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A21e freezing with BIOS time and date reset on reboot

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bravo3
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A21e freezing with BIOS time and date reset on reboot

#1 Post by bravo3 » Fri Apr 30, 2010 3:11 am

Hi guys,

I've been around for some time now just browsing through the forums helping myself with the posted discussions and learning a lot in the process. That is until I come across a problem with my A21e. Lately, it freezes and then beeps several times then eventually powers off. I haven't a clue to what this is about. When I reboot, I have to enter set up to update the system date and time and what I thought I saved was always thrown back to default configuration.

Confounding even further when I read through the user manual, that the cause of this could be a bad CMOS/backup battery as the major cause and the board as a secondary cause. Also since of late, the memory slot intermittently reads the second installed SODIMM RAM of 64 MB. Until I discovered I had to "gropingly" press the general area of the RAM bay that it gets to be read. Is it possible that my board has flexed? If indeed it did, would soldering the original soldered connections make a difference? Please help me be enlightened O ye Thinkpad gods. Thank you.
A21e(Bricked and spare parts bin) :cry: , iSeries 1124 (tech support for my bro) , 600x(an Ubuntu convert) and an 2 X100e's(bricked until I could figure out how to re-solder the CPU back on to board without making damage with my soldering gun) and T60 (shadow display on LCD) :?

RealBlackStuff
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Re: A21e freezing with BIOS time and date reset on reboot

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:28 am

You definitely need to replace the CMOS battery.
And resoldering your RAM slot contacts might cure the problem.
See this: http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=58093
You can check for more on this problem in the "T2X and T3x" forum.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)

Check out The Boardroom for Parts, Mods and Other Services.

bravo3
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:36 am
Location: Paranaque City, NCR, Philippines

Re: A21e freezing with BIOS time and date reset on reboot

#3 Post by bravo3 » Sat May 01, 2010 3:29 pm

Hey thanks :D . Is it possible to simply replace the battery inside cmos pack? Looking at it seems to me a waste of the connector jack if I buy an entire new assembly. Its says Panasonic CR something (I cannot remember it anymore as I put it back already). Its OK right?

As for the resoldering the the memory slot pins, thanks. I have read the link to the older post and I figure while looking at the pictures that my hands aren't steady enough for that kind of tight space. Fat fingers to boot. I guess I'd have to follow the road that kawal took: have somebody else do the soldering. :lol: Thanks a lot!
A21e(Bricked and spare parts bin) :cry: , iSeries 1124 (tech support for my bro) , 600x(an Ubuntu convert) and an 2 X100e's(bricked until I could figure out how to re-solder the CPU back on to board without making damage with my soldering gun) and T60 (shadow display on LCD) :?

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Re: A21e freezing with BIOS time and date reset on reboot

#4 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sat May 01, 2010 9:39 pm

Yes, it's a common CR2032 battery.
Be aware that you can NOT solder the connector wires onto the new battery (it's stainless steel).
But you could 'tear' the contacts from the old battery, and then tie them tightly onto the new one, using e.g. electrician's tape.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)

Check out The Boardroom for Parts, Mods and Other Services.

bravo3
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Location: Paranaque City, NCR, Philippines

Re: A21e freezing with BIOS time and date reset on reboot

#5 Post by bravo3 » Sat May 08, 2010 4:38 pm

Yes, thanks. I did what you said. I bought those batteries as apparently my 600x was on fritz because of that too. Pulled out the tabs of the wires from the old as you suggested and then taped them back on the new (being careful of the polarities vis-a-vis the colored wires) and they booted up OK. As for my first baby, the A21e now beeps and then posts a new error after the new CMOS battery was installed:

error 0271
error 0188

This appears after seeing the IBM splash screen without doing anything. I thought I could reflash so I boot up then hit ESC, then hit F12 to get to make it read my diskette. I tried updating the BIOS by reflashing and the system says it does not want to as there is no need. Tried to use PC Doctor and it tells me everything is freaking fine!!?

Is it possible to downgrade to the old factory installed BIOS just to get this up and going again? Once that is done I could reflash back to the latest one again. At least I think so in theory. Is there another way? Thanks.
A21e(Bricked and spare parts bin) :cry: , iSeries 1124 (tech support for my bro) , 600x(an Ubuntu convert) and an 2 X100e's(bricked until I could figure out how to re-solder the CPU back on to board without making damage with my soldering gun) and T60 (shadow display on LCD) :?

bravo3
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:36 am
Location: Paranaque City, NCR, Philippines

Re: A21e freezing with BIOS time and date reset on reboot

#6 Post by bravo3 » Sat May 08, 2010 5:45 pm

Hey, after trying that out, I was able to finally get into the BIOS system. The old bios flash diskette gave me access by bypassing the error screen then cntrl-alt-del (the Flash program will tell you that you cannot use it and to do a cntrl-alt-del) into a new post and into the BIOS. Was able to set the new time and date, but now it seems the real culprit is the power jack. Any idea if I could DIY this? Thanks.
A21e(Bricked and spare parts bin) :cry: , iSeries 1124 (tech support for my bro) , 600x(an Ubuntu convert) and an 2 X100e's(bricked until I could figure out how to re-solder the CPU back on to board without making damage with my soldering gun) and T60 (shadow display on LCD) :?

