Sep 222014
 September 22, 2014  Posted by at 9:51 am DIY, Random, Uncategorized Tagged with:  Add comments

As you probably know I have a Lenovo and as with all computers you collect some fixes to some reoccurring problems- some frequent some rare. Here as some that that I experienced lately, all after doing a fresh install and many related me not properly installing drivers. You might find some more answers in the Lenovo forums- as well some more details about the things I discuss below. The Lenovo is a monster of a machine, heavy and a bit clunky- but very powerful- more than any other machine I’ve before that has been a laptop. I have the extended battery (the big butt as I call it), which means I never bring the charger with me to work as I can easily squeeze out up to 10-9 hours of hard core work with several VM’s, video rendering, and 100 tabs in Chrome. Do notice that most the fixes are things that I should have thought about from the start- so this post is not a rant but a collection of my ‘ahhh- of course I should have X and Y’;

FN and Ctrl key

This is not a problem per se, but just something that you can modify to suit your taste/needs. On most Lenovo keyboards the Fn and Ctrl key are swapped- something that I find rather annoying. However on the W540 you can change this in BIOS. Boot to BIOS by tapping the F1 key. Once in BIOS you can find the setting under the configuration tab.


Black screen after Sleep

After putting the laptop in sleep mode could can wake it up, but the screen remains black. I can see that it managed to wake up as the light on the power button is on and not flashing. I hadn’t installed all the drivers for my laptop, as I decided on skipping the ones I didn’t need- such as the finger print stuff. Turns out you need it. After doing a driver search (see below) I installed the fingerprint device driver and the computer had no problem waking up from sleep.

Where do I find a driver checker so I can download missing drivers for my Lenovo?

Lenovo provides a utility that lets you scan your computer and install the drivers that you need- I was able to grab all the drivers that I needed using it.


Slow upon boot

Starting the computer, from powered off or from sleep took almost 10 seconds, turns out I was missing a BIOS update. I had done a full update and thought I was done, but some updates depend upon each other so do a new scan after installing drivers to double check that you got everything done.

For the BIOS update, have the PC plugged in and do not touch the computer


Screen resolution seems a bit of 

Yup, again missing drivers. Make sure you restart after installing.


Boot Manager missing from boot order menu after ‘reset to defaults’- can’t boot from CD or USB.

This is most likely a UEFI issue, and the fact that I did a native install from a USB and didn’t keep the manufacturer OS when I got the laptop as I at the time had to install some beta components. The fix was simply to disable UEFI and therefore Secure Boot. You can enable this (in BIOS) after the installation.


Here is an earlier post about what UEFI is and what it does.

Also, if you wonder how to get the hard drive out of your Lenovo W540 to get data of it I wrote a blog post about that yesterday- it was surprisingly easy (although you do want to be careful).

As for how my laptop feels? It is working, I have all the driver and recovered most of my data (I’ll blog about how in a different post and what I tried). However, I suspect something has gone a bit bonkers for reasons unknown, and Lenovo is going to walk me through some debugging before we decide on whether or not it needs to be serviced. The Carbon is being replaced without any questions, which I really appreciate.

Hope this helps!

  5 Responses to “Lenovo W540 fixes: FN & Ctrl key, black screen after sleep, missing drivers, slow boot and missing boot manager”

  1. Thanks for the tip about switching Fn and CTRL – I’ve been using a W520 for work and while it’s usually docked and I use a Natural 400 keyboard I had to use the laptop keyboard all last week and the layout of Fn and CTRL drove me mad! Now I’ll be able to use the keyboard and keep my sanity.

  2. Hello Miss,

    I just wanted to know if you knew of a way to get the burning software that comes with the device? I did a clean install after I removed the factory hard drive in favour of an SSD.

  3. I have a W540 but cannot boot into BIOS even holding Fn key and tapping the F1 key. I need to enable VT-x for android development. How do I do this?

  4. Thanks a lot for the fix on solving the problem with black screen after sleep ! I’ve searched numerous posts & tried many fixes, and folks talked about messing with power options, changing BIOS settings for PLL overvoltage etc.
    But, your solution is the one that fixed it. Many thanks !

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