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Display is bad on ThinkPad T40?

by phillsm / January 24, 2009 1:56 PM PST

I have an IBM ThinkPad T40. One day when I booted it up, the display was all garbled. All is see are lines and stripes of color. I can't see the boot up screen letters or anything useful. I can't tell if the system is trying to tell me there is an error or not, because the display is nothing but alternating colored stripes.

Any suggestions on what the problem might be or how to fix cheaply?


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Use the external monitor port
by Steven Haninger / January 24, 2009 7:09 PM PST

and see if that works. If so, it about rules out the video device. If you're handy with small tools, you may be able to replace the screen yourself if you can find one. Lenovo has service manuals on their web site but they're fairly well buried. What you may need to do is pull the old one out. This gives you practice and an idea of how this thing is assembled. There will be a PN on the back of the screen. You may be able to google that and find the right part. IBM used various screens from more than one manufacturer so referencing the part number is important. There are laptop parts businesses to be found on the web and lots carry IBM stuff. It will be a used but working screen and you may not be able to return it. Expect to pay $150 or more. To have a shop fix it will probably cost at least 4X times that.

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Display is bad on ThinkPad T40?
by phillsm / January 25, 2009 3:59 AM PST

I did try the external monitor port and the same garbled mess appeared on the external monitor. This leads me to believe it is graphics chip related. Is it possible to replace just the graphics chip on the motherboard? Are there other possibilities causing this problem?

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Doesn't sound good
by Steven Haninger / January 25, 2009 5:09 AM PST

You're probably looking at a motherboard replacement if you cannot rule it out as a defective driver. That's an older model now and probably not economically repairable. It can be done or you can attempt it yourself. You can use google to see if you can find a board and what it might cost. There were some Thinkpad models that had graphics chips that would break their solder joints. I think these had either the Radeon 9200, 9600 or 7500 but I'm not sure. It's a well documented issue. These boards could be repaired by a process known as "re-balling". You can look into this issue and see if your symptoms fit.

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