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Problem with Thinkpad T42

i have a Thinkpad T42. I can boot in up and log in just fine. However, once I have logged in, anytime I bump the side of the laptop or put pressure on the area for your palms, the monitor shuts off and I cant recover it. The only way to continue is to force a shutdown. Note: The monitor doesnt always turn off. sometimes when I hit it or put pressure, it is fine, other times it shuts off.
3 Solutions
Sounds like a loose connection. The only thing i think you could do is put it into repair. Unfortunately laptop monitors are quite expensive if you dont have an active warranty.
I would try to connect the laptop to an external monitor first then try and repeat the pressure and see what happens.  If the external monitor also shuts off the video card could be lose on the motherboard itself, i dont think the LCD itself is broken. Let me know thanks.
Experienced this problem a few times on a fleet of Thinkpads. Resides in 3 problems (in my experience). Starting from top..
1. The coiled cable right around the neck of the laptop, the cable that connects the lcd to monitor. Somehow develops a hairline break. Easiest way to see if you have this problem, boot into windows. Without moving any part of the laptop, move the lid up and down, stretch back and down..see if you lose signal.
2. Lose ram. Open bottom panel on thinkpad (you'll see a little memory chip design next to panel), pull out memory and resnap in.
3. Lose drive. Pull it out and push it back in firmly.

The palm area has a hard drive underneath to left or right. Excessive force in this area causes the top casing of the drive to bend inwards. One client pounded the side of his fist right on palm area..and couldnt boot correctly, mixed errors. When you look at drive itself, and even tells you not to even touch the top, handle by sides only. Pressure on the top will cause problems, enough pressure, you need to replace it

If you are bold, open the laptop and verify the cable connecting the touchpad is firmly connected on both ends, as well as the keyboard. Check that the internal wifi card is firmly seated in its mini pci slot.

Other factors something on the motherboard may have become faulty, especially a bad capacitor.

Best wishes.

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