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Fixing a Dead IBM T41 (In Surrey)

Updated on April 24, 2013
After a year of testing and fixing, it is ready to serve  again.
After a year of testing and fixing, it is ready to serve again.
Close view after fixing.
Close view after fixing.
Before fixing, it crashed at boot up.
Before fixing, it crashed at boot up.
Replaced by this working motherboard.
Replaced by this working motherboard.
Keyboard and touchpad with sign of usage.
Keyboard and touchpad with sign of usage.
Battery holding charge.
Battery holding charge.
Front cover
Front cover

I picked up this IBM T41 on 25Nov2011 which was listed "Comes with AC adapter, no HD. Issue might be with the mainboard, a fan, or possibly the ribbon connector the display. I don't have the time to fix it, maybe you do? "

When I first tested this T41, it did not have video display. The motherboard worked in another T42. I suspected that the backlight was gone and ordered one for it. When the backlight came a month later, I powered on this T41. It displayed the IBM Logo. So, the problem was not on the backlight. When I used it more, the video disappeared. When it was booted up again, it gave 1 long beep and 2 short beeps. It indicated GPU failure.

I did a reflow on the GPU on 31Dec2011 and tested several rounds of boot up. The beeps were gone. I put in a 60G hard drive which has one bad sector. I tested the wireless and ran several Youtube videos. When it was working, I removed the old thermal compound on CPU and the dust in the fan. When I booted up the T41 again, it crashed while XP was loading. It flashed a blue screen and shut down in a second that I could not read the error message. I observed that the fan was running the highest speed. It looked like overheating. I took the T41 apart again and readjusted the screws on the fan. This time, the T41 was running good. I continued to run the Youtube videos while battery was charging for over an hour. No problems encountered.

On 12Jan2012, it started having video problem occasionally. I did another reflow at the back of the GPU on 30Jan2012. It works again. In Feb 2012, the video failed again. I bought a working motherboard in March 2012. When it came, I installed it. When the T41 was powered on, it displayed the IBM logo but very dim. I replaced the backlight.

Finally the T41 is working. I installed the drivers from Lenovo website. For the ANATEL wireless card, the driver is under IBM G40 ThinkPad Wireless LAN Adapter Software (11a/b, 11a/b/g). The driver file name is 77wc39ww.exe. I updated the Windows XP to SP3. The motherboard is good.

I have two batteries for it. When charged to 100%, the power meter showed 1.45 hours and 1.33 hours. Over a year of testing, fixing and observing, it is good to serve again.

On 23 April 2013, a student who immigrated from Middle East has picked it up. Knowing that it was for doing his school work, I gave him 10% discount.


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