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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:27 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Houston, Tx
whats the easiest fix? just stuffing it with stickies? sorry, i'm a noob and just mad that this happened to my t40


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 7:24 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2006 4:28 am
Posts: 210
Location: Denmark
My T40 have got the problem. Suddenly after 5 min screen is black.
rastart does not help.
But shut down for more than 5 min. helps.
Start up again....and it can run for 10 min.

I have read the thread. maybe because i dón't understand english so good...

But what is the solution for my laptop?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 5:47 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 11:08 pm
Posts: 32
Location: NYC
dozer wrote:
whups...sorry about that....here is his website:

http://www.firstphasetech.com/

ps; united, about that black goo...you might try a heat-gun on it. Most glues will soften with heat.


thanks dozer. I went to the site and they have a page about the similar iBook repairs: http://www.firstphasetech.com/ibook-repair-g3-g4.html. There's no info on whether they'll do it for TPs so I called and am hoping they'll call back. will post when I know.

I'm thinking more and more this Xmas is time for a new machine and if the T42p is fixed, great, it will become a backup/server. Sadly, one outcome of this is that I'm not going to be looking at new Thinkpads or even laptops for a replacement. I don't need the mobility as much anymore, and until the manufacturers come up with a fix for the soldering problems you explained it's just not worth the chance that something similar will happen. I loved my T42p, it held up very well for 3 years, but that makes it all the more infuriating when it goes "clunk" just past warranty and our crappy old Dell desktop is still sitting there humming away...

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unitedunited
reluctant networker
T42p (2 GB RAM) + Win XP Pro SP2


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 Post subject: conundrum
PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2007 2:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2007 1:14 am
Posts: 2
Location: Cupertino, CA
I'm wondering if anyone can help me diagnose the problem before I fry my board with a heat gun.

Specs: T42, 1.7GHz, 1.5GB ram, ATI 9600 (*sigh*) with a "long" fan covering the gpu. Purchased about 3.5 yrs ago.

Symptoms: Blank screen at times, sometimes screen freezes and then turns blank later; force-reboot attempts sometimes results in blank screen again, but other times boots up. It seldom (very rarely) generates a minidump, which blames ati2****.dll.

At first I suspected driver problems (so-called ati2dvag infinite loop) and uninstalled ATI drivers to no avail. It kept dying on me. The laptop did freeze when physically disturbed, I so put some post-its on top of the gpu, which reduced crashes significantly. Now my laptop runs for hours and can withstand shakes, tilts, et cetera. (It still dies sporadically, but infrequent enough for me to run non-critical tasks like dvd's, checking e-mail, et cetera.)

However, it still freezes when I try running games like UT and Civ4. Civ4 kills it within 10sec of loading a saved game.

Is this consistent with a flexing problem? Or is this an overheating problem? Driver problem?? All of it?!

Help would be appreciated...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 3:28 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2007 1:14 am
Posts: 2
Location: Cupertino, CA
It turned out that rolling back some drivers seems to fix the problem. Oh well.

So I think the problem is purely mechanical in nature now, with the temporary solution of post-its in place.

Anyway, thanks for the great thread, everyone.

_________________
T42 15" 1.70GHz, 1.5GB, ATI Mobility 9600 (128MB), 40GB hdd


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 1:36 am 
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Joined: Sun May 16, 2004 1:40 am
Posts: 28
Location: Los Angeles, CA
After reading through this thread, I discovered that my 3+ year old T42 does indeed have this "loose GPU" problem. I originally thought it had a different problem because my screen issues only occured when the unit was plugged in and also not in a dock (see this thread I started http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?p=370638#370638). However after opening the sucker up and applying pressure to the GPU it seems that my GPU is indeed loose.

For the non technically inclined out there (like me) who aren't going to try re-soldering the GPU, here's my simple advice to check for and fix this problem:
1.) Remove the keyboard and palm rest (you can leave them plugged in so you can sill control the laptop). The GPU is located right under the middle button of the Ultranav.
2.) Turn on the computer, press on the area where the GPU is (or directly on the GPU if it's not covered by a heat sink) and see if it fixes your problem. If it does you have the loose GPU problem described in this thread.
3.) Put a cut up business card or an old credit card on top of the GPU before putting the laptop back together - this will help the keyboard clamp down the GPU after you put it back on.

