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Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option. *PICS*

T60/T61 series specific matters only
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Wesley
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Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option. *PICS*

#1 Post by Wesley » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:39 pm

Many of you who have purchased a Lenovo T61 with the Nvidia 140m discrete graphics have discovered that there was a flaw in with the graphics card. In summary, the graphics card fails after 3-4 years of use, mostlikely due to (heat) issues that renders the graphics card "useless" (due to internal chip failure, thanks RealBlackStuff). The first symptoms that you will face will be BSOD, error messages, or the display will display scrambled red, blue and green letters. In a matter of days, your display will no longer display anything. You will hear a "beep" when you start your computer, but there won't be anything on the display. The question that remains to be asked is: What can I do to fix this?

People have done the following:
- Reflowed the graphics card
- Baked the motherboard
- Reballed the graphics card
- Purchased a used motherboard that was made after 08/08

I on the other hand have done neither of these, because I didn't want the hassle of having to take apart my laptop. For those who are confident and comfortable with these "procedures", by all means go ahead. If you don't want to tamper with your motherboard and graphics card, I have a solution for you: Turn your laptop into a desktop.

Here's what you need:
- Lenovo or IBM advanced docking station 250310U (p/n: 42W4629 or p/n: 42W4628). Try ebay. I got mine for 25$ plus shipping (sadly shipping was almost the same as the price of the docking station)
- Pci-e videocard low form factor (less than 50 watts)
- External monitor

Cards that have been tested to work with the setup (from this thread http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.ph ... &start=210):
- Zotac Nvidia Geforce GT 520
- Radeon HD 5450
- Sapphire Radeon HD 6570 -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCco69x20Jo and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXzCGBQ0dKY
- Sapphire hd 5570
- Sapphire ATI HD4550 Silent, 512 MB (DVI + HDMI)
- Sapphire RADEON HD 5450 - PCI Express 2.0 x16 low profile, 512 MB DDR3 (DVI + HDMI)
- Asus Radeon EAH6450 SILENT/DI, 1GB DDR3 (DVI + HDMI)
PM me if you have others that work

Instructions (disclaimer: I did created theses steps with my external monitor plugged in, if you can't see anything on your display, it may vary):
For those who don't see anything on their laptop display, according to RACEBOY: If the user clears the BIOS/CMOS by disconnecting the BIOS/CMOS battery, the laptop always boots with external graphics card if it is present. Then just set the desired values in the BIOS setup. This means that you will have to start at STEP 10 to 13, then continue with STEP 1. (Thanks RACEBOY) (If someone could please confirm this, it would be greatly appreciated! If your T61's gpu is fried and you want to try this out and it works please let me know and I'll confirm this! It would be greatly appreciated!)

1) If you can still get something on your screen when you boot up your machine, press the F1 button once when you start your computer until you get into the BIOS.
This is what you'll see:
Image
Tap on your "ENTER" key.

2) It will bring you to the BIOS
Image
Press the "ENTER" key again, since you want to get into the CONFIG menu (automatically the first choice as you enter into the Bios)

3) Then press on the DOWN key 6 times to get to the DISPLAY menu:
Image

4) Once you get into the DISPLAY menu, this is what you'll see
Image

5) Change the DEFAULT PRIMARY VIDEO DEVICE to PCI Express
To do this press "ENTER" to bring up the menu that will allow you to do this
Then "UP" key once
Then "ENTER"
Image

6) Change the BOOT DISPLAY DEVICE to either ANALOG (VGA) or DIGITAL (DVI), depends on which output (external videocard) you plug your external monitor
To do this press the "DOWN" key (number of times depends on your configuration of your external monitor)
Then "ENTER"
Image

7) This will bring up this menu
Image
This step will differ depending which output you'll be using. Since I plugged my external monitor to the DVI port on my external card, this is what I chose. The choice is up to you depending on what monitor you're using with the proper output.
Select your choice with the "DOWN" key
Then press "ENTER" select

8) Then save changes.
To do this press F10 and press "ENTER"
Your computer should restart.

9) Turn off your computer.

