06-16-2012 10:57 AM - edited 06-16-2012 10:59 AM
Just to post my experience.
Went to boot my T61p a few days ago. Beeeeeeeep. Beep beep.
That's alright, thought I. Took my HDD out of the T61, put it in my caddy on another machine. Nothing. If you have a HDD password, get rid of it!! If my T61 had properly died I would have struggled to get my data off- different laptops do passwords in different ways, so even if the laptop boots when you put the HDD in, chances are you'll enter your password and because the encryption is not the same on every laptop, find that it still won't let you in!
Bit of googling, then a phone call to lenovo (£500 please sir) then a bit of googling. Didn't want to try the oven idea straight away, but someone posted a youtube link where someone purposefully overheats their HP laptop with similar problems and gets it running again.
I taped up all the air vents on the laptop, turned it on (beeeeeeeeeep beep beep), left it 30 mins, then turned it off and on again. Beeeeeeeeep beep beep. Wrapped my duvet around it, left it another 20 minutes, then turned it off and on again. Booted just fine. Took my HDD password off and did a full backup. Then waved goodbye to it forever and turned it off again.
Then, just for lolz, turned it back on. It booted.
Turned it off, left it to cool, turned it back on. It booted.
Don't know how long I've got it back for, but hopefully quite a while (and, now I have no HDD password, it's not an issue when it eventually dies)
I have 5 similar T61p units and swap a Seagate 500GB 7200RPM FDE hardware-based encryption drive between all of them w/o having to change the HDD PW .... I do it all the time. It even worked on a T61 I used to have. FDE type drives have the encryption keys placed on the drive's hardware and not on the laptop. Setting a HDD PW is required to enable the FDE drive's hardware-based encryption. Just make sure you have the Power-up PW always disabled on all your spare boxes.
Your experience was not normal and w/o more specifics, I can not speculate as to why you had trouble with the HDD PW
06-20-2012 07:53 AM
06-20-2012 09:34 AM
How much does a replacement board cost?
Will the hard drive from our broke T61p's fit into a T60 or T61? Do these models suffer from the same GPU failure issue?
That's a very complicated question. There are many boards being sold online that have had improper repairs and may sell very cheap, but such a board is no bargain at any price, even "free" is to much if you go through the work to install it only to find it's failed.
As for prices of good working boards, they too vary greatly. There haven't been any "new" replacement boards available for several years, but you can get a refurbished board from Lenovo for about $600. Many used part distributors sell these boards in the $300-500 price range, but the ideal board to get would be from a unit built in august 2008, which is the first month to have a new gpu design, and the last full month of production, so they are extremely rare. I was lucky enough to find some for members here but they are getting scarce. I've also been looking into getting boards properly repaired as well as fixing these systems with T60 boards which don't have the nvidia chip. If you're inclined to want to do this feel free to send me a PM and I'll give you the information I have, or if you're interested in one of the updated boards, assuming some may be located.
06-20-2012 10:04 AM
thanks, Tuus -- I would be interested in any info you have, so please PM me.
For the money, it almost seems better to find another completely different laptop than to repair our current ones?
I got my for a discount as a refurbished unit and like the feel/style and display of the T61P, but are there similar laptops out there that perform at the same level for the cost of reparing this one?
06-20-2012 10:21 AM
Hi Dradz, I know the feeling exactly. When mine first died I went out and bought an HP. It was a lot cheaper then a thinkpad, but it was one of the worse mistakes I've made. The model I got was a Dv7 6000 series with a 17" screen. It's really pretty, but the keyboard is horrible and is almost imposible to do any serious typing on it. The chicklet style keys are very low and flat and have no "feel" to them so you can't tell by feel if the key was depressed without visual confirmation. I seldom watch as I type so this was unacceptable. The mouse was even worse, no trackpoint, only a touchpad that has no visable buttons. The buttons are actually hidden under the pad making it impossible to click and drag. Yes I'm serious, you can't even drag and drop something. I inquired in HP forum about how people actually use these laptops and was told to get an external keyboard and mouse.... but I wouldn't have bought a laptop if I wanted a desktop computer, so it's basically offering all the worse parts of a desktop combined with all the worse parts of a laptop combined... but I will say this for it, it's very pretty... all style and no function, and it's my understanding that the HP laptops (as well as sony, asus, dell etc) had even worse problems with bad nVidia chips.
I believe these are well worth fixing, I just wish lenovo would make some new boards with a reliable graphic system at a reasonable price.
06-21-2012 07:02 AM
06-21-2012 09:49 AM
My list in my signature is somewhat truncated, there should be several more, but no one knows why it only lists the first three lines lol but as for other models, the T500 was the imediate replacement for the T61, but it wasn't really an upgrade. It does use a faster FSB speed so you can run faster cpu chips on them and the DDR3 ram is much cheaper then the DDR2, but the dedicated graphics went back to the ATI like the T60 used. Good for reliability, but it's a shame since this problem was fixed just before the series was cancelled. The 510 series went back to nVidia. The w510 also has a quad core I7 option, but it also went the wrong way on the screens. Most people didn't like the widescreen (16:10) as much as the traditonal (4:3) or (16:12), and on the 510 and 520 lines they went even further to 16:9... great if you're only using it for watching widescreen movies, but not for reading vertical web pages or documents because a lot fo scrooling is needed. Also many don't like the keyboards as much on newer models, but they are nearly identical and you can swap them between T60/T61/T500.
One of my favorite systems that you can't see on my signature has a T61p motherboard in a 15" T60 frame with UXGA ips flexview screen. It's one of the best computer screens ever made and it's amazing when powered by an X9000 cpu, FX570m graphics, 8gb of ram and an SSD. I have a small fortune invested in building it, but it's an amazing machine. Many people have built these but most use the boards with Intel graphics. They are a good option, run cool, use less power and are reliable, but I didn't want something with netbook class performance, I wanted something with some power.
06-21-2012 11:13 AM
06-25-2012 12:45 PM
I'm coming to this thread a bit late, and considering it is 125 pages long, I was hoping someone would be nice enough to give me a quick summary or answer my questions.
Basically, I got the beeeeep beep beep. The question is, what can be done about it?
So far I've read you can heat up the motherboard (in the over?!), or tape the vents shut and let it run for awhile. I'm doing the vents things now with fingers crossed, but it doesn't feel like it's getting particularly hot.
Aside from that, is there any chance with getting Lenovo to own up to the issue? I tried calling them and had no luck.
Any other ideas what I can do with it?
Thanks in advance!
06-25-2012 12:55 PM - edited 06-25-2012 12:56 PM
Sell it for parts on EBay or replace the mainboard per Member TuuS's posted instructions.