removing the X61s wireless cards *PICS*

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alphascan
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removing the X61s wireless cards *PICS*

#1 Post by alphascan » Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:42 pm

I have an X61s which I love and want to hang on to for as long as I can.

I want to remove the WIFI card and the WWAN card since they both generate too much heat at the palm rest.

Even with wireless options disabled in the BIOS and the wireless hardware switch on the laptop turned off it still generates heat.
I want to remove and do away with both cards altogether.

Problem: I took the system apart to find that there are small screws that hold both cards into the main board (unlike what Lenovo's video's show you where there is no screw - the card just pops out) The screws are so small and I have lots of precession screw drivers here but I cannot get them to unscrew - so much so that the screws are now stripped.
I've tried everything - using a thick rubber band and the screw driver on top etc
Nothing is working - and i really want to get the two cards out of my laptop.

Any ideas / recommendations would be awesome

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Re: removing the X61s wireless cards

#2 Post by Thinkpad Lover » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:25 pm

Hello,

I would imagine that if you have wifi disabled and hardware switch off then the wireless cards are not to blame. I don't think the WLAN and WWAN cards should still generate heat in such a scenario. There may be another source of heat and your fan may need a fresh cleaning and lubrication, maybe even a fresh application of Arctic Silver 5 thermal compound. I would also check the health of the battery and AC adapter.

I understand you recently switched over a fan from your x61 Tablet: http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.ph ... 01#p681901 Don't mind me asking, but did you thoroughly clean off the old thermal paste and carefully put fresh thermal paste when you did so? As far as you know, is the fan screwed down tightly and making good contact with the CPU?

As for stripped screws, welcome to the club :wink: Those little wifi card screws can easily get stripped. There are about 100 threads discussing how to remove those little rascals. Just use this advanced search of the Forum, enter something such as "stripped screws" in that first text box, and press <Enter>: http://www.google.com/advanced_search?q ... as_qdr=all

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Re: removing the X61s wireless cards (PICS)

#3 Post by Tasurinchi » Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:39 am

This is one of the typical discussions about the X6x series, hot palmrest! :wink:

Sorry to hear about the stripped screws, happened to me a couple of times so I'm always extra careful with them. Back to the heat issue, you may try using a half size wlan card with an adapter. You can search in the Marketplace for an Intel 6200 or 6205 if you have two antennas or for an Intel 6300 if you have three antennas. And then you'll need an adapter to get it installed properly. If have a 6200 and the palmrest is much cooler now. Many users have reported the same.

That's how the 6200 card and the adapter look like:

Image

Image
IBM Convertible 5140/L40SX/220/240/240X/2*340CSE/360PE/365XD/380D/380E/380XD/380Z/390/560E/560X/2*570/2*600/600E/750Cs/755C/760CD/760EL/760XD/770E
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Re: removing the X61s wireless cards

#4 Post by alphascan » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:55 am

Thanks for your replies!

@Tasurinchi - your screws look so clean - jealous :)
I have an Atheros installed in the X61s right now and I want to replace it with an Intel 4965AG which I took out from my X61 tablet http://www.amazon.com/Intel-4965AG-Wire ... B002L3P4T6
The X61t gave me NO heat problems ever. I miss it :(
Do you think the 4965AG will help with the heat problem?
If not, I am happy to use a Netgear Micro USB wifi adapter but I wonder how much battery that will use up :?

@Daniel
It is realy strange that disabling all wireless radios still generates around the palm rest. the palm rest heats up but the rest of the laptop is cool - i am sure its the cards.
There are some really useful inputs on stripped screws on these forums. I did not realize that others would have made the same mistake. i'll give one of those solutions a try and see if i can get the 2 cards out. I found a thread with the exact same laptop and issue :)

Worst case i'll try to snap off the edge of the cards attaching to the crew :(
I'm so confused - what would you do if you were me?

