T60 freezes while in operation - Windows 10

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teppy
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T60 freezes while in operation - Windows 10

#1 Post by teppy » Sun May 14, 2017 1:22 pm

Hi,

New to forum. Hope all are well. Looking for advice.

I've had my wonderful T60 for 10 years. Upgraded with no trouble from WinXp to Win 8.1. Then upgraded to Win 10. I don' remember how, but I followed a tutorial that allowed me to install the ATI Mobility X1400 Radeon drivers on Win 10. Also, I've replaced the heatsink fan assembly and made sure to use the appropriate thermal paste.

So, I've been using Win10 for a while with no problems except for, on occasion having to restart the computer several times, as the screen would not wake from sleep or would be blank on load. I've attributed that to the video drivers and can live with restarting it or putting it to sleep and reawakening to get the screen to show.

Now, I have a real problem. For the past month or two, the T60 will just freeze while I'm working. I don't know if it's because of heat, or if it's a driver issue, a windows update, hard drive or memory usage(could that cause the problem?). There doesn't seem to be a connected sequence of events for it to freeze. It happens randomly. But, it's happening more and more. It's happening each time I use the machine and I now have to perform a hard reset. I'm hesitant to reinstall windows, as I don't readily remember how to reconfigure the Thinkpad to have the hotkeys work again and the get the ATI driver installed.

I wanted to ask if anyone thinks there are more conservative strategies to pursue before reinstalling Windows to see if I can get my T60 not to freeze. I'm thinking about buying a new Thinkpad if I can't get this one to work, but I don't want to say good-bye to this amazing machine (and it's 4:3 IPS display).

Thanks for any thoughts.

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Re: T60 freezes while in operation - Windows 10

#2 Post by zoltan87 » Sun May 14, 2017 7:02 pm

Hi, and welcome to this forum.

Just a quick question first, did you disable in Windows (it's somewhere in control panel) the "windows quick startup" option? I know that T60s with Ati graphics have a tendency to boot up with a blank black screen if you don't disable that (I had this problem on Win 8.1).

Also what are the temps of your system while idle, and under stress?

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Re: T60 freezes while in operation - Windows 10

#3 Post by teppy » Sun May 14, 2017 10:15 pm

zoltan87 wrote:
Sun May 14, 2017 7:02 pm
Hi, and welcome to this forum.

Just a quick question first, did you disable in Windows (it's somewhere in control panel) the "windows quick startup" option? I know that T60s with Ati graphics have a tendency to boot up with a blank black screen if you don't disable that (I had this problem on Win 8.1).

Also what are the temps of your system while idle, and under stress?
Thanks for your welcome and the reply. I just turned off the fast start up a few hours ago. I haven't been able to judge the impact yet.

Before a few tweaks I made(change some power options, change CPU maximum processor state to 75%), the resting temperatures were 81 C then going up to 91C or so. Now, it seems the resting temps are in the high 70's through low-mid-80's.

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Re: T60 freezes while in operation - Windows 10

#4 Post by teppy » Sun May 14, 2017 10:30 pm

Update: Resting temperatures appear to now range from low to mid 70's. I put the machine under "stress" which meant I opened lots of tabs in youtube - plays four videos at once, loaded chrome, firefox, edge all at once, loaded MS Office about 4 docs and loaded photoshop. The temperatures went up to 86C.

Then I shut everything down. Now, with one browser tab open in chrome, temps are hovering at 70-73C.

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Re: T60 freezes while in operation - Windows 10

#5 Post by teppy » Sun May 14, 2017 11:46 pm

T60 has been on for a few hours now. Temps at 81-83C with only Chrome open - 5 tabs.

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Re: T60 freezes while in operation - Windows 10

#6 Post by dr_st » Mon May 15, 2017 1:47 am

That's very very hot. There is something wrong with your heatsink, or the machine is too clogged with dust.