10) Next plug the external card into the pci-e slot
11) Plug your laptop into the advanced docking station
12) Connect your external monitor
13) Start your computer and enjoy your new desktop (Windows should install the right drivers, if not google search for your drivers for your external graphics card)

My setup:
Image
T61 @ 2.4ghz Duocore 2
4gbs ram
Win 8 Pro
24" x 2 Samsung BX2450 (only 1 on the picture)

Limitations of the card:
- 1x connection instead of 16x connection

Conveniences:
EXTRA PORTS! 5 USBS + 3 on laptop = 8 USB ports (got my phone plugged in, HDD, USB key, printer, mouse, keyboard)
Can have your speakers plugged in permanently to the 3.5" plug in the back of the docking station
EXTRA MONITORS, can work on it as a work station (I personally have 2 x 24" attached to my unit)
Can add a HDD in the slimbay slot.
Memory card reader build in
Lock your computer down to the docking station

Inconveniences:
- No longer a laptop
- Fan in the advanced dock can be quite loud especially an IBM model as compared to a Lenovo
- Takes a bit of desk space

After thoughts:
You can get a card that needs a higher wattage, but you would have to get an external power source. I'm not good enough to write about it. Also, you can install a gaming card, but you will need an extension (vidock) of the pci-e slot. Also something that I'm not too familiar with.
- http://www.notebookreview.com/default.a ... s+notebook
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dh5wDT5t9uE

This can be used with any functional laptop that fits into the advanced dock. Therefore you can dual monitor with your external and internal monitor, or triple if you really want to (2 externals). I often swap my T400 (and soon my T500) with my T61 to "upgrade" the videocard for some light gaming (starcraft 2).

Clean your fans every year or so, my laptop dropped 20F after I cleaned the fan (60F down to 40F).

Since this laptop is about 4-5 years old now, might as well convert it into a desktop and buy yourself a new laptop.

Best of luck! If anyone of you have other experiences of how to use your T61 as a desktop, or have anything that you would like to add/modify, please feel free to PM me and I'll add to this.

For a full listing of which laptops are compatible with the advanced docking station, check this link: http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/detail. ... MIGR-61232
Image
Last edited by Wesley on Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:47 am, edited 17 times in total.

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Re: Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option.

#2 Post by farmall » Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:26 pm

If there were pics of the BIOS, you could enter it and select that option "blind" by counting off the "steps" and actions required to make the change.

Agree on cleaning the fans. I neglected my T61 since 2009 and blew an impressive dust cloud out of the vents! :eek:

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Re: Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option.

#3 Post by RealBlackStuff » Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:35 am

Wesley wrote:...the graphics card fails after 3-4 years of use, mostlikely due to (heat) issues that render the connection between the graphics card and motherboard inadequate....
Please stop spreading FUD!
It's an INTERNAL fault inside the nVidia chip.
This forum has mentioned this EXTENSIVELY and in way too many posts to even count!

(and I don't see why this should even be a "sticky")
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Re: Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option.

#4 Post by cadillacmike68 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:26 am

RBS;

While the OP has the cause of the failure wrong, the steps outlined are an effective way to use the machine permanently mounted in an advanced dock, after a GPU failure. What would be nice is for the exact keystrokes to do this in the BIOS be outlined on a blank screen.
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Re: Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option.

#5 Post by RealBlackStuff » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:34 am

Should be dead-easy with the T61 BIOS simulator: http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/detail. ... MIGR-69927
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Re: Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option.

#6 Post by Wesley » Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:50 am

farmall wrote:If there were pics of the BIOS, you could enter it and select that option "blind" by counting off the "steps" and actions required to make the change.

Agree on cleaning the fans. I neglected my T61 since 2009 and blew an impressive dust cloud out of the vents! :eek:
I've never tried it blind, because I don't know whether you can even get into the Bios with a "blind" option. If someone has done it please let me know!

I'll put pictures up.

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Re: Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option.

#7 Post by ajkula66 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:56 am

@Wesley:

Could you please update the original post omitting the incorrect info on reasons for GPU failure so the future readers of this sticky don't get confused...

TIA
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

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FlexView AARP club members:A31p, T43pSF, X60T

Abused daily: X200s, X201s


PMs requesting personal tech support will be ignored.

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Re: Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option.

#8 Post by Wesley » Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:58 am

ajkula66 wrote:@Wesley:

Could you please update the original post omitting the incorrect info on reasons for GPU failure so the future readers of this sticky don't get confused...

