07-14-2019 05:04 AM - edited 07-14-2019 08:46 AM
I just encountered the same problem. My P51s stop seeing the hard drive. I opened it up and that connector was just barely hanging on. It broke as soon as I touched it. This is really, really makes me mad because this laptop it very cruitual to my business. Now I am purchasing a new T590 to replace it. But I will try to get this one repaired. But still a lot of money to be spent considering I shelled out all this money in October of 2017.
Please if you have found out how to purchase a replacement motherboard please let me know.
07-14-2019 08:11 AM
Sorry about your problem. To follow up on my case, I took my laptop to a Lenovo repair center and was was told that the plastic piece cannot be replaced. I was quoted in $1100 cost for a new motherboard, which was surprisingly expensive even to the repair technician I spoke to. I think if you're warranty is still active, you may be able to get the motherboard repaired under warranty so long as the damage occurred during normal use.
I'd recommend looking for the nearest repair center to you and having them and take a look at the laptop and seeing if they can get it repaired under warranty. Since mine was no longer covered I have been booting a Linux installation from a 64GB USB key, and it seems to work well for low intensity use.
07-14-2019 08:49 AM
Thanks for the advise. I too am out of warranty. So I am sure they will not replace it for free. But I will be contacting Lenovo and voicing my displeasure over this situation. I buy THINKPAD brands becasue of the durability. This is the first time I can honestly say it did not even come close to my expectation.
I live in Detroit and there really is not repair center near me which makes it a bad deal. I might see if there is a local repair shop near me that can help. If I can find a cheap motherboard, I can replair myself.
07-17-2019 05:46 AM
Hi all- same problem here- thanks for your help.
In my case, my connector had not quite broken all the way off, and I had to/was able to hold the cable in place while I booted and got my bitlocker recovery key. I could not just use tape, I had to physically press on the connector to make contact with the points on the motherboard.
My system was refurbished, and came with Bitlocker enabled, but no Key on my Microsoft account. If you purchased yours from the Lenovo Outlet store, check to see if Bitlocker Encryption is enabled and save your key. In my cae, both Microsoft and Lenovo had said they could not help me, so holding the cable seemed like my only option. Just after I got the key, the whole connector gave out like a rope bridge on an action adventure film. Just-in-time.
I ordered the parts to reattach the SATA connector on the motherboard (mine is also not hard soldered- only the tabs to hold downthe connector are soldered- but really do not need to do so at this point- and probably won't risk it. Here's why:
As suggested here, I installed an M.2 (SATA) drive in my WWAN slot, and used Macrium Reflect to copy the data from my old drive (which supports Bitlocker encryption, but not when the image is on the encrypted drive too, and my drive was the only thing I had that could store that large a file).
What this means is that you'll need an external case for your HDD (if you decrypt it, it can be useful again). You'll need a separate external drive to store your image file on (well, I did)- I bought an MSATA drive and case. Macrium boots in WIndows PE, which didn't let me retrieve an image within a folder, it had to be able to see the image file right away.
So- for parts- I got a Kingspec 242 NGFF 512 GB M.2 SATA III 6Gb/S internal solid state drive for Ultrabook. It was pretty cheap, fits, and works.
I now seem to have my whole system back and running. Hope this works for you.
07-19-2019 01:56 PM
Followed RShephard's instructions and now my system is back and running perfectly. Thank you so much! I used the KingSpec M.2 SSD SATA and a SATA-USB Controller along with Acronis True-Disk USB tool to clone the old disk onto the WWAN SSD. I did run into the BitLocker issue, but luckily had already cloned my original HDD to an SSD and used that instead.
Out of curiousity, where did you find the piece to replace the SATA conncection? Thank you again!
07-20-2019 07:00 AM
Thank you for the suggestion of the Kingspec 242 NGFF 512 GB M.2 SATA III 6Gb/S internal solid state drive for Ultrabook. I ordered it from AMAZON for $64.00 and it came yesterday. I popped it in and cloned the original hard drive with Marium Reflect and that worked. The laptop came right back up fully restored and functioning wonderfully. Since the $1,400 replacement laptop did not ship yet I cancelled that order. So you just saved me $1,400.00 and I can not thank you enough. I will never be able to USE the SATA III connector again since it completely broke away. That is OK because I really do not need anymore drive space.
So again thank you for your suggestion. Your solution has fixed this connector issue and I can continue to use the Thinkpad P51S for a few more years I hope.
07-23-2019 01:28 PM
I'm really happy this worked for you- I was also panicked.
I found the link to the connector from an earlier post and I got it from Mouser-