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I've got here a Thinkpad T60 which has, according to phone support, a broken motherboard.

Is there any chance that I can fix this? (I fear not…)

When I press the power button it lights up all the control lights (1 sec) and shuts down immediately afterwards. I can't see anything on the display.

Edit: Sometimes when I try to start it multiple times in a row it starts to beep.

Update 1: Today I copied the files from the hard disk. For this I took the hard disk out and put it into an external case. I then put the hard disk from the external one into the laptop and surprisingly it booted the bootloader. When I'm at home I'll try to start it from a CD.

Update 2: I reinstalled the original hard disk and now it works, strange...

Update 3: The computer crashes sometimes. Especially when starting windows. It has successful passed a memtest, but it crashes after some time testing the hard disk for bad blocks.

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Just to check, did you remove the battery, the CD-ROM drive, and the hard drive from the computer and try powering it up? I've seen a bad battery and CD-ROM cause the same problem. –  hyperslug Sep 27 '09 at 15:56
    
Maybe even remove the Mini-PCI wireless card, too, just to be sure. –  hyperslug Sep 27 '09 at 16:01
    
@hyperslug: I'll try that. –  Georg Schölly Sep 27 '09 at 16:44
    
@gs, didn't work, eh? Sorry to hear. –  hyperslug Sep 27 '09 at 20:19
    
Strangly I've got some success. (See updated question.) –  Georg Schölly Sep 28 '09 at 13:59

5 Answers 5

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Update 3: The computer crashes sometimes. Especially when starting windows. It has successful passed a memtest, but it crashes after some time testing the hard disk for bad blocks.

First, I'd recommend downloading the ultimate boot CD - it has a broad variety of diagnostics that could come in handy.

There is definitely a hardware problem, hence the knee-jerk "mainboard" diagnosis. As has been suggested, your best bet is to strip the system down as much as possible and test. Then add back one component at a time to see where it starts to fall down.

From what you've said so far, it sounds like either a problem with the HD controller (integrated in the mainboard) or a RAM problem. You might want to run a RAM test overnight to see if it turns up any problems.

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And don't add the battery back until you're sure the computer is working; if you had said it was desktop, one of my guesses would have been a bad PSU. –  hyperslug Sep 30 '09 at 20:48

while it is not entirely impossible to fix a 'broken' mainboard (provided you have appropriate diagnostic and soldering tools and replacement parts), it is much easier to replace the entire mainboard.

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Most likely no. You'll need to have it replaced. If it shuts down, it's probably shot.

If the computer turns on, shows lights, stays on, but hangs, I'd say it could be fixed by resetting the bios/cmos. But shutting down immediately doesn't sound good. We'll need more info to possibly help.

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I hope your unit is still under warranty, but from what you write it doesn't sound like it. Replacement motherboards seem to run $300 and up, less for a "refurb". If you try a refurb mainboard, you might be able to get credit by sending the guy who fixes them your old one to work on.

The good news is, replacing the motherboard in a ThinkPad is usually really easy.

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It really depends what the problem is - there is no harm in opening it up and re soldering parts if you find anything obvious such as a burnt out capacitor... but it won't be easy.

You may be better off ringing a replacement / spare parts company and finding a replacement motherboard or even just getting a different second hand laptop off of eBay.

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+1 thanks voyager! –  William Hilsum Sep 27 '09 at 16:09
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You are welcome :) –  voyager Sep 27 '09 at 16:11

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