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E545 Meltdown

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Labrynth
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Location: Atlanta, GA

E545 Meltdown

#1 Post by Labrynth » Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:35 pm

Ok, so I am in a bit of a panic now. I've had the E545 for less than 2 years. The fan went bad after less than 6 months so I turned it back in and when I got it back I had a lot of issues. Lenovo even busted the bevel around my screen. Upgraded the memory when I got it. Upgraded to a TB SSD drive in April when it started giving me signs the drive was going bad.

Flash forward to today. I finish letting it install updates. It boots up, I get the log in screen. Close the screen cause I'm about to leave. Come back to it and I can't log in. In fact, I can't get past the initial Think Pad flash screen.

I can hit enter and get the menu. I can enter the BIOS set up. I can flip thru the menus there. But when I hit the "recover system" option in that first menu I can't do anything. It just goes back to the splash screen and keeps cycling to that. I spoke with Lenovo tech support. And the guy actually tried to help me despite being out of warranty. I finally got an error to flash up "Bad CRC settings in EFI variable."

After that he said that one of two things has happened. 1. Either the motherboard has gone bad. Or 2. The BIOS is messed up and I might be able to flash it and recover it.

He gave me the BIOS file and I used ISO to USB software to make it bootable from the USB since that's all I have on my second computer. Tried that. Thinkpad will NOT boot from the USB.

My entire life as a professional and student is on that thing. Someone please tell me how to fix this. I am so over Lenovo right now. This computer has been awful when my last laptop lasted literally almost 5 years before I did an upgrade. I don't want something that is Windows 8 or 10 as they both suck monkey balls. Not to mention I flat cannot afford a new computer right now and my secondary is just a Yoga that really can't keep up.

Anyone?

RealBlackStuff
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Re: E545 Meltdown

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:58 pm

Have you tried if your USB-stick works?
Try Rufus from https://rufus.akeo.ie/ to make another USB stick.
Can you hit F12 at bootup to select from which drive to start?
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)

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

Labrynth
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Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:23 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: E545 Meltdown

#3 Post by Labrynth » Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:13 pm

I get a message "Operating system not found" on it when I do that. The ISO file is there. Tried RUFUS and it tells me the file is not bootable, but I got it straight from Lenovo...

http://support.lenovo.com/us/en/downloa ... Track=Solr

Which is the file tech support told me to grab.

A month of so ago the POS started dropping the internet connection frequently. If you reboot and bring it back up then it would be fine for a little while, but would drop again at some point. I had hoped it was merely over heating...

brchan
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Re: E545 Meltdown

#4 Post by brchan » Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:01 pm

You have to use a CD (or DVD?).

Lenovo BIOSs usually can't be burned to usb. There is a workaround for linux, but I assume all your machines run Windows?
Current Thinkpads: W530 (functional classic keyboard mod), X301, T61, T60, T43, A31p, T23, 600X, 770
Other: mk5 Toughbook cf-19, mk1 Toughbook cf-53

ajkula66
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Re: E545 Meltdown

#5 Post by ajkula66 » Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:23 pm

brchan wrote:You have to use a CD (or DVD?).
I believe this statement to be correct...

Additionally, two questions:

1) Have you attempted to load BIOS defaults - press F1 on boot, then F9 to load them and lastly F10 to save and exit - or there's no such option on E545, which I'm not familiar with.

2) Have you tried starting the system with the hard drive removed? Are you getting the same error?

Good luck and keep us posted.
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

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Labrynth
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Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: E545 Meltdown

#6 Post by Labrynth » Wed Sep 14, 2016 5:18 am

The Yoga I'm using doesn't have a CD option. I can only do it via USB. The ISO to USB software was supposed to make it useable. I don't have another option.

I have not removed the drive to see how it will boot. We did do the F9/F10 thing tho, and that's how I finally got the CRC error.

Obviously the darn thing will have to be replaced, I just want to get it booted to get some stuff settled and go from there.

brchan
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Re: E545 Meltdown

#7 Post by brchan » Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:38 am

If you have 2 usb sticks, I suppose you could put linux (ie. Ubuntu or Linux mint debian) on one drive and boot from it, then insert the other stick and burn the bios to usb by using these instructions: https://workaround.org/article/updating ... ash-stick/
Current Thinkpads: W530 (functional classic keyboard mod), X301, T61, T60, T43, A31p, T23, 600X, 770
Other: mk5 Toughbook cf-19, mk1 Toughbook cf-53

Labrynth
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Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: E545 Meltdown

#8 Post by Labrynth » Wed Sep 14, 2016 5:25 pm

Sadly I don't think the Yoga would stand up to it, not to mention the HD is small since it was never meant to be my primary. Just something I bring back and forth to school.

