IBM ThinkPad A30p display defects


T

tech cafe

Once again, my ThinkPad A30p (model 2653-65U) has developed the
infamous display problem that has plagued many A30p owners; flashing
blue lines, unreadable, garbled text when the machine is turned-on.
The display corruption (seemingly) stops after WinXP loads the display
driver (the Windows GUI looks OK), BUT full-motion video (overlays, et
al) is severely distorted (flashing horizontal lines), AND instead of
32MB video memory (onboard), only 16MB video ram is detected by the
driver, the other 16MB of VRAM is missing! This can be verified in
WinXP by bringing up the Display Properties (right-click on desktop),
Settings, Advanced, Adapter tab; the detected Memory Size *should =
32MB*, but it shows only 16MB, where did the other 16MB go???

obviously, there is a hardware problem.

details - On the A30p mainboard, there are 2x16MB Samsung memory
modules located near the ATi M6 GPU (Graphics Processor Unit), which as
we know is NOT heat-sinked (big mistake) and gets very hot (because it
is located underneath the CPU's heatsink); this design flaw leads me to
conclude that heat and/or mechanical stress has caused the GPU to form
a cold solder joint, which is BGA-mounted (ball grid array) to the
mainboard, or perhaps micro-cracks formed in the mainboard itself.
Whatever the actual source of the problem, it results in an
electo-mechanical failure; if the A30p chassis is moved or flexed
slightly (during POST), the distortion pattern on the screen (blue
lines, garbled text, etc) also changes and sometimes the video
corruption will temporarily stop. In my case, this is the second time
it's happened, the motherboard in my A30p was already replaced once,
for the exact same problem (blue lines, garbled text during POST,
missing 16MB VRAM).

I suspect that the display corruption problem stems from moving the
ThinkPad when it's still warm. That is, after the A30p has been in
operation for a while, the mainboard and GPU heat-up considerably,
then, if the machine is packed-up and in-transit (in your backpack,
laptop bag), expansion/contraction of the internal components (GPU,
mainboard, et al) and mechanical stress (from normal usage) on the
delicate chassis causes electrical connection problems to develop;
certain components (GPU or VRAM) become disconnected or the mainboard
itself develops micro-cracks (broken circuit traces).

IMO, there are design/manufacturing defects with the ThinkPad A30
series, but will IBM will acknowledge this? Unfortunately for their
customers, probably not.

Incidentally, I've also had the LCD display panel replaced in my
machine twice, because the backlighting dies; there's a problem with
the fluorescent tubes, they prematurely fail. Has your backlighting
gone dim, acquired a pinkish hue, particularly during a cold start?
That means they're gonna die soon. The backlighting in my A30p died
not long after I bought the machine. The backlighting issue is
unrelated to the overheating GPU (display corruption) issue, however.

Whatever the sources of these well-known display issues, the simple
facts are:

A30p ThinkPads are prone to LCD and GPU/VRAM (heat-related) failures
and the chassis is much too delicate for portable use.

I firmly believe that IBM should make amends and offer to extend the
warranty on these defective A30s, the machine is prone to serious
display problems, making it unreliable and costly to own (repair costs,
downtime, frustration, etc). It's shameful that IBM won't acknowledge
and take responsibilty for what is obviously a manufacturing and/or
design defect. My otherwise great experience with the A30p has been
tainted by its persistent display problems. The reason I bought the
A30p was because of its high-quality UXGA display, ironically, it's the
one thing that's been an unending source of frustration and expense.
And this machine was not cheap either, with a base price of several
thousand dollars (cdn), plus hard drive and memory upgrades, etc, it
set me back almost $5,000! I expected to get at least 5 years of
trouble-free operation out of it, but it was less than a year before
all the problems began.

Anyone got ideas??? Can we, as a group, petition someone at IBM to
replace our (defective) motherboards, free of charge... hell, I'll even
put the board in myself if necessary, I've already replaced the LCD
panel myself (the second time it went dead). The A30p has a beautiful
display - when it works that is - but the machine is too delicate and
sensitive to heat. Someone at IBM knows this, but they're not
talking... or listening either.

