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dave_silv
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎01-18-2012
Location: Wales, UK
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Replacement mobo for T61 (7665-CTO)?

[ Edited ]

Hi all,

 

My T61 recently died due to the Nvidia Quadro NVS 140M chipset frying itself.

 

Luckily I can still boot the machine into Linux and access my data / use it over the network, but the screen remains completely black (backlight on, nothing on screen, and no POST warning beeps).

 

So, I am looking for a new motherboard for this machine, and if possible would like to avoid having the same video chipset as has just died on me since I don't really trust that it won't happen again.

 

Therefore, I'm hoping that it'll be possible to replace my motherboard with one of the T61 motherboards with the Intel graphics chipsets, and bypass this Nvidia problem altogether. I'm reasonably confident that this is possible, as I've read of others doing it elsewhere. (Although this is not completely essential - I would consider replacing with an nVidia chipset motherboard, if it's for example difficult to change from an Nvidia mobo to the Intel one.)

 

I'm not quite sure where to start with this though - as in, I'm not sure where to find out the appropriate information to make sure that any replacement motherboard I get will work with the rest of my system. Is there a way to find out exactly what mobo I already have without disassembling the machine?

 

My T61 is quite high spec (T7700 @ 2.4Ghz, 4GB RAM, built in webcam) and I'm keen to keep these features if possible, so I'm hoping that it'll be possible to just reattach all this stuff to a different motherboard, rather than doing (as I read somewhere else this afternoon) "just buy any T61 or T61p off Ebay and swap the hard drive over". It also has the fingerprint reader, though I don't use this and don't mind if it stops working.

 

I'd be happy to post more details if those would help someone to help me out? Here's what I can tell you from the bottom of the case:

 

TYPE 7665-CTO S/N xxxxxxxx 08/04

PRODUCT ID: 7665VKW

 

Also, is it really essential to get a complete new set of screws (for their plastic coated non-loosening properties, as I read in the service manual), or is it basically OK to just use the screws I already have and not worry too much about the plastic coating thing? (I mostly use my laptop at home, and it doesn't travel very much.)

 

Many thanks for your help!


~Dave

 

 

Mod Edit:  Masked serial number to prevent abuse

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dave_silv
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎01-18-2012
Location: Wales, UK
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Re: Replacement mobo for T61 (7665-CTO)?

Further info: mine is the 14.1" widescreen model (1440 x 900).

 

I don't have any heavy video performance requirements - a little bit of video editing work from time to time, but no gaming or anything like that.

 

I'm wondering if this this FRU-41W1487 motherboard that is currently on Ebay would most likely work OK?

 

(So I guess I'd appreciate a list of mobo part numbers that should work with my machine, if such a list exists? Or just any pointers to where to obtain a suitable replacement.)

 

I'm in the UK but could buy from abroad if necessary.

 

Many thanks again!

ajkula66
Posts: 7,628
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Registered: ‎11-23-2007
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Re: Replacement mobo for T61 (7665-CTO)?

From little Googling that I've just done, that seems to be a proper board for your needs.

 

In plain English, as long as it came from a 14" widescreen T61 and has Intel X3100 graphics, it will work for you.

 

Good luck.

Cheers,

George




In daily use: R60F, R500F, T61, T410

Collecting dust: T60

Enjoying retirement: A31p, T42p,

Non-ThinkPads: Panasonic CF-31 & CF-52, HP 8760W




Starting Thursday, 08/14/2014 I'll be away from the forums until further notice. Please do NOT send private messages since I won't be able to read them. Thank you.
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TuuS
Posts: 1,951
Registered: ‎01-02-2011
Location: US
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Re: Replacement mobo for T61 (7665-CTO)?

i'd be glad to help, but I'd advise extreme caution buying on ebay. I have purchase many on ebay myself, and have been described as an expert by many in regards to T61 models, and I've been burnt more times then I can count by ebay sellers who advertise intel boards and send you nvidia, send you boards that have a bios password set, which mades them useless, as well as other problems.

 

There are some good sellers but the problem is that the time involved in fully testing a board makes it cost prohibitive. My procedure is I run the system, update the bios, install software to monitor the temperatures of the CPU and GPU, then I run the board 24/7 for a full week, during which time I run graphics tests and run many different apps to attempt to generate heat. If it passes, then I consider the board to be good.