This fixed my problem - and hopefully for good! I'm out of warranty!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 1:50 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 16, 2004 1:40 am
Posts: 28
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Quick update: I am 7 months out of warranty and just heard about credit cards extending warranties for a year (http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=64951). I bought my T42 with an AMEX so I should be covered! I'm going to see if they will pay to fix my lappy.

I suggest all of you with this problem who are less than 12 months out of warranty look into your credit card coverage for this.

I will post an update after I see what happens!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 3:54 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2004 4:46 am
Posts: 5
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Thanks for this fantastic thread!!!

cooljw wrote:
After reading through this thread, I discovered that my 3+ year old T42 does indeed have this "loose GPU" problem.[...]

Same situation here, and the warranty of course expired 3 months ago... :roll: Since this seems to be a well-known problem, I'll check it with IBM here in Switzerland whether they would fix it for free anyway. Will let you know.

cooljw, I've read that your GPU is covered by the fan's heat sink. Ditto here. According to this document (p. 101), the heat sink should be hold in place by 3 screws, but on mine the screws are just missing. Did you have them? As a first step, I'll try to put some screws in, might help solving the problem.

Quote:
So I cut up a business card and an old credit card and stuck them on the area above the GPU

Did you put the cards under or above the heat sink?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 3:28 pm 
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
1.) I just placed the cards on top of the heatsink - so that they become sandwiched between the back of the keyboard (ultranav area) and the heatsink after you put the keyboard back on..

2.) I didn't notice any missing screws (could have missed it though), although I did notice that two of the screws that you remove to take the keyboard off lie on either side of the GPU and help to hold it down. Dual-purpose screws I guess - for holding the keyboard down and the GPU.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:29 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 9:30 am
Posts: 12
Location: Dresden, Germany
Hello there.
My sis has a T41 with flexing too. It freezed on every litte movement.
Since it went dead right away, i thougt it could be that HDD-protection thing...
Uninstalled that driver in MS, compiled a very striped down Linux-Kernel for gentoo- but software was not the prob.
I thought *****Expletives removed by Moderator***** it - must be the hardware... and finally found that cool forum.
SO buyed a headgun and a thermometer. Luckily that stuff isn't that expensive.
The first time i resoldered, i was doing it right with the suggested times with about 215°C.
Ok, it went better, not freezing that easy, but still... :roll:
Next, I extendet the time at 215°C to about 45sec.
Now using it at home is no more a prob.
Unfortunatelly, after my sis went out to library the prob reappeared...
Every time you expose that T41 some cold condition (was about 0°C) outside, even for less than 5min, it as massive probs running solid, it even refused to start a couple of times.
But afer having it inside in the warm for a hour, everything is fine again.

:arrow: ...much blabla...
it still seems not to be soldered rightly
so the question: rise the temp even higher, or expand the time?
my sis will kill me, if i toast her note :shock:

by the way, if you use a infrared thermometer - what emissivity do you use for the gpu?

:arrow: ah, and at last: why stick some paper on top of the gpu?
it will prevent proper cooling. go get some heatsink for graphiccard rams, than get a copperplate and cut it as big as possible - that way that it fits in your case (horizontally, ), solder that plate on top of the cooler, paste the cooler on the gpu - and finally put some paper, or some remaining copper plate, on top of the plate over the gpu (for pressure). That will keep your gpu nice and cool.
This might also work for the long-heatsink (ati 9000) - get a coolingpad to get a good connection between the headsink and your add-on.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:30 am 
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ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder

Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 3:17 pm
Posts: 1256
Location: NRW, Germany
Recently I bought a used T41 and after a while the flex problem got me too.

Typical symptoms. After a while or if I move the laptop the screen gets garbled and after a while the laptop freezes.

