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upgrading or at least updating my T410

T400/410/420 and T500/510/520 series specific matters only
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upgrading or at least updating my T410

#1 Post by T410 » Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:01 pm

I love my T410 i5 2.4ghz and want to keep it going as long as possible if I can figure out the battery problem viewtopic.php?f=45&t=129669. It was a refurbished unit when I bought it 3..5 years ago. I replaced the screen recently and want to get a new hd (possibly ssd) and motherboard. I'm not that smart about these things, so what do I need to take into consideration and/or be concerned about to make sure I get it right?

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Re: upgrading or at least updating my T410

#2 Post by Cigarguy » Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:41 pm

Fix the issue with the battery first. Sounds like there's something mechanically wrong with how the battery connects to the laptop. Hopefully the fault is with the battery and not the chassis. If battery is at fault than replace battery otherwise consider getting another Thinkpad. Thinkpads of this generation can be had for a song.

Regardless, first upgrade would be SSD as that is the biggest improvement in the computing experience. Then I'd consider upgrading the RAM to 8 GB and possibly a better wifi card. I'd stop there. A new SSD is also a good excuse to do a clean, fresh install of your preferred OS. I would also take the machine apart and apply fresh thermal paste.

If you have not already done it, download the maintenance manual (HMM)

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Re: upgrading or at least updating my T410

#3 Post by T410 » Sat Nov 23, 2019 12:13 am

Cigarguy wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:41 pm
Fix the issue with the battery first. Sounds like there's something mechanically wrong with how the battery connects to the laptop. Hopefully the fault is with the battery and not the chassis. If battery is at fault than replace battery otherwise consider getting another Thinkpad. Thinkpads of this generation can be had for a song.

Regardless, first upgrade would be SSD as that is the biggest improvement in the computing experience. Then I'd consider upgrading the RAM to 8 GB and possibly a better wifi card. I'd stop there. A new SSD is also a good excuse to do a clean, fresh install of your preferred OS. I would also take the machine apart and apply fresh thermal paste.

If you have not already done it, download the maintenance manual (HMM)
I'm pretty sure the problem is with the chassis, because it happens with more than one battery.

I've already got 8 GB Ram.

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Re: upgrading or at least updating my T410

#4 Post by T410 » Sat Nov 23, 2019 1:08 am

Ah! I think I fixed the battery issue...one of the 3 locking hasps was broken off on both of the batteries I have. So that's great news.

I've never replaced a motherboard. How do I make sure I buy the right one?

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Re: upgrading or at least updating my T410

#5 Post by dr_st » Sat Nov 23, 2019 1:27 am

Why do you want to replace the motherboard?
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Re: upgrading or at least updating my T410

#6 Post by T410 » Sat Nov 23, 2019 9:41 am

dr_st wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 1:27 am
Why do you want to replace the motherboard?

Mostly ignorance. Its old, the laptop has been dropped a couple times, my hard drive is probably going bad and the computer was acting up at times (its been months since I used it regularly so I don't remember specifics of what it was doing). In my initial reading it seemed like it might be the prudent thing to do but reading some more has cooled me off on the idea. I probably don't need to change it.

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Re: upgrading or at least updating my T410

#7 Post by Cigarguy » Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:24 am

Dropped a few times? Machine have been used hard and have been faithful all these years. Time to retire it and look for something in better condition and/or newer.

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Re: upgrading or at least updating my T410

#8 Post by T410 » Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:59 am

Cigarguy wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:24 am
Dropped a few times? Machine have been used hard and have been faithful all these years. Time to retire it and look for something in better condition and/or newer.
I already got something newer, a T430 that I hate. That's why I want something older again. I'd be happy to buy another refurbed 410 at the right price, but I haven't found any and just plain "used" ones are as much a gamble as fixing up mine. And mine is already paid for.
Last edited by T410 on Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: upgrading or at least updating my T410

#9 Post by ajkula66 » Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:24 am

T410 wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:59 am
I'd be happy to buy another refurbed 410 at the right price, but I haven't found that many and just plain "used" ones as as much a gamble as fixing up mine.
"Refurbished" is a marketing term which usually has little or nothing to do with reality, unless the unit came from IBM's or Lenovo's "refurbished" sites.

You can pick up a decent T410 by placing a WTB (want to buy) ad here in the forum's Marketplace. I recently bought one for a family member and couldn't be happier.
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Re: upgrading or at least updating my T410

#10 Post by T410 » Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:36 am

ajkula66 wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:24 am
T410 wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:59 am
I'd be happy to buy another refurbed 410 at the right price, but I haven't found that many and just plain "used" ones as as much a gamble as fixing up mine.
"Refurbished" is a marketing term which usually has little or nothing to do with reality, unless the unit came from IBM's or Lenovo's "refurbished" sites.

