10-03-2011 07:52 PM
I had the AC jack replaced on my T61. The shop I took it to had to send it away to be repaired and they charged me $225.00. After I got it back, I had no sound and it showed no sound card was installed. Other than that it worked fine for a while and then I started having problems getting Windows to boot. It would begin to boot and then suddenly the computer would shut down. Sometimes the lights would come back on by themselves and it would try to boot again. Occasionally it would finish booting. Eventually I couldn't get it to complete the boot at all.
While I was still able to get it to boot, I ran diagnostics with the program Lenovo installs and it did not show any problems with my motherboard or GPU.
I posted on the forum and got replies that most likely the GPU (NVIDIA Quadro NVS 140M) was the problem. I took it back to the service shop that replaced the AC jack. They had to send it away again. Their office girl told me today that my motherboard needs to be replaced and that they will do it for another $225.00. They were supposed to check out the motherboard when they replaced the AC jack, so I don't understand why it was apparently fine when they had it the first time and needs to be replaced now. When I questioned it, she said she would have a tech call me tomorrow.
When the service shop replaced my AC jack, they also "reflowed the video chipset". Could they have damaged either the GPU or motherboard?
I found some threads about Lenovo replacing the NVIDIA Quadro NVS 140M on T61's that were out of warranty, but it sounds like in several cases they're trying to get out of replacing the GPU if they can, I'm trying to decide if I should just go ahead and let the shop that has it replace the motherboard or if I should take a chance that Lenovo will cover it. To be honest, I don't have a lot of faith in the shop that has it after the problems I've had since they worked on it.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
10-03-2011 08:29 PM
Huh...even if Lenovo agreed to replace your board, once they see the traces of reflowing - and they likely will - you're out of luck.
You've been overcharged by that shop and then some.Worst of all, they're obviously clueless and irrsponsible.If they're willing to replace your board *for free* since they're the ones who messed it up to begin with, that's fine. If not, get another board or a new laptop altogether.
And stay away from them in the future for crying out loud...
10-03-2011 09:10 PM
Thank you very much for your reply. I had a feeling they had overcharged me. Thanks for confirming that for me. Now I will have a little more "ammo" when I talk to them tomorrow. I will insist that they replace it for free and see what they say.
10-03-2011 10:43 PM
Their price to change the system board is actually cheap, but I suspect it's going to be a used system board, and more then likely will have a defective GPU, so I definitley wouldn't do that. As for being overcharged, If they really removed and repaired (successfully) the systemboard, then the price isn't outragous, but only a power jack, then that is very high.
I understand a new system board with a good nVidia gpu cost about $575, which is more then your laptop is worth. There are countless T61 laptops on sites like ebay for sale, you could get a low end unit for $100-200 and a top end one for 250-400. You might want to just buy a used one and keep your old one for parts. If you're buying a used nVidia unit, you want a date code of 08/08 or 08/09. They are rare, but I found two recently. You can also get a unit with Intel Graphics pretty cheap, these don't have the nVidia chip and are more reliable. Becareful of sellers that advertise the Intel chip and send you nVidia, I just had that happen to me, and I've found several other ebay auctions that are mislabled. Get the unit model and serial numbers and date code and look it up before bidding.
10-03-2011 11:22 PM
Thanks for your reply. Actually, I looked at my bill again and they charged me $249 to replace the AC jack and reflow the vidio chipset.
I bought the laptop on ebay last Sept for $650. It had been upgraded with a dual-core processor, added memory and Windows 7 Professional (upgraded from Vista). I did some research online and it sold for $2299 new before the upgrades, so I thought I was getting a good deal. Now I have $899 in a computer that apparently needs a new motherboard. It's really disheartening. I thought T61's were the "cream of the crop", but the NVidia issue has scared me from buying another one.
I bought my old Dell Inspiron 8600 in early 2004. I have to use an external monitor because the backlight went out on its monitor, but it's still running and I've never had to repair anything else. I use my computer for my business, so it really gets a workout. If I have to buy another laptop I think I'll go back to Dell.
I thought the $225 charge for a new motherboard sounded pretty cheap, too, after reading other posts on the forum. I'll find out if it would be for a new or used one. I'm going to try to get them to replace it for free since it looks like they're the ones who damaged it.
10-04-2011 12:21 AM
To be fair, it's nVidia that is to blame here, and it's not just lenovo products that are effected, many brands, including Dell used their defective chips.
I bought one of these new direct from Lenovo, so I lost a lot more then you, but in your case, you bought it long after the defect was found and announed (summer 2008), and the seller probably knew it had defective GPU when he sold it.
Odds are that shop is buying a board from a company that refurbishes them, which means they remove them, usually from damaged systems with broken screens, test them, and sell them with a 90day warrenty as refurbished. You'll never know if it came out of a late model unit with a good GPU, but I would say that would be highly unlikely.
As for your previous repairs, why did they touch the GPU if you brought it in for a DC jack replacement? not to mention that the defect is internal, nothing they do to the board can fix or prevent failure, so at best it was a waste of money, if they did anything at all, but since you paid to fix the GPU specifically, they should fix it or refund, if it's within their servicewarranty, if not, some compromise should be made since you just had this fixed.
ps. exactly what model do you have, and is it 14.1 or 15.4"?
10-04-2011 07:06 AM
Here's the thing:
Unlike the GPU detachment problem on A3x, T4x/R5x ThinkPads where reflowing the solder was one of the possible fixes, it does *absolutely nothing* productive for T61/p (or any other laptop with a nVidia GPU from the flawed batch) since it's the chip itself that is defective and must be replaced.
As for the pricing, I've known many reputable shops that specialize in ThinkPads that would swap the charging port for $50, and motherboard for $75-100 plus the cost of the board...
10-04-2011 08:41 AM
Just talked to the owner of the shop. It seems there was never anything wrong with my power jack. The first time they repaired it all they did was reflow the vidio chipset which made the motherboard test good at that time. Since I started having problems within a couple of weeks after I got it back, they are offering either a refund of the $249.99 that I originally paid or an additional charge of $225 to replace the motherboard. They would replace it with a refurbished motherboard. I brought up the problems with the NVidia chip and he was aware of the problems with it. He is going to call the place they sent it to and verify the date of the motherboard they would use and let me know. That would make the cost of replacing the motherboard $474.99 ($249.99 that I originally paid plus the additional $225) if I have them do it.
10-04-2011 08:44 AM
Just take the $$$ and run...I know I would...
$475 is way more than that machine is worth.
Take the refund, part the rest of the laptop out and move on.
My $0.02 only...
10-04-2011 08:14 PM
I agree, I just bought a T61 in near mint condition with date code 08/09 (sept 2008) for $180. Truth is I got massively lucky, but I've seen these units sell as low as $120, or as high as $400+. I love the T61, and the bad chip has driven the cost down (even on non-effected models), so I'd look for one and keep your old one as a spare. Things like RAM memory and harddrive would be easy to transfer from your old t61, your CPU might be able to swap too, but that requires a bit of skill.
Good luck, and I'd defintely be grateful you're offered a refund.