TIA
Done already.

@ RealBlackStuff, I didn't want to get into the specifics of it. Modified the GPU failure. Thanks!

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Re: Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option.

#9 Post by Raceboy » Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:49 pm

If the user clears the CMOS by disconnecting the CMOS battery, the laptop always boots with external graphics card if it is present. Then just set the desired values in the BIOS setup.
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Re: Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option.

#10 Post by RealBlackStuff » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:36 pm

Wesley wrote:Modified the GPU failure.
It's a CHIP failure, not a card failure.
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Re: Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option. *PICS*

#11 Post by Thrakath » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:21 am

For me i think this will work for only the very low number of T61 that are still capable of going into Bios. When mine died some years ago it beeped like many users reported before and nothing else happened. No silent loading of Win or Linux Bootable CD. The conclusions were that this Bios Error prevented initialization and POST stopped.
So just to get it right: You suggest now, that after CMOS Reset, the POST will not try to initialize the Nvidia at all and start fine with the dock graphic card? Or is it only working on let´s say half broken T61....?

@realblackstuff: It´s impossible to teach people the real Nvidia Bug in the german forum too...but don´t give up ;-)

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Re: Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option. *PICS*

#12 Post by cadillacmike68 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:22 pm

Thrakath, if your T61 doesn't have Other issues, and you have the advanced dock with a graphics card in it, this will work.

Thanks everyone, we now have an informative thread.
760LD 9547 FUBARd
T21 2647; T22 2647 4@ 900MHz, 1@ 1GHz SXGA+; T23 2647 2@ 1.13GHz, 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+, WiFi
T30 2366-88U 2GHz; 2366-83U 1.8G; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U; 2367-KU6 FUBARd
T61 8897, 2.4GHz SXGA+; 8898, 2.4GHz; 6463, 2.4 & 2.1GHz WSXGA+; 7658, 2.5GHz; T61p, 3 more T61s
T500 2

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Re: Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option. *PICS*

#13 Post by Thrakath » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:39 pm

I think you did not fully understand. The TO is writing of a single beep and then he can follow up with all these Biosettings and advanced dock. My suspect is that his T61 is still fine in a way that it´s posting. Nvidia failure is 1 long and 2 short beeps, followed, in my exp. by nothing else. So the option "may" be available for a subset of half dead Nvidia Chips and not for the majority of dead T61.

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Re: Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option. *PICS*

#14 Post by cadillacmike68 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:21 pm

According to Raceboy, if the CMOS is cleared, the system will default to external graphics is one is there (as in a full size dock with a working graphics card in it). So, this SHOULD work in most or all cases, but the CMOS needs to be cleared first. If it doesn't then there are Other issues with the T61.
760LD 9547 FUBARd
T21 2647; T22 2647 4@ 900MHz, 1@ 1GHz SXGA+; T23 2647 2@ 1.13GHz, 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+, WiFi
T30 2366-88U 2GHz; 2366-83U 1.8G; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U; 2367-KU6 FUBARd
T61 8897, 2.4GHz SXGA+; 8898, 2.4GHz; 6463, 2.4 & 2.1GHz WSXGA+; 7658, 2.5GHz; T61p, 3 more T61s
T500 2

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Re: Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option. *PICS*

#15 Post by Thrakath » Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:13 pm

Ah chico....you seem to get it now ;-)

Still, you don´t know if there (even in the presence of external graphics) will be no attempt to detect and initialize internal Nvidia and the system hangs in fully broken T61...This is what i want to emphasize...so please a bit humble and precise and no sticky until waterproof!

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Re: Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option. *PICS*

#16 Post by Pete B » Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:13 pm

Nice idea! I'm interested from a power saving desktop point of view.