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Re: removing the X61s wireless cards

#5 Post by Tasurinchi » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:53 am

alphascan wrote:@Tasurinchi - your screws look so clean - jealous
They don't look so clean in HD :roll:

If you have an 4965AG around I think it's no harm to try it...
alphascan wrote:Worst case i'll try to snap off the edge of the cards attaching to the crew
That would be really the last thing to try. I normally drill the tips of the screw, last time I had a problem with the screws I drill them using a thin bit with my electric screwdriver at a slow speed. You have to be careful and have a steady hand though...
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A20p/A22p/A31/i1600/G40/R50p/R61i/S30/SL510/2*T22/4*T4x/11*T6x/6*T40x/6*T5x0/3*W5x0/W700/3*X2x/4*X3x/3*X4x/5*X6x/3*X6xT/12*X2xx/4*X30x/Z60m/3*Z61x

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Re: removing the X61s wireless cards *PICS*

#6 Post by Edward Mendelson » Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:34 pm

alphascan wrote:Problem: I took the system apart to find that there are small screws that hold both cards into the main board (unlike what Lenovo's video's show you where there is no screw - the card just pops out) The screws are so small and I have lots of precession screw drivers here but I cannot get them to unscrew - so much so that the screws are now stripped.
I've tried everything - using a thick rubber band and the screw driver on top etc
Nothing is working - and i really want to get the two cards out of my laptop.
This happened to me on three X61s. For the first two, I got professional help from Brad on this forum, whom I highly recommend. Great guy; great work. You can find a message from here and send him a PM if you want to go that route:

http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.ph ... 43#p682543

The third time, however, I decided to grit my teeth and try to fix it myself. I am a complete beginner at this kind of handiwork, but I managed. I put a very small drill bit in an electric drill - a small enough bit to fit snugly into the hole in the stripped screw head - and very slowly drilled into the head. After a little while, the screw head popped off.

I managed to remove the second screw with a high-quality German-made precision screw driver, one size larger than the screw seemed to need - I think size 0, though it might have been 1. The mistakes I made every other time were either using a screwdriver that was too small or not using a high-quality driver.

Anyway, after drilling out the stripped screw head, I could then pop out the card, and remove the shaft of the screw by gripping it with a small pliers and turning until it came out normally.

If I can do it, anyone can do it, but I'm not sure I would have had the courage to do it if I hadn't seen Brad do it so I had a clear idea of how to get it done.
Last edited by Edward Mendelson on Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: removing the X61s wireless cards *PICS*

#7 Post by ScottyBoy » Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:39 pm

You got lucky there Mendelson as a couple of times now I've literally had to cut up the wireless cards to pieces (thankfully the cards in question were faulty) to get decent grips on the screws to get them ripped out and replaced with better ones - the existing screws had been so badly threaded that cutting or drilling into them would have done more harm than good...thank god for a sharp pair of pincers! :lol:

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Re: removing the X61s wireless cards *PICS*

#8 Post by Edward Mendelson » Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:48 pm

ScottyBoy wrote:You got lucky there Mendelson as a couple of times now I've literally had to cut up the wireless cards to pieces (thankfully the cards in question were faulty) to get decent grips on the screws to get them ripped out and replaced with better ones - the existing screws had been so badly threaded that cutting or drilling into them would have done more harm than good...thank god for a sharp pair of pincers! :lol:
You're a brave man! I'd worry about destroying the planar board with those pincers.

We must really like our ThinkPads even to be willing to go through this kind of thing. (I'm writing this from a 14-inch 4:3 T61....)

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Re: removing the X61s wireless cards *PICS*

#9 Post by alphascan » Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:02 pm

Wow - it's great to hear everyone’s story. Thanks so much for posting.

Looks like I'm going into surgery tonight.
I'll try drilling first - if that fails I'll try a pair of pincers.
It would be a shame to destroy two perfectly good wireless modules including the Sierra card :(

I've had the X201, X200, X60, X60T but the X61s is my favorite of the litter. I hope it makes it out alive (sniff sniff)
The X201 and X200 made me realise that Thinkpads will never be the way they used to...

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Re: removing the X61s wireless cards *PICS*

#10 Post by Edward Mendelson » Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:08 pm

alphascan wrote:Looks like I'm going into surgery tonight. I'll try drilling first - if that fails I'll try a pair of pincers.
Good luck, and let us know how it turns out!

