Friday, May 21, 2010

IBM Thinkpads No video, No P.O.S.T. Models T40, T41, T42

Advanced Notice:  I will be detailing the method on how to fix Thinkpads - No video No POST issue.

This is a quite common problem with the T-Series.

1: The system lights up but nothing shows up on the LCD
2: Nothing shows up on an external monitor
3: Hard Drive does not initialize.

What makes my method so much better?
You do not have to totally disassemble the whole laptop  (a major time killer). Only need to remove keyboard, and wrist rest.
You will not misplace screws and use the wrong screw holes!
Following directions it will work the first time!

So if you don't have the readily available items here is a brief list to get them ahead of time.
Heat gun, similar to those used to heat shrink insulation on wires. 
  At least 500 watts I got mine at Harbor Freight and used on LOW
Radio Shack Paste Flux $6.99 (mentioned in another section of this blog)
Two pieces of thick aluminum foil 4" x 4" (10cmx10cm).
    This it to make a heat mask so the plastics are not melted because it is not totally disassembled.

Small bottle of Acetone, not alcohol, not MEK, not gasoline!
Small Nylon toothbrush (with nylon bristles) - It has to be nylon, acetone will melt plastic.
Paper Towel for cleaning 

Step by Step with video (I hope) since I use 2 computers for blogging and my virtual life, I will have to juggle things or get the KVM switch out the bottom of a box. Since the video conversion and animation stuff is on the 'slow' machine.  And the Video Input Card requires XP and will not run on Vista/Win7. (yeah I know, but XP was a workhorse for 10 years, and not ready to buy more hardware for another OS)

Delayed   :-(  
( only a couple of days)
It's been a busy week.  Burned out my own heat gun. Will have to get another, but the info will be posted. Have camera set up, everything prepped and turn on the heatgun~ no heat, no hot wind!  Arrrgh

Mar 24, 2011 - Update and clariflcation

The above article was later covered by overlapping posts on the DV Series.  
As far 

as the average person being able to do it, that is not likely.  The tools 
needed and experience exceeds the value of the machine itself (unless you 
have serious data that you need to use or removed to another system).
The onset of the IBM NO POST/NO BOOT/NO Video is from dried 
heatsink compound (age). Clogged exit vents on the fan, then finally 
solderballs heating and shrinking until there is a separation from the 
motherboard contact.  Virtually all the connections are needed so you 
get a failure of data and signal lines with no voltage or current to allow 

the POST process to complete. With no information from CPU to GPU 
the video will not initialize.
This blog post was not finished because it was addressed in general form 
by the more popular DV series. See May 16th, 2010 which the exact same 
cause though in a different machine.  Some times when I try to provide 
information on my solutions, some people will attempt to do this themselves 
and mess up there machine even more.  Taking shortcuts on what I do is not 
an option and I've had to have a number of failures before discovering not to take 
short cuts.  

Example: if the complete motherboard on the T40/41/42 series is not 
removed the plastic channels that route the WiFi wires, CMOS battery holder 
are melted. Then the top panel cannot close properly, or the keyboard does 
not sit correctly in it's place. The method that can be used is the same as fixing DV9000 video memory. And I strongly caution to follow instructions if done by non-technicians.  

Though with the IBM GPU having a larger surface mass and different material it will use a little more time with the heatgun.  An additional caveat is the GPU can slide or shift if it does not have the hotglue spots that anchor the GPU to the motherboard. You must use flux, this removes contaminates, cleans copper pads and allows heat to flow properly around the solderballs which you cannot see. Overheating will kill the laptop

---The Laptop Doctor