Welcome to our peer-to-peer forums, where owners help owners. Need help now? Visit eSupport here.

English Community

ThinkPad NotebooksThinkPad; T61 and prior T series plus Other Legacy ThinkPads
All Forum Topics
Options

2253 Posts

01-02-2011

United States of America

8345 Signins

51772 Page Views

  • Posts: 2253
  • Registered: ‎01-02-2011
  • Location: United States of America
  • Views: 51772
  • Message 1501 of 1612

Re: T61p exhibiting 1 long and 2 short beep and black screen

2013-10-13, 19:47 PM

wrote:

Just experienced this particular BIOS alert in the past week.  The T61p with the 256MB nVidia Quadro FX 570M was bought new directly from Lenovo in early 2008.  The date on the laptop is 08/04.  What would be required to put it right again?  Thanks.


You're going to need to replace the motherboard to fix the problem.

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.
Reply
Options

9 Posts

10-13-2013

United States of America

40 Signins

168 Page Views

  • Posts: 9
  • Registered: ‎10-13-2013
  • Location: United States of America
  • Views: 168
  • Message 1502 of 1612

Re: T61p exhibiting 1 long and 2 short beep and black screen

2013-10-14, 2:10 AM

Why would you advise that?  It was my understanding, the tones implicated the the graphic card.

Reply
Options

17 Posts

07-02-2013

United States of America

28 Signins

209 Page Views

  • Posts: 17
  • Registered: ‎07-02-2013
  • Location: United States of America
  • Views: 209
  • Message 1503 of 1612

Re: T61p exhibiting 1 long and 2 short beep and black screen

2013-10-14, 2:22 AM
Main board might be a better word. There is no 'video card' in laptops (at least 99%). The GPU is soldered on to the motherboard and would be incredibly difficult to replace.
Reply
Options

2253 Posts

01-02-2011

United States of America

8345 Signins

51772 Page Views

  • Posts: 2253
  • Registered: ‎01-02-2011
  • Location: United States of America
  • Views: 51772
  • Message 1504 of 1612

Re: T61p exhibiting 1 long and 2 short beep and black screen

2013-10-14, 3:22 AM

wrote:

Why would you advise that?  It was my understanding, the tones implicated the the graphic card.


As mentioned, the graphics system is part of the Planar Card, also referred to as motherboard, mainboard or system board. The problem that caused your nVidia chip to fail was eventually resolved but not until august of 2008, just before the series was cancelled. The only reliable fix is a board from one of these rare august 2008 units, or one with Intel graphics. 

 

 

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.
Reply
Options

2253 Posts

01-02-2011

United States of America

8345 Signins

51772 Page Views

  • Posts: 2253
  • Registered: ‎01-02-2011
  • Location: United States of America
  • Views: 51772
  • Message 1505 of 1612

Re: T61p exhibiting 1 long and 2 short beep and black screen

2013-10-14, 3:26 AM

wrote:
Main board might be a better word. There is no 'video card' in laptops (at least 99%). The GPU is soldered on to the motherboard and would be incredibly difficult to replace.

 

You are correct. Although it is technically possible to replace the video chip, it requires an expensive BGA infrared reballing station, a trained operator to do the work, and a bug free chip which aren't available to the general public and would be an expensive route to take. 

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.
Reply
Options

572 Posts

02-13-2008

United States of America

2819 Signins

15228 Page Views

  • Posts: 572
  • Registered: ‎02-13-2008
  • Location: United States of America
  • Views: 15228
  • Message 1506 of 1612

Re: T61p exhibiting 1 long and 2 short beep and black screen

2013-10-14, 4:22 AM

wrote:

Why would you advise that?  It was my understanding, the tones implicated the the graphic card.



You have two options: 

 

1. Replace the mainboard as TuuS advised (depending on which mainboard version you end up using, you may lose 3D performance);

 

2. Find another T61p with a build date of Aug 2008 or Sept 2008 (08/08 or 08/09) as listed on the bottom label and merely swap in your HDD.   However, these late end of model dates are extremely hard to find now (I'm hoarding my last 2 such units forever as an example).  But not all 2007/2008 built Nvidia units are definitely going to go bad, especially the closer you get to August 2008. Although, in the interest of full disclosure, I did actually have a July 2008 unit with this issue under onsite warranty, and watched the official Lenovo tech in my home back in 2010 replace the whole mainboard which had a "fixed" 2010 dated Nvidia chip soldered on it.  Unfortunately today, there are a lot of fake "fixed" Nvidia-based T61/T61p mainboards out on the market as the crooks have figured-out how to re-mark the date code internally on the Nvidia chip which is soldered onto the mainboard.

 

So if you want to be "absolutely sure" it will not fail again due to the Nvidia video issue and can also live w/o the 3D graphics boost of the Nvidia chip, you should go the route that TuuS advises and replace the mainboard yourself with an Intel based graphics mainboard.  You might even get lucky and TuuS may be able to find an Nvidia-based mainboard, but as he has told me many times before, it is hard to know if it has a re-marked counterfeit Nvidia chip unless he personally knows the board's chain-of-custody or former owner ..... it almost sounds like a CSI televison episode regarding the T61 and T61p (note that all the other manufactures like Dell and HP also suffered these same issues ... it was not just Lenovo).

 

Also be wary of pre-Aug 2008 units that were repaired at the factory under warranty ..... there have been reports that pre-"fixed" Nvidia chips were used for replacement warranty mainboards (I'm sure it was unintentional as there was a lot of confusion about this issue within the industry several years ago).

