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my T500 won't boot - wrong keyboard?

T400/410/420 and T500/510/520 series specific matters only
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angelofthesouth
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my T500 won't boot - wrong keyboard?

#1 Post by angelofthesouth » Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:55 pm

I have a T500 that won't boot beyond simply powering up. I suspect that nothing's wrong except that I had the wrong keyboard plugged in. The T500 makes a certain pattern of beeps indicating something : "BEEP! BEEP BEEP BEEP! BEEP BEEP BEEP! BEEP!" Does anyone recognize that pattern (if as text)?

The reason I suspect the keyboard: Last time I did anything with this T500 a few months ago, I swapped keyboards with a T400 because one was missing a key and/or its wire frame. I no longer remember which laptop originally had the bad keyboard. I think there's nothing wrong with the CPU or motherboard on this T500, or it probably wouldn't have been able to beep at me. It's not a lack of RAM--I made sure I had some in.

Or maybe it's refusing to accept the RAM--I have two non-matching sticks in. Well, my other Thinkpads have accepted non-matching RAM...

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Re: my T500 won't boot - wrong keyboard?

#2 Post by jdhurst » Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:02 pm

Remove all but one memory module and any other removable peripherals. Start it up. Does it start or just beep

angelofthesouth
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Re: my T500 won't boot - wrong keyboard?

#3 Post by angelofthesouth » Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:15 pm

Done. One 4 GB RAM stick inserted; nothing plugged in (including no keyboard or touchpad) except the power. Still only beeps that pattern: BEEP! BEEP BEEP BEEP! BEEP BEEP BEEP! BEEP!

Since no keyboard is covering the innards, I can see the CPU fan spinning.

Something interesting (to me) is that this does not require a keyboard's power switch to turn on. It turns itself on upon being plugged in. I didn't know any way to boot a Thinkpad (for models older than T500, anyway) without the keyboard--I don't think any of mine could power themselves on without the button. This is actually rather useful for the current purpose--testing the keyboard.

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Re: my T500 won't boot - wrong keyboard?

#4 Post by jdhurst » Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:46 pm

I think that might indicate a hardware problem with the board or CPU.

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Re: my T500 won't boot - wrong keyboard?

#5 Post by ajkula66 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:54 pm

angelofthesouth wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:15 pm

Something interesting (to me) is that this does not require a keyboard's power switch to turn on. It turns itself on upon being plugged in. I didn't know any way to boot a Thinkpad (for models older than T500, anyway) without the keyboard--I don't think any of mine could power themselves on without the button. This is actually rather useful for the current purpose--testing the keyboard.
I'm inclined to say that the board is bad. Your machine is not supposed to be turning on without the keyboard command to do so.
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solved

#6 Post by angelofthesouth » Mon Sep 02, 2019 2:11 pm

I just solved the problem after doing more research myself. It wasn't the keyboard, it was actually the RAM, contrary to my expectations.

This T500 will accept only the two RAM DIMMs I had in my T400, which is odd because those aren't a matching pair or anything. They're just both 4 GB. One is Hynix and the other is Axiom.

The RAM DIMMs I had in this T500 were apparently causing it to behave very peculiarly. The turning itself on as soon as i plugged in power: that happens only with one or both of those RAM DIMMs inserted. Now that I have switched those out for the T400's RAM, the T500 behaves normally; I am typing on it. Something is probably wrong with at least one of those particular DIMMs. I should try them in the T400 and see what happens. If it runs normally, there's probably nothing wrong with the DIMMs after all; the T500 just doesn't "like" them.

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Re: my T500 won't boot - wrong keyboard?

#7 Post by jdhurst » Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:07 pm

In my first post, I thought it was the memory and now you say that was the issue. Good luck replacing it.

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Re: my T500 won't boot - wrong keyboard?

#8 Post by TPFanatic » Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:55 pm

IME as well individual T500s are oddly picky with some RAM.
lenovo T420 i7 2670qm 16GB QHD + eGPU GTX 960
lenovo T430s i5 3230m 16GB QHD w/ optimus(RIP), lenovo T430 i5 3320m 8GB FHD, lenovo T500 P9700 8GB WUXGA(LED) w/ switchable graphics
Enable 2 finger scroll on old Synaptics touchpads with registry.

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Re: my T500 won't boot - wrong keyboard?

#9 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:54 am

Next time you hear such beeps, remember them as RAM error beep 1-3-3-1 which have been discussed everywhere.
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Re: my T500 won't boot - wrong keyboard?

#10 Post by MikalE » Tue Sep 03, 2019 5:00 am

My first T500 didn't care what RAM was used, but my second is rather particular about what is inserted.
T500 T9600 2055-BE9
T510 i5 4384-DV7
T510 i7 4349-A64
T520 i7 4242-4UU(CTO)


T520: i7-2760QM(2.40GHz),16GB, 500GB SSD/250GB SSD, 1600x900, 1GB NVIDIA, DVDRW, Smartcard, media card, FPR, Win7 Pro64, XP Pro64 whitelist BIOS, N 6300 AGN, German KB, BT 4.0.

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