IBM Thinkpad Repair
October 22, 2005 6:37 PM   Subscribe

IBM Thinkpad Brick: I've recently come into posession of an IBM 600E Thinkpad. As a Mac user, I don't plan for this to be my main machine. But it'd be great if I could use it to test web design work, and perhaps to tinker with Linux. The problem is, it won't turn on. What's the best way to have it looked at and perhaps repaired? I don't particularly want to go to the local CompUSA and would like a solid estimate before sinking any money into it.

I live in Chicago, so a reputable local repair option would be ideal. I also wouldn't mind sending it somewhere for diagnosis and possible repair.
posted by aladfar to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
This is probably the best place to ask. Maybe download this.
posted by Kwantsar at 7:12 PM on October 22, 2005

it really depends on WHY it won't turn on. bat battery? ON button dysfunctioning? does it even get into BIOS? ...etc.
posted by grafholic at 7:40 PM on October 22, 2005

I've had some experience with laptops that refused to turn on even when plugged in because of totally dead batteries. Leaving the computer plugged in for a day or so allowed me to turn them on.
posted by gyc at 7:48 PM on October 22, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for the advice thus far. More details: The power brick itself seems to be working as I get a blinking yellow light from the machine when I plug it in.

I let it charge overnight, but it was still dead this morning. It might be the battery, but the machine doesn't even when plugged into the wall.
posted by aladfar at 7:54 PM on October 22, 2005

Dumb question: Some Thinkpad battery packs have a little switch to turn them 'Off' for storage. If yours has this switch, is it off?

Also, Pg 35 of the PDF listed above goes through the step-by-step power diagnostic. How far along did you get on that?
posted by Orb2069 at 10:21 PM on October 22, 2005

This sounds stupid, but put your ear right up against it and see if it makes any noise at all. My old thinkpad made some very slight hissing and clicking sounds before getting into full boot up mode -- it might help you diagnose if any power is getting in.
posted by Rumple at 12:36 AM on October 23, 2005

I would also try a different outlet even if you have a surge protector or power strip - and even if other things work in the outlet or power strip. I thought my Thinkpag was shot because my it wouldn't boot or would cut out suddenly. I turns out my AC adapter was shot but it was shot beause of the outlet I put it in. Sometimes electronic componenets can be unusually sensitive.

Got a new surge protector, new adapter and it has been fine ever since.

The new outlet fix also worked for a friend's apparently dead scanner. For her it was just one outlet in the strip.
posted by xetere at 2:33 AM on October 23, 2005

The Chicago Northwest Clipper Magazine published a coupon for a new Schaumburg computer store.

855 E. Golf Road Suite 2127
Schaumburg, IL

One of PSN ads states:
Only $59.00
You might want to telephone this store to insure that they will help you with your IBM Thinkpad for only $59.00. Remember, if they require the ad coupon, the published of the ad magazine is Clipper Magazine.
posted by Mckoan1 at 4:33 AM on October 23, 2005

second putting your ear up to it and listening for noises - the fans on the 600e spin up when you first turn it on. on all the ones I've had, you should be able to just hear it if your room's not too noisy. if you hadn't done the obvious (making sure the screen contrast was turned up - the slider's on the bottom of the screen) you might wanna try that out too. and, fwiw the power adapter's not special - compusa will sell you a universal power adapter that'll work fine with it for around $70. the only problem is, if you've got a 600e you've got a low-end Pentium II laptop and you can get a different one that'll probably be in good working condition from eBay for about $125 (link goes to one, just grabbed the topmost that wasn't insane). you could do that and sell the old one for parts.
posted by mrg at 11:03 AM on October 23, 2005

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