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- Problems with a Thinkpad
- Fabio Parri
December 28, 2004, 1:44 pm
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I recently was given a 1,7G Thinkpad as a gift at work, since it didn't
work anymore. At home I tried and powered it on, and it worked.
It has some problems, though. Maybe anyone can help me with them:
1. the DVD drive isn't working. I tried changing it with another working
one but, when installed on the my thinkpad, it doesn't work anymore,
whereas on a colleague's thinkpad, works perfectly.
2. Mouse and keyboard suffer random locks. As soon as I press a little
on the computer's chassis, anyway, especially in the lower-left corner,
they start working again. (very strange)
3. The computer doesn't power on, often, especially when it has been off
for for some time. Then, I have to repeatedly power on and off, until it
These are preyy disturbing problems, but the computer works quite well,
so I was wondering wether I could fix them without spending too much and
keep the thinkpad.
Do you have any idea what these problems could be originated by?
Thanks a million in advance
Re: Problems with a Thinkpad
under warranty if you're not the original owner, but maybe the
colleague who gave the machine to you can send it back to IBM for
2) It's very easy to remove the keyboard and see if crumbs or dust is
caught beneath the keys. A matter of unscrewing a few tiny screws and
screwing them back on. Again, ask your "donor" if he can contact IBM
as the original owner and ask the questions; or call 800 IBM SERV and
make sure you have the serial number of the machine.
3) It probably needs a new battery!
Re: Problems with a Thinkpad
I mean you no offense by this, but this is one of those questions where if
you have to ask it you're probably going to have trouble applying the
answers. Anybody who is comfortable troubleshooting electronics would
already have torn the machine down.
What you're describing sounds like it might be loose cables or might be a
soda spill, or might be a failing component. Only thing to do is open it
up and inspect visually and see what you see. A good bright desk lamp and
a magnifier will be very helpful. If you see loose cables then reseat them,
if you see soda then disassemble as much as you can and clean the circuit
boards, (toss in the sink and soak for a bit then go after them with a
toothbrush--contrary to popular belief, fresh water does not in general
harm electronics as long as the power is not on when it's applied and as
long as it's dried off completely before power is applied--the board you're
working on has probably had at least one trip through the industrial
equivalent of a dishwasher during manufacture) let them dry for a week or
so, and then reassemble. Do NOT, however, immerse a hard disk in water.
The hard part's getting into the machine without breaking anything. You may
want to check the IBM site for the service manuals (if you're running
Windows you should be able to run the IBM autodetect on your machine and
have their support site go right to the pages you need, if not you'll have
to hunt around for a bit on the IBM site) for the machine--there will be
detailed disassembly instructions there. You'll probably also need a small
Torx (that's the name for those star-shaped screw heads--there are some
other variants such as "internal line head" but most computer manufacturers
including IBM use Torx) screwdriver or three--Sears has a nice set for not
too much money.
Pressing on the chassis sounds like it could be a cracked solder joint,
which is easy to fix once you've got the machine apart and have found where
the broken joint is, and assuming that you have a soldering iron (a small
one, not over 25 watts--a Rat Shack cheapie is fine, just don't expect it
to last very long) and know how to solder.
If it's a failing component then identifying which one and then finding a
replacement for it is going to be problematical--unless you are very, very
lucky it's going to be something proprietary and unlabeled. Also, your
first attempt at surface mount soldering is probably not going to go
well--might be a good idea to find something that is already busted beyond
hope to practice on.
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
(was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)