If someone at IBM/Lenovo is reading this, please FIX what is YOUR
mistake, and do right by your customers. Replace our *defective*
motherboards at no charge or at least offer us an upgrade to the A31
series perhaps, for a nominal fee, if any. Restore our faith in IBM...
and what WAS a good brand of portable computers.

btw, my A30p is the third ThinkPad I've owned over the years... the
other two are still working great, even though they are older models.
too bad the same can't be said for this A30p hunk of junk.
--
francis
(e-mail address removed)

other issues with the ThinkPad A30p include well-known problems with
the IEEE1394 bus controller and Philips S-video decoder (PHILDECN.sys).
Essentially, the firewire bus is unreliable (resets itself
intermittently, causing data loss) and the PHILDECN.SYS driver causes
intermittent blue screens in XP). i've had to disable the Philips WDM
Video Decoder via the Windows device manager just so the machine
remains stable. Thankfully, I don't need to use the S-Video ports, and
I was forced to buy a PCMCIA firewire card, but shame on IBM for not
dealing with these obvious defects.
 
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Z

zwsdotcom

tech said:
details - On the A30p mainboard, there are 2x16MB Samsung memory
modules located near the ATi M6 GPU (Graphics Processor Unit), which as
we know is NOT heat-sinked (big mistake) and gets very hot (because it

On the A30 series, the GPU is connected by a thermal transfer pad (pink
rubbery looking object) to the same heatsink/fan combination that cools
the CPU.

I agree that it's likely a bad joint under the GPU, or possibly a
broken via. However, if the machine has outlasted its warranty period
(which it has), then IBM's obligation to you is at an end. If it was my
machine, I'd try heating the area under the GPU with a butane torch to
re-melt all the balls (practice on something disposable first!).

Note that the bottom surface of a BGA chip is made out of FR4, or if
not, another material specifically chosen to have the same coefficient
of thermal expansion as FR4. This is intended to prevent joint stresses
caused by the chip expanding faster or slower than the board to which
it's mounted.
Incidentally, I've also had the LCD display panel replaced in my
machine twice, because the backlighting dies; there's a problem with
the fluorescent tubes, they prematurely fail. Has your backlighting

I'm surprised you haven't encountered the other common problem with the
A30 series, which is the infamous "Fan error" message on powerup.

I'm selling a bunch of A30 series parts including a fan-error mainboard
(but good video :) and an LCD/inverter - search for eBay user ID
larwe74. I think the whole set of lots is currently under $10 right
now, including the LCD :)
set me back almost $5,000! I expected to get at least 5 years of
trouble-free operation out of it, but it was less than a year before

You might have expected that, but IBM did not promise that. Buying a
piece of consumer electronics is a gamble. The manufacturer gambles
that the machine will last for the warranted lifespan; they gamble very
carefully and analyze the statistics to make sure they won't have to
pay out. Consumers gamble very recklessly that their purchase will last
{2x, 5x, 10x} the nominal service life, with little more than faith and
hope to support their wager.
 
R

Rod Speed

(e-mail address removed) wrote
tech cafe wrote
On the A30 series, the GPU is connected by a thermal transfer pad
(pink rubbery looking object) to the same heatsink/fan combination
that cools the CPU.
I agree that it's likely a bad joint under the GPU, or possibly a
broken via. However, if the machine has outlasted its warranty
period (which it has), then IBM's obligation to you is at an end.

Nope, not in any first world country. You have
rights quite separate from the stated warranty.
If it was my machine, I'd try heating the area under the GPU with a butane
torch to re-melt all the balls (practice on something disposable first!).
Note that the bottom surface of a BGA chip is made out of FR4, or if
not, another material specifically chosen to have the same coefficient
of thermal expansion as FR4. This is intended to prevent joint
stresses caused by the chip expanding faster or slower than the board
to which it's mounted.
I'm surprised you haven't encountered the other common problem with
the A30 series, which is the infamous "Fan error" message on powerup.
I'm selling a bunch of A30 series parts including a fan-error
mainboard (but good video :) and an LCD/inverter - search for eBay
user ID larwe74. I think the whole set of lots is currently under $10
right now, including the LCD :)
You might have expected that, but IBM did not promise that.

