Question about IBM ThinkPad T41 Notebook

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IBM Thinkpad screen flickers

I am sometimes workin on my laptop (which i love dearly!!). Then suddenly on random occasions the screen starts flickering. Its really annoying! Then as a result of the flickering, the screen locks up and nothing works. Usually, when the laptop is moved, the screen goes blank, and the laptop has to be kept in one place for it to work - which is fundamentally not the idea of a laptop! i really need it fixed, because i have a lot of coursework on there and i need to use it for my school work

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  • indajay15 Feb 23, 2008

    Once again i was working on the laptop, and before long, the screen styarted flickering. I pressed down the areas which you suggested, but although the screen would still be seen and not flicker, it would still be locked up which isn't any use.

    Any thoughts?

    btw, i have backed up all my data


  • indajay15 Feb 24, 2008

    i will try to put in a small thin object into the inside of the laptop, and see if the problem is partially resolved. i will also try and see if the i can take the motherboard and see if i can resolder the video card. i will give up regular updates on the process. I am actually familiar in opening the laptop, so i should be ok from that perspective.

    Thanks anyway.


  • indajay15 Feb 26, 2008

    i have tried to re solder the video chip and i was successful in doing so. However, the screen just simply doesn't start up. It should usually come up with the ibm thinkpad sign, but i can't see it. However, the hardrive light is still on. i don't understand the problem...?

    i will try to resolder the video chip again... but other than that, any thoughts??

  • indajay15 Feb 27, 2008

    ok, i have resoldered the video chip once again, but the screen completely dosn't work. i have tried every possible way to fix this problem, but to no avail. I am stuck with nothing to possibly to do..

    What gives?


  • indajay15 Feb 28, 2008

    i have tried connecting an external monitor to my laptop, but as i thought, there is no picture on the monitor, if not on the laptop screen. Have no idea what to do!

    An thoughts - most appreciated??

  • indajay15 Feb 29, 2008

    well thank you for all the help you have given me! However, i have a new problem on my hands. Basically, i opened my laptop up and dismantled it right to the bones of the motherboard. However, once i put everything back together again, the laptop didn't even start up! i checked everything again, like if the battery was properlyu connected, but it wouldn't start up. I pressed the power but, and the green icons on the bottom on the screen would flicker and then the laptop just wouldn't start up. Is this a common problem or rare?

    Any thoughts and remedies?



  • indajay15 Mar 01, 2008

    ok Ron

    thanks for the help and keep me updated on any progress



    P.S. good luck with the repairs

  • indajay15 Mar 10, 2008


    **pe, ** luck with t41

    im get really an**yed

    keep trying

  • TenForty Nov 28, 2008

    I have a T30 with a similar problem. The first thing I noticed today was that the lower left corner of the display was kind of reddish. Later, I noticed that the screen was flicker. Moving the video panel did not have any effect. Occasionally it would stop but not for too long. Then, after a few hours, it totally blacked out. But . . . the Tpad is OK in that, if I connect an external monitor I get perfect video. Moving the video panel does not change anything and neither does pressing around the keyboard area. Turned it off, back on. Still, no "local" video. Seems to be a hard fault. The inverter? The backlights?


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Good afternoon!
From what you've described, I'd suspect that the video chip is starting to separate from the mother board. This is not an uncommon happening with the T41s. In fact, I have personally had it happen to me. So much for the sad story, but what do we do about it?

First, we do some diagnostics to verify that this is the problem. The next time this happens, try pressing down on the following location of the keyboard area. Place two fingers of your left hand on the keyboard cover, just below the left end of the space bar and and to the left of the red and blue mouse buttons. Firmly press down and see if it will start working again. If that doesn't work, try placing the thumb of your left hand in the area that you placed your fingers. With the fingers of your left hand, reach around and firmly lift the lower left hand corner of the laptop a little bit (maybe 1/8 to 1/4 inch). This will flex the motherboard and can cause the video chip to properly contact the motherboard.

