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'Incomplete' Lenovo X131e

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EdGordon007
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'Incomplete' Lenovo X131e

#1 Post by EdGordon007 » Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:42 pm

In order to get an X131e with a somewhat faster chip than my AMD 1.4GHz, I found (and bought) an X131e with an AMD 1.7GHz on eBay. The machine was advertised as 'new' but that it did not have an integrated camera.

I thought that a missing camera was strange, since such a camera is standard in the X131e. But I bought it anyway because the price was quite cheap. What a strange machine. I eventually discovered that the Fn and Ctrl keys had been swapped (until which time I was unable to do cut-and-paste with the traditional Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V shortcuts). I can handle that problem now that I know about it, and probably won't risk further problems by trying to swap them back.

But what I have not been able to solve is the seemingly missing camera (mentioned above), missing microphone (although there is a pin hole for it), and a missing SD card reader (there is a slot and presumably it contains the receptacle).

All of this sounds like a classic case of missing drivers, but until now I have not been able to find the proper drivers so that these three elements can be brought to life properly.

Has anyone had experience with an odd situation like this?

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Re: 'Incomplete' Lenovo X131e

#2 Post by BillMorrow » Tue Sep 23, 2014 11:27 pm

hello and welcome to the forum..

first, my sister used to live in kensington..
and george morrow lived on arlington down the hill..
:roll:

as for your X131 have you looked to see if the hardware is there..?
it could be some sore of "frankenpad".. (and interestiongly, frankenpad IS in spell check! :eek: )

or, since it came from ebay are you sure you got what you expected to get..?
Bill Morrow, kept by parrots :parrot: & cockatoos
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She was not what you would call refined,
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She was the type of person who kept a parrot.
~~~Mark Twain~~~

EdGordon007
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Re: 'Incomplete' Lenovo X131e

#3 Post by EdGordon007 » Tue Sep 23, 2014 11:47 pm

I cannot be sure that these items definite are in the machine without major surgery. I am limiting myself to opening the back and toying with the hard drive and things that are easily accessible.

I stopped by a shop today with the machine, and the tech there visually looked into the SD card slot and said there wasn't anything there. However, when I insert an SD card, I feel the machine 'grab' it just at the very end of the insertion, which is the normal feeling for an SD slot that works properly. I tend to believe that there are indeed contacts far back in the machine.

I don't know how I could check for the camera (there is the usual glass 'eye' at the top of the lid) and the microphone (there is a pin hole at the proper place).

Are you inferring that Lenovo intentionally made some of these without all of the attachments? I know that these are student models, and perhaps it was deemed that mikes, and cameras, and SD cards are the 'work of the devil', and some school districts opted to have the not in their models. It does seem a bit extreme.

The X131e that I got through normal channels (but with a slower CPU) does have everything, and it all works. I got the defective one from eBay in an attempt to get a faster CPU, since modifying the motherboards in these computers is not possible.

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Re: 'Incomplete' Lenovo X131e

#4 Post by BillMorrow » Wed Sep 24, 2014 2:38 am

by frankenpad, what I mean is it has been changed from original spec..

you can look it up on the Lenovo support site.. or you could, that ability might have changed recently..

being an ebay buy you could have anything from a correct thinkpad but without the original OS load with correct drivers to gawd knows what..
most likely it just needs the correct OS loaded..

have you tried to do a system restore..?

tap the blue thinkpad key while booting up..?
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Re: 'Incomplete' Lenovo X131e

#5 Post by Saucey » Wed Sep 24, 2014 11:55 am

Maybe it is not detecting the drivers, I had an X130e which didn't detect the WiFi with a clean Windows installer but Linux saw it when I tested it.
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Re: 'Incomplete' Lenovo X131e

#6 Post by EdGordon007 » Wed Sep 24, 2014 1:38 pm

I'm beyond that. I have the recovery disks for the X131e that has the slower CPU. I successfully used them to downgrade from W8Pro to W7Pro. My plan is to do this with the 'strange' X131e.

I went into the BIOS to change the boot order, and discovered that 'USB CD' is one of the boot options that is EXCLUDED from the order. There are some other things that also cannot be changed. (Definite fingerprints of a 'Frankenpad'!) So it means I need to totally replace the BIOS.

BOth versions of X131e are 3372, so I think that once the BIOS has been renewed, everything should work fine.

I'll let you know how this next step turns out.

BTW, neither of these X131e units have a blue ThinkPad key. They do have an enter key, which is used to bypass bootup and go into BIOS.

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Re: 'Incomplete' Lenovo X131e

#7 Post by BillMorrow » Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:50 am

did you think of swapping the hard drive from the new frankenpad to your good thinkpad and see if it can see the hardware..?
it should add windows drivers for any new hardware it detects..

and I guess yes, some thinkpads might be made for a school district and thus be different.. or modified from original for some restricted tasks..
Bill Morrow, kept by parrots :parrot: & cockatoos
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She was not what you would call unrefined,
She was the type of person who kept a parrot.
~~~Mark Twain~~~

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Re: 'Incomplete' Lenovo X131e

#8 Post by dmdsoftware » Sun Oct 05, 2014 5:05 pm

You know how the saying goes, always tackle the obvious first.

