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arvinino
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Posts: 7
Registered: ‎10-23-2013
Location: Australia
Views: 5,576
Message 1 of 16

T420 very unstable with 2670QM and 8GB of RAM (no discrete GPU)

Hi everyone,

 

I have just installed an i7 2670Qm on my T420 today.

The machine will crash pretty soon after booting up, with the screen having colorful vertical and horizontal lines before it restarts itself and give the memory error beeping pattern (1 beep-pause-3 beeps-3 beeps-pause-1 beep)

So then I took out one RAM from the bottom, and the machine appears to work normally again, more or less.

 

In the OS (Win7 64), The power manager alerts me that the 65w AC adapter is giving not enough power, so the laptop is running on battery. I thought I just need a 90W AC brick so the laptop will work as it should, so I am arranging a 90w one to come in later. But on a second thought, if the battery cannot start the laptop with 8GB of RAM properly, something must be very wrong here.

 

Can you good people tell me where may the problem be most likely?

Is it the CPU or RAM or Mobo or something else? Where should I look?

 

The machine works fine with the previous CPU i3-2310m and 8GB of RAM.

The RAM modules I have are 2 x 4GB Samsung 2Rx8 PC3-12800S-11-11-F3

The BIOS version is updated to the latest 1.46

 

Many thanks!

Former Employee
Posts: 2,835
Registered: ‎03-20-2012
Location: Malaysia
Views: 5,566
Message 2 of 16

Re: T420 very unstable with 2670QM and 8GB of RAM (no discrete GPU)

Hi arvinino,

thanks for posting and welcome to the community. Based from what I've read here I believe the ram installed may not be compatible with the system. Judging from our spec sheet the recommended RAM to be installed is

Memory
PC3-10600 Non-Parity (NP) Double Data Rate Three (DDR3) Technology
Two SO-DIMM Slots
The use of 1333 MHz SO DIMM memory is recommended for this system.
1 GB, 2GB, or 4GB memory
Supports up to 8GB maximum memory
2GB, 4GB Intel Turbo Memory (selected models)
Note: Only 64-bit operating systems support more than 3GB of system memory (RAM).

Hope this clears it up.

Regards
lead_org Microsoft MVP Contributor
Microsoft MVP Contributor
Posts: 21,009
Registered: ‎12-19-2008
Location: Australia, Melbourne
Views: 5,556
Message 3 of 16

Re: T420 very unstable with 2670QM and 8GB of RAM (no discrete GPU)

http://forum.notebookreview.com/lenovo/568372-thinkpad-t420-owners-thread-30.html

Since this is not a Lenovo shipped configuration, you would have dig into the various community resources lying around regarding the upgrade.

The T420 can take up to 16 gigs of ram with the regular dual core Sandy Bridge processors.

My friend has done a i7-2720QM cpu upgrade on the T420, and he told me that using the 90 watts power adapter alleviates lot of issues. But the ram beeping indicates there are other problems involved.

When you had the i3, did you have the 2 x 4 gigs Samsung modules?

What if you have only one 4 gigs module installed? Does it beep?

Try asking people whom have already done this upgrade.

http://forum.notebookreview.com/lenovo/568372-thinkpad-t420-owners-thread-30.html

http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=104783

Regards,

Jin Li

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

I am a volunteer, and not a paid staff of Lenovo or Microsoft
arvinino
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Registered: ‎10-23-2013
Location: Australia
Views: 5,546
Message 4 of 16

Re: T420 very unstable with 2670QM and 8GB of RAM (no discrete GPU)

Hi Jin,

 

Thanks for answering!

 

I've done some more tests and here's the update:

 

When I'm on 2670QM, if I install a RAM module in the bottom slot, then it beeps for memory issue(1,3,3,1), be it 4GB or 8gb, it's the same. So I know that it's not RAM which is causing problem, but more like the slot.

 

Nevertheless, I still run some stress tests like Linx and stuff with one 4GB module installed in the slot under the keyboard. And I didn't detect any stability issue with this setup.

 

Therefore, I switch back to i3-2310m to see if it is really the slot that's having issue. I first boot into win7 with only one 4GB under keyboard, which works fine. Then I install both 4GB on the laptop to make it 8GB, and no issue at all.

 

So far, my findings have led me to suspect the i7-2670QM CPU I have here is the naughty one. Is this possible that a CPU will cause such a problem (causing one particular memory slot to malfunction), or there's other possibilities on what I'm encountering?

 

Thanks again for reading and following this thread.

 

lead_org Microsoft MVP Contributor
Microsoft MVP Contributor
Posts: 21,009
Registered: ‎12-19-2008
Location: Australia, Melbourne
Views: 5,533
Message 5 of 16

Re: T420 very unstable with 2670QM and 8GB of RAM (no discrete GPU)

The memory controller resides on the CPU silicon package now, so what you suspect could be right. The CPU you got had some issues before, which the seller may not told you about (whether intention or not).
Regards,

Jin Li

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

I am a volunteer, and not a paid staff of Lenovo or Microsoft
arvinino
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Posts: 7
Registered: ‎10-23-2013
Location: Australia
Views: 5,525
Message 6 of 16

Re: T420 very unstable with 2670QM and 8GB of RAM (no discrete GPU)

Thanks a lot Jin!!

 

I'll probably give it another try before I send it back to the seller.

 

All the best!

lead_org Microsoft MVP Contributor
Microsoft MVP Contributor
Posts: 21,009
Registered: ‎12-19-2008
Location: Australia, Melbourne
Views: 5,504
Message 7 of 16

Re: T420 very unstable with 2670QM and 8GB of RAM (no discrete GPU)

i think you should also ask people like Patchysans, whom is on forum.notebookreview.com all the time. He should give you some guidance or tips about the upgrade.

P.S. Is your CPU an ES model (engineering sample)?
Regards,

Jin Li

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

I am a volunteer, and not a paid staff of Lenovo or Microsoft
Guru
Posts: 352
Registered: ‎01-29-2013
Location: Greece
Views: 5,487
Message 8 of 16

Re: T420 very unstable with 2670QM and 8GB of RAM (no discrete GPU)

Hi there!

Before doing anything else, It would be wise to find a 90W adapter and try with that. As Jin wrote in an earlier post, the 90W adapter alleviates from a lot of problems. In fact the 65W adapter might well be the only problem you have!


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arvinino
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Registered: ‎10-23-2013
Location: Australia
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Message 9 of 16

Re: T420 very unstable with 2670QM and 8GB of RAM (no discrete GPU)

Thanks Jin,

No, it's not an ES or QS coded processor. It's an SR02N.

 

Hi BigBlack,

I was thinking the same thing until I realised that if the battery alone cannot power the machine up, then something else must be wrong as well. But indeed I'm getting a 90W adapter to try.

 

One more thing I don't understand is that why the machine will not take ANY power from the 65W adapter, even when the machine is only consuming like 10W of power. I tried to plug and unplug the AC from my current 65W adapter, and the battery time just simply wouldn't change. This is very strange to my poor knowledge of laptop power management, couldn't it at least utlise a part of the power input from the 65W?

 

Thanks again everyone!

Guru
Posts: 352
Registered: ‎01-29-2013
Location: Greece
Views: 5,464
Message 10 of 16

Re: T420 very unstable with 2670QM and 8GB of RAM (no discrete GPU)

I don't know exactly what is going on, but there is a chance this is a safety measure built in the machine, concerning 45W cpus (i.e. 4core i7 Sandy Bridge). I have a strong feeling everything will work fine with 90W charger, but I'm not absolutely certain.


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