Irrelevant to the law on that.
Buying a piece of consumer electronics is a gamble.

Nope, you have various consumer legal rights.
The manufacturer gambles that the machine will last for the
warranted lifespan; they gamble very carefully and analyze
the statistics to make sure they won't have to pay out.

The consumer law is much more complicated than that.
Consumers gamble very recklessly that their purchase
will last {2x, 5x, 10x} the nominal service life, with little
more than faith and hope to support their wager.

Wrong again if they understand their legal rights.

IBM certainly does and they will get off their lard arses
if you make it clear that you understand your legal rights.
 
T

tech cafe

On the A30 series, the GPU is connected by a thermal transfer pad (pink
rubbery looking object) to the same heatsink/fan combination that cools
the CPU.

i've seen this 'rubbery pink pad' of which you speak, but it's NOT
affixed to the top of the ATi M6 GPU at all, the pink pad is located at
the back, underneath the shielded ribbon cable that goes to the LCD
display panel. i assumed it was there to prevent damage to the cable
or something. in any case, there is NO thermal transfer pad atop the
GPU in my A30p, it sits bare on the board, attached to nothing, and the
(hot) CPU heatsink hovers several millimetres above the GPU.
I agree that it's likely a bad joint under the GPU, or possibly a
broken via. However, if the machine has outlasted its warranty period
(which it has), then IBM's obligation to you is at an end. If it was my
machine, I'd try heating the area under the GPU with a butane torch to
re-melt all the balls (practice on something disposable first!).

if my A30p had not given me so much grief right from the beginning, i
might agree with your assertion that IBM's obligation has ended,
however, it has been plagued with serious display issues (GPU/VRAM and
LCD) because of what is obviously a defect with this ThinkPad model.
given that, i'm convinced that IBM should extend the warranty, at least
on the defective parts (mainboard, etc), that otherwise would NOT have
failed due to heat stress. I've owned 3 thinkpad models over the
years, the A30p is the only one that has been problematic for me, so
IBM could at least show some good faith too.
Note that the bottom surface of a BGA chip is made out of FR4, or if
not, another material specifically chosen to have the same coefficient
of thermal expansion as FR4. This is intended to prevent joint stresses
caused by the chip expanding faster or slower than the board to which
it's mounted.

care to elucidate???
obviously, the thermal coefficients were not calculated properly.
I'm surprised you haven't encountered the other common problem with the
A30 series, which is the infamous "Fan error" message on powerup.

if it was a BIOS related issue, i've kept my ThinkPad up-to-date, so
that might explain why i haven't encountered the 'fan error' message...
however, early on, i do remember the fan being stuck on high speed, but
i believe a later BIOS update fixed that problem.
I'm selling a bunch of A30 series parts including a fan-error mainboard
(but good video :) and an LCD/inverter - search for eBay user ID
larwe74. I think the whole set of lots is currently under $10 right
now, including the LCD :)

i'll check it out... please explain more about this 'fan error'
You might have expected that, but IBM did not promise that. Buying a
piece of consumer electronics is a gamble. The manufacturer gambles
that the machine will last for the warranted lifespan; they gamble very
carefully and analyze the statistics to make sure they won't have to
pay out. Consumers gamble very recklessly that their purchase will last
{2x, 5x, 10x} the nominal service life, with little more than faith and
hope to support their wager.

well, i don't think IBM customers are expecting to take a 'gamble' when
they buy a ThinkPad, especially when the machine comes at a premium
cost, compared to other brands. you may be right, and maybe ThinkPads
are junk now, for all i know.
 
Z

zwsdotcom

Rod said:
Nope, not in any first world country. You have
rights quite separate from the stated warranty.

Ah, Speedy - unchanged in ten? fifteen? years from BBS_USER. Seems most
people I remember from Fidonet wound up in the alt.* hierarchy.
Coincidence? I think not.