I think your issue is a BIOS one. I'm 99.99% certain that these devices are appearing missing because the previous user may have had them disabled. Hopefully your BIOS is not locked. Perhaps it was used by a school and they didn't want students to have access to these devices.

If you can get into the BIOS you can check under the security section. All of these missing devices really suggests these devices are turned to disabled in the BIOS. I know I routinely disable devices I don't intend on using, so the OS never gets to see them to attempt to load unnecessary device drivers.
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Re: 'Incomplete' Lenovo X131e

#9 Post by EdGordon007 » Sun Oct 05, 2014 7:27 pm

You're on the right track, except that the Computrace add-on has been ENABLED, and that is the problem. Managed to reach an agreement with the seller that will avoid my sending the computer back (at my expense). Getting most of my money back. I'll end up with an X131e that will do 'most' things for about $60. May give it to a geek friend to play with. Or give it to a student in Moldova who needs a computer. There are so many people in Eastern Europe who can hack through these things, I'm sure he'll get it up and running quickly.

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Re: 'Incomplete' Lenovo X131e

#10 Post by RealBlackStuff » Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:51 am

Replacing the BIOS-chip does not necessarily get rid of Computrace, it may be stored elsewhere.
But Computrace does NOT impede functionality of the BIOS, it only "phones home" if activated.
If your BIOS is password-locked, then certain functions could have been disabled, before locking it.

Computrace is an utter waste of money though.
Check the second post here for more info: http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/T400-T500-a ... d-p/104500
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Re: 'Incomplete' Lenovo X131e

#11 Post by EdGordon007 » Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:35 am

I noticed that the person sitting next to me on a flight late last week had a Computrace sticker on his laptop. We already had had extensive conversations on other topics, and since I was short of sleep and wanted to doze a bit, I didn't bother asking about it. He was the IT chief of a company that makes tin cans for the fruit and vegetable industry (16 billion a year, he says) so presumably there were some proprietary things in there.

I do think it has value. When a machine is reported as stolen, the company that developed Computrace can at least determine the IP address where it is next connected to the internet. Of course, that doesn't really lead you to the machine.

I'll post the problem to some Eastern European computer types I know and see if they know how to hack through Computrace. As it is now, the most annoying thing is that the Fn and Ctrl keys have been swapped, so one has to remember that when using them.

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Re: 'Incomplete' Lenovo X131e

#12 Post by RealBlackStuff » Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:00 am

You can play with this BIOS-simulator, to see what is missing: http://service.lenovo.partner-managemen ... ulator.swf

And check new messages at the top of this page.
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Re: 'Incomplete' Lenovo X131e

#13 Post by dmdsoftware » Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:48 pm

As was pointed out, the service isn't necessarily affecting your ability to fix these things. The key is whether you have proper access to the BIOS. Is the super user password set? and do you have that password? Things like the CTRL + FN is a function in the BIOS to switch them around. If the BIOS super user password was set and the seller doesn't know it, and the bit about computrace all point to stolen laptop. Fact the seller was quick to reduce the price amplifies this.

Reputable re-sellers and refurbers who receive offlease laptops either get the passwords supplied by the original organization that owned them, or they toss them or selling them as-is with full disclosure that BIOS is locked.
X62 & X62s & X62T SXGA+ i7 5600u 8-16GB
Helix i7
Carbon X1 i5 UHD
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"Think" Ultrabook i7
LegoThinkpad 11"

in storage:
X131e AMD
X60/X60s, X61/X61s/X61T, T61, T420, X30

past:
X20-X24, 390X

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Re: 'Incomplete' Lenovo X131e

#14 Post by Saucey » Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:03 pm

Does Computrace even matter if you know the password to the bios or if it doesn't have one at all?
An extreme way of thinking is to change the MAC address to jumble it "phoning home", but I would guess it will be still tied to the serial number of the machine.
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Re: 'Incomplete' Lenovo X131e

#15 Post by RealBlackStuff » Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:22 pm

Even if you'd know the BIOS-password, once Computrace is activated, you can't undo that unless you call Computrace to inquire about the legality of your owning it.
If OK, you can then agree with them to deactivate it.
No further discussion allowed about other options, period.
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Re: 'Incomplete' Lenovo X131e

#16 Post by EdGordon007 » Mon Oct 06, 2014 5:43 pm

He said he got the machine in a lot of used laptops. Yes, they could all have been stolen. The case had some kind of strange non-smooth cover, and there was an obvious attempt to obliterate the words THINK PAD on the outside.

I've stopped worrying about it. On to other things. . . .

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