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Completely stuck with 2503 Advanced dock and Nvidia 1030

T60/T61 series specific matters only
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zoltan87
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Posts: 181
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:16 pm
Location: Plymouth, United Kingdom

Completely stuck with 2503 Advanced dock and Nvidia 1030

#1 Post by zoltan87 » Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:48 am

I have spent more than half a day trying to get working a 2503 Advanced dock with an Nvidia 1030 graphics to no success. I am giving up at this point, but before I sell the whole lot (or smash them into pieces) I thought I will ask around here, even though I know pretty much everyone has abandoned these older machines, who used to use these docks for extra performance.

So the machine I used is a T60 Ati model. Here are my findings:
The machine won't boot up if I insert it into the dock, and the external monitor is plugged into either the 1030 card or the DVI port on the dock. The laptop will boot up, if the external monitor is plugged into the DVI port on the docking station AND the 1030 card is not in the dock. If the 1030 card is inserted in the docking station, I boot up my T60 OUTSIDE of the dock, then I attach it, then I will see the 1030 card as a basic video card in Windows device manager.
So I booted up this way. and installed the Nvidia display drivers. In device manager it showed Nvidia 1030. Perfect I thought.

I powered off the system. Plugged the dvi cable into the Nvidia card again, and tried to boot up. No success just like on my first try. Ok, I plugged the monitor cable back to the docking station and switched the laptop on again. Same, unable to boot. So I booted up the laptop outside of the docking station, then docked it in. Well, guess what? Now that I installed the drivers I can't even see the card at all!!! How is this even possible? Also I remember reading something about problems if you have too much ram in the laptop, so I removed a stick leaving 1 gb in, but apart from the fact that logging in and shutting down took ages, nothing else changed.

I have a Thinkpad W500 in a pretty sorry state, but has windows 10 on it and able to boot up, so I thought I will give this setup a try with that laptop. Same thing, monitor plugged into 1030, the system can't even boot up. Another strange thing here: if the monitor is plugged into the docking station DVI port, the system will boot up with the laptop docked, but the external monitor won't come on, only the built in LCD, also Windows device manager won't see the Nvidia 1030 at all.

I can't see any logic in these behaviours, and honestly I am at the point where I just gonna give up. It's infuriating, I know this setup could somehow work, as there is a video on Youtube where the dude makes this exact T60 + 2503 dock + Nvidia 1030 combination work, but he doesn't say anything about how ho got to that point where everything just works.
Laptops after the 4:3 aspect ratio era are non-existent to me.

ziemeck
Freshman Member
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Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 8:30 pm
Location: Warsaw, Poland

Re: Completely stuck with 2503 Advanced dock and Nvidia 1030

#2 Post by ziemeck » Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:48 am

Since you verified that problem is not with your laptop
1st guess: the dock is not 100% operational (i bet on that one)
2nd guess: faulty Nvidia card

Obviously what a technician would do:
1. try the configuration with some other graphics card
2. try another dock with the very graphics card in question

If you purchased a "used 100% working" dock and are in Central-Eastern Europe, be warned that some of those came now from German computer services from shelves marked "Garantie-Rückgabe/Ersatzteile/Schrott". The resellers are testing those without much care/attention and sell as "good".

I have purchased mine dock several years ago for ca 3USD. It was "100% working" ... until 1st power outage ocurred. Then I learned that every power outage on this particular dock equals to system hangup (no mater Windows or Unix/Linux, no matter T60 or T61). Obviously no other dock of the type (I have 2 more) is affected by this "qiurk".
Need to replace T60 LCD? Read this thread.
High-pitched fan noise [viewtopic.php?f=29&t=86763]?
- Sure the fan [viewtopic.php?f=29&t=74322]?
- Fan lubrication [viewtopic.php?f=29&t=87448],
- Fan replacement/reapplying thermal grease [viewtopic.php?f=29&t=80203].

zoltan87
Sophomore Member
Posts: 181
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:16 pm
Location: Plymouth, United Kingdom