I've put a small radiator on the GPU and put some polystyrene between it and the keyboard. It works as long as I don't run some graphics intensive software (a 3D game) for a while. When the GPU gets hot, the problem reappears.

So I'm thinking about buying a heat gun and doing the reflow. The question is how long will it work? I don't want to do the reflow every month.

So, has anyone come up with a solution to the cause of the problem (the flex) and not the effect itself (a loose GPU)? If I do the reflow and keep applying pressure on the GPU, will it prevent the problem from reappearing? I know I have to handle the laptop more gently but I don't want to treat it like an egg, especially since it's an IBM ThinkPad.

TIA.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:25 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 9:30 am
Posts: 12
Location: Dresden, Germany
Just a silly little idea, don't know if it could be useful...
This whole flexing this has two reasons, right?
1. thermal stress
2. mechanic stress
Mechanic stress, due to the (not so huge) stiffness of the chasis.
When the chasis is flexing, than the board is flexing too. So what if you do NOT connect the board firmly with the chasis? Would it be better not do use some screws in the font (screws for the fan and the bezel on the egdes tightend), so the chasis can flex without stressing the board to much? (But what about the hdd?)
Maybe you could still use a headsink against some of the worst thermal stress?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:20 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2007 1:53 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Arcadia, California
Quote:
So what if you do NOT connect the board firmly with the chasis? Would it be better not do use some screws in the font (screws for the fan and the bezel on the egdes tightend), so the chasis can flex without stressing the board to much? (But what about the hdd?)


That probably won't help. Even if you don't secure the mainboard to the chassis, it doesn't have a lot of space to move between the chassis and the components above it. So the flexion on the BGA won't change, but the ports will start to wobble around.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 4:58 pm 
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ThinkPadder
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Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 3:17 pm
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Location: NRW, Germany
Someone mentioned here earlier that the whole system board (after removing all removable components) can be put into a reflow oven and nothing falls off. He haven't successfully fixed the board since it was fried before he put it inside but that's not the point. The point is, if the fix could be done in an reflow oven, can we use a plain toaster oven instead? I know how it sounds but there are people using taster ovens to do their SMT work. The thing is, they are soldering single chips, not a whole laptop mainboards.

So the question to the techies here, is it feasable?

Here's an example:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Toaster ... ering-BGA/

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ThinkPad™ X201 / AFFS-120
i5-560M 2.67Ghz, 8GB RAM, Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD, Win 8 Pro 64-bit, UltraBase X200, ThinkPad Compact USB Keyboard,
Dell U2713HM (2560x1440, IPS), ExpressCard USB 3.0 (2 ports, flush), Nexus 7+10


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 9:53 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 8:09 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Cary, NC
Admittedly, I wasn't too keen on this idea before, but it's absolutely feasible to reflow in a toaster oven.

I bought a T42 on eBay a couple weeks ago without realizing that the listing said it had a graphics issue in great big letters. I had the same problem as everyone else: it would work fine sometimes, and then other times, just a bump would cause a couple lines on the screen to twitch, and everything froze up.

I finally decided that I would reflow the thing. I only had a couple hundred invested in the laptop, and I did not feel it would be worth the hassle of sending it out to have it done. Besides, I'm more or less familiar with the concept of reflow. Heat up the board, the solder melts, and the surface tension of the liquid solder holds the parts onto the board (even the ones on the bottom!). So I decided to do it myself.

Our toaster oven is pretty crappy though, and I don't trust the heat gun approach unless you have an honest-to-goodness hot air reflow station. But we have a convection oven... with a digital temperature control that's pretty accurate. (Set it to 200F, water doesn't boil. Set it to 215F, it does. That should be good enough.)

I removed the motherboard from the chassis, removing any labels or anything that would have been added (e.g., the processor) after the first time the board was reflowed (even when it's first assembled, it's reflow). I put it on a cooling rack and put it in the oven. I set the temperature to 465F -- the oven has a setting where it reduces the set temperature by 25 degrees when you put it in convection mode, so you don't have to adapt your recipes when you're making cookies. Anyway, I let it get up to 440F on the display, and then I turned off the oven, and opened the door a little (like when you're broiling steak.)