Try this: turn the machine off and keep it off for a couple of hours (to cool down). Then boot it up. What are the temperatures immediately after boot?

If they are low, it suggests that the heatsink makes proper contact, and that they climb up because of a ventilation problem.
If they are already high, it suggests that the heatsink is not making proper contact, or the thermal paste is missing/useless, or the heatsink is damaged (e.g., broken heatpipe).

Then you ca use the Hardware Maintenance Manual for your system (there are links at the top of the forum).
  • Open it up. If it has dust, blow it out.
  • Remove the heatsink, clean it up, apply fresh thermal paste, and connect it properly. Turn it on with the heatsink exposed to make sure everything is connected and the fan spins.
  • If the problem persists, the heatsink is probably shot and you need a new heatsink+fan assembly.
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Re: T60 freezes while in operation - Windows 10

#7 Post by zoltan87 » Mon May 15, 2017 11:17 am

As dr_st said, those temps are insanely high. I had issues with the temps when I bought my t60, and I ended up changing the heatsink assembly and put new thermal paste (MX-4) on cpu gpu. I also undervolted the cpu (core 2 duo t7600, 2.33 ghz), I wrote down my tinkering and experiences in the pinned "Make your T60 with Ati run cool and quiet" thread.

My idle temps now ~40 C, and under stress it is around 60 C.

Try to do what dr_st suggested, so you will at least know that it's a thermal paste/ heatsink issue, or it's only the fan that causes the high temps.

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Re: T60 freezes while in operation - Windows 10

#8 Post by teppy » Mon May 15, 2017 5:21 pm

Ok. Thanks for your replies dr_st and Zoltan87.

The machine was asleep (not off) for the whole day. I turned it on. The temps immediately were Core 1 : 69C Core 1: 70C. I've been using the machine for maybe 3 minutes the temps are now core 1: 76 - 79C, Core 2: same.

I replaced the heatsink last year. I can hear the fan spinning and feel it blowing heat. Last year, I used arctic silver thermal paste (I think). Note:I used a T60 heatsink, not the W500 heatsink in your guide, Zoltan87. Last year, I left the two thermal pads on. I then applied thermal paste to the chips that contact the thermal pad. Should I be doing this?

Regarding the reapplication of thermal paste, do I spread a thin layer or do I apply a small blob and let the pressure of the heatsink spread the paste?

Yes. I will dust out the machine again. Zoltan87 - your guide is comprehensive. I am not sure I an follow all of the steps.

Thanks for your further advice.

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Re: T60 freezes while in operation - Windows 10

#9 Post by dr_st » Tue May 16, 2017 2:11 am

This definitely suggest something is wrong with the heatsink or with its contact points.

A small chance that it's a sensor problem, but both sensors at once - very unlikely. You say that you feel that the fan is blowing out hot air. Does the machine feel hot as well?

I assume yours is a standard T60 heatsink that looks like this from the bottom:
http://www.pc-keyboard.net/images/t60-fan.jpg

The two thermal pads are for the chipset and the GPU, and the small dots of thermal paste are for the CPU. The dots is how the heatsink leaves the factory. Yours may not have them anymore. Are you positive there is thermal paste at all between the CPU and the heatsink (where the dots would be)? In any case, whatever is there now - clean it up and reapply.

I would not apply any thermal paste to chips that have the pads. It's either or. The pads are designed to function sort of like the paste, and provide additional thickness to offset for the height differences. Putting paste between them and the chips may actually prevent good contact (I don't know if it can also interfere with the thermal conductivity).

Regarding application of thermal paste - I've tried both methods in the past and found that there is very little difference. So I just use the "blob" technique now, since it's easier and there is less chance of thermal paste leaking and getting where it shouldn't.
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Re: T60 freezes while in operation - Windows 10

#10 Post by teppy » Tue May 16, 2017 10:39 am

dr_st wrote:
Tue May 16, 2017 2:11 am
This definitely suggest something is wrong with the heatsink or with its contact points.