If this works, you have pretty much verified that this is the problem. Also, if this seems to work, get back to me for a possible short term fix and what needs to be done to fix it permanently.

One other word of advice, if you haven't done it yet. Back up everything that you need to save, just in case.

Will be waiting to hear from you and have yourself a super day!

Posted on Feb 23, 2008

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  • Ron Roske Feb 23, 2008

    Sounds like you've confirmed what I suspected.

    Sometimes, you can do a semi permanent fix by removing the keyboard and wedging something thin between the bottom of the keyboard cover and the top of the video chip. In many cases, this seems to work well, but probably will eventually fail.

    The way to really fix it correctly is to remove the motherboard and resolder the video chip to the board by using a heat gun. It's not that hard to do, but it's not exactly a simple process. If you want to try this, let me know and I'll help as best as I can. If you do a search on You Tube, I've seen a couple of demonstrations on how to do it. Easier to see it done as opposed to trying to explain the process.

    This problem is caused by the manufactures having to go to lead free solder at the time these things were built. (Got to love those environmentalists! Although, I am positive about them. Every time they get involved in something, I'm positive that it's probably going to produce minimal results and I'm just as positive that it's going to hit us all in the pocketbooks. But, forgive me, I rant!)

    The best preventative measures that should be utilized is to NEVER pick up the T41 by the left front corner only, when the lid is open. (Us right-handers have a natural tendency to do this). Always us 2 hands when moving the T41 when it is open. I know, sounds kind of dumb, but it's true.


  • Ron Roske Feb 25, 2008

    I should have mentioned to use something nonmetallic for your wedge. I'd suggest something like pop sickle or craft sticks. They can be easily carved to shape and thickness.
    If you want to see the repair process, go to YouTube and search on "heatgun" or "T41" and there are a couple of good examples of the process being carried out.
    Good luck!

  • Ron Roske Feb 27, 2008

    Try hooking up an external monitor and see if that works.

  • Ron Roske Feb 28, 2008

    Sounds like you've done most everything that you can. By trying the external monitor, you have verified that it is not an LCD problem, or an LCD cable problem. I'm somewhat surprised that the resoldering didn't resolve the problem. It sounds like the video chip itself might be bad, or that there is something else wrong with the motherboard. At this point, I'd suggest that you will need to obtain another motherboard to replace the one that you have.
    Sorry that I don't have a better answer for you.

  • Ron Roske Feb 29, 2008

    Well, if it makes you feel that you're not alone...
    Today, I repaired a T41 using the reflow process (which I have obviously done before) and guess what? That T41 won't power up at all! No green LEDS, or anything. That's what I'm working on now. So, when I get this figured out, I'll let you know what I find and maybe that will help with yours.
    On top of that, the machine that I'm typing this on started having the same (video chip) problem, just last night, so I have another one to fix. ;o(

  • Ron Roske Mar 07, 2008

    Just to let you know that I still have not been able to get that T41 up, yet. Suspect that I may have inadvertently bumped and moved a component while things were still hot. But haven't found it so far.
    Any luck with yours, yet?


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One word of advice when taking apart your PC, and expecially when soldering, is to ground yourself to remove any static electricity. It is best to use a grounded wriststrap, but touching a metal object that is grounded after you sit where you are working would help... put the power strip on your desk, and touch it's metal just before working on your PC.

Posted on Mar 15, 2008

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It seems to me that your laptop display ribbon which conncets that mother board is faulty and i guess that u change it if not successful in finding the ribbon to take all your files from the computer connect a vga cable to a monitor or projector to retreive your files

Posted on Feb 23, 2008

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This is most likely a connection issue from the mainboard to the LCD screen. If you know the model number I can give you more detail instructions on opening the case and checking the connection. Also remember, unless there is a Harddrive problem, all of your coursework ect can still be accessed, even if the laptop died, by plugging your harddrive into a different machine. YOu can purchase a 2.5" encloser like this: and plug your HDD into it. You could then hook your harddrive up to any computer.

Posted on Feb 23, 2008

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