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Are there some sort of hidden power fuses on these newer ThinkPads?

Performance, hardware, software, general buying and gaming discussion..
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Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:59 am
Location: Brooklyn NY

Are there some sort of hidden power fuses on these newer ThinkPads?

#1 Post by DaddyLongLegs » Mon Dec 20, 2021 10:21 am

Hello all, I have been an avid ThinkPad fan my entire life. I have been buying them since I was 16 and got an X21, making only $4 an hour as a stock boy and saving up a half a year for one! After that I've had probably 7 different thinkpads since then.

My last and current ThinkPads are the X250 which I solely use for work (it's what they issued me; I chose it over a brand new Surface because I love the TrackPoint so much) and my current main laptop which is the ThinkPad T25 aka the anniversary edition.

For the first time in my life I bought an extended warranty on something, and I am so glad I did. I bought the T25 mostly because of its 7 row keyboard. I don't like how Lenovo changed the keyboard to not having separate volume buttons and mute, the small delete key, and the worst offender: the print screen button being on the bottom. On what keyboard in history was print screen ever on the bottom? Oh well.

So I wanted to make sure this laptop lasted me as long as possible. I would no joke use this thing for the next 10 years, if not more, if possible. I already upgraded the RAM to 64GB (it's so awesome that you can do that yourself) and I don't see why this laptop couldn't last that long considering my T420 almost did.

Anyway the reason I am so glad I bought the warranty is the motherboard on this laptop has died, no exaggeration, 4 times in 3 years.

The first time it happened it was within the first 2 days of me owning it. Lenovo of course exchanged it because it was brand new, but I was so worried that the dock I bought on ebay or the spare power supply I bought was the culprit that I actually threw them both in the trash!

Then I went a good year or so with no issues. One day, I unplugged my power cord and then a few minutes later plugged it back in and noticed it wasn't charging. The little red light would not come on, and the battery charging indicator near the clock did not show it was charging. I bought a new DC charging port (it's so awesome how easy these are to replace) but it did not make a difference. The motherboard was somehow screwed again.

This happened 2 more times since then, and every time, Lenovo's premier customer support was amazing, having a tech replace the motherboard within 24 hours of me calling.

But I am getting nervous. There is going to be a time when this warranty runs out (21 months according to Lenovo Vantage).

I am very good with a soldering iron and stuff like that. Is there any way to fix the motherboard myself?

I couldn't find much info online, because I get way too many results for a blown LCD fuse. That isn't the issue here. The issue here is eventually something "goes" on my T25, and it no longer accepts a charge (or no longer will even turn on at all). The last time a tech was here, I asked him if I could inspect the old motherboard while he installed the new one and he let me. I tested every single fuse I could find, especially ones near the DC jack, and I couldn't find anything out of wack. The only fuse that looked like it could be a culprit I added a big blob of solder to in order to "bridge" the fuse. I tried to power on/charge this fuse-bridged motherboard and it did not accept a charge nor did it boot.

So sorry for the long post but there are my questions:

1) is there a known issue with newer ThinkPads and really weak fuses on the motherboard? I never had this issue EVER with a ThinkPad.

2) Is there some way to fix a motherboard that won't accept a charge or power on?

3) Is there something I could be doing that is causing this? All of my chargers are genuine Lenovo chargers, and on top of that I am using the same charger on my X250 which has never had this issue, ever.

I really want this laptop to last forever; it's the last one with a 7 row keyboard, it's one of the last with a bottom docking port, and I overall just love this laptop and especially it's keyboard and I would hate for it to die prematurely. Thanks for any insight anyone might have!

Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:59 am
Location: Brooklyn NY

Re: Are there some sort of hidden power fuses on these newer ThinkPads?

#2 Post by DaddyLongLegs » Mon Jan 10, 2022 10:25 am

Anyone? Why is this site dead? Is there a better ThinkPad forum elsewhere I should post at instead?

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Posts: 230
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:41 pm
Location: Oxford, UK

Re: Are there some sort of hidden power fuses on these newer ThinkPads?

#3 Post by unixed » Mon Jan 10, 2022 5:08 pm

If you can't readily source T25 planars then look into the T25/T480 frankenpad and obtain some spare T480 planars. Board-level repairs generally require a skillset beyond bridging fuses.

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