Another is to use a system with failed video as a headless server.
I'm trying to do this with FreeNAS and have started a thread for it.
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Re: Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option. *PICS*

#17 Post by miro_gt » Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:27 am

nice thread.

another option would be baking the motherboard in hope of fixing the issue somewhat. While I haven't had the need to do it on a laptop, I can surely suggest it as an option. I recently had to do it on a main board from HP Laserjet m2727nf printer with similar main chip problem ... and heck it worked, lol (got pictures too, could post some later).

in short, you get the board out of the laptop, cover it all except the chip in question with paper towels, put aluminum foil on top of the paper towels to make a heat shield for the rest of the elements, and bake the board in preheat oven at 350 deg F for 8 min. Then open oven and let the board cool off without moving it for at least 15 min. Put back in laptop and hope it works, lol. Surprisingly the success rate of doing this is quite high, though I had my doubts too. The board that I did has a battery and couple electrolyte capacitors that remained intact, as well as lots of smd elements.

good luck.

... I know what most think about baking the boards, but it's an option, that's all.
Last edited by miro_gt on Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
T61: 14.1" 1400x1050, T9500 @ 2.8GHz, 4GB RAM CL4, nVidia 140m @ 600/925 MHz, Samsung 830 256GB, DVD-rec, 5300agn, FP, BT, 6-cell, clean XP Pro
T61: 14.1"w 1280x800, T9500 @ 2.8GHz, 4GB RAM CL4, Intel X3100, Samsung 830 256GB, DVD-rec, 4965agn, 4-cell, clean XP Pro

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Re: Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option. *PICS*

#18 Post by beeblebrox » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:02 am

miro_gt wrote:nice thread.

another option would be baking the motherboard in hope of fixing the issue somewhat. While I haven't had the need to do it on a laptop, I can surely suggest it as an option. I recently had to do it on a main board from HP Laserjet m2727nf printer with similar main chip problem ... and heck it worked, lol (got pictures too, could post some later).

in short, you get the board out of the laptop, cover it all except the chip in question with paper towels, put aluminum foil on top of the paper towels to make a heat shield for the rest of the elements, and bake the board in preheat over at 350 deg F for 8 min. Then open oven and let the board cool off without moving it for at least 15 min. Put back in laptop and hope it works, lol. Surprisingly the success rate of doing this is quite high, though I had my doubts too. The board that I did has a battery and couple electrolyte capacitors that remained intact, as well as lots of smd elements.

good luck.

... I know what most think about baking the boards, but it's an option, that's all.
But 350°F ist only 176°C.
Melting point of leaded solder ist 185°C and 225 for lead-free.
I doubt very much, that it is a permanent fix. Rather a temporary where the chip ball made a connection through thermal expansion. But hey, you got nothing to lose, so congratulations.

I tried a regular reflow on several T60 (ATI) /T61 (nVidia) mainboards. No luck for me.

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Re: Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option. *PICS*

#19 Post by miro_gt » Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:44 pm

well I did read lots of posts from people that have tried it, and the temps varied from 350 F to 385 F so I decided to try with the lowest to see how it goes, and heck it worked from the first time :lol: Saved me a 500+ dollar printer ... for now :D Besides, I cant tell how accurate my oven's digital thermostat is, but the oven itself is pretty new - about 6 months old.

I'm guessing that using higher temperature would require less time in the oven. However there's higher risk to melt solder where you dont want to, i.e. fixing one problem but creating another. Some people did not cover the rest of the board with foil so I saw reports of blown battery and/or capacitors. ouch.

but if somebody had a success at certain temperature and time, may as well post it. How long time would that fix last - who knows, maybe enough for the user to save all the important information from the laptop. Or enough to setup a docking station and use the laptop as a desktop thereafter.
T61: 14.1" 1400x1050, T9500 @ 2.8GHz, 4GB RAM CL4, nVidia 140m @ 600/925 MHz, Samsung 830 256GB, DVD-rec, 5300agn, FP, BT, 6-cell, clean XP Pro
T61: 14.1"w 1280x800, T9500 @ 2.8GHz, 4GB RAM CL4, Intel X3100, Samsung 830 256GB, DVD-rec, 4965agn, 4-cell, clean XP Pro

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Re: Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option. *PICS*

#20 Post by jcvjcvjcvjcv » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:45 pm

Instead of this docking thing (I have one, interested? :lol: ) you might look for a T61 motherboard with internal graphics. When I had this problem early 2011 I bought one for around €100.... and returned it immediately because Lenovo did fix my T61 13 months past warranty :D


With my broken T61 I could gain a clear display by disconnecting the fan, letting it run up to 100 degrees Celsius, then hard reboot and voila: nothing wrong.
W520
T61

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Re: Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option. *PICS*

#21 Post by SafeHarbor » Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:52 pm

So that's interesting. The external connector video goes to the PCI bus exclusive of the built-in video.

