Lenovo IDG Quality Alert

We have released a critical software and firmware update for a number of Lenovo commercial notebooks shipped from 2017 to 2019. These updates are necessary to help minimize the risk of operational issues and help prevent premature hardware failures. While these updates are specific to Intel Thunderbolt Software, the updates are necessary for all systems listed as affected. It is key that users of all impacted systems deploy these updates.

These Intel Thunderbolt Software and Firmware packages are released via Lenovo Vantage and System Update as Critical Updates. This solution is a preventative measure to address a ROM wear-out problem.

This update combination may not resolve all issues with Intel Thunderbolt Software, external displays, and/or docking. Customers who are still experiencing issues after applying this update are advised to open technical cases with Lenovo Support for further assistance. It is important to note that this update combination is the foundation through which all future fixes will be based. Being at this level is a key first step toward resolving potential Intel Thunderbolt Software and docking issues in the future.

Critical Intel Thunderbolt Software and Firmware Updates - ThinkPad

Symptom

Systems may experience any of the following symptoms:

  • USB-C port not working
  • Intel Thunderbolt controller not visible in the OS/Device Manager
  • USB-C or Intel Thunderbolt docking stations not visible or having connectivity problems
  • HDMI output not available
  • System battery not charging with a USB-C power adapter connected to the USB-C port
  • Intel Thunderbolt software controller popup error message
  • BIOS Thunderbolt communication error or hang during POST

These symptoms may occur after 6 to 12 months of typical usage.

Applicable Brands

ThinkPad

Applicable Systems

  • ThinkPad X1 Tablet 3rd Gen
  • ThinkPad X1 Yoga 3rd Gen
  • ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2nd Gen
  • ThinkPad X1 Carbon 6th Gen
  • ThinkPad X1 Carbon 5th Gen
  • ThinkPad P72
  • ThinkPad P52s
  • ThinkPad P52
  • ThinkPad P71
  • ThinkPad P51s
  • ThinkPad P51
  • ThinkPad T580
  • ThinkPad T570
  • ThinkPad T480s
  • ThinkPad T480
  • ThinkPad T470s
  • ThinkPad T470
  • ThinkPad X380 Yoga
  • ThinkPad Yoga 370
  • ThinkPad X280

System is configured with

USB-C or Intel Thunderbolt controllers

Operating Systems

Windows 10 64 Bit

Solution

Lenovo recommends users immediately update the applicable systems with these Intel Driver and Firmware packages.

Both update packages (Driver and Firmware) must be installed. Lenovo recommends the Driver Package (Intel Thunderbolt Software) be installed first, followed by the Firmware Package (Intel Thunderbolt Firmware) second.

The update packages can be obtained from the following sources:

Products NameDriver PackageFirmware PackagePriority
ThinkPad X1 Tablet (3rd Gen) N1ZTAB6W N1ZTF44W Critical
ThinkPad T480s N22TA12W N22TH06W Critical
ThinkPad X1 Yoga (3rd Gen) N27TA09W N25TH07W Critical
ThinkPad T580/P52s N27TA09W Pending  
ThinkPad T480* N22TA0AW N24TF16W Critical
ThinkPad X1 Carbon – (6th Gen) N22TA12W N23TF18W Critical
ThinkPad X1 Carbon (5th Gen) N1MTA08W N1MTF28W Critical
ThinkPad T470 N1QTD13W N1QTF17W Recommended
ThinkPad T470s N1WTA15W N1WTF12W Recommended
ThinkPad X1 Yoga (2nd Gen) N1NTA05 N1NTH10W Critical
ThinkPad X380 Yoga R0STB09W R0STF18W Critical
ThinkPad Yoga 370 R0HTB06W R0HTF19W Recommended
ThinkPad P52/P72 N2CTD09W N2CBD06W Critical
ThinkPad P51 N1UTD06W N1UTF03W Recommended
ThinkPad P71 N1UTD06W Pending  
ThinkPad X280 N20TA11W N20TH08W Critical
ThinkPad T570 N1NTA05W N1VTH08W Recommended
ThinkPad P51s N1NTA05W N1VTI08W Recommended

* ThinkPad T480 DCH Drivers are needed for Windows 10 S Edition, N22TB02W .
Lenovo support tip document HT508988 for updated links to pending items.

Additional information

Customers should contact Lenovo Technical Support if symptoms continue after the installation of these update packages.
This document will be updated as Pending packages are released.

Questions and Answers

Question: Which Lenovo products are impacted by this issue?

Answer: Select Lenovo commercial notebooks, including ThinkPad X1 Tablet 3rd Gen, ThinkPad X1 Yoga 3rd Gen, ThinkPad X1 Yoga 2nd Gen, ThinkPad X1 Carbon 6th Gen, ThinkPad X1 Carbon 5th Gen, ThinkPad P72, ThinkPad P52s, ThinkPad P52, ThinkPad P71, ThinkPad P51s, ThinkPad P51, ThinkPad T580, ThinkPad T570, ThinkPad T480s, ThinkPad 480, ThinkPad T470s, ThinkPad T470, ThinkPad X380 Yoga, ThinkPad Yoga 370, ThinkPad X280

Question: Which symptom or symptoms does this solution resolve?

Answer: Users may experience any of the following symptoms:

  • USB-C port not working
  • Intel Thunderbolt controller not visible in the OS/Device Manager
  • USB-C or Thunderbolt docking stations not visible or having connectivity problems
  • HDMI output not available
  • System battery not charging with a USB-C power adapter connected to the USB-C port
  • Intel Thunderbolt software controller popup error message
  • BIOS Thunderbolt communication error or hang during POST

NOTE: These symptoms may occur after 6 to 12 months of typical usage.

Question: Where can users access the necessary updates?

Answer: The Thunderbolt Software and Firmware packages are available via either:

Question: Do I have to update both the Intel Thunderbolt Software and Firmware packages?

Answer: Yes. The Firmware update requires updates in the latest Software package, so the recommendation is to install the Software update first and then install the firmware update.

Question: What is the risk to my users if I do not apply these two updates?

Answer: It is very difficult to determine the failure rates for this issue due to variances from system to system and customer usage models. This solution is preventative, which means that the sooner a customer updates with these packages, the lower the chance of impact on their systems.

Question: Do I need to install this update if I am not attaching any Thunderbolt devices to my system?

Answer: Yes. The Intel Thunderbolt software and firmware helps to manage features like external displays, and charging through the USB-C port. Therefore, Lenovo recommends all users to update their Intel Thunderbolt Software and Firmware.

Question: Are there any contributing factors that lead to this symptom?

Answer: This question is still under investigation. Preliminary findings suggest that systems that have AMT Provisioned may be at greater risk.

Question: Can these updates be installed remotely, unattended, or silently?

Answer: Yes. Information about unattended installation can be found in the Readme files for the Software and Firmware update packages. Some systems may require scripting to confirm that power is attached prior to the updating process continuing. Additionally, the attached IT guide can be of assistance as well. Go to the file

Question: What do I do if the Intel Thunderbolt Software or Firmware update fails, or if I still having connectivity issues after applying the updates?

Answer: Customers should contact Lenovo Technical Support if symptoms continue after the installation of these update packages.

Question: Is this issue specific to Lenovo or industry-wide

Answer: Lenovo uses standard Thunderbolt technology. We are still investigating the matter.

Question: What’s being done to ensure these USB-C port issues won’t happen on future Lenovo devices again?

Answer: Lenovo and our technology partner have implemented changes to the 2019 ThinkPad products to prevent this problem from occurring.