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10 Posts

08-15-2012

NW NJ

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Best date to buy a used T61 after to avoid the video card problems

2012-08-28, 14:06 PM

I am looking for another T61 but need to know when IBM stopped using the problematic video card. I assume if the lappy has bios agter that date I would be safe?

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7175 Posts

06-27-2008

United States of America

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Re: Best date to buy a used T61 after to avoid the video card problems

2012-08-28, 19:08 PM

machines with build date codes 08/09 and later should be ok, as long as no one "worked" on it. ;)

 

Tuus or ajkula66... did i get that right?


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2253 Posts

01-02-2011

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Re: Best date to buy a used T61 after to avoid the video card problems

2012-08-28, 21:15 PM

@sarbin wrote:

machines with build date codes 08/09 and later should be ok, as long as no one "worked" on it. ;)

 

Tuus or ajkula66... did i get that right?


Actually 08/08 was the last "full" month of production, and the first full month the updated gpu was used. There were some special order units build in 08/09 (2008/september), and some very rare ones built in 08/10 (2008/october).

 

You'll probably find it very difficult to find one of these for sale without a sharp premium in price, but if you want one of the 14" widescreen models, they are commonly equipped with intel graphics which aren't effected with the nVidia problems.

 

 

ps. You cannot go by the boards bios date, that is changed anytime someone updates the firmware. You need to go by the date on the laptops bottom label.

 

 

ThinkPad W-510 i7-820QM(1.73-3.06GHz) Quad Core... ThinkPad T500, T9900, 8gb SSD...FrankNpad T-60p/61p (X9000 2.8ghz) 8gb SSD ips FlexView...ThinkPad T-61p (T9300 2.5ghz) 8gb ram...Thinkpad X-61 Tablet 8gb ram.
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4433 Posts

12-22-2008

Canada

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Re: Best date to buy a used T61 after to avoid the video card problems

2012-08-29, 15:36 PM

Also according to various accounts on this forum, there are T61 series systems and motherboards being sold on places like eBay with forged dates. Be very careful about who you buy from if you find such systems offered for sale.


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2253 Posts

01-02-2011

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Re: Best date to buy a used T61 after to avoid the video card problems

2012-08-29, 19:13 PM

wrote:

Also according to various accounts on this forum, there are T61 series systems and motherboards being sold on places like eBay with forged dates. Be very careful about who you buy from if you find such systems offered for sale.


Very true, I have seen quite a few boards offered on ebay claiming to be 08/08 but were not. 

 

ThinkPad W-510 i7-820QM(1.73-3.06GHz) Quad Core... ThinkPad T500, T9900, 8gb SSD...FrankNpad T-60p/61p (X9000 2.8ghz) 8gb SSD ips FlexView...ThinkPad T-61p (T9300 2.5ghz) 8gb ram...Thinkpad X-61 Tablet 8gb ram.
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2598 Posts

03-19-2009

Germany

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Re: Best date to buy a used T61 after to avoid the video card problems

2012-08-29, 19:45 PM

Additional:

A production date of the Thinkpad later than 08/08 does not tell 100%, that the nVidia also is newer than 08/08.

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7651 Posts

11-24-2007

USA

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Re: Best date to buy a used T61 after to avoid the video card problems

2012-08-29, 21:41 PM

wrote:

Additional:

A production date of the Thinkpad later than 08/08 does not tell 100%, that the nVidia also is newer than 08/08.


Well...yes and no.

 

We know that only 100% verified new/good chips were used from 08/08 until the end of the production a couple of months later. The introduction of "revised" chips started in February of 2008.

 

My understanding - which serves as the basis for price that I'm willing to pay for a particular nVidia-based planar - of dates involved is as follows:

 

Anything produced before January of 2008 has the real potential of being a time bomb. I'd contemplate getting one of these only from someone I knew well, and were familiar with their user patterns/habits.

 

February '08 through July of '08 dates carry a 50/50 chance that the chip might blow up. On 4:3 (non-widescreen) units, this is as good as it gets. Their production ended - for the most part - by May of 2008.

