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Laptop keeps force-shutting down, security chip error

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by FaucetFailure, Jul 17, 2019.

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  1. FaucetFailure

    FaucetFailure Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2019
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    Hi, this is my first post here so I hope I do this right. This is gonna be long as I want to make this description as thorough as possible.
    I bought a used Lenovo ThinkPad T440p on eBay with a few upgrades a couple of months ago and it's been serving me well, but about 3 days ago I started running into an unidentified issue with a lot of symptoms all relating to shutdowns.
    It started when I closed my laptop, went off to do something, and came back to find that my laptop had shut down while I was gone. I pressed the power button to turn it on, and instead of going to the boot screen, it beeped out an error code of four cycles of four short beeps and a blank screen. It continued to do this every time I turned it on until I unplugged it from the wall, where it was able to start up properly off of battery power. Looking this error code up, it seems that error is because of an issue with the system board, specifically the security chip (TPM) not being able to verify the BIOS to boot it. However, this isn't the biggest problem; it's done this once a day in the past 3 days, but something else has happened far more: random shutdowns.
    The laptop shuts down a LOT. It shuts down whenever you enter sleep mode almost every time, either through pressing the power button or closing the lid, and it's a forced shutdown too so nothing has the opportunity to save. Google Chrome for instance always asks to reopen your previous tabs on next startup due to an unexpected exit, and chat apps like Discord store outdated message draft data. Even worse is that sometimes it force-shuts down without any reason or notice whatsoever. This can happen anywhere from a couple hours after startup to 5 minutes. It's really annoying and makes it hard to work on anything, as you'd have to save once a minute to be sure you're not losing any data. Thankfully it's using an SSD so I haven't seen anything get corrupted due to these shutdowns, unlike what happened to one of my HDDs a while back, but this really renders my laptop hard to use.
    I have tried a whole lot of different things online to fix this, both on software and on hardware. I haven't found anyone else with these two particular issues, so I've only been able to try things related to one or the other. First off, the security chip issue. The biggest recommendation I've found online was that it could be an issue with the RAM not being present to verify the BIOS properly, and that it could be fixed by reseating the RAM. A lot of people said this worked for them, so I opened the laptop up and tried that, cleaning the contacts with a toothbrush and later a pencil eraser to allow it to connect properly. The random shutdowns still happened, and it has still done the beeping error once since that. I even tried every combination of RAM stick-to-RAM slot I could (the setup is of two sticks of 4GB of RAM) and even when booted up with only 4GB of RAM in either slot with either stick the issue still occurred. I am very sure the RAM is not the problem. The only other possible causes I've heard are problems with the hard drive, which I have not yet had the opportunity to change yet, and somebody once having a chip of some kind disconnected which does not seem to apply to me. So I don't know where else to go with that. Next off, I tried some fixes for the shutdown issues. The most recommended answer was that it was a driver issue, most commonly the Intel Management Engine driver, and the issue still occurred even when I disabled that. I've also tried reloading a Windows Recovery Mode backup from before the issue started happening, which may back up the drivers, and it didn't do much either. At one point, I tried removing the battery and only using it with the power supply, and the laptop got a whole lot slower but it worked... almost. It had a higher success rate of not shutting down on lid close, but the issue still happened, so that probably isn't the solution. (It's sad too, I was hoping that would be it as I plan to buy a new battery anyways because the current one has very little capacity left in it.) The only other thing I've tried is the tool in the BIOS used to configure the aforementioned Intel Management Engine, where I found one option involving power management and sleeping/shutting down. Toggling it did absolutely nothing.
    So basically, I've tried everything except for the hard drive part, which I don't know why that would make it shut down upon entering sleep mode. I could use any and every other idea on how to fix this issue, I don't have much access to other computer parts save for if I were to buy a smaller screwdriver and take apart my old computers. I decided to ask here for ideas before trying that so I don't end up paying for anything if I don't have to. I know this is long and not everyone will likely have the time to read through all of this, so if you have I thank you, anything and everything would be appreciated. Thanks!

    Tech Support Guy System Info Utility version 1.0.0.4
    OS Version: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro, 64 bit
    Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-4300M CPU @ 2.60GHz, Intel64 Family 6 Model 60 Stepping 3
    Processor Count: 4
    RAM: 7879 Mb
    Graphics Card: Intel(R) HD Graphics 4600, 1024 Mb
    Hard Drives: C: 475 GB (150 GB Free);
    Motherboard: LENOVO, 20AWS07T00
    Antivirus: Windows Defender, Enabled and Updated
     
  2. lunarlander

    lunarlander

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    Messages:
    11,574
    TPM complaining it could not verify BIOS is not a good thing. If you have not done a BIOS update, it should never complain. Worse thing could be that someone/malware has modified your BIOS. Bad things follow that.

    Intel Management Engine has had several security vulnerabilities discovered. And you should update that. It could fix your other problems.

    Have you re-installed Windows when you got this used laptop? You should. Never use a Windows from a used machine. You don't know how it was configured. You don't know what was installed in it. MS will automatically recognize the hardware from previous activations and you should not encounter any problems activating it.
     
  3. FaucetFailure

    FaucetFailure Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2019
    Messages:
    2
    Just updated IME, didn't change anything but thanks for telling me anyways. As for the latter part, would I need an activation key to reinstall Windows? The OS says it's activated by a "digital license connected to my Microsoft account". I wouldn't have another one on hand, it just came like this.
     
  4. lunarlander

    lunarlander

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    Messages:
    11,574
    The 'digital license' means it is activated by recognizing the hardware. The hardware was recorded by MS during the very first activation of Windows 10. All subsequent activations will retrieve the hardware signature automatically from MS and if matched, Windows will activate.
     
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