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R500 bought for a song on eBay - possible fault?

R400/R500 series specific matters only
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glossywhite
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R500 bought for a song on eBay - possible fault?

#1 Post by glossywhite » Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:47 pm

Hello :)

Here's the description of an R500 I just bought on eBay for £20 with free shipping, with a rather non-descript fault:

"Lenovo Thinkpad R500 15.4" for Parts or Not Working
the laptop is Dead No sign of life just few lights but nothing else on screen

the screen is in good conditions

the laptop has Core 2 Duo processor , 2 GB DDR3 ram , 160 GB HDD (Wiped) , 15.4 screen in good conditions , battery seems to hold some charge but not tested for how long .
Laptop only no power power supply
thanks"


Item: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/191932352858

Could this be the old static build up issue, resolved by removing AC & battery, and pumping on the power button 10x, do you think? The fact that they say LEDs are on seems like a good sign :)

Thanks folks, really appreciate your feedback :)

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Re: R500 bought for a song on eBay - possible fault?

#2 Post by TPFanatic » Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:10 pm

Laptops do die, so it could just as easily be a dead laptop. It's easy to amass spare Thinkpad parts if you want to roll the dice. Don't think it's a static issue though, or the lights wouldn't come on at all.
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glossywhite
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Re: R500 bought for a song on eBay - possible fault?

#3 Post by glossywhite » Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:19 pm

TPFanatic wrote:Laptops do die, so it could just as easily be a dead laptop. It's easy to amass spare Thinkpad parts if you want to roll the dice. Don't think it's a static issue though, or the lights wouldn't come on at all.
Yes... I know laptops die - that's pretty obvious. My question was clearly posted to ascertain the cause; Are you certain it is not a static issue, or just speculating? I am an electronics engineer of over 25 years, so soldering and stripping out is par for the course, these things don't faze me :)

Thanks :)

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Re: R500 bought for a song on eBay - possible fault?

#4 Post by TPFanatic » Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:23 pm

I've always heard, seen, and been recommended to the power button trick for laptops with no indicator lights on. One of my R50p's was just shutting off hard, running Windows one second and the next second BAM no screen, no lights, ded. Removed AC and battery to bring it back... one day it never came back.

I made a thread, said it was bricked, and the people recommended the power button trick. It didn't work.

So I assume the trick is for laptops w/o indicator lights but, well, I dunno really. Yeah I'm just speculating.

If there's any way to find out what screen size it has, there may be some worth to a 1680x1050. Perhaps it's an ATI powered R500, in which case the ATI could be wrecked. So unless you have a use for its parts in case it cannot be saved, I wouldn't recommend trying it.
lenovo X230 i5 3320m IPS 8GB
lenovo T430 i5 3320m FHD 8GB
lenovo T500 P9700 WUXGA 8GB


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glossywhite
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Re: R500 bought for a song on eBay - possible fault?

#5 Post by glossywhite » Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:30 pm

TPFanatic wrote:I've always heard, seen, and been recommended to the power button trick for laptops with no indicator lights on. One of my R50p's was just shutting off hard, running Windows one second and the next second BAM no screen, no lights, ded. Removed AC and battery to bring it back... one day it never came back.

I made a thread, said it was bricked, and the people recommended the power button trick. It didn't work.

So I assume the trick is for laptops w/o indicator lights but, well, I dunno really. Yeah I'm just speculating.

If there's any way to find out what screen size it has, there may be some worth to a 1680x1050. Perhaps it's an ATI powered R500, in which case the ATI could be wrecked. So unless you have a use for its parts in case it cannot be saved, I wouldn't recommend trying it.
Thanks. As mentioned, I have already bought it and it's on the way - for £20 I am not worried, that's pocket change to me. We'll see eh! :)

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Re: R500 bought for a song on eBay - possible fault?

