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Thinkpad P51 & P71- motherboard upgrade?

P1/P40/P50/P70 Series
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IBMfan700
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Thinkpad P51 & P71- motherboard upgrade?

#1 Post by IBMfan700 » Sat Oct 24, 2020 8:06 pm

I have a few questions.
Is it possible to replace (upgrade) the motherboard on a Thinkpad P51 or P71 yourself?
Do you have to upgrade by swapping the whole m/b, or can you just replace the GPU by itself?
Can you still use features like the Pantone colour calibrator and Lenovo Vantage, if you've upgraded the m/b?

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Re: Thinkpad P51 & P71- motherboard upgrade?

#2 Post by Brad » Sat Oct 24, 2020 8:30 pm

The GPU is on a card so just the GPU can be replaced without replacing the motherboard.

I just replaced a P71 motherboard recently. This one had the GPU FRU 01AV353 nVidia Quadro P5000.

There were only an additional handful of screws that need to be removed to replace the motherboard as opposed to just replacing the GPU.

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IBMfan700
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Re: Thinkpad P51 & P71- motherboard upgrade?

#3 Post by IBMfan700 » Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:14 pm

Does the GPU have its own PCB (FRU)?
I was thinking of perhaps replacing the CPU (motherboard) with a Xeon m/b at some stage, but perhaps keeping the existing GPU. They often seem to sell secondhand m/b's without the GPU FRU included.
How did your upgrade go? Are there any potential problems, such as the laptop not recognising it fully, or the Lenovo website might not recognise the serial number (for updates or for reinstalling Windows)?

So, you don't need any special codes or disks, that a service centre might have, to replace the motherboard? I mean, similar to late model cars, where you might need a service code for the car to let you fix it.

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Re: Thinkpad P51 & P71- motherboard upgrade?

#4 Post by Brad » Sat Oct 24, 2020 11:41 pm

The GPU is the FRU I referenced and its a separate PCB.

The upgrade was a success.

Like normal, with any ThinkPad new motherboard replacement, the model type and serial number have to be added. If they are not added there will be errors at startup.

After that was complete I restored the system from recovery media to a new SSD.

Based on the parts list descriptions I removed:

WIN,i7-7820HQ,AMT,Y-TPM,RAID
SYSTEM BOARDS
01AV386


And replaced it with this:

WIN,E3-1535M,AMT,Y-TPM,RAID
SYSTEM BOARDS
01AV390


Keeping the same GPU:

MXM,N17E-Q5-A1,NVIDIA
PCIe Card
01AV353


Following the Lenovo online guides and being familiar with a screwdriver is all thats needed. Well, and lots of patience.

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Re: Thinkpad P51 & P71- motherboard upgrade?

#5 Post by Screamer » Sun Oct 25, 2020 3:34 pm

IBMfan700 wrote:
Sat Oct 24, 2020 8:06 pm
can you just replace the GPU by itself?
The P51's GPU is soldered onto the motherboard, but the P71's GPU is on an MXM 3.0 Type B daughtercard.

Both are replaceable, but one requires a BGA re-work station or some shoddy re-work tools (and some luck) to replace the GPU.
IBMfan700 wrote:
Sat Oct 24, 2020 8:06 pm
Can you still use features like the Pantone colour calibrator and Lenovo Vantage, if you've upgraded the m/b?
If the motherboard has a connector that accepts the color calibrator's cable, then that would be possible.

As for Lenovo Vantage, I'm not entirely sure.

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Re: Thinkpad P51 & P71- motherboard upgrade?

#6 Post by IBMfan700 » Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:52 pm

Brad wrote:
Sat Oct 24, 2020 11:41 pm
The GPU is the FRU I referenced and its a separate PCB.

The upgrade was a success.

Like normal, with any ThinkPad new motherboard replacement, the model type and serial number have to be added. If they are not added there will be errors at startup.

After that was complete I restored the system from recovery media to a new SSD.

Based on the parts list descriptions I removed:

WIN,i7-7820HQ,AMT,Y-TPM,RAID
SYSTEM BOARDS
01AV386


And replaced it with this:

WIN,E3-1535M,AMT,Y-TPM,RAID
SYSTEM BOARDS
01AV390


Keeping the same GPU:

MXM,N17E-Q5-A1,NVIDIA
PCIe Card
01AV353


Following the Lenovo online guides and being familiar with a screwdriver is all thats needed. Well, and lots of patience.

Brad
Have you had any problems with the E3-1535M CPU overheating (under heavy workload)?

Is it better to also replace the thermal assembly if you are upgrading to a Xeon CPU and a more powerful GPU?
I've read that a low end configuration (i7 7700HQ, M620M) would have the weaker of two assemblies that the P71 can have (the 00NY301 assembly). The stronger assembly is the 01AV344.
From what I can tell, the 00NY301 is also the weaker of the two P70 assemblies, the 00NY300 being the stronger one (with two heat pipes going from the CPU, instead of one).

Link:

http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads ... 025/page-4
Last edited by IBMfan700 on Sat Nov 14, 2020 3:37 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Thinkpad P51 & P71- motherboard upgrade?

#7 Post by Brad » Tue Oct 27, 2020 1:25 am

I haven't pushed anything substantial with this new setup. Mainly only recovering the system to a new SSD and the many Lenovo and MS updates.

This P71 came with the 01AV344 but I installed a brand new 01AV344 for good measure. You probably don't want to have to replace it down the road.

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IBMfan700
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Re: Thinkpad P51 & P71- motherboard upgrade?

#8 Post by IBMfan700 » Wed Nov 04, 2020 3:36 am

Brad wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2020 1:25 am
I haven't pushed anything substantial with this new setup. Mainly only recovering the system to a new SSD and the many Lenovo and MS updates.