 

However most parts strippers simply pull the parts untested and sell them, leaving it upto the buyer to figure out if they work, then deal with complicated RMA procedures to get a refund if it doesn't, with no regard to the fact that you just tore apart your laptop twice, and have it's parts everywhere while you wait a week or two for a replacement that may, or may not work.

 

In my mind, I would have rather just paid a fair price for a good working board in the first place.

 

In regards to your system, the 14.1" boards are very common with Intel graphics, unlike the bigger 15.4, so the conversion isn't has hard to source the parts, but you will lose performance, especially on a high-end unit. As for that specific ebay part, the price looks suspicious, but if it works it's a great deal I can't buy them for that much, or even anything close, so I have to wonder if there isn't something strange going on, perhaps a bios password...   just be careful

 

 

 

 

ThinkPad W-510 i7-820QM(1.73-3.06GHz) Quad Core... ThinkPad T500, T9900, 8gb SSD...FrankNpad T-60p/61p (X9000 2.8ghz) 8gb SSD ips FlexView...ThinkPad T-61p (T9300 2.5ghz) 8gb ram...Thinkpad X-61 Tablet 4gb ram...ThinkPad A-31 (1.9ghz P4 1.5gb ram)
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dave_silv
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎01-18-2012
Location: Wales, UK
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Re: Replacement mobo for T61 (7665-CTO)?

[ Edited ]

Thanks guys for the quick reply!

 

George, thanks for the plain English reply, much appreciated! :-D

 

TuuS, when you say "you will lose performance", are you referring to only the video performance, or will it not support my 2.4GHz processor at full speed (or something else which will severely impact performance)?

 

Is there somewhere I can go for information about the spec of the different T61 motherboard options - what processor they support, what graphics processor they have on board, and more? I'm trying to find somewhere, but not got anything yet.

 

For instance, there's also this 42W3415 board on there, but I'm struggling to find reliable sources for what these part numbers actually represent in terms of specifications.

 

If I wasn't going to get one from Ebay, do you have some alternative suggestions for sourcing the necessary parts?

 

Many thanks! (Still not quite sure what I'm doing yet... will let you know what I decide and how I get on though.)

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TuuS
Posts: 1,951
Registered: ‎01-02-2011
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Re: Replacement mobo for T61 (7665-CTO)?


dave_silv wrote:

Thanks guys for the quick reply!

 

George, thanks for the plain English reply, much appreciated! :-D

 

TuuS, when you say "you will lose performance", are you referring to only the video performance, or will it not support my 2.4GHz processor at full speed (or something else which will severely impact performance)?

 

Is there somewhere I can go for information about the spec of the different T61 motherboard options - what processor they support, what graphics processor they have on board, and more? I'm trying to find somewhere, but not got anything yet.

 

For instance, there's also this 42W3415 board on there, but I'm struggling to find reliable sources for what these part numbers actually represent in terms of specifications.

 

If I wasn't going to get one from Ebay, do you have some alternative suggestions for sourcing the necessary parts?

 

Many thanks! (Still not quite sure what I'm doing yet... will let you know what I decide and how I get on though.)



Enter T61 class 101, please be seated and prepared to take notes :smileyhappy:

 

This series comes in 3 sizes...

 

14.1" full screen (4:3 aspect ratio)

 

14.1" Widescreen (16:10 aspect ratio)

 

15.4" Widescreen (16:10 aspect ratio)

 

 

The CPU's come in two classes

 

Meron (older) 

 

L2 cache of 1, 2 and 4mb

 

Most are T7xxx series

 

Penryn (newer)

 

L2 cache of 3 and 6mb

 

T8xxx and T9xxx series

 

A meron board can only run a meron chip

 

A Penryn board can run either chip

 

Running a Penryn chip on a meron board generates a false thermal error message that can be surpressed with a 3rd party modfied bios.

 

Graphics options

 

Intel

Base level graphics is integrated Intel. This does not slow your cpu clock speed, but does rely on your cpu and system ram to process graphics.