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Re: removing the X61s wireless cards *PICS*

#11 Post by alphascan » Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:33 am

So I tried to give this a shot last night but realized that I do not have a small enough bit.
So (and I know this sounds really stupid) I used a really sharp screw that I had in place of a bit. The screw was sturdy and drilled gently only to see a really tiny hole in the screw.
I looked at the other option of ripping the cards out but there's nothing enough room to get under there. Not to forget that I can easily damage more than just the wireless cards ifbi I go down that path. The drill option seems easy so I think I'll wait till the weekend to buy new, smaller bits. What size should I look for?

Thanks everyone

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Re: removing the X61s wireless cards *PICS*

#12 Post by ScottyBoy » Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:07 am

Edward Mendelson wrote:You're a brave man! I'd worry about destroying the planar board with those pincers.

We must really like our ThinkPads even to be willing to go through this kind of thing. (I'm writing this from a 14-inch 4:3 T61....)
I'm Scottish, so I have the required set of brass monkeys for doing such a reckless action! :lol:

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Re: removing the X61s wireless cards *PICS*

#13 Post by ScottyBoy » Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:09 am

alphascan wrote:So I tried to give this a shot last night but realized that I do not have a small enough bit.
So (and I know this sounds really stupid) I used a really sharp screw that I had in place of a bit. The screw was sturdy and drilled gently only to see a really tiny hole in the screw.
I looked at the other option of ripping the cards out but there's nothing enough room to get under there. Not to forget that I can easily damage more than just the wireless cards ifbi I go down that path. The drill option seems easy so I think I'll wait till the weekend to buy new, smaller bits. What size should I look for?

Thanks everyone
I honestly can't remember what drill bit type and size I used last time, so best to wait for the other forum members to confirm. :)

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Re: removing the X61s wireless cards *PICS*

#14 Post by RealBlackStuff » Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:22 am

Make sure it is HSS, a size 3, 3.5, 4, 4.5 or 5 mm will do.
Just drill slowly and be prepared to stop instantly, before it chews up your wifi card.
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Re: removing the X61s wireless cards *PICS*

#15 Post by Edward Mendelson » Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:36 am

The bit I used was the one very slightly larger than the shaft of the screw. That way, when I drilled down slowly, the screw head turned into a tiny metal doughnut that separated from the shaft. Worked perfectly.

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Re: removing the X61s wireless cards *PICS*

#16 Post by alphascan » Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:57 am

I was getting really impatient to wait for the weekend so I decided to go with plan B - i.e rip out the cards :oops:
I started with the Sierra card and surprisingly found that the card/PCB itself is really delicate and that’s the reason why ScottyBoy was able to rip it out.
In my case I had some success with one of the screws but the other one is difficult to access.
I must advice that if you love your thinkpad it's going to be *very* difficult to go down this path.
I went half way and decided to stop since I was afraid of damaging the main board that the wireless cards are connected to.

So I looked around and actually found a bit at home :banana:
I started to drill really slow, three pulses at a time - trigger - trigger - trigger / break / trigger - trigger - trigger / break / trigger...
I did this for atleast 5 whole minutes!
The crew is getting to be the shape of a deep wine glass and I wonder if this is helping. The outer most part of the screw head has not even been touched and the hole forming in the screw is quite deep - no doughnut for me like how Edward Mendelson described.
When should i stop drilling? Until the bit reaches the edge of the screw head?

I don’t know how to upload images or I would have clicked and uploaded a picture.

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Re: removing the X61s wireless cards *PICS*

#17 Post by Edward Mendelson » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:11 am

Do you mean that the screw head is no longer flat, but that the perimeter is lifting up so that the screw head begins to look like a cup? I've never seen anything like that before, and don't know what to suggest. I don't know what you mean by drilling until the hole reaches the edge of the screw head. The hole should be in the center of the head, as if you were drilling out a doughnut hole - or transforming the screw head into a washer. Could you explain this in more detail? Exactly how is the drill approaching the edge of the screw head?