A small chance that it's a sensor problem, but both sensors at once - very unlikely. You say that you feel that the fan is blowing out hot air. Does the machine feel hot as well?

I assume yours is a standard T60 heatsink that looks like this from the bottom:
http://www.pc-keyboard.net/images/t60-fan.jpg

The two thermal pads are for the chipset and the GPU, and the small dots of thermal paste are for the CPU. The dots is how the heatsink leaves the factory. Yours may not have them anymore. Are you positive there is thermal paste at all between the CPU and the heatsink (where the dots would be)? In any case, whatever is there now - clean it up and reapply.

I would not apply any thermal paste to chips that have the pads. It's either or. The pads are designed to function sort of like the paste, and provide additional thickness to offset for the height differences. Putting paste between them and the chips may actually prevent good contact (I don't know if it can also interfere with the thermal conductivity).

Regarding application of thermal paste - I've tried both methods in the past and found that there is very little difference. So I just use the "blob" technique now, since it's easier and there is less chance of thermal paste leaking and getting where it shouldn't.
Thanks for your reply. Last night I turned the computer off (not sleep). This morning I powered it on and the minimum temperature was 55C. Now, with chrome open it's operating at 68C.

Yes. That image is the haetsink I have. The dots and the the pads were intact on the new heatsink. I still applied thermal paste to the CPU even though the dots were there. I also applied thermal paste to the GPU(?) that come in contact with the thermal pads, so I guess I shouldn't have done that.

Soon, I will remove the heatsink, clean up and reapply paste to the CPU. I will assess condition of thermal pads. If intact, I will leave pads and not apply any paste to those chips.

The original (replaed) heatsink's thermal pads were partially stuck to the top of the GPUs and tore when I removed the heatsink to swap out. I cleaned all of this before applying paste and installing the heatsink.

I'll also dust out the fan, etc. Just from taking off they keyboard, the dust build up doesn't look too bad.

Yes. The machine feels *very* hot on the bottom when running for a while!

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Re: T60 freezes while in operation - Windows 10

#11 Post by teppy » Tue May 16, 2017 4:55 pm

I open the T60 cleaned the heatsink, CPU, GPU, dusted it out, applied new thermal paste and put it back together. Note: in the thermal pad that sits over the ATI chip, the thermal pad material had a small (a sliver - very small) gap and reveled the metal beneath. I decided to put a tiny bit of thermal paste in that crevice to fill it in.

I also downloaded TPfancontrol and RMclock. I've got the fan set to "Manual" and at speed 1 - as per zoltan87's tutorial instructions. Note: RMcock won't work. When Is tart the program it says that the drivers are not verified. I tried to run it as administrator. It didn't work. Oddly, I can't uninstall RMclock, as it does not appear in the add'/remove programs list. If anyone knows how to uninstall this program, please let me know.

Regarding heat, the T60 is now running in the mid 60s: 62-66C with only chrome open and seven tabs open.

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Re: T60 freezes while in operation - Windows 10

#12 Post by shawross » Wed May 17, 2017 7:52 am

It's been a while since I used RMclock but I don't think you need to actually install the program.

Just copy to your Programs Files folder into a folder named RMclock and then run rmclock.exe from there.
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Re: T60 freezes while in operation - Windows 10

#13 Post by teppy » Thu May 18, 2017 10:02 am

shawross wrote:
Wed May 17, 2017 7:52 am
It's been a while since I used RMclock but I don't think you need to actually install the program.

Just copy to your Programs Files folder into a folder named RMclock and then run rmclock.exe from there.
RMlock appears to have installed itself on the computer, without an uninstall option. Not sure what to do. Don't know how to get rid of it.

Also,the temperature problems, didn't seem to be resolved by my above actions. Temperature upon awaking computer from sleep overnight: 78C. It's true that the environmental temperature is hotter now in NYC, but can room temps impact the computer temp like this?

