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Paper Tape
twek
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎05-26-2011
Location: USA
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Are these laptops built to fail??? video included!

So a few days ago my lenovo started outputing distorted video... then it would BSoD and when i rebooted it itd be fine for a little while then do it again... i did this twice before when i rebooted it no video would output at all, not even on an external display, of course, i am out of warrentee, i swear nothing ever breaks while its IN warentee. i have a pretty extensvie computer repair background so i decided to preform an autopsy... my findings where alittle unnerving. it seems teh heatsink for the graphics card on this computer is simply glued on... there is no screws, or anything to hold it... needless to say my heatsink was not in contact with my graphics processor, for god knows how long... im a college student living off residuals from software i write in my spare time, and dont have the $400 to replace the motherboard, nor do i really have the means to make that much money w.o my main development computer... i didnt mind shelling out the extra money to buy a lenovo cuz i thought i was getting quality, but this is rediculious.

 anyways here is a youtube vid of the problem

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtAA-RhhrxI

 

what do i do now?

Punch Card
OrosAraba
Posts: 41
Registered: ‎11-06-2008
Location: Denmark
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Re: Are these laptops built to fail??? video included!

Isn't the "bouncing" effect enhanced by the fact that the processor heatsink screws aren't in place when doing this footage? Not that I doubt what is going on there, but still gives a bit of extra drama to it.

802.11n
Jimbo
Posts: 323
Registered: ‎10-26-2008
Location: Los Angeles
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Re: Are these laptops built to fail??? video included!

[ Edited ]

I may have suddenly jumped into a parallel universe, but that looks like the inside of a W500 (switchable graphics model), and not a W510 as described in the title of your video.

And according to page 87 of the ThinkPad T500 and W500 Hardware Maintenance Manual, it looks like you're missing two of the brackets (steps 1, 2 and 3) that hold down the heatsink.

Apparently, either those brackets weren't installed at the factory, or someone opened or serviced the machine, removed them, and forgot to put them back on. And no glue is involved (you're just seeing the thermal grease on the heatsink sticking to the top of the chip package).

I have no connection with Lenovo, other than being a customer like yourself. Good luck!

802.11n
Jimbo
Posts: 323
Registered: ‎10-26-2008
Location: Los Angeles
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Re: Are these laptops built to fail??? video included!

[ Edited ]

Also, if your discrete graphics processor has burned out, it may be possible to instead run the W500 using Intel's "integrated graphics." You can set this within the BIOS, and below are the instructions on how to do so. But since you presumably won't be able to see anything on the display while in the BIOS, you may need help from someone else with a W500 having switchable graphics, to tell you the sequence of keys to press. If you can pull it off, this would give you a useable laptop for no additional cash outlay.

If you do pull it off, I recommend finding or buying the brackets to hold down the heatsink, and installing them, to prevent further possible damage.


Excerpt from "Switchable Graphics Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)"

Can I disable Switchable Graphics?
Yes, there is a BIOS setup option to disable Switchable Graphics. In the BIOS setup utility (press F1 immediately after powering-on the system, while the ThinkPad logo is shown), enter the Config menu, then enter the Display menu. Change the Graphics Device from Switchable Graphics (the default) to either Integrated Graphics or Discrete Graphics, whichever you prefer.

Also, if you are using Windows Vista, you must disable OS Detection for Switchable Graphics. If this setting is enabled, booting will re-enable Switchable Graphics. Booting any other operating system will only change the setting from Switchable Graphics to Discerete Graphics; if the setting is already Integrated Graphics, it will remain so.

Note that loading defaults in BIOS setup (shortcut: F9) will cause both of these settings to return to their default values.

It should also be noted that each of the three BIOS settings for Graphics Device will cause a device re-detection in Windows. The installed driver supports all three options, so Windows will automatically find that the driver is appropriate and want to install it, as shown in the image below...

Paper Tape
twek
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎05-26-2011
Location: USA
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Re: Are these laptops built to fail??? video included!

thanks for the replies, i think it might be just a w500 but yeah i know that this laptop has swtichable graphics, and im pretty sure i went into the bios awhile back and disabled that and locked it to ATI, (my linux distro did not like it)  but how would i go about trying the intel card? i cant get into the bios because i cant see the screen, should i try pulling the CMOS battery?

Paper Tape
twek
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎05-26-2011
Location: USA
0

Re: Are these laptops built to fail??? video included!

no the bouncing is not affected by the removal of the screws, and i think i jumped the gun alittle bit on this one, i removed that bracket as described by Jimbo a few days earlier and didnt notice the heatsink problem till later, (the glue must have held untill recently lol) and completely forgot about that bracket, but im stil tyrin to figure out how i can fix this situation w.o buyin a new mobo
lead_org
Posts: 20,691
Topics: 128
Kudos: 1,229
Solutions: 1,311
Registered: ‎12-19-2008
Location: Australia, Melbourne
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Re: Are these laptops built to fail??? video included!

trying to put some physical pressure on the ATI graphics card, and then boot the laptop, can you see properly on the screen?

What you are describing sounds like the ATI GPU has some problem, i have seen quite a few example of the T500 and W500 that had this issue (where either you get no display on the screen, or distorted display, etc).
Regards,

Jin Li

May this year, be the year of 'DO'!

I am a volunteer, and not a paid staff of Lenovo or Microsoft
802.11n
Jimbo
Posts: 323
Registered: ‎10-26-2008
Location: Los Angeles
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Re: Are these laptops built to fail??? video included!

[ Edited ]

And try re-installing the missing heatsink brackets.

Paper Tape
twek
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎05-26-2011
Location: USA
0

Re: Are these laptops built to fail??? video included!

wow so that must be it, i guess there are some weak solder joints on the motherboard, i had to apply considerable pressure but i was able to bring up some video... i am now going to attempt to wedge sum metal between the heatsink and the bracket, hopefully that will give enough pressure to give this laptop a few more years of service,
lead_org
Posts: 20,691
Topics: 128
Kudos: 1,229
Solutions: 1,311
Registered: ‎12-19-2008
Location: Australia, Melbourne
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Re: Are these laptops built to fail??? video included!

if you switch to intel gpu, then you should fine even without wedging anything between the heatsink and the bracket.

A motherboard GPU reflow or reball should able to fix this issue.
Regards,

Jin Li

May this year, be the year of 'DO'!

I am a volunteer, and not a paid staff of Lenovo or Microsoft