A claim of unmerchantability would not stand up in this case. And
historically has not. In some very rare instances, mostly involving a
defective component used in a huge number of machines (e.g. Toshiba's
floppy drive controller settlement), class action has won the class
members the equivalent of a $5 McDonald's voucher.
 
Z

zwsdotcom

tech said:
i've seen this 'rubbery pink pad' of which you speak, but it's NOT
affixed to the top of the ATi M6 GPU at all, the pink pad is located at
the back, underneath the shielded ribbon cable that goes to the LCD
display panel. i assumed it was there to prevent damage to the cable

Then your unit is missing the pad. Once you pull off the heatsink +
fan, you should see one transfer pad on top of the CPU, one on top of
the GPU, and some kind of rubbery mechanical buffer around the LCD
connector, as you described. Hmm. Maybe the GPU pad was added in later
production, or something.
care to elucidate???

What else is there to say? The PCB and the bottom of the BGA are made
of the same material. They expand at the same rate.
if it was a BIOS related issue, i've kept my ThinkPad up-to-date, so
that might explain why i haven't encountered the 'fan error' message...

No, it seems to be caused by one of three things: a low CMOS battery
(yes, I know it makes no sense), a bad fan (fair enough), or - worst -
a failure of the tach circuitry on the motherboard.
 
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B

BillW50

Where do I know you from Rod? Fidonet, CP/M, Commodore, GEOS, or what? I
seem to recall knowing you from like '94 or so.
 
C

Chris F Clark

francis said:
Once again, my ThinkPad A30p (model 2653-65U) has developed the
infamous display problem that has plagued many A30p owners; flashing
blue lines, unreadable, garbled text when the machine is turned-on. ....
If someone at IBM/Lenovo is reading this, please FIX what is YOUR
mistake, and do right by your customers. Replace our *defective*
motherboards at no charge or at least offer us an upgrade to the A31
series perhaps, for a nominal fee, if any. Restore our faith in IBM...
and what WAS a good brand of portable computers.

Replacing an A30p with and A31p is not a solution. I've had the same
problem with A31p and A30p units, and also with a T23. I still love
the machines, but the GPU/heat problem seems to eventually cause them
all to fail. The lack of "consumer replaceable parts" for this
problem is a serious issue.

-Chris
 
R

Rod Speed

(e-mail address removed) wrote
Rod Speed wrote

A claim of unmerchantability would not stand up in this case.
Wrong.

And historically has not.
Wrong.

In some very rare instances, mostly involving a defective
component used in a huge number of machines (e.g. Toshiba's
floppy drive controller settlement), class action has won the
class members the equivalent of a $5 McDonald's voucher.

Class action suits are an entirely separate issue to
rubbing the manufacturer's nose in basic consumer law.

Your claim at the top is just plain wrong.
 
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J

James Brown

CBFalconer said:
I guess he got to i.i.t via the a.c.h crosspost. PLONK here too.

No one actually gives a flying red **** what a pig ignorant
jackbooted goon like you does or does not choose to read, ****wit.

And even someone as stupid as you should have been able to work out by
now that kill files do actually work without announcing their content, ****wit.
 
T

tech cafe

Then your unit is missing the pad. Once you pull off the heatsink +
fan, you should see one transfer pad on top of the CPU, one on top of
the GPU, and some kind of rubbery mechanical buffer around the LCD
connector, as you described. Hmm. Maybe the GPU pad was added in later
production, or something.

no thermal transfer pads to be found, not on the GPU or CPU for that
matter. however, the heatsink/fan assembly is mounted atop the CPU
with a layer of white heat sink compound (thermal grease), but the ATi
GPU is bare on the board, no heatsink, nothing... and that's exactly
how i received the machine
What else is there to say? The PCB and the bottom of the BGA are made
of the same material. They expand at the same rate.

perhaps in theory, not so in the case of the A30p

[snip]
 
T

tech cafe

James said:
No one actually gives a flying red **** what a pig ignorant
jackbooted goon like you does or does not choose to read, ****wit.

