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t61 went dead

Posted on 2014-12-04
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Last Modified: 2014-12-20
I have a Thinkpad T61 and it went dead last night. Basically, the screen turned to pink color and stop responding. I reset the laptop and just got a blank screen. I know that it is not the hardrive as I removed it and used it with another T61 laptop. Any ideas what is going on? Thanks
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Question by:leblanc
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Frosty555 earned 125 total points
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From the sounds of it, a problem with the graphic chipset on the motherboard, a problem with the RAM, or a problem with a damaged ribbon cable going to the screen. If you have spare RAM in other computer you can try swapping it out as a quick and easy test.

Besides that... the T61 is almost a decade old. It's had a long and happy life, but IMHO you should write it an obituary for how wonderfully it has served you and move on to something a little newer :), Any actual hardware issues with the laptop are not going to be worth it to fix.
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by:John Hurst
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I have a ThinkPad T61p and agree with the above that it is likely a motherboard issue (graphics).

Turn off the T61, plug in an external monitor to the VGA output. Start the computer. Does it work?
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by:leblanc
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Good idea. Let me try to plug into an external monitor. I will try it tonight. Thx
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by:web_tracker
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If it works with an external monitor, then you know that the graphics card on the laptop is fine, it just may be as mentioned a bad or partially disconnected ribbon cable that goes from the laptop screen to the mobo, sometimes moving the screen up and down may cause the screen to show fine for a fraction of a second, indicating that the cable is either bad or partially disconnected. The problem may be a bad back light. but it is unusual for the screen to turn pink, just before the back light dies. But I guess it can happen, you can test the back light issue by shining a flashlight on the screen and you may faintly see your windows screen.  The problem may also be the inverter.
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by:leblanc
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ok. External monitor did not work. The screen is actually no blank. It is black but it looks like the backlight is on. Could it be something with the battery or the BIOS? I hate to trow away the T61 :(
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by:John Hurst
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More likely motherboard (gpu) than BIOS. Nice machine (I have one) but this one may be at end of life.
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by:nobus
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here some steps for troubleshooting - they may help :
here my laptop troubleshooting guide, i hope it helps you :
- remove all external devices
-you can disable devices from BIOS to test (sound, lan, etc..)
- if no display - test with an external monitor
- test if it runs from battery alone, or from AC alone
- test also with a known good battery !
***some laptops have a reset button - if you have one use it!
- remove battery and AC adaptor, hold power button for 20 sec, connect AC and reboot --> any display ? if NO -->
- disconnect all disk and cd drives, battery , and other cards and peripherals, leave only 1 ram stick
- boot -->any display ?
-if you can access the bios battery, remove the battery, AC, and bios battery for a minute to reset the bios
or test it, it should read 3 V
*** you can test the disk on another pc, if you like !

===>>you can test if the mobo works outside the casing, connected to power and external video  !

you can also remove and reseat the video plug - it sometimes comes loose
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by:nobus
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leblanc, plse post the outcome of this problem - what helped, or what did you do ?
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by:leblanc
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I did half way of what you have proposed. But I realized that I need a new laptop because it is not worth the time.
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by:nobus
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tx for the update !
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