I just got off of the phone with Lenovo about the T400,and was definitely treated to "helpful" support. The person who was helping me was a little bit of a jerk, stating that my random lock-ups were caused by Windows Vista, and that my system was simply unable to handle the probably massive number of processes I was able to run on it. Of course, "I think the SATA driver is broken" totally translates into "I have too many processes."

It turns out my system had about 80 processes running, which I didn't think was too terribly many. I'm pretty sure the R61i had more than that, and the R had less memory and a slower processor.

So we talked about it a little bit and he had me do a specific process that was supposed to clear the board of static electricity. After his process, the T400 wouldn't boot at all, and gave me a rather fun new type of blue screen with a STOP error on it. Upon another attempt to boot the machine, I was given another STOP error, on a more traditional looking blue screen. This one, apparently meaning I had a corrupt registry. His suggestion at this point was to try doing a Vista recovery, and then to try reinstalling Windows.

And so we hung up the phone, and I did a recovery, which was enough to get me back into Windows to deactivate iTunes and back up all of my userdata, and now the machine is reinstalling Windows Vista. Once it is finished installing Vista, I will install the drivers, then a few of the ThinkVantage utilities.

My hope is that this resolves my issues, because I've got to say I'm really tired of fighting the T400, but I simply can't get over how perfect a computer it really is for me, physically. It's the perfect size, and it's extremely powerful, computationally.

More updates later.