You can pick up a decent T410 by placing a WTB (want to buy) ad here in the forum's Marketplace. I recently bought one for a family member and couldn't be happier.
I get the point but I think there are refurbs and then there are "refurbs". Some places actually check the computers out and fix up as necessary to make them nearly like new. Others just use the word.

But turning the motherboard question around, why should I replace mine if can be made to work? There's no guarantee that even a truly refurbed unit hasn't been dropped....

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Re: upgrading or at least updating my T410

#11 Post by ajkula66 » Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:40 am

T410 wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:36 am


I get the point but I think there are refurbs and then there are "refurbs". Some places actually check the computers out and fix up as necessary to make them nearly like new. Others just use the word.
The latter group is significantly larger in my experience. I mean, how much time and effort can one possibly afford to put in a unit that sells under $100 fully loaded ?
But turning the motherboard question around, why should I replace mine if can be made to work? There's no guarantee that even a truly refurbed unit hasn't been dropped....
If the board works properly, leave it be. If it doesn't, swap it. It's really that simple.
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Re: upgrading or at least updating my T410

#12 Post by dr_st » Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:50 am

ajkula66 wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:40 am
If the board works properly, leave it be. If it doesn't, swap it. It's really that simple.
My thoughts exactly. On a machine this old, as long as it works, it really doesn't make sense to me to swap something that may have issues for something else, with an unknown history, that may also have issues.
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Re: upgrading or at least updating my T410

#13 Post by T410 » Sat Nov 23, 2019 12:04 pm

ajkula66 wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:40 am
T410 wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:36 am


I get the point but I think there are refurbs and then there are "refurbs". Some places actually check the computers out and fix up as necessary to make them nearly like new. Others just use the word.
The latter group is significantly larger in my experience. I mean, how much time and effort can one possibly afford to put in a unit that sells under $100 fully loaded ?
But turning the motherboard question around, why should I replace mine if can be made to work? There's no guarantee that even a truly refurbed unit hasn't been dropped....
If the board works properly, leave it be. If it doesn't, swap it. It's really that simple.
I guess I wasn't clear but I meant turning the motherboard question around and applying it to my laptop: If the 410 I have is perfectly fixable, why replace it with another 410?

I agree I don't need to replace the mobo so a new ssd and new battery might be all I need to get a couple more years out of it.

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Re: upgrading or at least updating my T410

#14 Post by TPFanatic » Sat Nov 23, 2019 5:32 pm

There are few laptop upgrades more transformative than replacing an HDD with an SSD.

The other worthwhile upgrade for a T410 is maxing the RAM to 8GB with two 4GB sticks. There are two types of 4GB sticks, 2rx8 dual rank (8 chips on each side) and 1rx8 single rank (4 chips on each side). Only 2rx8 works in the T410.

CPU upgrade is not worth it. The 2.4 ghz produces enough heat already. That said, i7 640m is the fastest CPU available for T410.

You say you hate your T430. What do you dislike on it? The key UI differences between T430 and T410 is the keyboard and screen resolution. T430 can be modded with a Classic Keyboard and IPS screens better than anything on the T410, along with a higher max RAM of 16GB, mSATA SSDs, and quad cores.
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Re: upgrading or at least updating my T410

#15 Post by Cigarguy » Sat Nov 23, 2019 6:09 pm

If your T410 is in good physical shape and works fine as is once the battery issue is resolved then yes by all means spend a bit of money on it. Used RAM is cheap and a new SSD is not that expensive and can be used elsewhere.

Last year I bought a T510 for $50 Cdn. It came with no HDD, power cable, minimal RAM and no battery. Which suites me fine as I have extra of all of those. Spent $15 to upgrade the wifi card. I got this unit because it was in great shape physically, had a good screen and available at a good price. I got it from a recycler/reseller. Around here those people's version of "refurbish" is to remove HDD, remove battery, resell the power cord, and swap out the RAM and replace with minimal RAM (i.e. 1 GB).

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Re: upgrading or at least updating my T410

#16 Post by shawross » Sat Nov 23, 2019 6:27 pm

Because you really enjoy the T410 it would be prudent to find another in preferably better condition. This will give you some spare parts and as mentioned a T410 should not be expensive.
I am not sure what OS you are running on your machines but consider a Linux distro like Mint which you can use alone or dual boot. Thinkpads play nice with Linux.
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Re: upgrading or at least updating my T410

#17 Post by Cigarguy » Sat Nov 23, 2019 8:29 pm

My T510 is my test platform to ween myself from Microsoft. Indeed it plays really nicely with Linux.

