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pjp
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:38 am    Post subject: Thinkpad repair Reply with quote

At a minimum, I think I need to make sure there isn't too much dust. But I may have a failing fan.

I noticed a slight "warble" (I can't think of a better word) after putting it into hibernate mode, but before it had completed. I'd closed the lid and was moving it to set it down. That's when I noticed the warble. It didn't really make any whining noises, and I don't otherwise notice the fan noise. So I'm hoping I'm catching it in time.

Are there any special tools needed to disassemble Thinkpads? I specifically have an X61 (dual IBM / Lenovo logos from ~2007). By special tools, I'm also including anything falling into the category of "had I known, I would want to have X before attempting." I'm particularly paranoid about damaging fragile plastic bits which are key to its assembly.

In addition to the fan, I may also like to replace the latch in the front of the laptop. And if not too ghastly, possibly the latch in the lid / LCD section.

For starters, just a cleaning.

Thanks.


EDIT: Oh. How difficult is it to obtain replacement parts?
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your thinkpad is toast. Get an iPad.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Look at lenovo website for videos or step-by-step instructions on how to dissemble an X61. Usually, all you need is a screwdriver (and not the liquid one).
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sell it on eBay. Don't mention the "warble".
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You need one or two screwdrivers (cross slot), that's about it.
Unfortunately, the X61 has the fan under the mainboard, so you'll have to take out the mobo to get to it and clean it.

Be careful when you do that not to damage the LCD connector cable. It splits into the data/power line for the LCD and a thin line that connects to the sensor that registers when the lid is closed, forming (a kind of) Y. It's easy to accidentally tear it apart. So make sure you disconnect the cable from the board.
You might also have to unscrew the modem (almost square card, nearly in the middle under the palm rest) and wifi card (in some models it's held by a simple mechanism, in some you've gotta unscrew two screws which can be quite hard to loosen. Use a small screwdriver, by all means, because if you damage the bolt head you might not be able to get the wifi card out without damaging it or the mobo.

Edit: Before you take off the palmrest you should take off the keyboard: After you have loosened all screws, slightly push it towards the LCD and gingerly lift it (e.g. by using a screwdriver and sliding it under it where the mouse buttons are.) When it's off, disconnect the microphone from the mobo else you might damage the connector when taking off the palmrest (I might be talking about the X4x here - sorry if that is so).

Wait a minute - do you have the tablet or the normal X61? Anyway, first removing the keyboard is a safe bet.
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Last edited by Clad in Sky on Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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wswartzendruber
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A small-medium flathead.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wswartzendruber wrote:
A small-medium flathead.


They use flatheads on US models? All the ones I dismantled had cross slot.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clad in Sky wrote:
wswartzendruber wrote:
A small-medium flathead.


They use flatheads on US models? All the ones I dismantled had cross slot.

You can use a flathead with them as well. The fan is flathead-only, though.

Well, this is for the T series, though.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not here.
Anyway, I guess pip is competent enough to select the appropriate standard screwdriver. :D
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ppurka: Thanks. Hadn't thought of looking for videos. I skimmed the manual, and other than seeming complicated, it didn't look too bad. Keeping track of everything might be a different story though :)


@BoneKracker: lol


@Clad in Sky: Thanks, good info. It is the Tablet variety of X61. And the "Y" connecter issue is exactly what I was hoping to hear about. Thanks!

The manual I was looking through seemed to provide prerequisite removal steps: to take of X, first remove A & B, etc.

Unfortunately I haven't seen the part which includes the latch in / under the palm rest area. I did find the lid latch component.


Now I'm starting to wonder if messing with it will 'kill' the fan and leave me stranded.

Thanks for the tips.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found dismantling the X61 tablets (like all other real ThinkPads) not to be very difficult. But then, I didn't have to put them together afterwards. Sorting the screws and might be a good idea.

If you're too afraid you might try cleaning the fan from outside by using a vacuum cleaner on a low power setting and applying it to the air openings.
Oh, and you can reach the actual fan by just removing the keyboard. If you need to remove it you'll have to disassemble the whole thing, though.