Re: Completely stuck with 2503 Advanced dock and Nvidia 1030

#3 Post by zoltan87 » Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:05 am

ziemeck wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:48 am
Since you verified that problem is not with your laptop
1st guess: the dock is not 100% operational (i bet on that one)
2nd guess: faulty Nvidia card

Obviously what a technician would do:
1. try the configuration with some other graphics card
2. try another dock with the very graphics card in question

If you purchased a "used 100% working" dock and are in Central-Eastern Europe, be warned that some of those came now from German computer services from shelves marked "Garantie-Rückgabe/Ersatzteile/Schrott". The resellers are testing those without much care/attention and sell as "good".

I have purchased mine dock several years ago for ca 3USD. It was "100% working" ... until 1st power outage ocurred. Then I learned that every power outage on this particular dock equals to system hangup (no mater Windows or Unix/Linux, no matter T60 or T61). Obviously no other dock of the type (I have 2 more) is affected by this "qiurk".
So it seems like it's not that I have been doing something wrong (which I was suspecting), but the dock might be faulty. That's a huge bummer. I have an other dock on the way (in used condition just like this was when I bought it), will see how this whole setup behaves there. I remember a while ago I had a brand new 2503 dock, I wish I would have kept it as now I could put it in great use.
Laptops after the 4:3 aspect ratio era are non-existent to me.

W500tragic
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:40 am
Location: Helidon, Queensland AU

Re: Completely stuck with 2503 Advanced dock and Nvidia 1030

#4 Post by W500tragic » Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:02 am

Hi zoltan87,
I had to look three times at the date of your post - I have just had similar issues with a 2503 Advanced dock running multiple monitors first with my ol' faithful T60 (ATI - which I have recently donated to a family member), and its new-to-me W500 replacement. Talk about synchronicity! However, my problems were (are) with a Radeon HD 8490, 1gb RAM.
Initially I had 2 videocards, and was tearing my hair out trying to get the first one functional in the 2503. Worked fine from the native ports, but disappointingly and unpredictably irregular when communicating with the monitor. Eventually I swapped cards and the second one worked out of the box - the first was faulty (brand new).
For the T60 I don't remember changing the BIOS parameters Config>Display>Integrated/Discrete/Switchable (OS enabled/disabled), but in my W500 - also upgraded to Win10 and dual-booting with 2 versions of Puppy Linux, I find that I have to pay attention to these selections. I read elsewhere online that rebooting with consecutive changes between "Switchable (OS disabled)" and "Integrated" seems to snap the system out of its confusion. At least, that's how I find it working - and I just spent most of the weekend sorting it out. The only remaining problem I have in the W500 - which I didn't have in the T60 - is when I close the lid to hibernate overnight the machine and monitor don't reconnect properly and I have to go back into the BIOS.
So take a look into the BIOS options - maybe even experiment with selecting the "PCIe external" option (I think?) to have the monitor as your bootup screen, as opposed to the "Thinkpad LCD internal" option, to see how that goes.
Cheers,
W500tragic (formerly T60tragic)

zoltan87
Sophomore Member
Posts: 181
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:16 pm
Location: Plymouth, United Kingdom

Re: Completely stuck with 2503 Advanced dock and Nvidia 1030

#5 Post by zoltan87 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:06 pm

Thanks W500Tragic, it's a surprising coincidence indeed haha, especially given the age of these docks.

Looks like there are quite a few things that I should play around with in the BIOS. When that other.dock arrives and I can find some spare time, I will try all those suggested settings out, and will come back to post my findings here.
Laptops after the 4:3 aspect ratio era are non-existent to me.

