410 77579QQ model it appears some times when i start web cam,and some times it happens by itself.i am using windows xp sp2.why this problem occurs and what is the solution?

  22. windows error fixer Says:

    Uninstall IBM wireless management, only install wireless card drivers.As long as the driver.
    Someone said ThinkVantage Access Connections cause this problem on a chinese forum.
    Wireless Network Connection – property to set Windows to configure network settings。

  23. Njofra Says:

    I have a similar, yet different problem. It all started after hibernation, when I could not connect to the wireless network. I’m using a Lenovo R60e, which might be the reason why none of the solutions listed above worked out. I already tried what Jasper and Nazia described, but with absolutely no effect. I still cannot connect to the wireless network and it seems as if my wireless adapter isn’t working at all. The small green light (wireless connection light) at the bottom of the screen isn’t blinking and when I try to even FIND a wireless network, I’m being told that the BIOS configuration might be turned to “radio off” (which isn’t the case) or that the hardware to run a wireless connection is turned off, which also isn’t the case. Has anyone encountered this kind of problem?

  24. shamshul Says:

    I donot understand the article by Hannes Says:
    So please explain the procedure in XP.
    I will be highly oblidge
    Thanks in anticipation

  25. Lindsey Says:

    For anyone having the wireless problem after standby/hibernate on the lenovo thinkpads- I FIXED THE PROBLEM. i had this problem for a year. bought a brand new machine, it wouldnt reconnect to the internet after hibernating, and sometimes i had to click repair 20 times before it would connect. sometimes it said it was connected but it still wouldnt let me get online. i sent it back to lenovo to fix it 4 times, and each time, they told me there was absolutely nothing wrong with it and that i needed a new router (my router was brand new and i had 3 other laptops connected to it 24/7). i finally fixed the problem on my own- i hope this helps you all.

    the problem is the thinkpad access connections program- it is a horrible program and is what is screwing up the connection. remove that program entirely and allow windows to connect you to the internet (like it would on any other computer). go into control panel, then add remove programs, then delete access connections. you dont need it for any reason- it is IBM’s way of “helping” the computers connect, but it is a horrible worthless program. the second i deleted the program, my machine connected fine, and stayed connected when it hibernated/standby’ed and i have not had to click repair even one time in the last 6 months since i discovered this fix.

    this fix saved me! the machine was totally worthless before bc i couldnt connect at all, and now it works perfectly.
    please try this and let me know if it works!!!

  26. Shweta Says:

    I have lenovo y500 laptop. My wifi was working fine somedays ago but suddenly it has stopped working. When I switch on the laptop the wifi light is on but when it boots and load windows light goes off. To work on internet i have to use the wire which is like i am working on the desktop not on laptop.

    Please help me.

  27. Scott Says:

    Well it just goes to show that you should always check the comment section out on blog posts because some of the info in the comment section alone was worthy of a brand new post dedicated to it haha.

    It really is a great sign that a community is willing to discuss and share their views in such detail.

    Great stuff!

  28. James Says:

    I don’t even have access connections…my Lenovo will say “not enough resources to run wireless…cold reboot, regular restart won’t even work, and bam, it’s back…

  29. Brian Says:

    Hi, if your wondering on how to get your network adapters back then follow these steps:
    1) Open Device Manager
    2) Up top, there is “Action” tab, click on it (But first click on “Network adapters” in the list, then click on Action tab)
    3) Click on “Scan for hardware changes”
    4) And you should get all your hardware drives back and installed :)