 

All T61 models are available with Intel graphics, but they are rare on the 15.4" widescreen

 

nVidia NVS140m 128mb

 

This GPU is available on all three T61 models, but only units with a production date of 08/08 (2008/august) or newer can be sure of having the updated GPU.

 

 

nVidia FX570m 256mb (15.4" widescreen only) and 128mb (4:3 aspect only)

 

This was available ONLY on T61p model. Only units with 08/08 date can be sure of the updated GPU. Also note that the T61 series was replaced in september by the T500, so there were very few built with the updated graphics.

 

Intel conversion

 

You can convert to Intel graphics by changing your system board. The Intel board uses a different heatsink assembly, but many people have sucessfully used the nVidia heatsink. I recommend the Intel heatsink. Although the Intel boards are common in the 14.1" widescreen, they normally sell for about $150, and I've seen them as high as $400 or more, lenovo charges about $600, so If you can get one for the price in that ebay auction, then I'd grab it, but I'd be highly suspicious. 

 

Ideally it would be nice to get an 08/08 nVidia board. Currently I've only found a reliable source for them for the 15.4", which works out well because the Intel boards are readily available for the 14.1. I do have an Intel board and heatsink, but I paid a much higher price then they're selling for and even if I was to get one for you, there would still be the matter of flying it "over the pond", so I'd be inclined to try one of the boards from this ebay seller. Since you you the Meron class cpu, you won't have to worry about needing a Penryn board, but it would be ncie if you could get one, it would mean upgrading to a Penryn cpu could be done without disabling the thermal sensor alert.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

ThinkPad W-510 i7-820QM(1.73-3.06GHz) Quad Core... ThinkPad T500, T9900, 8gb SSD...FrankNpad T-60p/61p (X9000 2.8ghz) 8gb SSD ips FlexView...ThinkPad T-61p (T9300 2.5ghz) 8gb ram...Thinkpad X-61 Tablet 4gb ram...ThinkPad A-31 (1.9ghz P4 1.5gb ram)
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dave_silv
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎01-18-2012
Location: Wales, UK
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Re: Replacement mobo for T61 (7665-CTO)?

Thanks very much TuuS, I've gone for the first board on Ebay - seller has good ratings, so I'm hopeful.

 

I'll let you know how it goes when I get it!

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dave_silv
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎01-18-2012
Location: Wales, UK
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Re: Replacement mobo for T61 (7665-CTO)?

So, the motherboard arrived and I rebuilt the computer this evening. Powers up OK, but as you guys suspected, there is a BIOS password! :smileyfrustrated:

 

I've tried the "remove both batteries, boot on AC only to clear the power-on password" trick, but to no avail. Still showing the icon of a computer terminal and a padlock, which I believe means that there's probably a supervisor password set too, and now I'm contending with that, which can't be reset as far as I know - and before anyone locks this thread, I'm not asking how to do that, but I do have some other questions in order to help me resolve this Ebay situation!

 

For starters, if I have successfully reset the power-on password and there IS a supervisor password in place, would the icon still be the same? (A computer terminal with a padlock next to it.) It seems that some places online have a different password icon shown for supervisor password, but I've also read that these icons may be out of date and that perhaps the icon is the same for both.

 

So, I'm wondering if anyone knows: the Ebay seller said that the board was 'USED - Fully Working - GRADE "A" Condtion', and I'm curious how they can possibly say this without being able to boot it up?


Is there any way they could have honestly believed it was working without knowing the power-on password? (Like testing it in a working machine in some circumstance which doesn't require any password to boot?) Is there something I could have done in installing it (such as connecting it to a different hard drive / changing the memory configuration) which could have triggered a power-on password that wasn't previously appearing?

 

Or, is it, as I most likely suspect, that they've not tested it properly and/or not sent me the same board as they claim to have tested?  (For starters, the board that arrived has the correct part number, but it came with the structure frame, which was not photographed or mentioned on Ebay.)

 

I reckon I've just been conned, basically, but I don't want to go accusing them of anything without a) a bit more knowledge about these boards and b) finding out if there's anything they can do about it like telling me the password! :-(

 

Not getting my hopes up though... perhaps the best I can aim for is a refund, and then I'm back to square 1, albeit with experience of stripping down and rebuilding this computer (which is no bad thing -  at least I know I can do it now).