This P71 came with the 01AV344 but I installed a brand new 01AV344 for good measure. You probably don't want to have to replace it down the road.

Brad
Do you know if the 01AV344 can also be installed in the P70?
Does the P70 have more problems with cooling than the P71?

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Re: Thinkpad P51 & P71- motherboard upgrade?

#9 Post by Brad » Wed Nov 04, 2020 3:52 am

Sorry but I don't know the answer to both those questions.

Hopefully someone else here can share their experience.

Brad
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IBMfan700
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Re: Thinkpad P51 & P71- motherboard upgrade?

#10 Post by IBMfan700 » Thu Jan 28, 2021 2:51 am

Like normal, with any ThinkPad new motherboard replacement, the model type and serial number have to be added. If they are not added there will be errors at startup.
How did you add the model type and serial number- does the serial no. stay the same?
Which model type would it be, if it is an upgrade to a 01AV390 m/b (from a 7820HQ with model type 20HK-CT01WW)?
Following the Lenovo online guides and being familiar with a screwdriver is all thats needed. Well, and lots of patience.
Which online guides did you use?
I have found this guide here (as well as the hardware maintenance manual):
https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/au/en/prod ... -20hk-20hl

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Re: Thinkpad P51 & P71- motherboard upgrade?

#11 Post by RealBlackStuff » Thu Jan 28, 2021 3:23 am

After replacement of the mobo, you use the HMD to enter the old type and S/N in the BIOS.
That would be 20HKCT01WWxxxxxxxx where xxxxxxxx is your S/N.
Don't use any - (dash) in that entry.
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Re: Thinkpad P51 & P71- motherboard upgrade?

#12 Post by IBMfan700 » Thu Jan 28, 2021 9:11 pm

So, with the HMD, you would make a USB key that you boot from, just like you would boot from a recovery key?

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Re: Thinkpad P51 & P71- motherboard upgrade?

#13 Post by RealBlackStuff » Fri Jan 29, 2021 1:45 am

Read the USB instruction that came in the download.
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Re: Thinkpad P51 & P71- motherboard upgrade?

#14 Post by IBMfan700 » Fri Jan 29, 2021 6:36 am

It looks like you also need special tools, like the Torx bits (TR7-TR10), for the LAN card, and other things, according to the HM manual.
Do you need a tool to remove the wires that are connected to the LAN card?

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Re: Thinkpad P51 & P71- motherboard upgrade?

#15 Post by RealBlackStuff » Fri Jan 29, 2021 8:43 am

Just carefully pull them straight up, off the card.
They are a pain in the butt to put them back on.
Still NOT a great day for a Guinness! (the Real Black Stuff). And I have TWO (closed) pubs within 500 meters/yards!
On 10 May, 2021 Ireland has lifted most of its lockdown: time for a haircut!
Covid-19: Stay safe, so Mask it or Casket!

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Re: Thinkpad P51 & P71- motherboard upgrade?

#16 Post by IBMfan700 » Mon Feb 01, 2021 8:12 pm

I was wondering, do you know which size of Torx screws the LAN card has? I think it's a T7.

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Re: Thinkpad P51 & P71- motherboard upgrade?

#17 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Feb 02, 2021 1:45 am

Those cards only need a Phillips screwdriver, #0 or #1.
Still NOT a great day for a Guinness! (the Real Black Stuff). And I have TWO (closed) pubs within 500 meters/yards!
On 10 May, 2021 Ireland has lifted most of its lockdown: time for a haircut!
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IBMfan700
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Re: Thinkpad P51 & P71- motherboard upgrade?

#18 Post by IBMfan700 » Tue Feb 02, 2021 9:55 am

I've tried using the HMD USB key, it boots into the software for changing the number, but I can't understand how it wants me to enter it. It says it must be 18 characters, but with "1S" as a prefix.
Do you have to change the serial number when you're in the BIOS?
Last edited by IBMfan700 on Tue Feb 02, 2021 10:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Thinkpad P51 & P71- motherboard upgrade?

#19 Post by Brad » Tue Feb 02, 2021 10:12 am

Can you boot from the USB drive you created?
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Re: Thinkpad P51 & P71- motherboard upgrade?

#20 Post by IBMfan700 » Tue Feb 02, 2021 10:15 am

Yes, I can, but it's sometimes hard to actually turn on the machine. When I press the power button, it doesn't turn on. I can't work out how to enter the new serial number.

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Re: Thinkpad P51 & P71- motherboard upgrade?

#21 Post by Brad » Tue Feb 02, 2021 10:52 am

Check your Hotmail email.
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Re: Thinkpad P51 & P71- motherboard upgrade?

#22 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Feb 02, 2021 1:06 pm

The HMD program tells you exactly how to do it......
In your case that would be 1S followed by 20HKCT01WWxxxxxxxx where xxxxxxxx is your S/N, all without dashes.
Still NOT a great day for a Guinness! (the Real Black Stuff). And I have TWO (closed) pubs within 500 meters/yards!
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Re: Thinkpad P51 & P71- motherboard upgrade?

#23 Post by IBMfan700 » Wed Feb 03, 2021 5:22 am

The HMD program tells you exactly how to do it......
In your case that would be 1S followed by 20HKCT01WWxxxxxxxx where xxxxxxxx is your S/N, all without dashes.
I've got the serial number entered now, and it's booting into Windows.
But I'm still having a problem with turning the machine on. The power button doesn't turn the machine on, or off. But when I plug the power cord into the machine, the red dot in the Thinkpad logo on the lid flashes a few times.

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