Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Thinkpad Wireless Switch

I was really tired, had been at work all day on a Sunday, booted up the Lenovo Thinkpad X60 and no wifi. I kept getting this message when I tried to enable from the wifi icon it that it was switched off in the Bios or on the wifi switch. What wifi switch I muttered. After about 10 minutes of looking in the Bios, checking drivers and swearing I had a look at the warning message again. It had a little icon on it that looked like the wifi icon on the F5 key. Slowly my brain switched on.... I looked at the top of the notebook, on the sides and finally turned it over.

There's a slider switch on the lip of the notebook. If you look down at your keyboard, in the middle of the closest edge to you is a slot which the lid clips into. If you look under the notebook in the same position, there's a slider switch. One side has the little wifi icon - the computer with the little curvy things round it. The other one doesn't have the curvy thing. If you slide it from one side to the other it enables or disables wifi. Who new...

Maybe you all knew that but I didn't.

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this! Looking for that switch was starting to get to me.

Anonymous said...

IBM needs to hire you on to develop a user manual. Thanks for your hard work.

Anonymous said...

many, many thanks -- I was trying to figure our why my sister's Thinkpad suddenly wasn't detecting ANY wireless networks. after doing my supergeek thing and checking out everything possible, I did some googling and happily came across this post. who'd-a-thunk-it -- a hardware on/off switch that's obviously easily switched without knowing it. THANX!

glaves said...

Holy dooley!

Thanks! It works.

Voni
sMiling

Anonymous said...

Thanks heaps - did all the same stuff on my wife's thinkpad - made doubly hard as I use a Mac and had been playing with the wireless router.

Anonymous said...

thanks so much! you solved my problem..!;D

Jamie said...

You just saved me hours of frustration. Thank you!!!

Shaul Behr said...

I'm having exactly this problem!
I have a ThinkPad R51, and I can't find that switch.
Do you have a photo you could post, please?
Thanks!

Bristley said...

Sorry I don't have a photo - but on the x60 it's in the middle of the front of the notebook just below of the keyboard. On the T400 it's about 2 inches from the left hand side at the front.

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable. After 2 weeks of frustration on the road here is the quick and easy fix. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, this is wonderful. I've wasted hours on why my thinkpad suddenly lost all wireless connectivity!

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot! I also spent hours and some headaches trying to recover the wireless capabilities of my IBM. Frustrating that there is no description in the Help section!!

JT said...

I had to turn it off then back on to make it work after changing dsl modems.

chris said...

woo-hoo! I knew it had to be somewhere!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you soooo much! I was searching for this mysterious switch all over and couldn't find it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the slider switch tip! I was getting very annoyed!

sirona7 said...

I was pulling my hair out after an embarrassing 3 hours of searching for a software wireless "switch" to turn on my new Lenovo Thinkpad. I finally borrowed my son's MacBook and did a quick google search--your explanation came up first--and solved my problem in seconds. Thank you thank you thank you!

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! What were the designers smoking when they made this inconceivable decision?! THANKS for sharing the detailed directions to find the hidden switch.

Anonymous said...

Holy cow - You were the first result in my Google search, too! Thank you so much - it was driving me nuts!!

LightOn said...

Thank you so much! Here it is 3 years later and your answer saved me time, grief, and outright embarassment.

Tracey Riese said...

Your post inspired me! Dealing with just this problem I found your thoughtful info but didn't find the slider where you said it was. It turns out that on some Lenovos, the slider is on the back next to the DSL jack. But without your post, i would never have had the idea to look! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

thank you thank you thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, i've been searching for this switch on this laptop for the last days. I was mostly concentrating on the Fn+F5 key.

sej222 said...

Thanks! Very helpful.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I was looking for it and am glad you mentioned in your blog.

Anonymous said...

I am sitting in a library while a girl came to me with her thinkpad inquiring about the internet in the library. She didn't know that a wireless switch existed in her laptop. I did a quick search and reached this page. Her problem is solved and I am happy that I was of some help. Thanks for writing this post. You must be collecting so many good deeds on your record.

Cheers

Anonymous said...

Crimminy, I wish I'd searched first! Probably switched it off by accident with my belly, but I've wasted hours uninstalling & installing drivers, unsinstalling the wireless through the device manager, etc.

The ridiculous thing is I've always wished my ThinkPad had a physical switch, so I didn't have to turn wifi on & off through clicks. But who would ever look there (or RTFM)?

Double thanks to you:
1) for fixing my problem, and
2) for giving me a new feature on my old ThinkPad!

Thanks! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

You have saved my day. The people who design these Lenovo computers are morons from outer space.

Doc said...

Thank you! You solved my problem magically!

Anonymous said...

The location of the wireless switch on the Lenovo x200 isn't in the front -- but at least you got me started -- it's on the left side right at the front corner, between you and the USB port.
Thanks again for your comment!

Anonymous said...

LEGEND!

Anonymous said...

It was great info I was going crazy trying to find that switch as well....
You have being nice and helpful

Malena Colorado

Sapna Prasad, Ph.D. said...

THANK YOU!!! OMG--my laptop was asking me for the stupid wireless radio switch for days and I couldn't figure out where it was--until I read your post a minute ago!!! In fact, your post was more helpful than the Think Pad's website. Relief...

Bernadette said...

Just another Thank You!

acoustic_poetry said...

THANK YOU!!!! Mine is a different model but with your advice I was able to find it. On the T501 it is near the usb ports, all the way toward the front of the left side panel. Thank heaven I had another computer to search the net, because there was no description on my laptop where this switch was located. Thanks again. My IT folks will thank you too...because I would have been a bear on Monday!

Anonymous said...

I had no idea. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

thank you thank you thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thks a lot :-):-)

R. said...

Thanks A Ton !!!!!!!!!! U saved me :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this....how mental is it to hide one of the most important keys like this. No wonder IBM lost the battle to HP

Anonymous said...

Excellent post - you saved me much frustration. :-)

Anonymous said...

thanks soo much ive been looking for it all day longg !

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much!! Explaining to others as to where the damn switch on thinkpads have diappeared to is so much easier now!!

booksblog said...

Thank you so much :-) If only the switch was in the front near the power button or at least in that row.

Anonymous said...

You are still rocking in the free world. I was ready to send this refurb back!

Haribol said...

thank you this really helped.

Jaceyw said...

Thanks sooooo much. Was looking for bloody days for the switch and was beginning to think it wasn't there! I am so grateful to you, thank you :)

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! Thanks for your post! I would have been stuck in a hotel without access to Internet via my work computer!!!

Anonymous said...

Great !!!! Thanks a million for your excellent advice, I to had been through the setup - reinstall saga then done a google and found your post.Thanks !

Anonymous said...

On some Lenovos, it's a tiny switch on the right hand side at the very "front" (when sitting at the keyboard normally.) And thanks for saving my schedule while working from a hotel on my computer that has never been free of the office network before!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much...you saved my day.

Unknown said...

Sometimes, that little switch breaks ...switching it back and forth won't do anything.

This happened to my Lenovo S12. Happily I found a fix that anyone can make without soldering. You have to remove the wireless card (it's typically behind a cover, secured with a screw) and tape over pin 20. This worked for me, and apparently many other people, according to the link below. Hope this helps someone.

Dan

http://www.notebookforums.com/t/225429/broken-wireless-hardware-switch-fix/40

Anonymous said...

cheers mate searched question your blog came top thanks for solving ,

Anonymous said...

Hi few years since you made the post but thank you!