IBM T43 Intermittent startup failure. Sometimes starts fine. Sometimes goes dead straight off. Sometimes 1 beep then off.


Sep 22, 2013
IBM T43 Intermittent startup failure

Just recently my T43 would completely fail to start. The battery light would be on with the power supply plugged in. I would press the power on button and the battery LED would go off and that would be it.
Then I unplugged the PS and battery and reattached both and tried again and it started up just fine. I closed the lid and put it in sleep mode. When I lifted the lid again instead of waking up it died straight away. No lights on at all and I had to remove the battery and retry several times.

It has gotten worse and I had to take the battery in and out several times to get anything out of it. After reading some forums I turned it on by holding down the power on button. The LEDS all flashed, fan went on, it beeped once and then it went off again. After a few more attempts I got it to start up again normally. Please help!

The battery is old and needs replacing. I have ordered one on eBay and it will be here in a week or two. The power adaptor is a bit used as well. The cable just behind where I plug it into the laptop was frayed and repaired twice.
Unfortunately, the laptop is rather old, thus it's not surprising it is failing. It might be a motherboard issue that is causing the problem, but diagnosing it and getting it replaced will cost more money than it is worth. I really recommend you backup any data you have and replace your aging ThinkPad with something more modern. You should be able to find plenty of laptops for $500 or less at

I have an older ThinkPad T40, other than the fact that the CMOS battery is basically dead, it still operates fine. Then again I hard use it anymore. I suppose I can replace the CMOS battery for around $15 - $20 so that I no longer have very long boot times (due to the mostly dead CMOS battery), but as I said I hardly use anymore.