Question about IBM Computers>Laptops Lenovo ThinkPad T60 Ser PC Notebook

2 Answers

STORE TECHS SAY THE CANT FIND WHY MY COMOUTRT FREEZED AFTER A WHIL, SO THEY SAY THE MOTHERBOARD MAY BE DYING SOON.

My computer would just freeze for no reason. The tech place kept it for like 2 weeks but couldnt find anything wrong. Because they couldnt find anything, they diagnosed a bad mother board. Any thoughts out there?

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  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Feb 19, 2012

    I suggest you pay off the 'shop', and get the laptop back, Paul.Let's diagnose it together. At the very most you will be replacing the motherboard, yourself. It isn't that hard I can guide you. (You have to make sure you get the RIGHT one, of course, but here is one example,http://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-Thinkpad-Sy...

  • Paul Watz
    Paul Watz Feb 20, 2012

    ive had the computer back for some time. the stare said they cloned my drive, wiped it, then reinstalled windows. i had to reinstall programs, but they put back all my data.

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2 Answers

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  • IBM Master
  • 5,660 Answers

You have a hardware issue, not a software issue.

Whether it is the motherboard or not, remains to be seen. I am the type that doubts it is. Show me. Every non-tech in the world immediately blames the motherboard, when they can't figure the problem out.
(Referring to the repair shop)

[ @Stuart, message below at bottom of page ]

1) I'm going to assume the shop cleaned the laptop out. Of course you know what they say about assuming.

Have you verified the inside has been cleaned?
A dirty cooling system will allow the laptop to overheat. If the Processor overheats it turns off. (BIOS turns it off)

This is a fail safe feature built-in, to prevent the Processor from burning up.
Next is the Thermal Paste.

The top of the Processor, and bottom of the small rectangular plate of metal that sits on it, are not perfectly smooth.
A magnified view would detail, 'Hills, Valleys, and Pitholes'.

{Same thing with the graphics chipset, and it's metal plate }

When the two surfaces are brought together, these imperfections create air pockets.
Air is an Insulator, not a Conductor.

Thermal paste is an excellent conductor of heat, and fills these voids. (Air pockets)

After time, and due to the heat produced by the Processor, and graphics chipset, thermal paste can dry up. Loses it's thermal conductivity.
Same thing with a Thermal Pad.
A Thermal Pad is a cloth-like medium impregnated with thermal paste.

The thermal pad should be removed, and if thermal paste, it should also be removed.
With thermal paste a scraper is used to remove most of it. Plastic is preferred as it is static free. (And doesn't do damage)

I use an old stiff credit card. So much is scraped off, then it is wiped off on a cloth. Keep going, until you have removed all of the old thermal paste, that you can.

With a thermal pad it is peeled off, then the scraper is used to remove as much residuals, as possible that are left behind.

Follow with Q-tips dipped in Isopropyl Alcohol. 91 percent is best, but 70 percent will do in a pinch. (30 percent Water, 70 percent Alcohol)

CAUTION!!
Isopropyl Alcohol is EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE!
Use in a Well ventilated room with NO sparks or flames present.

Clean the top of the graphics chipset, and the bottom of the small metal plate that sits on top of it, also.

[ The metal plates I refer to are attached to the Cooling Tube. The copper slightly flattened tube, filled with Nitrogen, and sealed on both ends,

http://www.insidemylaptop.com/replace-cooling-fan-lenovo-thinkpad-t61-laptop/

Scroll down to Step 14. This disassembly guide is for the Lenovo ThinkPad T61 series.

Here you see a Black Fan inside a gold colored (Copper) rounded shroud.
Immediately below the fan's shroud, is a rectangular copper metal plate.
Has 4 screws in it. (To the right of his thumb)

This small rectangular copper plate sits on top of the Processor.
Has one large Cooling Tube coming from the Fan Shroud to it.

With the T60 series, there are 2 Cooling Tubes for the Processor, instead of one. Smaller in width, though.

The smaller Cooling Tube coming down on the right side, connects to the metal plate on top of the graphics chipset. (Sitting vertical)
Very close to the same design for this Cooling Tube, in your T60 series.

The rectangular plates are what I refer to above, in the thermal paste outline.

[ At the Left side of the Fan Assembly, and to the left of the large Cooling Tube, is the Heatsink. Hard to see in this photo.

It is the Black strip all the way to the left. Sits vertical in the photo. It runs the entire length, and is not two parts.
It is Finned. (Fins are running horizontal in the photo)

The Heatsink is a thin, small piece of metal that has Tall, Thin, fins protruding from it.

Heat is absorbed from the Processor, and graphics chipset, by their respective small metal plates.

The heat is then absorbed by the Cooling Tubes. Heat is transferred along the Cooling Tubes, to the metal plate sitting on the top of the Fan Assembly.

(This metal plate makes up the top of the Fan's shroud. The left side of it protrudes in a small rectangular shape, over the middle of the Heatsink)

Heat is then absorbed by the Heatsink to the left. The Heatsink absorbs the heat, then radiates it away with the Tall, Thin, fins.
Air flow from the Fan Assembly helps to carry heat away from the fins ]

2) Cooling system clean, inside of laptop clean, thermal paste replaced?
On to diagnostic tests.

A) Harddrive:

http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/downloads/detail.page?DocID=DS013820

B) Ram Memory:

http://memtest86.com/

(Click on Free Download)

C) Full diagnostic tool from Lenovo.
PC - Doctor for DOS.
Usually just referred to as PC Doctor.

