Calling Lenovo warranty, which is still handled by IBM, was the only option I had left, so I picked up the phone and dialed. After some basic troubleshooting steps (not much you can troubleshoot when your computer does not turn on at all) I was told that an empty box would arrive at my office the following (Thursday) morning. The box would include all instructions on how to proceed with my repair.
And it did, at around ten o'clock in the morning a particularly cheery DHL courier brought a cardboard box shipped to me overnight from North Carolina. The box contents included padding foam, instructions, a form to fill out, shipping label and even a piece of tape to tape the box shut. I removed the battery as requested, placed my notebook into a special bag and closed the box. After calling in for a pickup the same, still cheery, DHL courier came back two hours later and my computer was on its way to Memphis, Tennessee for repairs.
Friday morning I checked DHL tracking and saw that my machine was received by the IBM repair facility. Friday evening I checked my repair ticket status with IBM again (it was kind of hard not to resist the urge) and saw that my notebook was repaired, packed and given back to DHL for next business day delivery. I sighed, as next business day would be two days later on Monday, rather than Saturday.
Monday morning DHL tracking however showed that the package was out for delivery, which resulted in my lips curling up into a happy smile. An hour later the eternally-cheery DHL courier placed the notebook back into my hands, which turned out to be restored to fully working condition with the brand new BIOS installed that failed to update in the first place.
Now you may wonder why I spent paragraph after paragraph building up this story only to have it end in how you would expect it to end - with Lenovo quickly and correctly repairing my notebook. The reason for that is simple – Lenovo/IBM warranty worked so quickly and flawlessly that there is not much else to say, but it is worth saying nonetheless.
Of course there is a moral to this story which has everything to do with lessons learned throughout this experience, so here is a brief summary of do's and don'ts which seem all too obvious when looking back upon this adventure.
1. There is no need to update BIOS, unless there is a known issue that is affecting you and is resolved by the update. If an update is to be performed then you should really use a boot from floppy or CD update process rather than update from within Windows. In fact, Lenovo offers a bootable CD to update ThinkPad BIOS and that is clearly the better choice.
2. ThinkPad warranty is worth every penny.
The ThinkPad has been running great the past few weeks and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a workhorse that will serve you well for years to come. Even the warranty is top notch and from our experience that is worth your peace of mind.