And even someone as stupid as you should have been able to work out by
now that kill files do actually work without announcing their content, ****wit.

oh give it a rest you guys...
please don't ruin my perfectly good thread with a juvenile flame war.
stay on topic!
 
Z

zwsdotcom

tech said:
no thermal transfer pads to be found, not on the GPU or CPU for that
matter. however, the heatsink/fan assembly is mounted atop the CPU
with a layer of white heat sink compound (thermal grease), but the ATi
GPU is bare on the board, no heatsink, nothing... and that's exactly
how i received the machine

Strange. I have parted out several of these machines and they all had
the transfer pads on both chips. No grease.
perhaps in theory, not so in the case of the A30p

You've shown no evidence of that. These materials are _standardized_. I
have no problem believing you have a bad joint under there that is
going intermittent when hot. And there is some mechanical stress on the
joints as they are heated and cooled, because the Cu and SnPb and FR4
all have different coefficients of expansion. However the chip and
board are to all intents and purposes made of the same material.
 
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T

tech cafe

Strange. I have parted out several of these machines and they all had
the transfer pads on both chips. No grease.

well the board in this machine was already replaced once, for the exact
same reason, display corruption (blue lines, garbled text) due to the
GPU heat problem; the date code on the board is 2005. the technician
who worked on my A30p screwed-up (forgot to put the security chip back
in and did a bad job reassembling the chassis, so it had to be sent in
again. presumably, the tech should have known about the thermal
transfer pads for both CPU and GPU, but apparently didn't... and he
didn't even bother to reapply thermal grease to the underside of the
CPU heat sink before re-mounting it. i think ibm was using selectron
technicians at that time... the idiot who worked on my machine also
stripped the heads on the chassis screws... i just shook my head in
disbelief when i got my machine back.
You've shown no evidence of that. These materials are _standardized_. I
have no problem believing you have a bad joint under there that is
going intermittent when hot. And there is some mechanical stress on the
joints as they are heated and cooled, because the Cu and SnPb and FR4
all have different coefficients of expansion. However the chip and
board are to all intents and purposes made of the same material.

huh? are you saying the GPU ASIC and the PCB are made of the same
material (FR4)? i don't believe so, but even they are, what does that
have to do with the different thermal coefficients of the copper and
solder? that's the real reason the ASIC's BGA detached itself from the
board, whilst being subjected to heat/mechanical stresses.

it's moot now anyway, and i don't have the tools or expertise to
resolder a BGA-mounted ASIC to the PCB. was it you or someone else who
suggested re-melting the solder with a blowtorch? that's perhaps the
most harebrained idea i've ever heard of... even if it does work, i
ain't about to barbeque my thinkpad with a fricken open flame!

ugh... so, i got an 'automated response' from ibm regarding this A30p
mess, "IBM has received your request for assistance. You will receive
a response to your inquiry as soon as possible. Thank you for choosing
IBM," and that was it. sigh.
 
B

BillW50

Old Subj: Re: IBM ThinkPad A30p display defects

[clip]
well the board in this machine was already replaced once, for the
exact same reason, display corruption (blue lines, garbled text) due
to the GPU heat problem; the date code on the board is 2005. the
technician who worked on my A30p screwed-up (forgot to put the
security chip back in and did a bad job reassembling the chassis, so
it had to be sent in again. presumably, the tech should have known
about the thermal transfer pads for both CPU and GPU, but apparently
didn't... and he didn't even bother to reapply thermal grease to the
underside of the CPU heat sink before re-mounting it. i think ibm
was using selectron technicians at that time... the idiot who worked
on my machine also stripped the heads on the chassis screws... i just
shook my head in disbelief when i got my machine back.
[clip]

ugh... so, i got an 'automated response' from ibm regarding this A30p
mess, "IBM has received your request for assistance. You will receive
a response to your inquiry as soon as possible. Thank you for
choosing IBM," and that was it. sigh.

This is the reason why I don't care about warrantees. My last purchase
was a Gateway MX6124 refurbished laptop with only a 90 day warrantee
(back in last August). Some people claim you get what you pay for. I
diagree.

