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X230 Tablet: Intermittent boot

X230 and later series specific matters only
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nicotean
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X230 Tablet: Intermittent boot

#1 Post by nicotean » Thu Nov 22, 2018 5:43 pm

Hello,

I recently received a used X230 Tablet with a strange boot behavior:
Sometimes, when the laptop powers up, the display remains black, the "Thinkpad" logo from the BIOS never shows up and it stays in this state forever.
The fan spins correctly, the wireless, power buttons leds are green and the display backlight is active.

The "strange" part is that this does not always happens, sometimes the laptop will power up just fine and boot to Windows correctly.

I took the laptop apart with minimal peripherals and I noticed this boot patterns:
After minutes without power (no battery, AC disconnected), the first boot always fails.
If I quickly power down then back up the Thinkpad, it will *always* power up fine.
If I try to reboot the laptop from Windows, it will always fail.
In fact, after a few minutes running, the next reboot will most likely fail (even with hard power down)

It sounds to me that the motherboard is working fine for the most part (no errors in diagnostics, once in Windows it can stay on for hours), but there could be an issue with the power circuit.
Has anyone ever heard of that kind of problem on similar Thinkpad series?
Or does anyone has some knowledge about the X230 motherboard circuitry?

As of now, the laptop is barely usable on a daily basis but it would be a shame to throw it away...

RealBlackStuff
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Re: X230 Tablet: Intermittent boot

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Fri Nov 23, 2018 6:58 am

Check that the HD/SSD is put in properly, maybe reinsert it.
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TheForgottenKing
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Re: X230 Tablet: Intermittent boot

#3 Post by TheForgottenKing » Fri Nov 23, 2018 3:58 pm

Check CMOS battery, and also the Display I/O connector (right one)

nicotean
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Re: X230 Tablet: Intermittent boot

#4 Post by nicotean » Sun Nov 25, 2018 5:47 am

Thanks for the replies

The behavior is the same with and without the SSD inserted.
I tried booting without the CMOS battery attached and without the display IO connector plugged but the result is the same...

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Re: X230 Tablet: Intermittent boot

#5 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sun Nov 25, 2018 6:27 am

Don't throw it away, replace the motherboard.

nicotean
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Re: X230 Tablet: Intermittent boot

#6 Post by nicotean » Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:16 pm

Yes of course, but if there is any chance of fixing the motherboard, that would be much better!

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Re: X230 Tablet: Intermittent boot

#7 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:46 pm

I've seen them as low as 45 shipped. You will pay more fixing it than getting a new one.
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.

nicotean
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Re: X230 Tablet: Intermittent boot

#8 Post by nicotean » Mon Nov 26, 2018 7:23 am

Yes I've seen some motherboards at fair prices too, but boards with i7 CPUs are still quite expensive.
Anyway, price is not the only factor, I will try to find schematics of the boards to investigate the issue

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