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IBM ThinkPad T40 Hard Drive Plug in Problem

I own a IBM ThinkPad T40 and sell other ThinkPads but the problem with my T40 is it would freeze sometimes and I thought it was the HDD because when I push down on where the Hard Drive is docked it would load Windows XP Pro. and then after I let go it would freeze.

I took the Laptop apart and found out that the Area where the Hard Drive pins plug into is what it is. I don't know how to fix this problem other than push down on it. Its not broke, I never droped, spilt or smashed the laptop before and its still pretty much brand new.

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  • Patrick Bridge
    Patrick Bridge Jan 14, 2008

    More on IBM ThinkPad T40 Problem:

    I got a Error with the ATI Graphics When it was running windows before. But Every Time I push down on the Hard Drive Pin connecter area, The IBM ThinkPad Logo will come on screen when turned on, and then I can let go and will run fine until I move it off a flat surface. I have to replace the HDD now and getting a 120GB for it but I tryed putting a 10GB in for now and install Windows XP Home Edition Upgrade and it walt install, It says no drives are connected.

  • Patrick Bridge
    Patrick Bridge Jan 14, 2008

    Also is a BGA RAM Something you can replace? And where is it located on the motherboard? I see the chip that says ATI on it.

  • Patrick Bridge
    Patrick Bridge Jan 15, 2008

    I think I fixed it now, It runs fine when I turn it on all the time now, I just losen the screw between the Hard Drive and the CD-ROM Drive, under the laptop. I think it was screwed to tight and I put in a 120GB Hard Drive aswell. But other than that, it turns on and loads Windows again.

  • Patrick Bridge
    Patrick Bridge Jan 23, 2008

    I just got a New ThinkPad T40 MotherBoard due this problem, But I kept the board, so If anyone that likes to repair motherboards, let us know. We sell and repair Any IBM ThinkPad Laptop, But we don't work on motherboards.


  • Patrick Bridge
    Patrick Bridge Jan 23, 2008

    I have a IBM ThinkPad 560 that I use around sometimes, It has a Intel Pentium MMX 120MHz, Windows XP Home Edition, 80GB Hard Drive and a 72MB RAM. I upgraded the RAM to 512MB and now it comes to a screen saying Memory Error. Is there anyway to upgrade to read 512MB?

  • Patrick Bridge
    Patrick Bridge Feb 14, 2008

    Hi, I have a question, it can be any computer, notebook. When I install Windows 98,2000,XP or Vista, How do I install or get the

    Manufactured and Supported by information logo under My Computer system? Like right click My Computer, go down to properties and then a box comes up, and it will say Microsoft Windows 98 or any version and then under it will say the Company logo, Manufactured and Supported by IBM or compaq or etc. how do I get that back on there? Thanks for the help, Patrick...

  • chrisborges1 May 06, 2008

    I have a T40, with a 40 gig hard drive. Ever time I moved the Laptop, it would freeze up on me. I replaced the hard drive with a brand new one, and it still continued to have the same problem.

    My Laptop tech gave me another T40 in exchange and I haven't had the same problem, but im worried that with a few years of wear and tear, it will start happening. Is there a new "plug in" part that we could add to them instead of replacing the whole motherboard?

  • Patrick Bridge
    Patrick Bridge Sep 22, 2008

    Hi there, I own a IBM ThinkPad T40 and had same problem as the questions above, But mine is not frezing up when moved. I got a brand new Motherboard for it due to the problem of it freezing like the other questions but I had this new motherboard for about a year now and one day a file wouldn't let me delete it, kept saying I needed permission to delete the file so I removed the hard drive and pluged it in to my ThinkPad T20 through USB external, and deleted that file. And then when I went to put back in my T40 the hard drive wouldn't read and would come up no Operating System Found... I took out the Hard Drive again and set back up with my T20 and all the Windows is still on there with my personal files to. The Operating system on the Western Digital 160GB HDD is Windows Vista Home Basic. And I didn't delete a Windows file it was a driver for another computer that I was moving to USB flash and it wouldn't let me delete from desktop. But the Hard Drive works Just got in 2008, replacing the 40GB that it had. I don't want to trash my T40 since I got it brand new, $1,200,00 and upgraded the RAM to 2GB from 512MB $79.00 and new 160GB HDD $99.00 and a New motherboard off ebay $250.00. And I don't feel like spending any money on this now since it is a 2004 Pentium M Centrino, and if would need a new one I would just get a T61 but don't have enough money for a new one right now, So im using my ThinkPad T20. But I would like to fix this problem.

    What it does when Powers On:

    When I press the power button it shows the IBM ThinkPad logo, and loads to a black screen doing tests and then says No Operating System Found. the Hard Drive light under the LCD is always on, even when power on. So Im sure if I would put this HDD in another computer it would load Vista, But my T20 can't handle Vista so it just has XP Home.



4 Answers

Hi fletdog; I have the exact same HDD connector problem. There is an IBM document on T40 laptop, they do not talk about if and how to replace the SATA HDD connector at all. I seems only IBM engineers may know.

Posted on Jul 28, 2008

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The only question that matters as to the T40 HDD connector issue would be "is that ide connector standard?" If thats the case then its a simple matter of going to a component supplier and buying a connector and replacing it. So has anyone tried this already? Another fix I thought about is if you were able to make two small slits or holes in the board on both sides of the connector and get the smallest plastic zip straps you can find you could effectively press that down in place on both ends and problem solved. I am going to attempt this on a board tonight. The bottom line is, this is just another example of of shoddy manufacturing from an american company that supposedly cares about the customer. The truth is that piece is manfactured incorrectly in that its two seperate pieces on top of each other and the metal pieces interlock somehow to form the circuit connections. The problem with that is they used either some sort of glue or they heat pressed these two pieces together but should have had screws to ensure a secure tight connection! Why not?! They tightened the CPU down with so much torque you'd think they'd think to tack that down too. Unless they planned it that way to get money on repairs post warranty? Alright I won't start IBM conspiracy theories but I do think they just didn't think manfacturing through well enough. I'll keep ya posted on my experiment. Could be a good quick fix.

Posted on Jul 15, 2008

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I had same issue - you need a new MOBO due to the solder on the AT video chip failing due to flex. A temporary fix is to put a spacer about .4" on top of chip ( I used a piece of hard rubber or cork with aluminum foil shims ), right under the mouse /trackpad scroll key. . Tighten it down to put pressure onto chip , experiment with more thickness - the scroll key area will bulge up a bit, but laptop should be totally functional once you find the right pressure. I can carry mine around and shake it now and it still works. At some tinme the bioard will fail even with this and you can then part it out since the proper repairs are prohibitively expensive.

Posted on Jan 22, 2008

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Its most likely the BGA RAM in the Video chipset circuit and not a drive issue.. These are a pile in my opinion but can be reflowed with varying results..

Posted on Jan 13, 2008

  • Ken LaDere Jan 14, 2008

    Look on the GPU (Graphics Processor) and see if there are 2 or 4 Hynix or Samsung square chips.. Reflow is possible and replacement is a problem as the RAM itself is EOL by the manufacturers. (End of Life).. These are also connected via BGA = Ball grid array or tiny solder spheres between the chips and the board completing the connections.


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