But if, instead, you mean that you are digging a deeper and deeper hole in the center of the screw, and that there is still a flat ring (the undrilled part of the screw head) around the hole, then I think you should keep going, but of course, without seeing exactly what is happening, I can't guarantee results. I hope others will offer their greater experience.

Remember, the bit should be at most very slightly larger than the shaft of the screw, but a lot smaller than the screw head. It's possible that a bit the same diameter as the shaft of the screw would work equally well.

PS: To upload images, you upload them from your camera to some website that hosts images, for example, Snapfish.com or Tublr.com or Picasa.com. Then right-click the image on that other website and copy the link. Then, while editing a message here, click on the "Img" box in the toolbar just below the Subject line, and insert the link.

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Re: removing the X61s wireless cards *PICS*

#18 Post by alphascan » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:20 am

You were right,i just had to keep going :-)
Maybe my bit is not sharp enough so it took 10 minutes to get to the donut shape.
1 screw is off - 3 more to go. Maybe later this evening.
Thanks so much for all the help advice.
I will soon report is swapping the wifi card helped with thr heat problem .
Thank you

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Re: removing the X61s wireless cards *PICS*

#19 Post by Edward Mendelson » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:45 am

Glad to hear it! I felt very pleased with myself when I accomplished the same thing, and the X61s survived the operation perfectly. You might try drilling somewhat faster on the next ones, or perhaps (as you say) getting a new high-quality drill bit.

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Re: removing the X61s wireless cards *PICS*

#20 Post by alphascan » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:54 am

two screws down, sierra card out, and I'm typing from my X61s :-)
even the second one took me way to long - about 8-12 minutes of drilling.
i need to buy a new bit.

thanks Edward and eveyone else.
more updates shortly

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Re: removing the X61s wireless cards *PICS*

#21 Post by alphascan » Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:55 pm

UPDATE

finally removed all screws, this time it took about 3 minutes per screw - same bit (i revised my technique) after i taped some think thermocol sheets around the wirless cards i was more confident while drilling away :)

i have replaced the atheros wifi card with the 4965G and contrary to what other people have reported i think its running quite cool!
i am playing back 2 HD youtube videos in another screen (which i imagine are pulling a decent amount of data via the wifi card) full brightness and still no heat.
my processor fan is spinning away - tpfan control shows 60 degrees

i am very glad that i went down this path - i can now replace the 4965G wifi card with the 6200 if i ever feel the need to.

note: my laptop is howver running a little hot close to the bigger/processor fan, which i can perhaps reduce with some Arctic Silver 5 as others have recommended (or maybe its hot since i'm doing alot on my computer right now)

i might even consider removing the additional fan close to the wifi card. since i do not have the heat problem anymore - i have to go through the process of drilling screws there too but i'll address that after a few days of use.

thanks everyone for the help, advice and the confidence to go ahead and do such a thing :thumbs-UP:

cheers

PS. I did salvage both wireless cards the atheros and the sierra :)

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Re: removing the X61s wireless cards *PICS*

#22 Post by vavet » Wed May 01, 2013 4:19 am

here is my solution :D Image
X61 (T9300, 8gb RAM, 120gb SSD, LED SXGA+, integrated webcam, invisible touchpad, modded battery etc.)

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Re: removing the X61s wireless cards *PICS*

#23 Post by E350 » Sun May 05, 2013 11:42 pm

Yup. I have had stuck wifi screws on a few X's as well. It is counter-intuitive, I know but one thing you can try (and luckily it has always worked for me) before drilling, is to tighten the screw slightly until it breaks loose. You can't untighten a screw until you break it loose and, quite frankly, it doesn't matter which way you turn the screw to get it to break loose, you just gotta get it to break free.

So, if you have stripped it so the screw driver can't grab it in the counterclockwise direction, then try to tighten it by pushing the screwdriver really hard down into the screw head and tap the top of the screwdriver with a small hammer while turning it to tighten while lightly tapping . . . until it breaks free. Once broken free it should unscrew counterclockwise.

Good Luck!

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