I always have and will probably continue to service my own electronics.
As that way, none of the above nonsense will ever happen to me. As I
really dislike the idea that some clown who knows far less about
electronics than I do, to attempt to repair my machines. <sigh>

I've only got one lemon in 25 years of buying computers. And that was a
Avatar HTPC that I bought from HSN back in 2001/2002. It appears that
they used defective electrolytic capacitors on the motherboard. What a
rip that was. And no I will never buy an Avatar or another computer from
a shopping channel ever again. But 1 out of about 20 computers isn't
such a bad record, eh?
 
B

Ben Myers

The availability of service manuals on the Dell and IBM/Lenovo web sites makes
it relatively easy to repair these brands of notebooks. All you need are small
screwdrivers, maybe a pair of tweezers to retrieve lost screws from inside the
chassis, and the fair amount of patience needed to do the job carefully.

For desktops, it is not an over-generalization to say that a desktop is a
desktop is a desktop. Most all of them use mostly commodity parts, and once in
a while there are a few gotchas (e.g. Dell's custom connectors to their
motherboards), but desktop repairs are rarely difficult.

For the other brands of notebooks, one has the choice of fishing around for
service manuals (try to find the service manual for a Sony!) or simply diving
right in and taking the computer apart. Someone who takes the latter approach
is well advised to keep a written log of the step to take the computer apart,
then reverse the steps in the log when putting the computer back together again.

However, long-term warranties make sense for people who do not have the required
knowhow to do self-maintenance. And even if a computer is still under
warranty, it may make sense for the repair-challenged to call upon a
knowledgable local service tech to deal with the script monkeys who answer the
vendor support phones and to save whatever personal data is on a system before
it is subjected to warranty service.

Happy New Year... Ben Myers

Old Subj: Re: IBM ThinkPad A30p display defects

[clip]
well the board in this machine was already replaced once, for the
exact same reason, display corruption (blue lines, garbled text) due
to the GPU heat problem; the date code on the board is 2005. the
technician who worked on my A30p screwed-up (forgot to put the
security chip back in and did a bad job reassembling the chassis, so
it had to be sent in again. presumably, the tech should have known
about the thermal transfer pads for both CPU and GPU, but apparently
didn't... and he didn't even bother to reapply thermal grease to the
underside of the CPU heat sink before re-mounting it. i think ibm
was using selectron technicians at that time... the idiot who worked
on my machine also stripped the heads on the chassis screws... i just
shook my head in disbelief when i got my machine back.
[clip]

ugh... so, i got an 'automated response' from ibm regarding this A30p
mess, "IBM has received your request for assistance. You will receive
a response to your inquiry as soon as possible. Thank you for
choosing IBM," and that was it. sigh.

This is the reason why I don't care about warrantees. My last purchase
was a Gateway MX6124 refurbished laptop with only a 90 day warrantee
(back in last August). Some people claim you get what you pay for. I
diagree.

I always have and will probably continue to service my own electronics.
As that way, none of the above nonsense will ever happen to me. As I
really dislike the idea that some clown who knows far less about
electronics than I do, to attempt to repair my machines. <sigh>

I've only got one lemon in 25 years of buying computers. And that was a
Avatar HTPC that I bought from HSN back in 2001/2002. It appears that
they used defective electrolytic capacitors on the motherboard. What a
rip that was. And no I will never buy an Avatar or another computer from
a shopping channel ever again. But 1 out of about 20 computers isn't
such a bad record, eh?
 