 

August through...???? (the latest I've seen is November) can be deemed safe.

 

Now, if you are buying a machine where the owner has proof that the board was repleced under warranty by Lenovo at a somewhat recent date...then the date on the bottom sticker really doesn't matter. But these are rare cases indeed.

 

With all of that said, even if you were to buy a machine and the board subsequently dies, there's a lot of Intel boards around...

 

Happy shopping.

Cheers,

George




In daily use: R60F, R500F, T61, T410

Collecting dust: T60

Enjoying retirement: A31p, T42p,

Non-ThinkPads: Panasonic CF-31 & CF-52, HP 8760W




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2253 Posts

01-02-2011

United States of America

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Re: Best date to buy a used T61 after to avoid the video card problems

2012-08-30, 14:00 PM

Very well stated!

 

I'll add a little info on the timeline of the updated chip, but please understand that much of this is information that neither Lenovo nor nVidia willingly provided. We do know that in was about January 2008 when nVidia begun pannicked attempts to resolve the problem and their decision was to handle the problem as quietly as possible, so no new part numbers, or even revision numbers were issued for the new chips, it was more of a "quality control" effort then a revision. At that time nVidia was making thousands of chips per day, and to retool dozens of factories all over the world all at once would have meant shutting everything down and laying off workers, drawing public attention, etc...   so it appears they quietly updated the process one production line at a time, and all the chips ended up in the same bin, with the same numbers on them. We don't know exactly when the updated design "kicked in" but we do know that failure rates sharply declined after about febuary, but they didn't stop completely until August 2008. From this it's logical to surmise that there are a mixture of old and new design chips in laptops with dates from 08/02 to 08/07. We don't have any proof of this and nVidia is keeping silent, but from what I've seen about 90%+ of all failed thinkpads had a production date before feb 2008. 

 

The biggest concern is getting one that's already failed, as some repair places think that reflowing the board will fix it, and others know it's only a temp fix, but do it anyway because there is no cost involved, apart from the labor.

 

However if you get one that has never failed, and was well cared for, it may never fail...    the vast majority of the millions made are still in service. If even 1% failed we'd have many times as many reports in the forum in my opinion.

 

 

ThinkPad W-510 i7-820QM(1.73-3.06GHz) Quad Core... ThinkPad T500, T9900, 8gb SSD...FrankNpad T-60p/61p (X9000 2.8ghz) 8gb SSD ips FlexView...ThinkPad T-61p (T9300 2.5ghz) 8gb ram...Thinkpad X-61 Tablet 8gb ram.
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1 Posts

10-21-2012

Calgary,Ab,Canada

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Re: Best date to buy a used T61 after to avoid the video card problems

2012-10-21, 4:47 AM

Hi Tuus,

 

I have a T61 which is CTO-7663. It is now having the same 1 long 2 short beep + black screen problem. I imagine I need a new board to make it work, since it has been very reliable to me. Could you please give me guidance to do that? Which kind of board I need? Thank you.

 

Walter

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2253 Posts

01-02-2011

United States of America

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Re: Best date to buy a used T61 after to avoid the video card problems

2012-10-21, 5:16 AM

wrote:

Hi Tuus,

 

I have a T61 which is CTO-7663. It is now having the same 1 long 2 short beep + black screen problem. I imagine I need a new board to make it work, since it has been very reliable to me. Could you please give me guidance to do that? Which kind of board I need? Thank you.

 

Walter


Walter, send me a PM with your serial and date code and the CPU model too if you know that. I'm sure I can find you a board.

ThinkPad W-510 i7-820QM(1.73-3.06GHz) Quad Core... ThinkPad T500, T9900, 8gb SSD...FrankNpad T-60p/61p (X9000 2.8ghz) 8gb SSD ips FlexView...ThinkPad T-61p (T9300 2.5ghz) 8gb ram...Thinkpad X-61 Tablet 8gb ram.
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