Lenovo W520 bricked & won’t turn on

I recently took receipt of an all-singing all-dancing Lenovo W520. A beast of a workstation/laptop with unbelievable battery power (especially when you include the additional battery slice). Keith Combs’ review is great if you want more info.

All was going really well, slowly building a nice portable dev rig.

However, yesterday evening (Sunday.. serves me right..) it wouldn’t turn on.

I knew the batteries had power, and besides the AC adaptor was plugged in.

No amount of secret keystrokes could do anything at all; very sad.

I phoned Lenovo USA as they have a 24/7 hotline (although not for UK consumers I was told..) however the kind support person asked me to follow theses steps:

  1. Remove the battery (and slice) and AC power
  2. Turn the laptop on 30 times (well try to anyway, no power obviously)
  3. Re-connect the batteries/AC
  4. Turn on

To my amazement, this worked. I couldn’t believe it as I had spent 45 minutes panicking…

Apparently it is due to residue static electricity in “a” capacitor which needed to be discharged. It can happen to brand new or years old models. Despite have several years of electronic engineering under my belt, I have no idea whether this could be true, or whether I should be worried at all… thank goodness my new laptop appears to be ok, but it’s not a good sign….

Hope it helps somebody, initial searches I did from my phone came up with nothing, so if you have a bricked Lenovo W520 try the above steps!

10 thoughts on “Lenovo W520 bricked & won’t turn on

  1. Wow, this worked for me too.  I had let my battery go dead while in suspend mode on my new Lenovo w520 (also bought as a mobile dev rig).  Then when I tried to use it later it was a brick, even on AC power.  No indicator lights, no nothing.  After a google search I found this article and tried the procedure above.  .. Worked like a charm. 

    This is really weird though.  I’ve had several laptops over the past decade and never heard of a problem like this.   I’m sure there is an electrical engineer out there somewhere, probably jobless, regretting his design decisions.

    • Glad it helped. Beware of Power issues generally – I had to uninstall & re-install the Lenovo Power Controls after a series of Blue Screens. Also not good. The Lenovo Power Controls changelog actually mentions the BSODs… not really inspiring!

  2. This just worked for a Lenovo IdeaPad z570 — can’t thank you enough for posting this info!

  3. Thanks for posting. Couldn’t believe it when I saw it – turned my brick back in to a computer.

  4. this isn’t working for me 🙁 is there any special trick or something else to try? I’ve had it unplugged for a while now and tried this like a dozen times and I am getting pretty frustrated. it seems like a lot of people are having the same problem so hopefully lenovo will be able to help me with it. i wish this would have happened 2 weeks ago9 so i could’ve returned it to best buy, they only allow 15 days for returns 🙁 i thought i had 30 days dang it!

    • Did you definitely remove all batteries? What model are you using? I would call Lenovo support; not sure about US but in the UK you have statutory rights which means that anything defective within 30 days is certainly covered.

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