Now, here's one mistake I made: I wasn't sure if I had reflow happening, so I took out a skewer and moved a big surface mount resistor. It certainly moved, and I knocked the IR head around while doing it. I had to quickly tap it back into place. Could have ended up badly.

I had to leave the board alone for about twenty minutes until it cooled enough to touch. I picked it up and inspected it to find any components that had gone askew.

Here's my other mistake: I should have found a way to place the board such that it was only touching the cooling rack at places without components. There was one big power inductor that had lifted off its pads a little. I got out my big dumb solder iron and managed to finagle it back into place.

I plugged the processor, some memory, the LCD, and the keyboard in to see if I had completely ruined it... and the IBM splash screen showed up. So I've been up and running for 7 hours now with no failure, and I've been shaking the heck out of this thing.

So, yes, I think a toaster oven would work if you're smart about it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:09 am 
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ThinkPadder
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Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 3:17 pm
Posts: 1256
Location: NRW, Germany
@beppodb

Now that's interesting! Thanks for detailed report.

You're probably right to use a convection oven. The temperatures could be too uneven in a plain oven.

One question. Haven't the tempture kept growing after you turned it off? The heaters are still hot.

Off to look for a convection oven...

_________________
ThinkPad™ X201 / AFFS-120
i5-560M 2.67Ghz, 8GB RAM, Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD, Win 8 Pro 64-bit, UltraBase X200, ThinkPad Compact USB Keyboard,
Dell U2713HM (2560x1440, IPS), ExpressCard USB 3.0 (2 ports, flush), Nexus 7+10


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 10:00 pm 
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Location: Dallas, TX.
Quick question:: When above ^ you spoke about putting the business cards or credit card on top of the GPU; that means putting on top of the "ATI" chip. correct? Thx


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:45 am 
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ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder

Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 3:17 pm
Posts: 1256
Location: NRW, Germany
Yes, the chip with ATI logo (actually those three chips, two smaller ones to the left are video ram) between north and south chipset bridges.

My fix right now is also based on applying pressure. I've put a low profile radiator taken from some old graphics card on top of the gfx chip (after applying some thermal paste). Since there is still some space between the radiator and the keyboard, I've screwed 3 screws into the radiator that fill up this space. I've adjusted them so that the keyboard isn't bend too much yet still enough pressure is applied to the chip.

Actually one of the screws applies a bit more pressure (in unscrewed a little more) since it is placed where I had to push the chip to fix the garbage on LCD scree before it locked.

So far it works ok as long as I dont lift the laptop up by the palmrest (which I never do). I'm a bit afraid to do the reflow (and I don't have the equipment anyway) so I'll try to keep it fixed this way, especially that it works (not only on a table).

_________________
ThinkPad™ X201 / AFFS-120
i5-560M 2.67Ghz, 8GB RAM, Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD, Win 8 Pro 64-bit, UltraBase X200, ThinkPad Compact USB Keyboard,
Dell U2713HM (2560x1440, IPS), ExpressCard USB 3.0 (2 ports, flush), Nexus 7+10


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 Post subject: warning pics
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 6:23 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2007 4:00 pm
Posts: 9
Location: Knoxville, tn
beppodd that's some fantastic news! I've heard that you could do it this way but I've always been to chicken to try, lol. I'm more comfortable doing it by hand.

How did the plastic connectors turn out? did they warp or anything? That's what I was mainly worried about.

I do the heat gun method with two different temperature probes to repair xbox 360's, then permanently reinforce them with a better heatsink clamp. I think you've inspired me to try one in my recently purchased digital toaster over. :D this is gonna be fun...



@jeff from a few pages back - using the heatgun method, aluminum foil is imperative to safeguard plastic components against melting; as the foil will reflect a good deal of heat.