bravo3
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:36 am
Location: Paranaque City, NCR, Philippines

Re: A21e freezing with BIOS time and date reset on reboot

#7 Post by bravo3 » Sun May 16, 2010 7:10 am

Hi guys,

I was just surfing the net trying to find out what could possibly revive my ole' A21e and found a forum in Spain about it. They say that the A series is essentially plagued with power issues related to the way the circuit board is designed. If the product was flawed to begin with and ended up not as long lasting as this 600x I am working on, what should I do now? It was pretty good when it worked until it acted up with the powerjack and all. Thanks.
A21e(Bricked and spare parts bin) :cry: , iSeries 1124 (tech support for my bro) , 600x(an Ubuntu convert) and an 2 X100e's(bricked until I could figure out how to re-solder the CPU back on to board without making damage with my soldering gun) and T60 (shadow display on LCD) :?

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Re: A21e freezing with BIOS time and date reset on reboot

#8 Post by rkawakami » Sun May 16, 2010 12:47 pm

Over the years it seems as if there are "common" problems associated within various families of systems. As online forums tend to highlight issues people are having with their computers (i.e., you rarely find users posting on how well their laptops are running), it's unknown on what overall percentage they really represent. In my opinion, the 600X was one of the last Thinkpad systems which does (did) not suffer from some systemic problem. For example, problems reported to this forum: T20-T22 and A20-A22 systems can develop the Blink of Death, the T23 is susceptible to having inductors popping loose from the motherboard, the ATI-based T40-T42 and R50-R51 systems have loose GPUs, T30, and to a lesser extent, the T23, can have problems with the soldering on the memory sockets.

I guess what you need to do is assess what the time, trouble and cost would be for fixing your A21e, versus selling it off and getting something else. I believe that the DC power jack on the A21e is soldered directly to the motherboard. That usually means a near-complete teardown of the system; the motherboard needs to be removed from the chassis in order to get to the terminals on the bottom of the board. The A2x Hardware Maintenance Manual has all of the directions that enable you to do this. The jack can generally be sourced from eBay for anywhere between $5 to $10. You could also just replace the entire motherboard but that can be a whole 'nother bucket of problems as you probably won't know the past history of that board.
Ray Kawakami
X22 X24 X31 X41 X41T X60 X60s X61 X61s X200 X200s X300 X301 Z60m Z61t Z61p 560 560Z 600 600E 600X T21 T22 T23 T41 T60p T410 T420 T520 W500 W520 R50 A21p A22p A31 A31p
NOTE: All links to PC-Doctor software hosted by me are dead. Files removed 8/28/12 by manufacturer's demand.

bravo3
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:36 am
Location: Paranaque City, NCR, Philippines

Re: A21e freezing with BIOS time and date reset on reboot

#9 Post by bravo3 » Tue May 25, 2010 12:02 am

Thanks for the reply. My intent is to DIY this as much as I can. I did as you mentioned about it and took it apart and then getting the mobo out of the case. I did that and in the process was able to finally get to install some other parts that have bent out of whack when I dropped it on the pavement on a holiday. I was able to put in a new cd rom housing and replaced the HDD housing. I tried resoldering the power jack and it looked like it could work. I also took the opportunity to heat the solder points of the memory slot that was acting up and then put it back in the case. The problematic slot did not get detected and I had to put in a 128 mb stick to make the OS run properly albeit slowly.

Alas, it worked for a while and then it started doing it again after I tried surfing the net and it was back to its old problematic self. I'll source out the power jack locally and then maybe I'd have to take a closer look at the reheating job I did on the solder points of the memory slots and see if I inadvertently joined 1 too many solder points. I won't give up on this one as it did not die on me on presentation jobs at work when I was heavily using it 4 years ago. Wish me luck. Thanks.
A21e(Bricked and spare parts bin) :cry: , iSeries 1124 (tech support for my bro) , 600x(an Ubuntu convert) and an 2 X100e's(bricked until I could figure out how to re-solder the CPU back on to board without making damage with my soldering gun) and T60 (shadow display on LCD) :?

bravo3
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:36 am
Location: Paranaque City, NCR, Philippines

Re: A21e freezing with BIOS time and date reset on reboot

#10 Post by bravo3 » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:02 pm

I finally came around with enough courage and patience for the tear down. Bought an old 600e for parts and took out the power jack and then removed the power jack on my A21e and replaced it with the one from the 600e. 3 hours and patient labour later and should I say it was all for naught.

I plug it in and all its doing is blink orange on the power indicator and would not boot. Some things I messed up with that I do not know if it could have affected the board:

-I somewhat scored the board area where the jack mounts. Had difficulty with my soldering gun as the heat power seems to be intermittent.

-I accidentally flipped loose the lever to shut off the monitor power of the LCD when you close the lid. The lever assembly is disassembled and I do not have the necessary eyesight nor steady hands required to fix it back on the board for the video.

Is this good comrade of mine now truly dead and good for the parts bin? Or did I just killed it? :(

Please critique me. Thanks
A21e(Bricked and spare parts bin) :cry: , iSeries 1124 (tech support for my bro) , 600x(an Ubuntu convert) and an 2 X100e's(bricked until I could figure out how to re-solder the CPU back on to board without making damage with my soldering gun) and T60 (shadow display on LCD) :?

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