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Audio of T43 becomes garbled

T4x series specific matters only
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Irving
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Audio of T43 becomes garbled

#1 Post by Irving » Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:10 pm

When I am pushing down on the trackpoint, or putting pressure near the trackpad, the audio (of youtube for example) will change and become garbled. Release the pressure, and the audio is back to normal. Any ideas what is going on?
Last edited by Irving on Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Audio of T43 becomes garbled

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:41 pm

Your Southbridge chip (big Intel chip under the WiFi card) is becoming loose.
Have it reballed in the UK (www.reflowrepairs.com) or buy a new motherboard.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (the Real Black Stuff). And pigs CAN fly!
Check out The Boardroom for Parts, Mods and Other Services.

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Re: Audio of T43 becomes garbled

#3 Post by poshgeordie » Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:14 am

Hi Irvine

Only just caught up with this thread. I run the company RBS mentions, and can confirm that an unsoldered southbridge (SB) chip is the most like fault.

the SB chip controls many parts of the laptop including the audio and is soldered to the main board with hundreds of tiny solder balls which can become unsoldered over time.

Fortunately the chip can be resoldered using a process called Infrared Reballing which we carry out ifrom our offices in UK.

We have a lot of customers from Spain and if you'd like more information please send me a PM including your email address and I'll get back to you. Also have a look at this recent testimonial from another forum member.

Kind regards Nick

Irving
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Re: Audio of T43 becomes garbled

#4 Post by Irving » Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:12 pm

Thank you for the information. Now the sound is unclear regardless of whether or not I am using the touchpad or not. What doesn't seem to make sense is that the computer is working fine, other than the audio problem. If the southbridge chip were loose, then wouldn't that manifest itself with other problems as well?

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Re: Audio of T43 becomes garbled

#5 Post by poshgeordie » Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:52 am

The southbridge (SB) chip controls a lot of other sections including:

1. The USB Ports - if SB faulty, ports will either not work at all or register as running at 1.1.

2. Hard Drive - if SB faulty, Thinkpad (TP) will boot to Welcome Screen but HDD will then not load.

3. Keyboard / Trackpad - if SB faulty, nothing happens when pressing any keys.

4. Audio - if SB faulty, there is either no audio or it's garbled.

One or more of these symptoms can happen at the same time, with USB and HDD issues being the most common, but often there is only a single symptom.

The reason why specific sections fail like this, is that each area is grouped in separate parts of the chip, so all it takes is for a single solder ball to disconnect and that section will then stop working.

As a test, try pressing hard on the SB chip to see if the audio then improves; to access the chip remove the keyboard (but not disconnect), front palmrest and WiFi card - the SB is the square chip under the WiFi Card.
For help with stripping down the TP download the How To docs in my sig, and then click on the T4x Screws Locations link.

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Re: Audio of T43 becomes garbled

#6 Post by Irving » Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:25 pm

I just tried something. Instead of listening to something on youtube, I put a CD in the T43 and listened to music using windows media. No static whatsoever, even when I was using the touchpad. So there must be something else going on, other than a loose SB chip. I am using Soundmax digital audio as my default audio processor, which I suppose is what is used when listening to youtube. Any ideas?

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Re: Audio of T43 becomes garbled

#7 Post by poshgeordie » Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:40 pm

Great that you've tried that. I wasn't 100% sure about the SB since it's unusual to have just the audio failing, but I've seen it very occasionally. It's more likely to see it when a USB port has also failed or changed to 1.1 speed.

OK, to look at the history of this fault:

1. Playing Youtube videos, when you press on the Keyboard / Trackpad area garbled sound appears, and is "fixed" when you stop pressing.

2. Then the sound becomes garbled all the time when playing YT vids.

3. You then try a CD via Media Player and the sound is OK.

From a software point of view you'll be using the same Soundmaxaudio software / driver to control the levels etc for both audio sources.

The point to note is that the sound was only bad when you pressed on the keyboard area which does indicate a hardware related problem. Obviously software cannot be changed by physical pressure!

Normally I'd suggest trying a Live CD version of one of the Linux distributions and then trying YouTube through the CD, but you need extra software installed (flash and various other audio-based programs) so that won't help. Maybe using Linux Mint DVD version of Live "CD" will have these drivers installed when Mint loads via the DVD.

I'm not quite sure what to suggest here, but maybe so as to eliminate a software problem, check the audio volume sliders are not turned up too high to cause distortion since it is possible to overload the audio circuits in T4x Thinkpads like this.

I'll keep thinking about this.

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Re: Audio of T43 becomes garbled

#8 Post by Irving » Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:08 pm

Nick, I managed to reinstall Soundmax, and the problem seems to have vanished. There might have been something corrupted in the program. Thanks again for your help!

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Re: Audio of T43 becomes garbled

#9 Post by poshgeordie » Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:46 pm

First download and install Software Installer which automatically checks that the correct drivers are installed and updates / installs the correct ones.

Run it to see what it does with the audio issue. Hopefully it will sort it.

It does sound more like a software rather than hardware issue though I've no idea why pressing down made it worse.

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Re: Audio of T43 becomes garbled

#10 Post by Irving » Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:30 pm

Nick, pardon my ignorance, but I went to the Lenovo site, and couldn't figure out where to click on to download the program! Would you mind telling me exactly what the blue writing says where I need to click? Thanks.

As far as the pressing on the touchpad goes, well, there was interference, more like static, even when I didn't press down. Although while pressing, it did seem to produce more static. All I can say now, is that after finally figuring out how to reinstall the audio program, that the static has vanished...right, another mystery...who knows? There was something wrong with Soundmax for sure, as I couldn't enter the program on the control panel directly. Now I can. Thanks again!

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Re: Audio of T43 becomes garbled

#11 Post by poshgeordie » Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:43 pm

Sorry about that - yeah I see what you mean! I don't know either.

Glad you've sorted the problem out which is the main thing!

If you're OK now could you add "Solved" to the title.

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Re: Audio of T43 becomes garbled -SOLVED

#12 Post by Irving » Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:39 pm

Well, it ends up that in fact, even with all of the sliders turned down, and the mike off, there is still a bit of static, which many people seem to have had when using Soundmax, according to various complaint seen on the web. BUT, when listening to a CD, none whatsoever. I thought that it had been eliminated, but there is still a bit. I am banging on the keyboard and touchpad, but not a bit of noise when listening to a CD, so the mystery remains...

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Re: Audio of T43 becomes garbled

#13 Post by poshgeordie » Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:02 am

It's all very strange and don't have any more suggestions, but nonetheless it's been very interesting.

With thanks to RealBlackStuff - here's the System Update link.

Why don't they publish it in the drivers list??!!

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