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Re: upgrading or at least updating my T410

#18 Post by T410 » Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:28 pm

Other than a small chip on the right front corner where I dropped it on the driveway a couple years ago, it is in good shape. I consider that chip its Purple Heart of Courage. I think the optical drive is on its last legs but that's a 10 second job. It already has 8GB RAM. It is currently a W7-Mint 17.3 dual boot, and other than upgrading my Mint version the new SSD will be dual boot too. I only use Windows occasionally for ArcGis. Other than that I have been off of Windows and on Mint for 3.5 years.

I like the idea of picking up a spare 410 or two. I will do that. This has been my favorite computer ever and I have no desire to change. With a decent spare I can either scavenge parts or transfer the HD to it if this one goes belly up.

I just do not like the 430, which has Mint 19.x on it only. I don't like the keyboard or screen, it has touchpad issues and it has just been a PIA. Part of that is Mint 19, which has not been as smooth for me as 17 was. Anyway I don't really feel like spending time changing keyboards and screens and tweaking the OS. I just don't like it. When I fire up the 410 it just feels right. I found a battery laying around that doesn't have broken latches and it locks in nice and snug. It must be one that I never dropped. :lol:

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Re: upgrading or at least updating my T410

#19 Post by T410 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:34 pm

what should I know about buying an ssd? I don't expect or need hyperspeed so low cost and reliable are my main concerns. BB has a sale for a SATA III PNY for 27 bucks. Is that a good one, despite the T410 not being SATA III?

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Re: upgrading or at least updating my T410

#20 Post by shawross » Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:58 pm

Recently I have purchased a couple of Kingston A400 SSDs and I am happy with their performance despite them not being a hyperspeed SSD. You will need to check reviews people have posted to get a better perspective. This is the time of the year that companies will likely offer specials also.
For your T410 I would maybe consider also replacing your DVD with an Ultrabay adapter then you could boot Linux on the Ultrabay and Windows on the normal drive bay. That way you can set up a partition on each drive for the opposing OS backups. Also if you ever need your DVD you can swap it back in.
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Re: upgrading or at least updating my T410

#21 Post by T410 » Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:33 am

shawross wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:58 pm
Recently I have purchased a couple of Kingston A400 SSDs and I am happy with their performance despite them not being a hyperspeed SSD. You will need to check reviews people have posted to get a better perspective. This is the time of the year that companies will likely offer specials also.
For your T410 I would maybe consider also replacing your DVD with an Ultrabay adapter then you could boot Linux on the Ultrabay and Windows on the normal drive bay. That way you can set up a partition on each drive for the opposing OS backups. Also if you ever need your DVD you can swap it back in.
Cool, I never knew about the Ultrabay adaptor. So can I use that to clone the old hd right onto the new ssd? Never done that before

Also is there anything I need to know about Ultrabays before buying one? Good ones, bad ones, specs I need to know?

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Re: upgrading or at least updating my T410

#22 Post by T410 » Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:36 pm

T410 wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:33 am
shawross wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:58 pm
Recently I have purchased a couple of Kingston A400 SSDs and I am happy with their performance despite them not being a hyperspeed SSD. You will need to check reviews people have posted to get a better perspective. This is the time of the year that companies will likely offer specials also.
For your T410 I would maybe consider also replacing your DVD with an Ultrabay adapter then you could boot Linux on the Ultrabay and Windows on the normal drive bay. That way you can set up a partition on each drive for the opposing OS backups. Also if you ever need your DVD you can swap it back in.
Cool, I never knew about the Ultrabay adaptor. So can I use that to clone the old hd right onto the new ssd? Never done that before

Also is there anything I need to know about Ultrabays before buying one? Good ones, bad ones, specs I need to know?

Well I ordered a Newmodus "Ultrabay" and Crucial 250G SSD, so hopefully I'll get them working by New Years.

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Re: upgrading or at least updating my T410

#23 Post by ZaZ » Wed Dec 25, 2019 2:44 am

T410 wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 10:33 am
Cool, I never knew about the Ultrabay adaptor. So can I use that to clone the old hd right onto the new ssd? Never done that before
Cloning onto a new SSD from another drive rarely works well in my experience, though I'm certainly no expert on the matter and haven't tried for a while. Once you've installed Windows, then you can use a cloning software to restore the image.
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Re: upgrading or at least updating my T410

#24 Post by Brian10161 » Thu Dec 26, 2019 9:07 am

Clonezilla works great for cloning drives back and forth, or even just to an image. Plus its free, just need a small USB key and you can run it.

I have a T410s I am using for work as a PLC programming computer, it works great and with a new battery I can get decent enough runtime when just editing programs and that, plus I have a dock for it on my desk at the office so I can just plop it down and instantly have a dual monitor setup.

I wish they had kept making the T410/T420 chassis, I much prefer the older keyboard for typing, but I can go back and forth on them now that I'm getting used to the chicklet key style. Still not a fan, but the Lenovo versions have way better key travel than other brands I have typed on.
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