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Re: T60 freezes while in operation - Windows 10

#14 Post by axur-delmeria » Fri May 19, 2017 12:23 am

teppy wrote:
Thu May 18, 2017 10:02 am
RMlock appears to have installed itself on the computer, without an uninstall option. Not sure what to do. Don't know how to get rid of it.
Just delete the RMClock.EXE file, I guess?
teppy wrote:
Thu May 18, 2017 10:02 am
Also,the temperature problems, didn't seem to be resolved by my above actions. Temperature upon awaking computer from sleep overnight: 78C. It's true that the environmental temperature is hotter now in NYC, but can room temps impact the computer temp like this?
A CPU temperature of 78c just after resuming from sleep is way too high.
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Re: T60 freezes while in operation - Windows 10

#15 Post by teppy » Fri May 19, 2017 6:55 am

axur-delmeria wrote:
Fri May 19, 2017 12:23 am
teppy wrote:
Thu May 18, 2017 10:02 am
RMlock appears to have installed itself on the computer, without an uninstall option. Not sure what to do. Don't know how to get rid of it.
Just delete the RMClock.EXE file, I guess?
teppy wrote:
Thu May 18, 2017 10:02 am
Also,the temperature problems, didn't seem to be resolved by my above actions. Temperature upon awaking computer from sleep overnight: 78C. It's true that the environmental temperature is hotter now in NYC, but can room temps impact the computer temp like this?
A CPU temperature of 78c just after resuming from sleep is way too high.
RE: RMClock - apparently there's a registry file that it omes bundled with that must be applied and then the folder can be deleted.

Re: CPU temperature - yep. Still is too high :/ Not sure what to do (with my skill level). Perhaps remove the internal wireless card as discussed before? Will that lower heat at all? Can I do that and still have wireless work if I rely on a USB wireless adapter?

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Re: T60 freezes while in operation - Windows 10

#16 Post by dr_st » Fri May 19, 2017 7:12 am

Let's make sure first that the CPU is actually idling. 78C after sleep can be because something is using the CPU 100% without you realizing.

If you CPU is idling at 78C, then removing the wireless card is like opening a window to cool down your house when it's on fire. It's a meager thing with zero effect.
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Re: T60 freezes while in operation - Windows 10

#17 Post by teppy » Fri May 19, 2017 7:19 am

dr_st wrote:Let's make sure first that the CPU is actually idling. 78C after sleep can be because something is using the CPU 100% without you realizing.

If you CPU is idling at 78C, then removing the wireless card is like opening a window to cool down your house when it's on fire. It's a meager thing with zero effect.
Before I opened the ThinkPad up and made the changes, I did shut the machine down totally overnight. when I turned it back on, the immediate temperature that I saw was 55c which did rise quickly into the 60s.

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Re: T60 freezes while in operation - Windows 10

#18 Post by axur-delmeria » Fri May 19, 2017 8:02 am

Did you monitor the CPU utilization? Maybe it's one of the drivers, or Windows 10's automatic update running in the background.
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Re: T60 freezes while in operation - Windows 10

#19 Post by teppy » Fri May 19, 2017 5:27 pm

axur-delmeria wrote:
Fri May 19, 2017 8:02 am
Did you monitor the CPU utilization? Maybe it's one of the drivers, or Windows 10's automatic update running in the background.
I looked in task manager. Lenovo Solution Center seems to consistently use resources 16-up to 30%. Can I uninstall this?