Obviously I now need a new laptop, but man, after less than 2 years on this one I hesitate to buy Lenovo again. Sad thing is, it was great until I sent it back for the fan fix and it's been nothing but trouble since then.

ajkula66
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Re: E545 Meltdown

#9 Post by ajkula66 » Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:09 pm

Two "last ditch effort" pieces of advice from me:

1) Remove the CMOS battery and let the machine sit for an hour, then attempt to start without it. Main battery should also be removed during this process.

2) Remove the battery, unplug the AC adapter, pull out hard and media drives. Press the "power" button ten times in a row holding it down for ten seconds each time and thirty seconds the last time around. Plug the adapter - but nothing else - back in and try to power on.

Good luck.
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

AARP club members:A31p,T43pSF

Abused daily: T61p

Work in progress: X60T

PMs requesting personal tech support will be ignored.

Labrynth
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:23 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: E545 Meltdown

#10 Post by Labrynth » Sat Sep 17, 2016 4:23 pm

Thanks for all the help guys. It is well and truly dead. *sigh*

ajkula66
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Re: E545 Meltdown

#11 Post by ajkula66 » Sat Sep 17, 2016 8:21 pm

Labrynth wrote: It is well and truly dead. *sigh*
Sorry to hear that.

Let us know if we can offer any additional help once you've figured out what your next step is.

Good luck.
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

AARP club members:A31p,T43pSF

Abused daily: T61p

Work in progress: X60T

PMs requesting personal tech support will be ignored.

RealBlackStuff
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Re: E545 Meltdown

#12 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sun Sep 18, 2016 2:24 am

Before you get a new laptop/parts, why not buy/borrow an external CD/DVD-burner, such as this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6827106104
You can use those on any laptop/desktop with a USB port.
Make sure to not copy that .iso file, but burn it with software such as ImgBurn
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)

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

Labrynth
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:23 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: E545 Meltdown

#13 Post by Labrynth » Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:28 am

You know, I was actually just thinking this this AM. External drives are cheap and both options I'm looking at dont' have an internal optical drive. I may give it a go. Not sure I would keep this one still with as many issues as it's had, but it might be worth a shot.

Also, because I may end up parting it out if it doesn't work.... does anyone know if the chipset can be separated from the dead motherboard?

ajkula66
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Re: E545 Meltdown

#14 Post by ajkula66 » Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:36 am

Labrynth wrote:does anyone know if the chipset can be separated from the dead motherboard?
No.
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

AARP club members:A31p,T43pSF

Abused daily: T61p

Work in progress: X60T

PMs requesting personal tech support will be ignored.

Labrynth
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:23 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: E545 Meltdown

#15 Post by Labrynth » Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:58 pm

ajkula66 wrote:
Labrynth wrote:does anyone know if the chipset can be separated from the dead motherboard?
No.
Dammit. Oh well.

Labrynth
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:23 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: E545 Meltdown

#16 Post by Labrynth » Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:55 am

Sort of off topic but sort of related....

How do I import my bookmarks and passwords from the old drive to the new one. I can't do the actual "Import" option the way everything I've googled tells me to do.... and I really need those passwords....

RealBlackStuff
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Re: E545 Meltdown

#17 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sat Sep 24, 2016 3:55 pm

Search Users\yourname\ for a folder named Favorites and/or for Bookmarks
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)

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

hhhd1
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Re: E545 Meltdown

#18 Post by hhhd1 » Sun Sep 25, 2016 12:42 pm

Labrynth wrote:Sort of off topic but sort of related....

How do I import my bookmarks and passwords from the old drive to the new one. I can't do the actual "Import" option the way everything I've googled tells me to do.... and I really need those passwords....
that maybe tricky if you are talking about internet explorer, the only safe way to do it is try to connect the HDD to another computer, and boot from it.

if it is firefox/chrome, it may be a bit easier, just copy the profile data
===

RealBlackStuff
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Re: E545 Meltdown

#19 Post by RealBlackStuff » Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:47 am

What browser do you use?

Labrynth
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Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: E545 Meltdown

#20 Post by Labrynth » Thu Sep 29, 2016 6:51 pm

Whoops sorry. Chrome. I tried just copying stuff over but that doesn't work and the only instructions I can find say you have to export from the old one and import to the new one... but for obvious reasons I can't export from the old one.

j-dogg
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Re: E545 Meltdown

#21 Post by j-dogg » Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:34 am

If you happen to see this I'm looking for an E545 with a dead motherboard and a good case to swap all my stuff into.
600e, Win98 SE DOS gaming box! 366mhz PII and 256mb ram
T61 15.4", C2D T9500, 8gb, Middletons, SSD
E6520, FHD mod, i7 2630QM, 16gb, Evo 860 500gb, backlit keyboard
Edge E585 TBA :twisted:

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