The Sourcerer's Apprentice

The adventures of David Heinemann in IT & software development

ThinkPad Is Back; Still Broken

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My ThinkPad finally returned from warranty repair about two weeks ago (just in time for me to leave for Atherton for a Christian conference). Fortunately, the fan/heating issue is fixed. Unfortunately, now the Wi-Fi card doesn’t work.

Slackware seems to report that the card is functioning with iwconfig and ifconfig, but using Wicd, the card fails to find any wireless networks. Thinking the drivers or Wicd might be acting up (although they both worked fine before sending for warranty), I tried an Ubuntu live CD. Gnome’s NetworkManager was more helpful than Wicd, and reported the card as being turned off with a hardware switch.

The switch is definitely on, and I toggled it a few times to no avail. Using the function keys didn’t help, and I also checked the BIOS settings to confirm that the card hadn’t been disabled there. The Wi-Fi status LEDs don’t even light up. I think I’ll restore the factory OS (Windows) and run the Lenovo diagnostic tools just to confirm that there is definitely an issue, then call warranty again.

I’m sure I’m somewhat of an unusual case here, as Lenovo has a great reputation for quality hardware, and their tech support team was very helpful last time I called. Hopefully this will be resolved soon. I’m pretty keen to be able to use my ThinkPad again, especially after spending the past month on my netbook.

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