Last but not least I'd like to doubly highlight the necessity for a digital thermometer. I don't think I was clear enough on that at first. DO NOT TRY A HEAT GUN WITHOUT ONE. 90% of the time you'll never actually even get the board into reflow range and the other ten percent you'll overshoot and kill the board. This one from walmart will do the trick. The latex is resistant to over 600 F and the probe goes to 450f (230c)

http://starbulletin.com/2007/01/31/features/art1bx.jpg

and remember to follow the ramp-up and down curves pretty closely. This means, take a full 2 minutes to get that WHOLE board up to 150ish before proceeding to circle around the video chip. I think I would probably use a second probe in a toaster over anyway and make sure you're hitting temperature ranges in proper time.

Which also means don't just turn off the heat when you are done. The ramp down will be WAY TOO FAST. Back off a few inches in distance and let your temps fall at 1-2 degrees a second until you get back down to the 150's. Then you can turn off the gun and let nature do the rest.

Why? Cooling is logarithmic. That means it cool REALLY FAST at first. then slows down. We want the exact opposite.

Good luck all! I'm off to cook an xbox!

Note from Moderator: No inline images without a warning in the subject line, and images should be <50k.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 2:40 am 
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Location: Eugene, Oregon
Hey all. I just went through an epic saga of joy, sorrow and relief involving my wife's T42 and thought an account of my experience could be of some use to folks reading this thread.

So my wife's computer (T42, Radeon 9600, long fan) came down with the classic detached radeon BGA symptoms a couple of weeks ago. I located this thread and decided to give the reflow a try since the motherboard was basically useless and just out of warranty. I therefore couldn't make it much worse than it already was.

During disassembly, I encountered my first problem: I knocked the switch off the VGA ribbon cable that senses when the screen is closed. This required almost no force, so BE CAREFUL when disconnecting this cable! Thankfully, I was able to re-solder the switch in place using a fine tip soldering iron.

I finally got the machine all apart and wrapped most of the board in foil to protect the plastic bits from the heat gun. I ended up putting too much faith in the foil, however (more on that later).

I located a heat gun with adjustable temperature, and practiced on a few junk circuit boards to perfect my technique. I also had an IR thermometer (the kind that shoots a red laser to measure temperature) to monitor the temperature of what I was heating. I found that I was able to reflow the BGA under a different radeon when heated to 210 C. This was on a dead Apple Ti Powerbook board. I verified that reflow was happening because the chip easily slid when I poked it with a probe during heating. Having established some confidence in my heating technique, I decided to see what I could do to fix the thinkpad board.

I basically followed the timeframe laid out in the youtube video from earlier in this thread, starting with heating the back of the board with the heat gun on medium (500 F) which heated the surface of the board up to about 70 C or so. I then heated the front on medium, and then cranked the gun up all the way (1000 F) to get the GPU to reflow temperature (210 C). I kept the GPU at 210 C for about 30 seconds, and then turned the gun down to medium and backed off to let things cool slowly. I think I kept the gun on it for at least 2 minutes after reflow, and monitored the temp to make sure things were cooling nice and slow. I finally turned off the gun, and let the board cool to room temp, and cautiously began unwrapping the foil...

Here is where things got ugly. I discovered that some of the plastic tape near the PC card slots had gotten quite hot, despite my thorough foil job. The heat caused it to shrink and peel back. When I looked closely at the tape, I noticed to my horror that it had taken a miniscule diode with it! This thing was TINY, and reattaching it would be way beyond my soldering skill level. Fortunately, my friend Dan at the university is preposterously skilled with a soldering iron, and knowledgeable about pretty much everything. He attempted to reattach the diode, but destroyed it in the process…. Amazingly, he was able to look at the sacrificial powerbook board, locate an equivalent diode, and solder that one to the thinkpad board!

After all that, I was pretty much certain that the board was dead. I figured that something else probably came unattached during heating, or that the diode repair job wasn’t going to prove functional. Resigned to the laptop’s fate, I reassembled it, and pressed the power button….. to my amazement, IT WORKED!!!!!!!