 

If it was me, primarily because my 61-year-old fingers are not as nimble as they once were, I would take a chance and buy a used bare T61p w/o HDD, power supply or battery from any of a number of suppliers for $125 to $150 with a June or July 2008 date and just swap in my HDD.  You'll be back up and running in just a few minutes as if nothing had happened.  TuuS can also help you find such a supplier.  The actual failure rate is unknown, but it is worth noting that there were over a million of these units produced according to a PM I received from Mark_Lenovo long ago.  I counted about 2500 messages/replies posted regarding this issue on the Lenovo Forum (combined within this thread and another thread below):

 

http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/T61-and-prior-T-series-ThinkPad/T61-Nvidia-Quadro-NVS-140M-garbled-display-problem/td-p/46469

 

Assuming 40% of the messages originated from people with failed units (and the other messages were about what to do with them), then there are about 1000 units actually reported on this Lenovo Forum as failed due the Nvidia issue.  Multiply that by 10 to account for units that may have failed and were reported elsewhere, or were simply tossed because many users upgrade every few years.  So let's guess that it might be 10,000 failures amongst over a million units produced ..... that's a failure rate of less than 1%.   Even at 20,000 failures, it's still a low rate at under 2%.

 

Just try to run normal temps (maintaining proper fan and heatsink hygiene) by keeping the unit off of dusty environments such as directly sitting on carpet floors or bed blankets full of lint.   I saw so many of my teenage grandchildren carelessly do this with their laptops and then complain when they overheated and failed.  "Shame on you"  I would say to them when explaining what I believe happened after lifting up their keypads and seeing a large dust ball wrapped around their fans and heatsinks.

 

Also minimize the on/off cycles as much a possible for this particular Nvidia processor, i.e. don't have it set to go into standby or hibernation every time you close the lid several times a day when someone walks into the room like you see on TV or the movies .... just close the lid and let it keep running for a few minutes while chatting (also use the power adapter whenever possible).

 

Treat these particular machine models (with the problematic Nvidia chip) as you would your automobile or bicycle that you depend on to get you to work on time so as to put food on your table for you and your family (almost as if you were a precise and detail oriented engineer or scientist, for instance).  If you are more of the care-free type with no responsibilities and cash to burn (not that there's anything wrong with that .... that would be a great thing, IMO), then a different newer model laptop may be more suitable for your needs.

 

Fortunately today, good fan/heatsink hygiene is not so much an issue since every youngster or adult business road warrior I've seen lately is now using a smart phone or tablet instead of a laptop.

_______________________________

Two (I used to have Five) - T61p 15.4" WS T9300 2.5Ghz units, August 08/08 Builds with FX570M Nvidia Graphics; ... One W520 i7-2860QM w/2000M Nvidia Graphics (most recent acquisition and stupidly fast); .... One - T42 4:3 15" Flexview 1.8GHz with ATI Graphics (still perfect for traveling); ... Two - T500 15.4" units both with ATI HD3650 Graphics.
Reply
Options

9 Posts

10-13-2013

United States of America

40 Signins

168 Page Views

  • Posts: 9
  • Registered: ‎10-13-2013
  • Location: United States of America
  • Views: 168
  • Message 1507 of 1612

Re: T61p exhibiting 1 long and 2 short beep and black screen

2013-10-14, 13:34 PM

I see.  Thanks for you reply and the clarification.  What are the important differences between the two graphic components mentioned -- the merits and the shortcomings, if any?  Thanks.

Reply
Options

9 Posts

10-13-2013

United States of America

40 Signins

168 Page Views

  • Posts: 9
  • Registered: ‎10-13-2013
  • Location: United States of America
  • Views: 168
  • Message 1508 of 1612

Re: T61p exhibiting 1 long and 2 short beep and black screen

2013-10-14, 13:41 PM

Thanks for the post, eecon.  Most helpful.

Reply
Options

9 Posts

10-13-2013

United States of America

40 Signins

168 Page Views

  • Posts: 9
  • Registered: ‎10-13-2013
  • Location: United States of America
  • Views: 168
  • Message 1509 of 1612

Re: T61p exhibiting 1 long and 2 short beep and black screen

2013-10-14, 14:23 PM

Given the long average sell by date on these laptops, it would  be difficult at this point to file a class action law suit, but given the overall success intimated here, the company should be able to redress the salient issue even at this late date.  I know that most people don't care if there are piles of laptops accumulating at the local dump.  After all, out of sight, out of mind.  Conservation is not a  priority.  But it's good for business to satisfy the customer.  

Reply
Options

2253 Posts

01-02-2011

United States of America

8345 Signins

51772 Page Views

  • Posts: 2253
  • Registered: ‎01-02-2011
  • Location: United States of America
  • Views: 51772
  • Message 1510 of 1612

Re: T61p exhibiting 1 long and 2 short beep and black screen

2013-10-14, 15:55 PM

there were three graphic systems offered in this line two by nvidia and one by intel. The advantages of the Intel is that it runs cooler, draws less power and is well supported with many operating systems and virtually never fails. The advantage to the nvidia is mostly for gaming, or running apps specifically designed ot use the nvidia graphic system. The disadvantage is that out of nearly two years of production, only about 1 month used a reliable chip. 

 

As far as Lenovo is concerned, they did fix thousands of these units out of warranty. If you read through this post you'll see that free repairs were done from march 1st 2010 till march 31st 2011. As much as we would all like to get more free repairs, we have to accept that these machines are 5-6 years old and eventually all electronics fail.

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.
Reply
Forum Home

Community Guidelines

Please review our Guidelines before posting.

Learn More

Check out current deals!

Go Shop
X

Save

X

Delete

X

No, I don’t want to share ideas Yes, I agree to these terms

Most Liked Authors

(Last 7 days)

View All