W500tragic
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:40 am
Location: Helidon, Queensland AU

Re: Completely stuck with 2503 Advanced dock and Nvidia 1030

#6 Post by W500tragic » Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:16 pm

Hi again zoltan87,
not getting notifications of replies, so am responding a little late. Since I posted about "reawakening" the PCIe and external monitor between warm-boots by switching BIOS display settings around between "Discrete" and "Switchable" in the W500, I've run into problems with actually working the issue out definitively. In addition to my using the Radeon HD8490, I didn't think to mention that I was using the latest official BIOS and 6GB ram - memory I see causing problems with some combinations of older 2503-compatible Thinkpads and earlier PCIe GPU's. There's this thread I just spotted, after I was unable to replicate success with my new-to-me T61: https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/ThinkPad-T ... 20/page/32. Most interestingly, posters report that a cold boot in the dock isn't always successful (!!) Certainly hasn't been with my T61 setup - which I have left for now as a weekend project. And the T61 BIOS (Middleton's) doesn't have the options for switching displays like the W500. Also - the same settings I have in my W500 using BionicPup64-bit (see below) DOES NOT GUARANTEE REBOOTING INTO WIN10pro64 WILL WORK. At least it hasn't for me yet. Plus, hibernating the setup by closing the lid breaks the world - didn't use to in my old T60 (Middleton's BIOS) but moving items between screens in the W500 is comparatively seamless. Swings and roundabouts. More research needed, later on. Anyways I haven't worked out whatever dark magic is required to consistently reboot with the external monitor (DVI port tested only BTW), although Puppy is playing nicely:

Code: Select all

▶—— Video Hardware Report ——◀

▶ VIDEO CARD:

VGA controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] RV635/M86 [Mobility Radeon HD 3650] (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
Subsystem: Lenovo Device 2127
Flags: bus master, fast device select, latency 0
Interrupt Request (IRQ): 38
Memory at d0000000 (32-bit, prefetchable) [size=256M]
I/O ports at 2000 [size=256]
Memory at bdff0000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=64K]
[virtual] Expansion ROM at 000c0000 [disabled] [size=128K]
--
Kernel Driver:  radeon
Kernel modules: radeon

VGA controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Caicos XTX [Radeon HD 8490 / R5 235X OEM] (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
Subsystem: Dell Device 2120
Flags: bus master, fast device select, latency 0
Interrupt Request (IRQ): 39
Memory at c0000000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size=256M]
Memory at be0e0000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=128K]
I/O ports at 4000 [size=256]
Expansion ROM at be000000 [disabled] [size=128K]
--
Kernel Driver:  radeon
Kernel modules: radeon
Memory Used:    1312.00 KB
Path:           /lib/modules/4.19.23/kernel/drivers/gpu/drm/radeon/radeon.ko
Description:    ATI Radeon
Dependencies:   drm, drm_kms_helper, ttm, hwmon, i2c-algo-bit
Used by:        11

Memory Used:    1312.00 KB
Path:           /lib/modules/4.19.23/kernel/drivers/gpu/drm/radeon/radeon.ko
Description:    ATI Radeon
Dependencies:   drm, drm_kms_helper, ttm, hwmon, i2c-algo-bit
Used by:        11
--
Video Card OEM: ATI ATOMBIOS
Card Vendor: (C) 1988-2005, ATI Technologies Inc.
Product: FGL M86 01.00
VESA BIOS Extensions: VESA 3.0 detected.
Memory: 16384kb

▶ DISPLAY/MONITOR:

Screen Dimensions: 3286x1200 pixels (868x317 millimeters)
Depth of Root Window: 24 bits (planes)
Display ID: 4055
EISA: LEN4055
Serial: 00000000
Manufacture: 0 2007
Input: analog signal.
Screensize: 33 21
Gamma: 2.200000
Dpms: RGB, active off, suspend, standby
Dtiming: 1920x1200@67
Dtiming: 1920x1200@56
Monitorid: LTN154U2-L05
--
Direct Rendering: Yes
OpenGL Vendor: X.Org
OpenGL Renderer: AMD RV635 (DRM 2.50.0 / 4.19.23, LLVM 7.0.0)
OpenGL Version: 3.0 Mesa 18.2.2

W500tragic
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:40 am
Location: Helidon, Queensland AU

Re: Completely stuck with 2503 Advanced dock and Nvidia 1030

#7 Post by W500tragic » Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:27 am