Sigh. Why do I keep READING this stuff. I have a 12/2007 T61p that was my dream ThinkPad at the time. It's still ticking over but this forum has convinced me that it's doomed, DOOMED. Now when I'm under-employed (anybody need a good tech writer/tech editor?), all this doom and gloom about my prize ThinkPad is less than comforting. :lol:

But thanks for the research and the post. That's outstanding information.
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Re: Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option. *PICS*

#22 Post by beeblebrox » Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:28 am

miro_gt wrote:well I did read lots of posts from people that have tried it, and the temps varied from 350 F to 385 F so I decided to try with the lowest to see how it goes, and heck it worked from the first time :lol: Saved me a 500+ dollar printer ... for now :D Besides, I cant tell how accurate my oven's digital thermostat is, but the oven itself is pretty new - about 6 months old.

I'm guessing that using higher temperature would require less time in the oven. However there's higher risk to melt solder where you dont want to, i.e. fixing one problem but creating another. Some people did not cover the rest of the board with foil so I saw reports of blown battery and/or capacitors. ouch.

but if somebody had a success at certain temperature and time, may as well post it. How long time would that fix last - who knows, maybe enough for the user to save all the important information from the laptop. Or enough to setup a docking station and use the laptop as a desktop thereafter.
I think I have explained in detail the problems with this particular nVidia chip some time ago (last year or before).
It is common knowledge now, that the solder balls detach and sometimes can be fixed with a reflow. Unfortunately it is NOT the solder balls from the Nvidia chip to the mainboard (think T40 "flexing"), but the solder balls from the silicon die (the chip itself) to the die carrier. This all is within the nVidia chip. The solder balls are brittle and have wrong thermal expansion coefficient.
A reflow, if it is sometimes successful, does not solve the problem but is only a temporary fix. Time enough to save all private data to another computer. If the nVidia is NOT used in graphics intensive stuff, it might work for quite some time. Just avoid heat (i.e. no high currents) and do your usual Office stuff and you might be lucky for some time. :|
So yes, either replace the nVidia board with an Intel board (as I did) oder use an external graphics card and turn the bad T61 into a good desktop. :)

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Re: Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option. *PICS*

#23 Post by beeblebrox » Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:31 am

SafeHarbor wrote:So that's interesting. The external connector video goes to the PCI bus exclusive of the built-in video.

Sigh. Why do I keep READING this stuff. I have a 12/2007 T61p that was my dream ThinkPad at the time. It's still ticking over but this forum has convinced me that it's doomed, DOOMED. Now when I'm under-employed (anybody need a good tech writer/tech editor?), all this doom and gloom about my prize ThinkPad is less than comforting. :lol:

But thanks for the research and the post. That's outstanding information.
Not doomed. Just avoid high currents (i.e. heat) in the nVidia chip. No 3D games! And keep the fan on at all times. Then you might get a few more years out of the T61.

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Re: Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option. *PICS*

#24 Post by Raceboy » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:01 am

What's the point in owning dedicated graphics card anyway if you don't play games? And even if one wants only to use CAD applications, these also give the GPU a good workout.

As many members have already pointed out, the best one can do is keep temps under control with good thermal paste and keep the heatsink/fan in good condition. It is not the temp per se that kills the chips, it is the heat cycles (=how many rimes it has been heating up and cooling down).
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X32s:PM 758 LV CPU mod,2GB,64GB microSATA SSD,COM mod,IPS
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Past:560/E/Z,600E,R30,T21,T23,T30,T40,TR451,T40p,T41,T41p,T42,T42p,T43,X20,X22,X23,X24,X31,X40,X41,X60/T,X61/s,X201,T60,T60p,T61,T400,T601p

miro_gt
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Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option. *PICS*

#25 Post by miro_gt » Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:17 pm

Raceboy wrote:What's the point in owning dedicated graphics card anyway if you don't play games? And even if one wants only to use CAD applications, these also give the GPU a good workout.
...
my thoughts exactly.