This tool is software created from your laptop. However it requires an external floppy drive, and floppy disks. (A Floppy Drive doesn't take much to drive it. About a 64MB program)

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2143215&CatId=287

Directions to create PC Doctor, (May take a few floppy's), is in this Service Manual, for the Lenovo ThinkPad T60 series of Notebook PC's,

http://www.tim.id.au/blog/tims-laptop-service-manuals/#toc-ibmlenovo

Scroll down to the heading that begins with ThinkPad T20. (T20 in blue)
Scroll across, click on T60. (In blue)

This is a PDF file. It may take up to 30 seconds before the first page comes up.

In the Bookmarks menu to the left, click on the + sign to the left of -
General descriptions
Click ON - Checkout guide

Creating the PC - Doctor diagnostics diskette

This utility will find out if the problem is;
1) A connected peripheral device, (Such as the harddrive for one example),
2) Processor,
3) Motherboard chipset,
4) Power controller chipset,
5) and a host of other related components, that may be the problem.

Find out if the problem IS the motherboard, before attempting to replace it.
Don't assume. (As I suspect the shop has )

[ NOTE*
There are correct procedures when working on a computer.
A) ALWAYS follow Anti-Static Precautions

Your body carries Static electricity. Static WILL fry out (Short Circuit) the delicate hardware components inside a computer.

Wear an ESD wrist strap. { Electro Static Discharge }
Connect the alligator clip to a good ground source.
One example of an ESD wrist strap,

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103245

If the table you are working on has metal legs, connect to an unpainted surface of one of them.
(I connect to an unpainted surface, of the metal frame of an open, empty desktop computer case)

B) Always have ALL power removed before working on a laptop, or desktop computer.

C) The top of a Processor, the bottom of it's metal plate, the top of a graphics chipset, and the bottom of it's metal plate, MUST be THOROUGHLY cleaned.
(Clean enough to eat off of)

The cooling system assembly needs to be set down LEVEL, on the Processor, and graphics chipset. The screws for the Processor's metal plate, MUST be tightened evenly, and in crisscross pattern.

Thermal Paste applied is NO larger than a small pea sized drop. One in the top of the middle, of the Processor's case, one in the top of the middle, of the graphics chipset.

IF you use a thermal paste such that contains real metal, such as Artic Silver 5, or related, apply it Properly.
If you use Too much it will ooze off, and short circuit the Processor, and any exposed solder joints.

D) If diagnostics proves the problem is the motherboard, you have the tools now to replace it yourself. (The Service Manual for one. My guidance for two.
DON'T rate this solution, because soon after we cannot correspond through THIS problem. After the solution has been rated correspondence soon stops)

For additional questions please post in a Comment.

Regards,
joecoolvette


Stuart:

1) I have purchased MANY laptop motherboards that are used, and have had ONE problem, ONE time. Not bad for over 10 years.
Sorry you haven't been so lucky. Perhaps review the seller/website before purchasing.

2) Warranties are as about as good as the piece of paper they are written on.
If a laptop mobo lasts a month, there's a good chance it will last 12 months.
This saves big $$$$$$$$ from buying a motherboard with a longer warranty, that isn't worth squat, anyway.

3) Are you the Stuart that joined FixYa Support?

That is all, and now back to you,....Bobbie............

Posted on Feb 20, 2012

Testimonial: "joecoolvette, thsnks a bunch, i would like to stay in cintact with you as i have another machine down as well. hope to here from ya. Paul"

  • 2 more comments 
  • Paul Watz
    Paul Watz Feb 22, 2012

    That's a good question. I don't think they took it apart and cleaned it. I'm pretty sure they just sprayed air thru the vents. When I get time this coming Sunday or Monday, I'm going to find out how to take it apart, clean it myself, then test it out again.

    Sorry, this should have been posted in your area.

    You have given me an excellent educational project here and I have hi hopes it will work. Again, I'll probably get started this coming Sunday or Monday, and I'll get back to you when I've completed all these steps.

    Thanks.

  • Paul Watz
    Paul Watz Feb 23, 2012

    I really screwed up. It's not my t61, it's my x60 that has the problem. I'm still going to try and do the same stuff, but I cant find the links for the x60 like the t61.

  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Feb 24, 2012

    Paul,

    1) ThinkPad X60 series of Notebook PC Service Manual,
    http://www.tim.id.au/blog/tims-laptop-se...

    Scroll down to the 11th line. The one that starts with - ThinkPad X20.
    (X20 in blue)
    Scroll across, click on - X60

    While you are at it, also suggest you check the Video Cable's connections, (Motherboard side and LCD screen side), and check to see if there is any apparent physical damage to the sheath, of the Video Cable.

    The Video Cable routes under the left Hinge. Just from normal repeated opening, and closing of the laptop, may pinch, then pull on the cable. Leads to poor connection/s. Also can lead to damage of the Video Cable.

    Doesn't sound like you have this problem, just stating better to have a look, and ward off possible trouble in the future.
    http://www.insidemylaptop.com/replace-br...

    Make SURE you have a Backup disk made. THIS, is your Restoration Disk.

    Regards,
    joecoolvette

  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Feb 25, 2012

    Most kind Paul! I'll be here.

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  • Master
  • 807 Answers

Before you go spending money on a new motherboard, did the shop or you actually wipe the drive and re-install Windows. If not do that first.

If you do buy a new motherboard make sure you get a NEW one and not used, or you are asking for more problems. Get one with a 12 month warranty or more. Avoid the one in the example from Amazon, it only has 30 days warranty.

Posted on Feb 20, 2012

  • Paul Watz
    Paul Watz Feb 22, 2012

    That's a good question. I don't think they took it apart and cleaned it. I'm pretty sure they just sprayed air thru the vents. When I get time this coming Sunday or Monday, I'm going to find out how to take it apart, clean it myself, then test it out again.

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