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X61 Strange smell

X60/X61 series specific matters only.
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sean161
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Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:41 pm
Location: Auckland, NZ

X61 Strange smell

#1 Post by sean161 » Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:10 pm

Hi I just picked up an X61 thinkpad. I'm using Peppermint OS 8 with an SSD.

Everything seems to be working find, but every now and then a strange small seems to be eminating from the laptop.

I would describe it as a sort of metal/pastic kind of smell, but at the same time NOT like burning plastic.

Could this be coming from internal dust or is this something worse?

I'm wondering if any of you guys have experienced this. Am I breathing in silicon vapors or plastic gases!? :eek:

kfzhu1229
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Re: X61 Strange smell

#2 Post by kfzhu1229 » Fri Jul 24, 2020 9:24 pm

It doesn't happen to have the kind of sour saliva smell right?
I had come across a T41 that had that kind of smell and while I was tearing it down to replace the thermal paste, I see the PC cage is full of dead cockroaches and you definitely wanna rid of that and the eggs because you never know...
I cleaned off the biohazard by taking off the motherboard and the plastic tapes, and then used Lysol disinfectant to cover up the smell and now it is all gone.
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sean161
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Location: Auckland, NZ

Re: X61 Strange smell

#3 Post by sean161 » Sat Jul 25, 2020 12:50 am

Oh my god that sounds horrible.

It doesn't really smell biological, but it seems possible.

I might open it up to clean and redo thermal pasting anyway.

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Re: X61 Strange smell

#4 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sat Jul 25, 2020 1:21 am

Install Linux Mint instead of Peppermint, it might smell better! :lol:
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atagunov
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Re: X61 Strange smell

#5 Post by atagunov » Sat Jul 25, 2020 4:09 am

I believe I sensed a bit of "old electronics" smell from my T60 a couple of times. It reminded me of how equipment in my dad's lab at the uni smelled. They had some really old oscilloscopes there, built on tubes not transistors. And they smelled this. I don't know if it was old insulation, or perhaps rotten grease from fans.. Not sure what else can smell.. I still haven't started working on that T60 seriously and the smell is no longer strong, but I may have a chance to explore it closer soon.

P.S. I had come across a notebook full of dead cockroaches in my life. It was unsightly but did not smell at all as far as I remember
X220, 2 *T520

sean161
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Re: X61 Strange smell

#6 Post by sean161 » Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:01 am

Thanks for the replies everyone.

So I disassembled it and thankfully there was no insect infestation. But I'm still no nearer to finding the source of the smell.

It doesn't seem to be coming from one specific component. Maybe I need to somehow blast the whole thing with a different smell...

atagunov
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Re: X61 Strange smell

#7 Post by atagunov » Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:46 pm

sean161 wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:01 am
It doesn't seem to be coming from one specific component. Maybe I need to somehow blast the whole thing with a different smell...
I wonder if it's the enclosure or the boards that smell? Of course we also have the screen panel..

Washing/soaking in fabric softener/spraying with Febreeze the body should be pretty easy. Not so easy for screen panel/keyboard/trackpad/boards.. Going into pure fantasy land, removing all keycaps and washing the rest of the keyboard in IPA on the outside should be doable too.. (on classic keyboards) never tried myself though.. Probably one could even waste a generous bucket of IPA on the motherboard itself (washing with IPA seems to be a standard part of BGA reballing work and possibly of other smaller repairs.. so the board/components should generally take IPA ok + it dries fast)

P.S. does anybody know how best to remove (just tear off?) and more importantly how to re-attach mylar to Thinkpad motherboards? No proper cleaning can be done with mylar on, etc
X220, 2 *T520

kfzhu1229
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Re: X61 Strange smell

#8 Post by kfzhu1229 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:32 pm

atagunov wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:46 pm
Going into pure fantasy land, removing all keycaps and washing the rest of the keyboard in IPA on the outside should be doable too.. (on classic keyboards) never tried myself though..
Be careful about washing the keyboard even with alcohol. If your keyboard previously had liquid seeping into the membrane, rinsing the keyboard with alcohol will rinse the liquid residue off with the trace on the membrane that it probably ate into! Dabbing some on a toothbrush and then brush over it is most likely fine, but something like pouring alcohol directly onto the keyboard is not!
I know this might sound strange but I learnt that the hard way after breaking a classic keyboard from a T520!
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Precision M4300 X9000 8gb 160gb WUXGA Ultrasharp fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10 (Sharp)
Lat C840 P4-2.5 2gb 60gb W7 (Ultrasharp)

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