Why is my Thinkpad beeping when docked and on standby?
July 16, 2009 11:30 AM   Subscribe

Why does my Thinkpad X40 beep when docked and standing by?

My Thinkpad X40 (almost 5 years old) has picked up a new, annoying habit. When it's in the docking station and I put it on standby (say, while I'm out for lunch), it beeps. The pattern is three quick high-pitched beeps, a pause, three quick high-pitched beeps, repeat ad infinitum. It sounds like a kitchen timer. When I take the computer out of standby (by pressing the Fn key), the beeping stops.

The docking station stays plugged in, so it shouldn't be a power issue. And it happens even if the laptop's sound is muted. It does not happen when the computer is NOT docked and is put in standby. I've had this docking station for 2+ years and never noticed this before; the only change I've made recently is I got a new, extended-life battery a few months ago.

I've tried googling for help but couldn't find anything relevant. Any ideas on what's causing this and how to fix it? I guess I could just leave the laptop on when it's docked, even if I'm not at my desk, but you know, the environment...
posted by Ms. Informed to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
It's going to be some BIOS setting under power management, alert notifications, power state beep something like that.

The beep is an internal speaker different from the laptops sound so that's why it happens even when your speakers are muted.
posted by zephyr_words at 11:46 AM on July 16, 2009

Response by poster: I should have said in the original post that I checked the power management settings (under ThinkPad Configuration), and all alarms are disabled or set to text only--at least, all the ones I can see!
posted by Ms. Informed at 11:49 AM on July 16, 2009

I'd update your BIOS then. What BIOS version are you running?

I looked this up really quick: Before 1.65 this would occur: "Warning Beep may sound when you eject system from UltraBase X4 even though system is attached to UltraBase X4 with standby state." (link)

Here is version 2.08 in .exe format so you can update from windows.
posted by zephyr_words at 12:00 PM on July 16, 2009

Response by poster: Update from OP: It took me a quite while to get around to doing the BIOS update, but even after the BIOS was updated to the most current version, the computer still beeps. Hm...
posted by Ms. Informed at 9:08 AM on December 31, 2009

Best answer: So! After some experimenting, I have managed to stop the beeping. This thread comes up first on a Google search for "Thinkpad beeping docked," so I wanted to update for posterity.

From what I'd read, the beeping was an indication of a undocking error. My guess was that the computer had gotten improperly undocked at some point, the error indicator went on, and the error was never cleared. So this is what I did:

1. Made sure the laptop was docked properly; turned it on
2. Pressed the "undock" button on the dock itself (instead of using the keyboard shortcut)
3. After the all-clear, removed the laptop from the dock
4. Re-docked the laptop
5. Turned off computer

Since then, no beeping. I suspect the problem was that one fateful time, the keyboard shortcut didn't register with the computer, and it freaked out. So I've been careful to use the undocking button, rather than the keyboard shortcut, and thus far, no more beeping!
posted by Ms. Informed at 1:13 PM on January 27, 2010

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