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T

tech cafe

Ben said:
The availability of service manuals on the Dell and IBM/Lenovo web sites makes
it relatively easy to repair these brands of notebooks. All you need are small
screwdrivers, maybe a pair of tweezers to retrieve lost screws from inside the
chassis, and the fair amount of patience needed to do the job carefully.

i don't object to doing the repairs myself, in fact i'd prefer to, at
least then i'd know proper care was taken to do the job right, the
first time... but i'm resolute that IBM should be responsible for the
*cost* of replacing the A30p mainboard, since it was their fault
(design defect) that lead to the heat-related GPU failure(s) in the
first place. and from what i'm hearing in these fora, there was
*supposed* to be a thermal transfer pad mounted b/w the GPU and the
underside of the CPU's heatsink (shared sink), which was not the case
with my machine. as i've mentioned already, the GPU is bare as a
baby's arse on the board, and is kept toasty warm by the CPU's heatsink
assembly which hovers a few millimetres above it, but is not physically
attached to the GPU (dumb or what). how IBM's service techs missed
this obvious defect speaks to the fact, IBM's PC division has had some
serious quality control and service problems... maybe that's why
ThinkPads have become known as 'StinkPads' and eventually taken over by
Lenovo.

it's a shame tho, until this A30p, it was a pleasure to own a ThinkPad.
For desktops, it is not an over-generalization to say that a desktop is a
desktop is a desktop. Most all of them use mostly commodity parts, and once in
a while there are a few gotchas (e.g. Dell's custom connectors to their
motherboards), but desktop repairs are rarely difficult.

agreed, much easier to work on.
For the other brands of notebooks, one has the choice of fishing around for
service manuals (try to find the service manual for a Sony!) or simply diving
right in and taking the computer apart. Someone who takes the latter approach
is well advised to keep a written log of the step to take the computer apart,
then reverse the steps in the log when putting the computer back together again.

and a large table or bench to do the work, with containers to hold the
small parts, and a wrist strap or conductive mat connected to earth
ground to dissipate potential static discharge
However, long-term warranties make sense for people who do not have the required
knowhow to do self-maintenance. And even if a computer is still under
warranty, it may make sense for the repair-challenged to call upon a
knowledgable local service tech to deal with the script monkeys who answer the
vendor support phones and to save whatever personal data is on a system before
it is subjected to warranty service.

my other two thinkpads, both geriatric by now, still work great... as i
take proper care of my computer equipment. i expected the same
reliability and trouble-free operation from the A30p, but that has not
been the case, quite the opposite; 2 mainboards and 3 LCD screens
later... i'd say i got a lemon. speaking of 'script monkeys', as you
aptly put it, have you called IBM's so-called service department
lately? calls get routed to India... and then the nightmare really
begins!
Happy New Year... Ben Myers ditto
--
francis


Old Subj: Re: IBM ThinkPad A30p display defects

[clip]
well the board in this machine was already replaced once, for the
exact same reason, display corruption (blue lines, garbled text) due
to the GPU heat problem; the date code on the board is 2005. the
technician who worked on my A30p screwed-up (forgot to put the
security chip back in and did a bad job reassembling the chassis, so
it had to be sent in again. presumably, the tech should have known
about the thermal transfer pads for both CPU and GPU, but apparently
didn't... and he didn't even bother to reapply thermal grease to the
underside of the CPU heat sink before re-mounting it. i think ibm
was using selectron technicians at that time... the idiot who worked
on my machine also stripped the heads on the chassis screws... i just
shook my head in disbelief when i got my machine back.
[clip]

ugh... so, i got an 'automated response' from ibm regarding this A30p
mess, "IBM has received your request for assistance. You will receive
a response to your inquiry as soon as possible. Thank you for
choosing IBM," and that was it. sigh.

This is the reason why I don't care about warrantees. My last purchase
was a Gateway MX6124 refurbished laptop with only a 90 day warrantee
(back in last August). Some people claim you get what you pay for. I
diagree.

I always have and will probably continue to service my own electronics.
As that way, none of the above nonsense will ever happen to me. As I
really dislike the idea that some clown who knows far less about
electronics than I do, to attempt to repair my machines. <sigh>

I've only got one lemon in 25 years of buying computers. And that was a
Avatar HTPC that I bought from HSN back in 2001/2002. It appears that
they used defective electrolytic capacitors on the motherboard. What a
rip that was. And no I will never buy an Avatar or another computer from
a shopping channel ever again. But 1 out of about 20 computers isn't
such a bad record, eh?
 

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