#6 Post by MisterB » Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:59 pm

Sometimes it just takes disconnecting the BIOS battery to force a reset of all BIOS parameters. I've revived both a W500 and a W700 in that state by doing that. In the case of the W500, it was after a BIOS flash and I thought that I would need to use special software to try and reflash the BIOS but simply disconnecting and reconnecting the battery revived it. The W700 wouldn't POST when I got it and I first tried holding the power button with the battery disconnected and nothing happened. Then I took off the palm rest and disconnected the BIOS battery and it POSTed afterwards.

The only Thinkpad I had that needed the power button trick was a T60 I had years ago. The motherboard was bad and I had to do the power button trick on almost a daily basis. I eventually replaced the motherboard.
Currently using: A W500, a W520, two X201Ts, an X220T, an X61T, a 14" T60P, a 15" UXGA T60P, and a W701.
Currently idle: A spare W500, a spare X61T, a 14" T61, a 15" SXGA+ T60, a 14" T60, and my first Thinkpad, a 770X.

glossywhite
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Re: R500 bought for a song on eBay - possible fault?

#7 Post by glossywhite » Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:37 pm

MisterB wrote:Sometimes it just takes disconnecting the BIOS battery to force a reset of all BIOS parameters. I've revived both a W500 and a W700 in that state by doing that. In the case of the W500, it was after a BIOS flash and I thought that I would need to use special software to try and reflash the BIOS but simply disconnecting and reconnecting the battery revived it. The W700 wouldn't POST when I got it and I first tried holding the power button with the battery disconnected and nothing happened. Then I took off the palm rest and disconnected the BIOS battery and it POSTed afterwards.

The only Thinkpad I had that needed the power button trick was a T60 I had years ago. The motherboard was bad and I had to do the power button trick on almost a daily basis. I eventually replaced the motherboard.
Thank you so much :) - I shall try that, and also shall look out for those awful mangled USB ports.

God bless you! :)

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Re: R500 bought for a song on eBay - possible fault?

#8 Post by rkawakami » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:43 am

On some older systems (T2x, X2x) a bad MiniPCI card could make the system non-operational. Remove it and the system was good as (almost) new.
Ray Kawakami
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Re: R500 bought for a song on eBay - possible fault?

#9 Post by Neil » Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:47 am

glossywhite wrote:...also shall look out for those awful mangled USB ports.
If the USB port(s) are mangled, a USB contact could be shorted to ground, that could well be the reason the machine won't boot.

We are all only guessing here. Until you have the machine in hand, and can trouble shoot the problem(s), guess is all anyone can do.
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glossywhite
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Re: R500 bought for a song on eBay - possible fault?

#10 Post by glossywhite » Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:03 am

Hello :)


The seller has sent me further information to help with repair:

"Hi Matthew,
about the fault, this was my mum laptop, one time the battery was very low , not enough to complete the shutdown procedure , so the laptop shutdown while the laptop trying to hibernate and ended it with this status can't switch it of , this was about 4 -6 months ago and since that day the laptop never being used .
thank you"

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Re: R500 bought for a song on eBay - possible fault?

#11 Post by glossywhite » Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:49 am

RESULT!

Okay, so my R500 arrived, and it's model "2714-AAG". It has a 2.2Ghz C2D CPU (T6670), 2x 1GB DDR3 (Hynix) and a 160GB Samsung hdd. Now, I had a spare Hynix 4GB DDR3 (10600 speed) SODIMM in my parts drawer, so I took out slot 0's 1GB and put it in there, for a total of 5GB - NICE!

The only things that are faulty:

~1 The keyboard is VERY crummy under the keycaps, so I may replace that (it keeps thinking the tab key is held down until you tap it a few times, then it stops - clearly some contact pads are dirty/shorting out.)

~2 One of the USB ports (the rearmost one) has the telltale mangled pins and snapped off plastic tab, so I am going to insert some tweezers and bend-fatigue them until they snap off right at the back of the socket, and then blank it out for the meantime (I've bent the pins so that they're not shorting on the connector shell - 5V is still present - metered that.)

