Don't you die on me!
October 29, 2008 8:32 PM   Subscribe

My beloved Thinkpad T60 has died in my arms.

This tale of idiocy in fact occurred a week ago.

I received what I was expecting to be a critical work email when I was just getting out of the shower. I ran to the computer without thoroughly toweling off, and some water from my elbow landed on the palm-rest section of the laptop, near the Trackpointer buttons.

A few minutes later I noticed that the keyboard was fried. I'd hit the "x" key, for example, and I'd get a series of characters. The "h" key would effectively be the "F5", and so on.

Instead of opening the laptop and trying to get it to dry off, I just wiped off the exterior of the laptop and turned it off. (regrets, regrets). When I returned home a few hours ago I tried to turn on the laptop and nothing happened. I hit the power button and the computer doesn't even make a sound.

After that happened, I'm opened the computer up to let it air out, but that did not help.

When I plug the AC adapter in, I do get the two lights under the screen (the "battery" and "plugged-in" light). Otherwise the whole computer is completely inert.

I've tried the technique of removing the hard drive, the ultrabay, the ram sticks, and the battery, hitting the power button ten times (ten seconds each) and plugging it back in and trying to power it up again. To no avail.

I took the computer into Micro Center, where they said the most likely problem is that the motherboard has to be replaced. That said, the warranty's expired, and I would probably consider buying a new computer than paying for an expensive motherboard replacement surgery.

What are some other things I could try? This thread suggests unplugging the CMOS battery and trying the power trick again, but I'm a little leery of doing that.

Does anybody have an idea of what else I could try?

It occurred to me that if I fried the keyboard then it's possible that the motherboard is fine and the connection is bad (the power button is on the keyboard). In that case, is there any way I can turn the computer on without using the power key on the keyboard?

Thanks in advance!
posted by mammary16 to Technology (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: No specific advice on DIY tactics for you, but when my Thinkpad (R51) broke down awhile out of warranty, I was actually able to put it back under a new warranty (I bought a 1 but could've been a 2 year) for about $100-$125. That would've been way less than the cost to fix everything I got fixed on it or, obviously a new laptop. I was amazed they allowed that, but they did....kinda defeats the purpose of buying a warranty if you can wait to buy one until it breaks!

They have great repair service too, they send you a box with postage, you put your laptop in the box, send it and get it back in a few days to a week. You should back up your hard drive first, or they have an option to not fool with your hard drive (you'd only check that if you knew the hard drive wasn't the issue).

I can dig up my previous warranty renewal email for email addresses or a number if you need. Good luck!
posted by gatorbiddy at 9:28 PM on October 29, 2008

Before you do anything else, remove the hard disk drive. Back up everything you care about before reinstalling it.

If it were me, I would probably buy a new keyboard off of EBay and try to see if your theory about the power button being the broken part is correct. If that doesn't work, then just get a new computer.
posted by grouse at 9:30 PM on October 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

If you can get access to a dock, that ought to have a power button on it, so you can test the theory without replacing the keyboard.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 9:38 PM on October 29, 2008

Response by poster: I have a functional T41 Thinkpad - would the keyboard from that work as a test-keyboard for the T60? Are they compatible?
posted by mammary16 at 9:41 PM on October 29, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks qxntpqbbbqxl - I'll try attaching it to a dock tomorrow.

And - gatorbiddy - I'll definitely try getting back on the warranty (that seems almost too good to be true!).
posted by mammary16 at 9:50 PM on October 29, 2008

Ditto backing up the harddrive...NOW...then yeah by another T60 keyboard. Replacement keyboards are less than $30 on eBay.

And don't give up hope!
posted by humannaire at 11:03 PM on October 29, 2008

Response by poster: Gatorbiddy -

Thanks for that suggestion. I was going to fiddle with a new keyboard but just decided to get a new on-site warranty. Fingers crossed on them fixing it!
posted by mammary16 at 3:30 PM on October 30, 2008

Pretty sure the keyboard in those contains the power switch. Replace the keyboard and you're done.
posted by gjc at 3:39 PM on October 30, 2008

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