I had to remind the BIOS of the date and time (its no longer 1988), and after that Windows loaded up no problem. As far as I can tell, everything works perfectly (knock on wood). Hopefully this repair will hold up for a while, although I’m still *****Expletives removed by Moderator***** that the laptop we bought for top dollar based on IBM’s reputation for durability has proven to be disappointingly fragile. Anyway, the morals of my story are as follows:

1) Be very careful when disconnecting the VGA cable from the motherboard. The little switch on top of the cable can be knocked off with almost no force.
2) Practice your heatgun technique on a scrap circuit board if you can with some kind of thermometer so you know what type of heating technique you will need to do with your particular heatgun to get to reflow temperature.
3) Remove all plastic insulating tape from the board before heating! This stuff shrinks when it gets hot, and can take components with it when it peels back from the board. This would have ruined my repair job if an ultra-skilled friend hadn’t taken pity on me.

Sorry for the length of my tale. I just wanted to give a thorough account of my experience so anyone in a similar situation as myself could learn from my mistakes.

_________________
T42 with Radeon 9600. Reflowed with a heatgun on 2/1/08. Died again in April. Currently researching R52 motherboard compatibility.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 3:42 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 3:12 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Chicago, IL
My T40 went out of warranty 8 months ago and now I'm having what you all describe as the loose gpu problem. I thought it was a driver issue at first, but the problem persisted even when I did a complete factory restore. Windows would randomly freeze and sometimes give a error completing a "drawing" before resetting to 640x480. The funny thing is that the Thinkpad tech support guy told me I needed a new system board and I was better off going out and getting myself a SONY VAIO!

The weird thing is that the system seems stable in safe mode at 640x480.

I finally confirmed it was the gpu when I discovered that by removing the keyboard and pressing on the gpu, the computer was stable and ran perfectly.

I found this place, http://www.superiorreball.com/, who quoted me $75 to reball. Give your experience, is it worth it? Have any of you had experience with this place?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:16 pm 
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Posts: 528
Location: Pullman, WA
I am going to be receiving a heat gun in a couple of days so that I can do a reflow job for my loose GPU. I am planning on posting a guide with all sorts of pictures and stuff.

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7mm SSD list
Guide to fixing T4x GPU problems via reflow

Current: T420s
Former: X301, X61t, T40


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 2:47 pm 
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Posts: 20
Location: Huntingdon, UK
I've found that using some coins works much better than Post-it notes or business cards. With paper the fix didn't last for that long and I'd have to add more. But with a couple of UK £2 coins it has been much more stable.

Paper solution is cheaper though ;)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 1:06 pm 
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Posts: 28
Location: Los Angeles, CA
UPDATE: I love American Express!

IBM has replaced the motherboard on my T42, due to the loose GPU issue, for the princely sum of $500 and AMEX is paying for it! (see my earlier post on Jan. 4, 2008)

So for all you folks who are less than 1 year out of warranty, are the original owner for your T4x, and paid with a credit card - look into your credit card's extended warranty coverage. AMEX calls theirs "Buyer's Assurance."

The only documentation required was the original credit card statement that I bought the laptop on (AMEX dug it up), details of my warranty (retrieve from IBM/Lenovo website), and the invoice for my repair.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:03 am 
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Posts: 99
cooljw wrote:
UPDATE: I love American Express!

IBM has replaced the motherboard on my T42, due to the loose GPU issue, for the princely sum of $500 and AMEX is paying for it! (see my earlier post on Jan. 4, 2008)

So for all you folks who are less than 1 year out of warranty, are the original owner for your T4x, and paid with a credit card - look into your credit card's extended warranty coverage. AMEX calls theirs "Buyer's Assurance."

The only documentation required was the original credit card statement that I bought the laptop on (AMEX dug it up), details of my warranty (retrieve from IBM/Lenovo website), and the invoice for my repair.

I am doing exactly the same thing, to fix both the USB 2.0 problem and now the recent cropping up of this GPU problem.

Elated doesn't begin to describe my feeling, and relief.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:00 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:42 pm
Posts: 24
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
After reading all of your positive comments about reballing, I'm about to do it with one of my boards.

(I have the same GPU problem, machine didn't hangup but a lot of crap appears in the screen after a while) so I bought a new board which worked perfectly for 1 month and then.. GPU problem again! *****Expletives removed by Moderator*****!.

