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Vertical lines on 390E.

Older ThinkPads.. from the 600, the 7xx, the iSeries, 300, 500, the Transnote and, of course, the 701
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Jim Kailey
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Vertical lines on 390E.

#1 Post by Jim Kailey » Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:11 am

External monitor works fine. Had the LCD apart and re-seated all connectors.

Manual says to next: "Check the LCD inverter ID", can't seem to find the "CE Utility Diskette" anywhere: http://ps-2.kev009.com/pcpartnerinfo/ctstips/3e16.htm (Contains the LCD panel ID utility) Any idea where I could find it?

Is the inverter bad? Or LCD itself? Am I wasting my time?

Our model boat club uses this cool little unit to run a dos program on a floppy to manage our race clock.

Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions!


http://gallery.intlwaters.com/albums/us ... CN5595.JPG

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Re: Vertical lines on 390E.

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:32 am

Try removing the LCD-cable from the screen, clean all the cable's gold contacts with an eraser, remove any debris and try the cable again.
Make sure it will be kept in place properly, once you are satisfied.
If no improvement, find a replacement screen.
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Jim Kailey
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Re: Vertical lines on 390E.

#3 Post by Jim Kailey » Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:51 pm

Thanks for the reply, did as you stated, same result.

Coincidentally the back up battery was dead as this unit sat idle for a year, wondering if it has somehow lost it's "LCD inverter ID"?

In any event if I find a replacement LCD I'm going to need the "CE Utility Diskette" to install it, any idea where I might find it?

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Re: Vertical lines on 390E.

#4 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sun Aug 20, 2017 3:56 pm


Thinkpad4by3
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Re: Vertical lines on 390E.

#5 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Sun Aug 20, 2017 3:56 pm

Nope, the EDID didnt even exist on TPs until the T6x series AFAIK and if it did use EDID, the screen would show up ALL white or ALL black depending on if it is TN or IPS respectively.
Thinkpad4by3's Law of the Universe.

The efficiency of two screens equally sized with equal numbers if pixels are equal. The time spent by a 4:3 user complaining about 16:9 is proportional to the inefficiency working with a 16:9 display, therefore the amount of useful work extracted is equal.

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Re: Vertical lines on 390E.

#6 Post by Jim Kailey » Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:47 pm



Came across that in my searching, the link says it's for the "Hardware Maintenance Diskette", versions 1.50, 1.60 $ 1.69. I need the "CE Utility Diskette" which has the file "ceutq103.exe" as shown here: http://ps-2.kev009.com/pcpartnerinfo/ctstips/3e16.htm

I've dug around the Lenovo site as well without luck. Also, the link says you need a user name and p/w but I couldn't find anywhere that says how to register?


Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Sun Aug 20, 2017 3:56 pm
Nope, the EDID didnt even exist on TPs until the T6x series AFAIK and if it did use EDID, the screen would show up ALL white or ALL black depending on if it is TN or IPS respectively.

Not sure if "EDID" is the same as "LCD Inverter ID" but the manual says to check for this on pg. 44 when there are lcd issues:

https://thinkpads.com/support/hmm/hmm_pdf/37l5153.pdf

On pg. 48 they talk about using the "CE Utility Program Diskette", again, any idea where I might find it?

Thanks again.

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Re: Vertical lines on 390E.

#7 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:58 pm

Regardless, its an LCD issue. The inverter can only make the LCD go on and off. The irregular pattern suggests a problem with the panel itself.
Thinkpad4by3's Law of the Universe.

The efficiency of two screens equally sized with equal numbers if pixels are equal. The time spent by a 4:3 user complaining about 16:9 is proportional to the inefficiency working with a 16:9 display, therefore the amount of useful work extracted is equal.

Jim Kailey
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Re: Vertical lines on 390E.

#8 Post by Jim Kailey » Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:22 pm

Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:58 pm
Regardless, its an LCD issue. The inverter can only make the LCD go on and off. The irregular pattern suggests a problem with the panel itself.
OK, thanks. In any event if I get a new panel I think I need the diskette?

Jim Kailey
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Re: Vertical lines on 390E.

#9 Post by Jim Kailey » Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:39 am

I found an exact replacement LCD on FleeBay and the result is the same, vertical lines.

Since the on board battery went completely dead after sitting for a year I think I need the "CE Utility Diskette" that contains the "LCD Panel ID Utility":

http://ps-2.kev009.com/pcpartnerinfo/ctstips/3e16.htm

Any idea where I can find it? Any other ideas?

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Re: Vertical lines on 390E.

#10 Post by RealBlackStuff » Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:17 am

Just do a search with the wanted file-name, e.g. ceutq103.exe and be pleasantly surprised...

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Re: Vertical lines on 390E.

#11 Post by Jim Kailey » Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:41 am

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:17 am
Just do a search with the wanted file-name, e.g. ceutq103.exe and be pleasantly surprised...
Here's what Google comes up with:

https://www.google.com/search?as_q=&as_ ... as_rights=

None of the links in the article work. If you found something I would be eternally grateful!

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Re: Vertical lines on 390E.

#12 Post by RealBlackStuff » Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:51 am

Have you no eyes in your head?
RTFM RTF links :roll:

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Re: Vertical lines on 390E.