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Re: T60 freezes while in operation - Windows 10

#20 Post by axur-delmeria » Fri May 19, 2017 10:33 pm

^
Not sure about that.
But I have Win 10 installed on an X61 Tablet (for testing purposes) and didn't install Lenovo Solution Center.
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Re: T60 freezes while in operation - Windows 10

#21 Post by kfzhu1229 » Sat May 20, 2017 1:07 am

to answer your question about fast startup, I did the same of disabling it a while ago until I learnt that if you disable it, your machine takes much longer to boot and much longer to settle down. On something as old as ThinkPad T43, it starts Windows 10 with around 40s with fast startup (all with 5400rpm ide hdd) and without it, it takes at least 2 minutes to be fully functional. So what ive done is basically enable fast startup and turned fnf4 into turning off monitor (and this is one of the little things that is exclusive to Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 or before doesn't give you that option) instead of sleep in the what sleep button does tab under the same page of the toggle of fast startup. So it's like turn on your machine, after some time press fnf4 and the lcd turns off, and tap anything to turn it back on and voila, you are getting the display to display just fine without putting it into sleep.
If you want to take it a step further, download screen off app (I use nircmd) and set it to perform screen off after log on in task scheduler, or put a batch file of it into the startup folder in the start menu location. With that it turns off LCD for you and you only need to wake the screen up to use it
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Re: T60 freezes while in operation - Windows 10

#22 Post by teppy » Sat May 20, 2017 8:58 am

I did uninstall Lenovo Solutions Center. This produced no impact on operating temperatures--they are still high. At this point, is there nothing left to do with the machine? Perhaps buying a laptop cooling pad/mat with a fan?

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Re: T60 freezes while in operation - Windows 10

#23 Post by dr_st » Sat May 20, 2017 11:50 am

teppy wrote:
Sat May 20, 2017 8:58 am
Perhaps buying a laptop cooling pad/mat with a fan?
Same comment as with the idea of removing the Wifi card.

If you are sure that you have mounted the heatsink correctly, then there is still the chance that it's just defective. I would try hunting for a cheap replacement as a last resort.
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Re: T60 freezes while in operation - Windows 10

#24 Post by teppy » Sun May 21, 2017 12:03 pm

dr_st wrote:
Sat May 20, 2017 11:50 am
teppy wrote:
Sat May 20, 2017 8:58 am
Perhaps buying a laptop cooling pad/mat with a fan?
Same comment as with the idea of removing the Wifi card.

If you are sure that you have mounted the heatsink correctly, then there is still the chance that it's just defective. I would try hunting for a cheap replacement as a last resort.
Thanks for your reply.

What could be defective about the heatsink? The fan is responsive and is working. Maybe I should have put thermal paste on the GPU and northbridge? I only put thermal paste on the CPU because the heatsink has the thermal pads in place for the other chips...

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Re: T60 freezes while in operation - Windows 10

#25 Post by dr_st » Sun May 21, 2017 12:59 pm

teppy wrote:
Sun May 21, 2017 12:03 pm
What could be defective about the heatsink?
It could be warped and not making proper contact, or the heatpipe can be broken.
teppy wrote:
Sun May 21, 2017 12:03 pm
Maybe I should have put thermal paste on the GPU and northbridge? I only put thermal paste on the CPU because the heatsink has the thermal pads in place for the other chips...
How could it have possibly affected your CPU temperatures for the better? Besides, haven't you tried this before?
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Re: T60 freezes while in operation - Windows 10

#26 Post by teppy » Sun May 21, 2017 1:25 pm

dr_st wrote:
Sun May 21, 2017 12:59 pm
teppy wrote:
Sun May 21, 2017 12:03 pm
What could be defective about the heatsink?
It could be warped and not making proper contact, or the heatpipe can be broken.
teppy wrote:
Sun May 21, 2017 12:03 pm
Maybe I should have put thermal paste on the GPU and northbridge? I only put thermal paste on the CPU because the heatsink has the thermal pads in place for the other chips...
How could it have possibly affected your CPU temperatures for the better? Besides, haven't you tried this before?
Yes. But, I did this a year ago, and the laptop worked fine for that year without locking up. It's only now that it locks up.

Re: Heatsink warping - I guess it could be. It doesn't look warped though, but maybe it's not noticeable.

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