11-08-2018 08:12 AM
I have an old ThinkPad T500 that I was planning to give to my younger brother so he can do school work. Running Windows Vista Ultimate. A few months back, the internal display was acting intermittently, meaning it would not display anything (dark screen) but if you connected an external monitor, it would work fine. After a second or third reboot, the internal display would come on.
This morning I turned it on and the monitor had parallel color lines in various patterns. I can hear the laptop running and booting up. After a couple of minutes, I plugged in an external monitor - nothing. I rebooted the machine and the same color pattern was displaying on the internal display. This time, the external monitor came on and booted up in 800 x 600 mode. When I went into Device Manager > Display it shows "Standard VGA Adapter". I recall that this laptop comes with switchable graphics between the Intel GMA 4500MHD and ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650 (256 MB). Is the video card bad or is it just the actual display?
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11-08-2018 08:23 AM - edited 11-08-2018 08:39 AM
Welcome to the forum!
Is the video card bad or is it just the actual display?
It could be both, difficult to say without having the actual ThinkPad at hand.
I don't remember by heart the BIOS settings in the T500, but please try going to the BIOS (press F1 right after turning on the laptop) and go to "Config" and "Display", select only the integrated graph, save and reboot. Keep us posted how it goes...
Hopefully that would fix the screen problems...
11-08-2018 09:07 PM
Well after playing with the laptop for over 3 hours today, I'm still not sure if both the display and/or the graphics card are bad. When I try to install the NVIDIA driver, it appears to install successfully. However, when the laptop boots up, it always hangs up at the 'Starting Windows' screen. And still the screen is dark, so I'm not sure if it's worth salvaging the laptop.
11-09-2018 12:46 AM
When I try to install the NVIDIA driver, it appears to install successfully. However, when the laptop boots up, it always hangs up at the 'Starting Windows' screen.
You mean ATI drivers? Or really nVidia? T500 models came with Intel only graphics or with ATI/Intel Switchable graphs
Try booting a Linux Distro like Ubuntu or Mint out of a USB or optical drive, just to see how the screen behaves, independently of any Windows drivers that maybe installed.
11-09-2018 12:20 PM
After double checking the laptop, this is a T61, not a T500, with a 15.4" widescreen 16x10 display. After reading some reviews online, I think it's got the infamous nVidia 140M issue (i.e. defective rate much greater than anticipated)! That said, I have switched the video settings in the BIOS to use the integrated vs PCI Express and viceversa. In either case, the display does not come on, but the VGA port does output to an external display. I'll try installing Live CD or Ubuntu later tonight.
11-10-2018 02:59 PM
After double checking the laptop, this is a T61, not a T500, with a 15.4" widescreen 16x10 display. After reading some reviews online, I think it's got the infamous nVidia 140M issue
The infamous nVidia bug! In this case I'm afraid there is little what can be done apart from swapping the motherboard to an Intel only model...
11-11-2018 08:52 AM
Unfortunately that's no solution, the nVidia bug was a chip design problem.