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Rebuilding an IBM T42 from Base Unit (In Langley)

Updated on December 28, 2011
T42 rebuilt from base unit
T42 rebuilt from base unit
WiFi Card Inside
WiFi Card Inside
Fan cleaned up and thermal compound re-applied.
Fan cleaned up and thermal compound re-applied.
New motherboard in anti-static shielding bag.
New motherboard in anti-static shielding bag.
Motherboard without the battery holder indicating that it has not been used before.
Motherboard without the battery holder indicating that it has not been used before.
Test the hardware from installing OS from factory contents.
Test the hardware from installing OS from factory contents.
A broken chip was replaced
A broken chip was replaced

I fixed a T42 Thinkpad which ran but having a power source detection problem. It could not get a new user after listing for a month. To reuse the parts, I found another T42 base unit in Vancouver. I contacted the seller for local pick up to save the shipping cost. He agreed and at his home, he showed me the boot up of the base unit to BIOS on 30 July 2011.

During the long weekend, I swapped the hard drive, CD/DVD drive and WiFi card over to the base unit. The T42 started up successfully. I ran YouTube video on WiFi connection to test the wireless speed, sound and display. No problems were detected.

I contacted a person who expressed interest to me earlier for having a T42 Thinkpad as backup for his T42. I gave him the break down of cost for him to pick what he needed for his backup purpose. He picked the T42 without battery and AC adapter. We met at a coffee shop and had a discussion on his usage. Knowing what he needed, I emailed him the wireless card driver together with the IBM steps to upgrade the hard drive. After using the T42 for a few days, the buyer informed me that the T42 shut down in an hour and the IBM track point did not function. I contacted the T42 seller whether he accepts return from me. He replied below:

"Absolutely NO. So you sell it and then some else tells you something. Great.".

The reply caused me to believe that it had a reflow that would not last over a month. I called back the T42 and refunded my buyer. When I booted up the T42, it had 1 long beep and 2 short beeps. My instinct was right. For second reflow on motherboard, I had not have any success. So, I bought a new motherboard. It was shipped to me in a sealed anti-static shielding bag. It was not used before because the battery holder part was not attached to it. I trusted the seller through our communication that this motherboard was new.

On 25 Aug 2011, I did the reflow and used the blue Access IBM key to re-install the OS from factory contents. I also upgraded the BIOS. All ran successfully. To test out the battery, I ran YouTube video with LCD brightness having 4 bars out of 7. The battery ran 70 minutes from 100% to 10% until the battery low warning window popped up. However, the reflow on this motherboard also did not last.

From another T42, I had a motherboard that had a chip broken. I replaced the chip and the motherboard was working again. I put in a 40 GB Hard Drive and it was picked up in Langley to serve again.


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