#13 Post by Jim Kailey » Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:16 pm

Mr. Google must be playing games on me, the following link didn't come up before when I did the search:

http://ps-2.kev009.com/pccbbs/bp_thinkpad/?C=M&O=A

Looks like I've got it now, thanks for the help. :lol:

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Re: Vertical lines on 390E.

#14 Post by Jim Kailey » Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:48 pm

I got the utility to re-program the LCD eeprom successfully but I get the same result, vertical lines on the screen.

It's not the display adapter as an external monitor works fine. I've replaced the screen with the same result.

Anything else anyone can think of?

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Re: Vertical lines on 390E.

#15 Post by RealBlackStuff » Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:04 pm

Bad LCD-cable?

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Re: Vertical lines on 390E.

#16 Post by Jim Kailey » Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:27 pm

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:04 pm
Bad LCD-cable?


Maybe, looks OK tho and I did clean the contacts as suggested. I might be able to make a jumper out of that flat, multi wire pc cable to test it.

Looking at the manual some more it says to use "PC Doctor for DOS" to help diagnose problems, think that might lead somewhere?

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Re: Vertical lines on 390E.

#17 Post by rkawakami » Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:30 pm

Assuming that you could still find that program online (PC Doctor forced IBM/Lenovo to suspend distribution many years ago), it only tests hardware pieces such as memory, microprocessor, graphic chips, floppy/hard/optical drives, and the like. It can't directly tell you if you have a bad LCD cable or a bad display. Only your interpretation of those test results can point you in a general direction towards a solution.

For example, for some display problems like you describe, the memory allocated to put pixels up on the panel can be bad. Since that memory is typically shared between the digital path to your LCD and out the analog path to the VGA port (external monitor), that probably is not the reason for your display lines. Also, since you have swapped out the LCD panel and are still having issues, that would say the LCD cable or the motherboard. As it's easier and cheaper to replace the LCD cable, I'd try that first but given the age of the system, you may have problems locating a known good LCD cable, not to mention a motherboard.
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.

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Re: Vertical lines on 390E.

#18 Post by Jim Kailey » Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:24 pm

Thanks for the reply, I'll get back to this next week an report back.

I'm going to do all I can to revive this thing, it's getting personal! :lol:

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Re: Vertical lines on 390E.

#19 Post by Jim Kailey » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:21 am

Doing some more Googling around I see that vertical lines on any LCD are usually the result of the cable or connections so I got some contact cleaner and cleaned the cable and sockets to no avail.

Took a closer look and it was cracked in a couple of spots. When I tried to connect another screen one of the flat connectors broke clean off, it's very brittle.

Soooo, I'm on the lookout for a "22L1899 – IBM ThinkPad 390 LCD Cable (14.1 inch)", got a couple of leads... :D

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Re: Vertical lines on 390E.

#20 Post by sdfox7 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:54 pm

rkawakami wrote:
Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:30 pm
Assuming that you could still find that program online (PC Doctor forced IBM/Lenovo to suspend distribution many years ago), it only tests hardware pieces such as memory, microprocessor, graphic chips, floppy/hard/optical drives, and the like. It can't directly tell you if you have a bad LCD cable or a bad display. Only your interpretation of those test results can point you in a general direction towards a solution.

<truncated>
Is it really this simple? http://www.pc-doctor.com/solutions/pc-doctor-for-dos

"PC-Doctor Service Center includes a version of PC-Doctor for DOS."

Is the program specific to the machine being used? HP has it online: https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c00471587

The file is SP26380.exe. Is it the same program? "PC-Doctor Offline DOS Diagnostics"

The original link was ftp://ftp3.hp.com/ftp3/pub/softlib/soft ... P26380.exe which no longer works, you have to use ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softlib/software4/ ... P26380.exe
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Re: Vertical lines on 390E.

#21 Post by rkawakami » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:29 pm

sdfox7 wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:54 pm
Is it really this simple? http://www.pc-doctor.com/solutions/pc-doctor-for-dos
Yes and no.
sdfox7 wrote:"PC-Doctor Service Center includes a version of PC-Doctor for DOS."

Is the program specific to the machine being used? HP has it online: https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c00471587
With respect to Thinkpad systems, yes. PC-Doctor was commissioned first by IBM and then Lenovo to release versions specific to each series of Thinkpads.
sdfox7 wrote:The file is SP26380.exe. Is it the same program? "PC-Doctor Offline DOS Diagnostics"

The original link was ftp://ftp3.hp.com/ftp3/pub/softlib/soft ... P26380.exe which no longer works, you have to use ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softlib/software4/ ... P26380.exe
That version may only work for a specific model(s) of HP computer(s). The Thinkpad versions included a check of some of the internal system code to make sure it was running on the target system.

The file that the OP is looking for is named dgpcdoc.txt. It can be found at the same site he accessed earlier: http://ps-2.kev009.com/pccbbs/mobiles/dgpcdoc.txt Coincidentally, this version of PC Doctor can also be used on the 600X. The program resides on 3 floppy disks and therefore requires downloading three separate executable files. When run one at a time, they will write the diagnostic program onto three floppies, which are then used to boot the system.

P.S. Since we're talking about that site, this is the best file you should download and peruse: http://ps-2.kev009.com/pccbbs/allfiles.txt Pay particular attention to the sections in the listing that appear defined by multiple = and -. That will guide you to the proper URL.
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.

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