BIOS beep codes for T41?

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umiwangu
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BIOS beep codes for T41?

#1 Post by umiwangu » Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:19 am

I have an old T41 that used to work pretty well, but then the screen started shutting off. Now, when I try to switch it on, sometimes the IBM screen comes on, but it disappears pretty quickly. I tried attaching an external monitor, same thing. And sometimes I get one long beep and two short beeps. I saw on the Lenovo website that this means either bad RAM, system board or LCD panel. I switched out the RAM, and it still made the same noise (or it just does no noise, just the lights and fan). Is this a bad board?

Thanks!

poshgeordie
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Re: BIOS beep codes for T41?

#2 Post by poshgeordie » Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:17 pm

Hi and welcome to the forums.

The beep codes can be found in the Hardware and Maintenance Manual page 63.

The symptoms you're describing are typical of an unsoldered Graphics Chip, or possibly an unsoldered Southbridge chip, and either fault unfortunately are typical on these models.

If you were in Europe it's relatively easy to repair by reballing the chip, that is to remove the faulty chip, replace all the hundreds of tiny solder balls with a new set (infrared reballing) and to then solder the chip back (infrared reflowing).

Possibly there may be a company in South Africa who offers this service.

Alternatively you could try the DIY method as in this topic, but be aware it's extremely difficult to do and you could permanently ruin your board /chips.

Another alternative is to buy another board. You could contact RealBlackStuff at the Board Room who may be able to give you a price for a fully refurbished board but carriage between USA and Malawi may be very expensive.

I have great memories of an extended visit to Malawi in '86 and would love to return sometime.

umiwangu
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Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:53 am
Location: Mangochi, Malawi

Re: BIOS beep codes for T41?

#3 Post by umiwangu » Mon Dec 26, 2011 4:44 am

poshgeordie wrote:Hi and welcome to the forums.

The beep codes can be found in the Hardware and Maintenance Manual page 63.

The symptoms you're describing are typical of an unsoldered Graphics Chip, or possibly an unsoldered Southbridge chip, and either fault unfortunately are typical on these models.

If you were in Europe it's relatively easy to repair by reballing the chip, that is to remove the faulty chip, replace all the hundreds of tiny solder balls with a new set (infrared reballing) and to then solder the chip back (infrared reflowing).

Possibly there may be a company in South Africa who offers this service.

Alternatively you could try the DIY method as in this topic, but be aware it's extremely difficult to do and you could permanently ruin your board /chips.

Another alternative is to buy another board. You could contact RealBlackStuff at the Board Room who may be able to give you a price for a fully refurbished board but carriage between USA and Malawi may be very expensive.

I have great memories of an extended visit to Malawi in '86 and would love to return sometime.
Thanks for the response, I appreciate it.

I think they got this one refurbished and pretty cheap, so I doubt they want to spend money on fixing it. So this is pretty common for these Thinkpads? What older Thinkpad lines are generally better? I know that might be a hard question to answer with certainty, but hindsight does help to pick out the lemons, like Dell's Inspiron 1420 line a couple years back (bad Nvidia chips).

Where did you go in Malawi? I've been here about 12 years and I'm heading out in February. It's been a great time, but things are really going downhill here.

Have a great new year.

poshgeordie
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Re: BIOS beep codes for T41?

#4 Post by poshgeordie » Mon Dec 26, 2011 6:57 am

Unfortunately this is becoming a more common fault with these laptops, however reballing the Graphics and Southbridge chips is pretty much a permanent repair even if it costs a little bit.

You are obviously aware of Nvidia chip problems with other laptops (summary of issues here). Also, very unfortunately, ATI chipped models of the same age are now beginning to appear with unsoldered solder balls, and if you're looking to buy a used laptop around this era there's a good chance you're going to get one with these problems.

Ignoring Nvidia Chipped laptops, reballing these ATI / Intel chipped laptops is very effective. This is being typed on a fully reballed (ATI GPU and Intel Southbridge) T40-"something" that has since been absolutely hammered and it just keeps on going, and I would really recommend getting it done for Malawi. Also bear in mind that TP's are generally very robust - possibly the left hand hinge excepting - and all parts are available.

I was in Malawi in 1986 having driven down in '85 from Algeria. At the time the "Dictator" (who started life as a Medical Doctor in South Shields in North East England) at least made sure the people had access to cheap bread, a cow for each family and cheap vetinary care (for the cow); I'll not comment on the other side of his rule but we felt very safe throughout the country.
We entered from Tanzania - Mbeya? - and travelled all the way to the south of the country - Blantyre, Livingstonia, Cape Mclear, all points in between, and also spent some time on a Sugar Cane plantation owned by Tiny Rowland.
Due to politics we were unable to safely travel further south before we returned north for Kenya again.

I'm horrified by what the country has decended into since the president's demise - part of my heart is in Africa and I'm often thinking of the delightful people we met.

Check your PM's in the next hour.

All the best for the New Year as well.

umiwangu
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:53 am
Location: Mangochi, Malawi

Re: BIOS beep codes for T41?

#5 Post by umiwangu » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:09 am

Thanks Nick, I appreciate the explanation.

Yep, a lot of the people are talking about the good old days. I don't think it was perfect back then, but I think people may have been happier.

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