I may need to post some pictures of me playing games at ~100% CPU load (both cores at 2.8GHz) + 100% GPU load (overclocked at least 50% min - currently at 600MHz core/900MHz memory but would do fine at 625/950) for over 3 hours ... heh, been doing it for years. In particular Unreal Tournament 3 is the game that consumes my CPU to the max.

while I dont exactly agree on the heat cycles being the problem, I think the range within a heat cycle is more important, i.e. not 100 heat cycles say from 25 deg C to 75 deg C each would kill your GPU but rather 5 heat cycles that go from 25 deg C to 95 deg C.

IMO keep temperatures below 80 deg C and all should be fine for quite some time. I've been doing it for 5 years already, but I saw the potential problem the first time my GPU hit 87 deg C back in 2007.
Last edited by miro_gt on Sat Dec 29, 2012 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
T61: 14.1" 1400x1050, T9500 @ 2.8GHz, 4GB RAM CL4, nVidia 140m @ 600/925 MHz, Samsung 830 256GB, DVD-rec, 5300agn, FP, BT, 6-cell, clean XP Pro
T61: 14.1"w 1280x800, T9500 @ 2.8GHz, 4GB RAM CL4, Intel X3100, Samsung 830 256GB, DVD-rec, 4965agn, 4-cell, clean XP Pro

Lockheed
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Re: Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option. *PICS*

#26 Post by Lockheed » Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:41 am

Wesley wrote:People have done the following:
- Reflowed the graphics card
- Baked the motherboard
- Reballed the graphics card
- Purchased a used motherboard that was made after 08/08

I on the other hand have done neither of these, because I didn't want the hassle of having to take apart my laptop.
So you consider the hassle of being forever and ever desk-bound with your laptop by making it useless away from external monitor and keyboard less of a hassle than sacrificing an hour to take it apart and bake the MoBo in the owen?
If so, then perhaps you did not need a laptop in the first place.
T420s - i7, 16GB RAM, Samsung 850 EVO + 1TB Hitachi 9.5mm, Nvidia, Oleh Bios.
W500 - C2D P9500, 8GB RAM, Samsung 830 SSD + 750GB Hitachi HDD, Intel+ATI GPU, bright WUXGA, FP-reader
Arch Linux, BTRFS+ZFS on LUKS

miro_gt
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Re: Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option. *PICS*

#27 Post by miro_gt » Sat Dec 29, 2012 1:48 pm

for those having problems with connecting external video card via the advanced dock, please be aware that those may give problems if your laptop is having more than 2GB or RAM. So if you experience beeps at boot up (1-long + 2-short beeps is video card error), limit your laptop to 2GB RAM and this will solve all issues. Some people have reported that up to 2.5GB of RAM works fine (1x2GB DIMM + 512MB DIMM), but 3GB and over does not. However this may differ slightly based on the used BIOS/OS.

I did some research of the topic mainly because I would like some more GPU performance, and I came up with the fact that the best card you can use in the advanced dock so far is the Radeon 7750 'low profile' that is currently for sale for around 100 USD. This is the fastest card that can be used without additional power connectors (i.e. powers only from the PCI slot in the dock).

some specs:
- model 2012
- 512 shaders @ ~800MHz
- 1GB GDDR5 @ ~1125MHz
- 28nm manufacturing process
- 128 bit bus
- Dual link DVI, mini DP, mini HDMI (comes with DVI to VGA, mini DP to DP, and mini HDMI to HDMI adapters if you get the Sapphire version)

It sounds so good that I'm thinking of trying it :D People report actual TDP of ~55 watts.
T61: 14.1" 1400x1050, T9500 @ 2.8GHz, 4GB RAM CL4, nVidia 140m @ 600/925 MHz, Samsung 830 256GB, DVD-rec, 5300agn, FP, BT, 6-cell, clean XP Pro
T61: 14.1"w 1280x800, T9500 @ 2.8GHz, 4GB RAM CL4, Intel X3100, Samsung 830 256GB, DVD-rec, 4965agn, 4-cell, clean XP Pro

Wesley
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:09 pm
Location: Montreal, Canada

Re: Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option. *PICS*

#28 Post by Wesley » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:27 am

Lockheed wrote: So you consider the hassle of being forever and ever desk-bound with your laptop by making it useless away from external monitor and keyboard less of a hassle than sacrificing an hour to take it apart and bake the MoBo in the owen?
If so, then perhaps you did not need a laptop in the first place.
First of all, you are completely out of line to suggest what I do and do not need. Secondly, why would I risk frying my motherboard by stressing all of the components in the oven, which can render it utterly useless? I rather have a desktop that fully functions. Thirdly, I bought myself a T500. I will not rely on a laptop that has a "quick fix" that might last a couple of months, weeks, or for a matter of days.

