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unlucky with thinklights

X200, X201, X220 (including equivalent tablet models) and X300, X301 series specific matters only.
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ryan1212
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unlucky with thinklights

#1 Post by ryan1212 » Wed May 06, 2015 5:37 pm

I have had an x60 for a few years now, and the thinklight on it burned out about a year ago. I decided it was time for an upgrade, and bought a used x201 from eBay.. It arrived today and actually is in near mint condition AND on first glance has a decent battery. I got the OS installed, and was using it in low light and thought I would turn on the thinklight. Turns out this one does not work either!!

It is just a matter of replacing the LCD ribbon cable? Is replacing this cable any more difficult than on the T400 which I did years ago? (OEM cable had a bad connection that was causing lines in the LCD screen)

Would it be fair to ask the seller for $50 credit to replace the cable and my time to do it?

Thanks,
Ryan
X220 4287-2WU, X201 3625-F5U, X60 1709-H6U, T400 2767-RB2, T40 2373-75U

rkawakami
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Re: unlucky with thinklights

#2 Post by rkawakami » Wed May 06, 2015 7:10 pm

The way I see it, there's several components which could prevent the Thinklight from turning on:

- the actual Thinklight LED is burned out or disconnected from the ribbon cable
- the ribbon cable has a tear in it (that only affects the light and nothing else; I'm assuming that this is the only LCD-related problem you are seeing)
- the connector at the end of the LCD ribbon cable and/or the matching connector on the motherboard is defective/dirty
- the transistor that switches the LED on and off is defective
- the power (5V) that drives the LED is absent (open resistor)
- the control signal from the Embedded Controller that drives the transistor is disconnected
- the firmware in the Embedded Controller is at fault
- the keyboard's Fn and/or PgUp key is defective

Simple attempts at fixing the issue would be to re-seat the LCD ribbon cable on the motherboard (taking a good look at pins 37 and 39 on both connectors). If it were me I'd also try testing the LED using a multimeter that can test a diode. As far as it being harder to remove the X201 LCD cable than the T400, I wouldn't know as I've never done either. I'd say that it does require that you remove the panel from the lid. Grab a copy of the Hardware Maintenance Manual if you don't already have it (see the HMM link at the top of this page).

Concerning getting a "rebate" from the seller; $50 seems kind of high unless you paid over $400 for it.
Ray Kawakami
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