Hi all,
currently writing from my W500, Win 10pro setup with the 2503 Advanced Dock but will test again shortly with my T61 to be back "on topic" with this sub-forum. Yesterday I configured the dock with a new fanless GeForce GT 710 (2GB DDR, PCIe2.0, HDMI+DL-DVI-D). Heaps of space for it, compared to the HD8490 1GB (fanned) I had in it before. I selected it after reading a helpful thread in the ThinkPad forum - um, "What videocard are you running in your Advanced Dock"? Happy to dig out a link for it later, if anyone wants. Anyhoo, plugged in a new-to-me Benq XL2411T via the (EDIT) DVI. *Absolute dream* Yes, it may be overkill for the PCIe x16 slot, but not only do I have dual-monitors working seamlessly and gloriously - but also the intermittent whining of the dock's CPU fan is now virtually silent! At least, it was raspily asthmatic with the Radeon card I had in there before, by comparison. Something mystical to do with memory allocation I bet - as others have suggested on this forum.
Next up to get the 64-bit Puppy Linux distros working in this getup, and loop back to the T61 for more comparisons so I can work out *what* BIOS configurations work best for dock/monitor cold/warm boot success...
HTH

zoltan87
Sophomore Member
Posts: 181
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:16 pm
Location: Plymouth, United Kingdom

Re: Completely stuck with 2503 Advanced dock and Nvidia 1030

#8 Post by zoltan87 » Wed Jun 19, 2019 12:59 pm

I have some update. My second 2503 dock arrived a few days ago and yesterday I got some time to test my setup again (Thinkpad T60, Nvidia 1030). And surprise surprise, it worket immediately. So it looks like the first dock that I tried was faulty, at least the pci output part of it.

With this new dock everything worked as expected. After driver installation I just had to apply the "error 43" fix and that was all.

In a few days when I will have some time again, I am going to test a few games and such. Also there is a 3D slicer software that didn't work with the Ati gpu in the T60 due to some Opengl issue, hopefully that will be sorted too.
Laptops after the 4:3 aspect ratio era are non-existent to me.

W500tragic
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:40 am
Location: Helidon, Queensland AU

Re: Completely stuck with 2503 Advanced dock and Nvidia 1030

#9 Post by W500tragic » Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:55 pm

Congrats, zoltan87!
Shame about your older 2503's CPU/mbo - as bemoaned elsewhere on both ThinkPad and Lenovo fora, mbo upgrades haven't been widely attempted/successful due to the absence of any technical manuals (and the user manual is pretty scant too). I *did* test out my T61 in this 2503+GT 710 dual monitor getup, and it worked better than expected, cpu fan issues non-existent there either. With the W500 plugged into the dock instead I have had no problems with either cold booting, or with shutdown/resumes with lid closing in Win10 or BionicPup64. Together, it suggests a "sweet spot" for resource allocation has been struck, for which regrettably there won't be any support from Lenovo.
Happy Travels :)
P.S. Sounds like you have some OpenGL 2.0 grief like I had with my T60 at some stage. As far as I could find out there is no way to upgrade your OpenGL from what the CPU supports. You have Middleton's BIOS flashed to your system already (not that that would help much with your graphics)?

zoltan87
Sophomore Member
Posts: 181
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:16 pm
Location: Plymouth, United Kingdom

Re: Completely stuck with 2503 Advanced dock and Nvidia 1030

#10 Post by zoltan87 » Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:50 pm

@W500tragic Yes I have the modded no whitelist BIOS on my T60. Indeed its a shame about the Ati opengl support, as the mentioned program runs just fine on my T61 with Nvidia in it.

About the dock: as I mentioned it works perfectly now, apart from a dmall annoyance. I can't put the laptop to slepp wile docked, it just hangs there and I have to shut it down by long pressing the power button.

Also the fans were absolutely unbearable, like jet engines or a vacuum cleaner and I am not even joking. I just cut the wires for both of them, hopefully it won't go up in flames sometime in the future.
Laptops after the 4:3 aspect ratio era are non-existent to me.

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