Lockheed
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Posts: 182
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 11:16 am
Location: France (most of the time)

Re: Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option. *PICS*

#29 Post by Lockheed » Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:22 am

Wesley wrote:First of all, you are completely out of line to suggest what I do and do not need. Secondly, why would I risk frying my motherboard by stressing all of the components in the oven, which can render it utterly useless? I rather have a desktop that fully functions. Thirdly, I bought myself a T500. I will not rely on a laptop that has a "quick fix" that might last a couple of months, weeks, or for a matter of days.
I do not suggest what you need or don't need. I am merely summarising your own post.

Let's consider two scenarios:
1. People who do not need a laptop.
2. People who actually need a laptop.



Ad.1. Laptop screen no longer works → plug in a stationary monitor → keep using the laptop on the desk → YUPPIE! Wesley's the Man!

If that is not making your laptop “utterly useless” for its primary purposes, then guess what – you probably did not need a laptop in the first place.



Ad.2. Laptop screen no longer works → plug in a stationary monitor → keep using the laptop on the desk → laptop rendered utterly useless due to inability to take it wherever you go/travel.


So while your solution is 100% risk free, to people who need a portable computer (AKA laptop) it also makes a ThinkPad just as useless as if it had melted down during faulty oven reflow.

Contrariwise, doing a proper oven reflow has high probability of entirely reviving your quasi-dead laptop so that you can keep using it just as you used to – on the go and far away from the home desk.
And if you do it right (which is not difficult)*, an oven reflow is quite unlikely to brake anything in your laptop, as the only things affected by the mere 215 Celsius are going to be the soldering tracks (which is good) and the stickers turning brown (indifferent).

No, this solution will probably not be permanent. And yes, it may fail again a week, a month, or two years from now (chances of subsequent failure can be greatly decreased by undervolting/running your laptop's CPU/GPU cooler).
But at least it not rendered utterly useless on the spot as a laptop by hooking it permanently to a desk monitor.


Your post is very well written and valuable. You did a good job and I am sure it can help people who do not actually need a laptop, or no longer need THIS particular computer to remain portable.
However, to those who still need their ThinkPad to remain a portable computer, this is in no way a viable alternative to the four solutions listed in your initial post.

Therefore, I stand by my original post.



* - I've done it with several laptops, including a HP/Compaq (baked in 2010) and the very ThinkPad I am typing this message on (baked 7 months ago). All still working.
T420s - i7, 16GB RAM, Samsung 850 EVO + 1TB Hitachi 9.5mm, Nvidia, Oleh Bios.
W500 - C2D P9500, 8GB RAM, Samsung 830 SSD + 750GB Hitachi HDD, Intel+ATI GPU, bright WUXGA, FP-reader
Arch Linux, BTRFS+ZFS on LUKS

Wesley
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:09 pm
Location: Montreal, Canada

Re: Dead T61 w/Nvidia 140M? Here's an option. *PICS*

#30 Post by Wesley » Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:54 am

To :Lockheed and whoever else.

Before this becomes a flame-war, let me reiterate, this is an OPTION. If you don't like it, don't follow through with it, if you're a person that likes disassembling things by all means go ahead. This option gives people a choice and they will have to decide whether it's worth opening up their laptop, throwing it out, converting it or buying a new one. The choice is personal. All of you know yourselves the best and what your needs are. If you need a mobile solution, you'll figure out what's best. Personally, I figured that I would rather rely on a newer laptop that isn't know to have issues with a graphics chip. Also IMHO, a T61 is probably between 4-6 years old, and it maybe time for an upgrade (i3, i5, i7, USB 3.0, HDMI out, slimmer, lighter, etc.). At the end of the day, I'm happy about my decision, I have a desktop at home, and a laptop for when I travel between cities.

The decision is yours.

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