 

I'll try seeing if I can get a refund from this Ebay seller, but would like to be equipped with enough knowledge to enquire how they can have said the board is fully working when it's not possible to boot it up as it has a power-on password.

 

Also, final question: can someone reassure me that this power-on password won't have done anything like password-protect my hard drive? (I didn't have a hard drive password set before, and I presume it wouldn't just add one because I don't know the power-on or supervisor password... would it? I do have backups of my important data, but not quite everything on there, so it would be annoying if this hard drive was somehow deactivated and not able to be used anywhere else as a result of this passworded motherboard.)

 

TuuS, also, I'm interested in where you source your known-good motherboards from (that you sell on to other people)? Do you have a way to get them (in which case, I'm potentially interested), or do you just get lucky on Ebay sometimes?

 

Thanks again everyone for your help with this, I really appreciate it. I'm not quite ready to give up yet! (But starting to consider it if I can't find a trustworthy replacement board, because there's only so many times I'm willing to risk it on Ebay.)

 

Cheers, ~Dave

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TuuS
Posts: 1,951
Registered: ‎01-02-2011
Location: US
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Re: Replacement mobo for T61 (7665-CTO)?

Welcome to the club, I've been burned by bios passwords too, ebay is usually the scurge of the parts distributors and I suspected at that price that it was to good to be true, and even if you got 100% refund, or got a free replacement, you spend all that time and effort to install it, then you'll have to uninstall it, ship it back, wait often a couple weeks for them to verify your claim then send you another that may, or may not work...   typical "board in a box" syndrome...  been there, done that!!!

 

Removing the password would require equipment, and some very delicate soldering. If I was to do it (which I wouldn't), I'd have to charge far more then that board cost. The amount of work involved is just more then it's worth, but if someone was to research that specific chip and knew exactly where to look, they could do it probably within an hour or so, but as you know I can't discuss how it's done or anything like that.

 

As far as ebay goes, I can advise you how to handle it. Send the seller a message selecting the "not as described" category. Regardless of the terms of sale, if something is "not as described", they seller will have to refund your purchase and shipping. 

 

In the message, politely tell the seller that there was no mention of a bios password that renders the board unusable and ask them for the password, or rather tell them you'd be very happy if they could provide the password, or alternately replace the board with one that doesn't have a password, but I'd strongly imply that you're not going to be very happy if you have to repeat all the work again because they failed to test the board as advertised. In doing this, your preparing the seller for the fact that you're not going to be happy if you have to rip it out and return it before getting a replacement, so maybe if it was an honest mistake you can get them to ship you the replacement so you can install it the same time you remove the bad one.

 

Good luck, and I'll send you the info I have on system boards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ThinkPad W-510 i7-820QM(1.73-3.06GHz) Quad Core... ThinkPad T500, T9900, 8gb SSD...FrankNpad T-60p/61p (X9000 2.8ghz) 8gb SSD ips FlexView...ThinkPad T-61p (T9300 2.5ghz) 8gb ram...Thinkpad X-61 Tablet 4gb ram...ThinkPad A-31 (1.9ghz P4 1.5gb ram)
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dave_silv
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎01-18-2012
Location: Wales, UK
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Re: Replacement mobo for T61 (7665-CTO)?

Thanks TuuS... again!!! The course of action you've outlined is basically what I was planning to do - I have no intention of being angry or accusative with this seller, and will assume good faith / human error until it should seem otherwise. I'm going to be polite but firm.

 

Also, at this price, I can probably afford to at least try the DIY-electronics :smileywink: route to fix things if it looks like I'm going to be stuck with this passworded board if the seller is not helpful - nothing to lose, and I'm reasonably handy with a soldering iron.

 

As an aside, the interior of these machines is really well designed, isn't it!! Nowhere near as easy as rebuilding a desktop machine (done that lots of times), but my aesthetic and design brain was stimulated and in a state of admiration for the way these laptops are constructed. I'm a lot more into the beauty of nature these days, but part of me still revels in a well designed piece of technology. (And I can overlook the fried GPU when I say that!)

 

Diolch yn fawr iawn, as we say in Wales! :cathappy: