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W500 with broken magnesium frame

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:26 pm
by cobalt60
With my first time attending college coming up and having just received my tax refund, I went in a Thinkpad buying frenzy and bought 3! Thinkpads within about a weeks time. One which I decided I will not be using for school any time soon is a W500 that has a cracked magnesium frame near the VGA port, leading to a lot of flex when opening and closing the LCD. So this one is open to be used as a project.

I think it would make a good Thinkpad to practice disassembly on, so I want to at least make use of it's mainboard, since it is a FireGL 5700 variety, and I am a big fan of ATI chips. One thing I definitely want to maintain is the ability to use a 1920x1200 LCD if using this in a 15.4" body. I guess I should look for a lower specced unit for sale that has a good body and frame, and swap the mainboard and LCD over to that. Which other model will a W500 mainboard easily fit into? I think it will straight swap into a T500, is that correct? What about an R500? Any others?

Thanks for any insight

Re: W500 with broken magnesium frame

Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:19 am
by Screamer
Yes, it would be a straight-fit in a T500's case.

I doubt that would fit in an R500's case, due to some strange design choices. I noticed some differences in the R500's magnesium frame that would prevent the W500's motherboard from being placed in.

Also, the modem port and the firewire port would also be misplaced. This is due to the T500's case port placement, which placed the modem port to the right (where the Ultrabay slot is located at), and the firewire port to the front (where the headphone and the microphone ports are located at).

Compared to the R500's case port placement, which placed the modem port to the rear (where the battery is located at), and the firewire port to the left (where the CardBus/ExpressCard buttons are located at). It doesn't seem as if it would fit at this point, especially with the ports being scrambled all over the place.

The T500 would be the only other ThinkPad that would accept your W500's motherboard, I don't think that there are any other ThinkPads that could easily accept your W500's motherboard. Well, unless you have a dremel, that is.

Re: W500 with broken magnesium frame

Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:20 pm
by TPFanatic
Best get yourself a new T500 or W500 magnesium frame.

T500 and W500 are the same laptop except for the graphics chip, and even then the Radeon 3650 and FireGL V5700 perform exactly the same.

Re: W500 with broken magnesium frame

Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:22 pm
by Neil
I happen to have a couple of spare magnesium frames if you are interested in replacing the broken one, along with a few other T500 parts. PM if interested.

Re: W500 with broken magnesium frame

Posted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 12:24 am
by cobalt60
Wow, I didn't think the magnesium frame would be an easy part to find, but I guess it is. Definitely makes sense to go that route. Replacing that part looks like it is certainly going to give me practice disassembling a thinkpad :)

PMing you now, Neil...

Re: W500 with broken magnesium frame

Posted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 9:35 am
by TPFanatic
Use the HMM as a guide to know what screws need to get taken out and where. https://thinkpads.com/support/hmm/hmm_p ... 630_04.pdf