However the new board problem is a lot worse, i just hangup the machine badly 2 or 3 times before completely died.

Now i have 1 long beep and 2 short beeps post signalling board problem, so I'll try to reflow it :)

now, I was thinking to buy a heat gun specifically for electronics (the weller one) will this work for this? (since I work in electronics a lot and it can be handy for other uses as well) or it will be best to stick with the common type heat gun you are comment here?.

because the weller gun is a lot pricey that the common big heat gun.

what do you think?.

about the oven method, I have a microwave that can work as a oven as well (it has two radiators on top) however since it doesn't have them on the bottom I'm a little afraid to use it because I don't think the heat will be even, also since it's a microwave, it wont let me run it with the door open (even in oven mode (no radiation)) so i cannot measure temperature :(

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 12:09 am 
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Building off my post above (where VISA is reimbursing me for my repairs).

Wow, I was just quoted $575 plus tax to replace the system board, and fan. I knew it was steep, but not that steep. Unfortunately, that doesn't reach the 70% of price paid valuation that I've seen bandied about. Apparently, above 70% of price paid, VISA will "total" the machine, and allow you to purchase a replacement laptop.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:36 am 
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Location: Singapore
Hi,

I can confirm all the symptoms described here ; blackouts, hangs, no boot, screen flickering & etc weird stuff.

I had all the same, due to the BGA chip disconnections.

Pressing the top of laptop between spacebar & left mouse button and powering up seems to give a ride, but when releasing the pressure, the laptop freezes.

Now, the GPU is just underneath at that point, and that chip is ATI display chip in form of BGA (Ball Grid Array) package.

What I did:
1) Wrap all other parts of the mobo into tinfoil, leaving the ATI BGA chip visible.
2) Using a traditional "cooking meter" to measure temp, but NOT touching the chip itself. Meter needs to go up to 250 celcius (not farenheit)
3) Give the chip a preheat about 1 min, raising the meter upto 150 degrees (C) or so.
4) enter closer with the heatgun, raising the temp gradually to 180, and keep there for 2 mins.
5) raise the temp to 210 degrees, and maintain for 1min or 80s.
6) Gradually lower the temp to 150 and 100 degrees
7) shut off the heatgun and let it be for 30min

... all the time when using the heatgun, make "circles" with it, to distribute the heat around the chip.

... When you start this, prepare the mobo on stable and heat sustaining table. Set the temp meter on top of the chip, without touching it.
... only then go for it.
... at any one point of time - DO NOT TOUCH the mobo or any parts of it, until it has cooled down totally.

For me, this worked out just fine, now I just need to find the place for all the screws and parts :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 3:09 pm 
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I can't recommend enough checking with your CC company about whether you have an extended warranty! I just got my T41 back from EasyServ with a 'new' planar card installed and rocking, and next day air in both directions.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 4:59 pm 
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Posts: 48
Location: Sheffield, UK
Hi chaps, I also have the issue with the GPU chip and heres my fix (working spot on even in games)

1) Get a long fan
2) Get 2 small screws (the smallest length type for the thinkpad)
3) Open the case, remove the keyboard, palmrest and fan.
4) Now connect the keyboard and turn on the thinkpad applying pressure to different parts of the GPU until it boots properly, memorise these points.
5)Place the scre head face down on the GPU and put the long fan on, tighten the heataink screws tight.
6) Test to make sure it turns on ok, then re-assemble.

The only downside with this method is the long heatsink doesn't cover the GPU, but the 7500series doesn't need a long fan anyway.

Even with this method I was getting fuzziness when the GPU was getting above 50c (which isn't hot) so I used ATI tool to clock down to 230/165 and the fuzzyness is gone (this is proven with 3dmark running constantly) and the framerates are still fine.

Been using it fine for days, using it now infact and you do't get the buldge in the keyboard like you do if you wedge stuff over the GPU.

The reason this method is working so well is because the force is very directed to the affected points on the GPU instead of spreading the pressure.


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