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fixing T400 (screen band, upgrade to 1440x900)

T400/410/420 and T500/510/520 series specific matters only
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Utwig
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fixing T400 (screen band, upgrade to 1440x900)

#1 Post by Utwig » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:22 am

I want to bring the T400 in good condition as part of fixing my Thinkpad collection initiative. Here are it's problems:
- There is a pixel shifting red horizontal band of pixels at the bottom across bottom third of taskbar area that is changing colors. It's present in BIOS, Windows and Knoppix but not if I connect external 1280x1024 monitor via dock. The board has ATI Radeon HD 3470 graphics, the screen is 1280x800.
- It might have memory problem

I would like to upgrade screen to 1440x900 and fix the band. Questions:
- Am I safe to assume it's a motherboard problem and not a screen or screen cable problem and just order Intel-only motherboard or do I need further testing?
- What is the best 1440x900 screen option for T400, any chance of aftermarket LED?
T540p, T420s, T400, R61, X61t, T60p, T42p, A21p

ajkula66
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Re: fixing T400 (screen band, upgrade to 1440x900)

#2 Post by ajkula66 » Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:15 am

Utwig wrote:
Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:22 am

Am I safe to assume it's a motherboard problem and not a screen or screen cable problem and just order Intel-only motherboard or do I need further testing?
It would help if you could post a link to the pictures of the defect. My initial guess would be that the screen is defective.
What is the best 1440x900 screen option for T400, any chance of aftermarket LED?
Some T400 units were shipped with LED 1440x900 panels, but I believe that you might have to swap the entire lid in order to get it working, it's been a long time since I've played with T400 series...

Good luck.
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Re: fixing T400 (screen band, upgrade to 1440x900)

#3 Post by TonyJZX » Sun Jul 29, 2018 5:56 pm

Just buy the screen and cable if you really want.

I feel like most dont warrant the expense however if you really love a particular machine.

I have a pile of T400s and I think only one has a 900p LED screen as its a late model option.

Utwig
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Re: fixing T400 (screen band, upgrade to 1440x900)

#4 Post by Utwig » Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:15 pm

Here is the boot menu (In Windows/Knoppix is the same)
https://imgur.com/NqVrXaT
Here is the BIOS
https://imgur.com/bnnWFMQ

The band changes pixels and color but does not react to pressing on keyboard area or LCD cable. This would point towards the motherboard, while no band on external screen via dock would imply it's the monitor.
The laptop has 1280x800 non-LED panel without webcam.

I know it's not financially viable to fix it, I'm doing it for the path is the goal. I don't love this machine as much as it wasn't mine originally but I'd like to fix it to get in the fixing mood before I start fixing my dearer machines. This won't be a daily driver, it will probably be my try different distros machine. I also won't go overboard financially for this project but new screen or motherboard, upgrade RAM from 2GB, add small SSD.
T540p, T420s, T400, R61, X61t, T60p, T42p, A21p

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Re: fixing T400 (screen band, upgrade to 1440x900)

#5 Post by dr_st » Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:03 am

I wouldn't conclude as quickly that it's the motherboard. It can be the screen itself. Since you want to upgrade the LCD anyways, it would make sense to try that first.
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Re: fixing T400 (screen band, upgrade to 1440x900)

#6 Post by TPFanatic » Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:24 pm

Screen problems are usually the screen, especially bands on the display.

A GPU error would put artifacts all over the place a la T42p GPU failure which is not what this is seeing; or no screen at all, or a laptop that refuses to POST.
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Utwig
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Re: fixing T400 (screen band, upgrade to 1440x900)

#7 Post by Utwig » Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:29 pm

I ordered a complete LED screen assembly, will report back when it arrives. It's probably the small res but if it works, I can upgrade just the LCD. Buying all LED parts separately is expensive.
T540p, T420s, T400, R61, X61t, T60p, T42p, A21p

Utwig
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Re: fixing T400 (screen band, upgrade to 1440x900)

#8 Post by Utwig » Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:41 pm

The LCD (1280x800) arrived and the line is still there.

https://imgur.com/7yEv7je
https://imgur.com/84RKrOT

So next step is the motherboard. How do I make sure LCD is LED?

I know I can open it but those screw covers can become damaged. Is there another way to make sure whether new LCD is LED or CCFL?

EDIT: Crap I pulled corner screw and lifted the bezel and the board is 41W1479 which is the inverter and not the LED.

Anyone has any experience with ebay disputes?
T540p, T420s, T400, R61, X61t, T60p, T42p, A21p

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