~3 The hinges are not *quite* as tight as on my R61, but certainly not too floppy or beyond use - still very usable and stiff.



It comes with a "Windows 7 Pro OA" COA, so I am installing Windows 7 as I speak.


Oh... and guess what? IT BOOTED UP RIGHT AWAY! The "problem" it was being sold for, doesn't seem to exist!

:D

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Re: R500 bought for a song on eBay - possible fault?

#12 Post by MikalE » Sat Aug 20, 2016 4:25 pm

Great news. It might have had a bad memory stick all along. Did you try to boot the machine before working on it?
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Re: R500 bought for a song on eBay - possible fault?

#13 Post by glossywhite » Sat Aug 20, 2016 4:58 pm

MikalE wrote:Great news. It might have had a bad memory stick all along. Did you try to boot the machine before working on it?
Yes, it booted up first time! I have now got 1x 4GB and 1x1GB in it, and have disabled VT-d as per Lenovo's recommendation to fix the Intel integrated GPU corruption when VT-d is enabled (which I saw happening) with asymmetrical RAM pairs (that confused me at first!)

I have to say, it's a pretty poor show from Lenovo that the aforementioned wasn't PROPERLY fixed, and relied upon certain RAM pairs and/or disabling VT-d to "solve" the GPU artifacting. Mind you, for £20, I am not fussed :)

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Re: R500 bought for a song on eBay - possible fault?

#14 Post by TPFanatic » Sun Aug 21, 2016 12:44 am

Congratulations! :D Reminds me of when I got a for parts or not working W500, because I wanted its screen... it ended up working just fine after a RAM upgrade and a family member uses it with no problems.

The R500 has nice curves.
lenovo X230 i5 3320m IPS 8GB
lenovo T430 i5 3320m FHD 8GB
lenovo T500 P9700 WUXGA 8GB


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Re: R500 bought for a song on eBay - possible fault?

#15 Post by glossywhite » Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:34 pm

It just updated & activated Win 10 Pro, which is nice, but Software Update doesn't seem to have any Win 10 drivers... any ideas / sources, please? :)

Thanks again.

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Re: R500 bought for a song on eBay - possible fault?

#16 Post by jaspen-meyer » Thu Sep 22, 2016 3:32 am

glossywhite wrote: ~1 The keyboard is VERY crummy under the keycaps, so I may replace that (it keeps thinking the tab key is held down until you tap it a few times, then it stops - clearly some contact pads are dirty/shorting out.)
Keyboards are like kitchen floors, only dirtier because people never clean them.

Pop the keys off and then gently clean the keys and keyboard surface. Letter and number keys pop off easily when applying force in the correct direction, which varies by manufacturer. The underlying bracing of the little keys is offset 90 degrees from that of the letter keys. Don't remove the space bar, enter, shift keys, tab or caps lock...they (may) have an additional metal bar which is more complicated to reattach. Look closely at the keycap understructure and you'll see how to reattach the keys - they snap right one.

The machine's got a T6670 processor which has 2mb of L2 cache. Depending on what you're using machine for, a P9x00 (if they're not available, a T9400) processor, 6mb cache, could be a nice upgrade.

To solve the 'drivers on a modern operating system' conumdrum, install linux http://distrowatch.com/
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Re: R500 bought for a song on eBay - possible fault?

#17 Post by Saucey » Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:59 am

glossywhite wrote: ... One of the USB ports (the rearmost one) has the telltale mangled pins and snapped off plastic tab, so I am going to insert some tweezers and bend-fatigue them until they snap off right at the back of the socket, and then blank it out for the meantime...
Looks like that was the problem.
I've had a few USB ports broken where the laptop would not turn if any of those pins would be contacting the metal housing.
Once you remove the pins, all should be well. Haven't came across one with a broken USB 3.0 or USB type C.
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