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Fixing an IBM R52 with No Power On (In Kitchener)

Updated on September 3, 2011
Dusty fan and uneven thermal compound
Dusty fan and uneven thermal compound
Cleaned up the fan and reapplied the silver thermal compound.
Cleaned up the fan and reapplied the silver thermal compound.
IBM Desktop
IBM Desktop
Testing by Youtube video
Testing by Youtube video
6 Recovery CDs
6 Recovery CDs
IBM AC Adapter
IBM AC Adapter
System Configuration and OS
System Configuration and OS
Keyboard and Touch Pad
Keyboard and Touch Pad
Top view
Top view
Bottom view
Bottom view
New battery
New battery
Battery charging is good.
Battery charging is good.
Scan results for hard drive. No damaged block.
Scan results for hard drive. No damaged block.

I picked up this IBM R52 Thinkpad on Dec 7, 2010 in the evening after work. The owner told me that this Thinkpad was for his personal use. After his kid played with it, It could not be powered on. He removed the hard drive but provided the original set of IBM R52 recovery CDs for rebuild.

When I returned home, I inspected the Thinkpad. Unlike Thinkpad released from corporate, the owner had been keeping his Thinkpad well. It had no scratches on the top cover. The power on panel was loosen and the power on button was broken. From my testing instinct, the power on problem should be due to the broken power on button. I attached an old keyboard that was left from fixing a T41. I pressed on the power on button. The R52 Thinkpad booted up normally. I tested the Thinkpad further and found that the DVD ROM/CD WR drive failed to read CD but DVD.

To rebuild this R52, I ordered the following parts:

  • a 60 GB Fujitsu hard drive
  • an IBM keyboard
  • an IBM DVD ROM/CD WR drive
  • a new battery

When all the parts arrived, I opened up the laptop, cleaned the laptop fan and reapplied the silver thermal compound on the CPU and GPU before installing the keyboard and the DVD ROM/CD drive.

After installing the Windows XP from the recovery CDs, the Thinkpad started up properly. I tested the WiFi for wireless connection, downloaded the Windows XP updates to SP3 and tested the keyboard and DVD ROM/CD WR drive. All passed my testing. I further played a video from Youtube to test the LCD display and sound. They were good too.

The rebuild of this R52 Thinkpad was quite straight forward. I would suggest the new user to put a sign "Not for toy" on it if there are kids around. It is serving in Kitchener.


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      7 years ago

      Hey, you're so great! Guess what, I was the original owner :-)


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