Btw: The Y-cable isn't an issue with the tablet models afair (we didn't have so many of them where I worked (all in all I estimate I did roughly 20 to 30 tablets, whereas the normal X6x's count is in the hundreds and T2/3/4/6x is in the thousands), so I'm a bit hazy on them).
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More good info, thx.

If I can see the fan just by removing the kbd, then I think I'll try that just for the heck of it. If I decide to keep this thing, I'll need to clean or replace the kbd at some point (an evil Mountain Dew incident has hindered several important keys :).
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fan finally died. Ordered the fan today, hoping to see it by Friday.

Absolutely horrible design to have to remove EVERYTHING to replace the part most likely to fail. Ugh!

Most of the easy stuff removed, but now not seeing where the board is still "stuck" to the chassis, though not everything is yet removed.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pjp wrote:
Absolutely horrible design to have to remove EVERYTHING to replace the part most likely to fail. Ugh!

If you are selling laptops and want to make sure people buy new one every 2 years or so, it's excellent design! :lol:
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Then it is an even worse design since this laptop is from 2007. :twisted:

And if I had to replace a laptop every two years, the replacement would be from a different manufacturer.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pjp wrote:
And if I had to replace a laptop every two years, the replacement would be from a different manufacturer.

They are all the same, unless it has valves in it :D
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should have sold it on eBay like I told you. Now you're either going to break it taking it apart or not be able to put it back together, and it will be a worthless pile of junk.

edit: I mean "a worthless pile of junk plus a brand-new fan".
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perfect timing to switch to a macbook. The universe wants you to! :lol:
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prenj wrote:
pjp wrote:
And if I had to replace a laptop every two years, the replacement would be from a different manufacturer.

They are all the same, unless it has valves in it

SteamPunk Laptop! :D
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally got it apart. There was a screw hidden by flimsy shielding metal. That and a few other inconveniences.


BoneKracker wrote:
edit: I mean "a worthless pile of junk plus a brand-new fan".
At least you saved yourself the embarrassment of being wrong again :P


Prenj wrote:
Perfect timing to switch to a macbook. The universe wants you to! :lol:
Not yet, I haven't started using meth.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since I stopped working at the firm I worked at in 2011, I have forgotten quite a bit of how the internals of the ThinkPads look like. Did you download a hardware maintenance manual? You can find them on the lenovo page.
If you can't find them send me a PM or post and I'll send you one. I'm sure they're on the US lenovo page as well, since they're English only anyway.

The design of the X6x is uniquely crappy for a real Thinkpad. If the fan of a X6x had died, the laptop would go straight to "Parts harvesting and dismantling" (where I worked), since it took too long replacing it. A shame, really, since often the X6x were totally OK otherwise. Well, at least they were scrapped for replacement parts and the motherboards were sold to ThinkPad refurbishers and repair companies. Considering that they got a mainboard for around 20 €, it's still quite a loss, and only because of a failed design.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I used the manuals. Helpful, but only to a point. With experience, I don't think it'd be that difficult to repeat, especially since that type of job is likely to have extra parts lying around.

I've taped screws to a page in approximation where they were from, and screwed some others back into the holes from which they came, so I shouldn't have any extras :D

Amazingly, there isn't that much to be cleaned. Yes, some junk, but not nearly as much as I'd expected after this long.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IT'S ALIVE

With another six years on the horizon, I think I'll have to find what size drives it can recognize and upgrade to an SSD!

Not too bad, really. Only two minor problems... the wireless switch is a little stiff to move, and the pen is even more difficult to insert (and not ejectable after doing so).

I was at least relieved that it wasn't just a fan, but included the heat sink, pipe and was pre-greased. Made the price a little bit more palatable.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pjp wrote:
With another six years on the horizon, I think I'll have to find what size drives it can recognize and upgrade to an SSD!

There shouldn't be a size limit that any existing SSD could breach. There do exist modified BIOS versions to remove the artificial SATA 1 limitation (to SATA 2), which makes a lot of sense when you upgrade to an SSD.

German link, but I hope you get the idea: http://www.ali.dj/sata-ii-support-for-lenovo-thinkpad-t61-x61-r61/
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This source here http://thinkwiki.de/X61 says you can put a 1TB hdd into it. So, like genstorm said, no ssd out there should be any trouble.

Edit: Forgot to mention: Congratulations on getting it fixed!
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