Does anyone sell Lenovo Y500 motherboards? Am I crazy?
November 30, 2015 1:40 PM   Subscribe

Is there any way to get a replacement motherboard for a Lenovo Y500 laptop? It's a relatively new computer. I'm surprised by what my repair guy is telling me.

I bought a Lenovo Y500 laptop a little over two years ago. I love it and am perfectly happy with it.
However, the motherboard is dead (it only sporadically boots to BIOS). I took it to my local computer repair place and they dinked around with it for over a week and just got back to me on the phone.
They said "the motherboard is dead and it is impossible to get a new one. Your only options are to transfer the data to an external drive, or we can pull the hard drive for you."

This seems crazy to me. I understand that Lenovo no longer makes the Y500, but shouldn't somebody somewhere have a motherboard? What about this?

Any ideas on where to find one? I'm kind of pissed, it's a newish laptop and it was expensive.
posted by Baby_Balrog to Technology (12 answers total)
Have you asked Lenovo?

I've been dealing with some laptop issues for work and they've been fairly straightforward about what parts they do and don't have (and yes, I have been surprised by some stuff they can't fix, like on a Yoga 2 purchased this year).
posted by Lyn Never at 1:54 PM on November 30, 2015

The repair guys said "Lenovo does not have a replacement motherboard available." Is that out of the ordinary?
posted by Baby_Balrog at 1:57 PM on November 30, 2015

I see a bunch of these on eBay. I would definitely be cautious about their return policy, and at the very least make time to install the board ASAP, so you can involve eBay if the one you're sent doesn't work.
posted by cnc at 2:02 PM on November 30, 2015

Have you tried going through the Lenovo repair center? They did a motherboard swap through their depot program on a W510 for me, and it was 3-4 years old at the time. Unfortunately, this is likely to be fairly expensive.
posted by Comrade_robot at 2:03 PM on November 30, 2015

Googling "y500 motherboard" turns up some options, from <200 via alibaba to ~500 from somewhat more reliable-looking websites.
posted by rhizome at 2:04 PM on November 30, 2015

I've never used them before, but there are a bunch of services on Ebay that will repair motherboards for ~$75.
posted by gregr at 2:35 PM on November 30, 2015

You know, gregr, after reading a lot of those listings they are describing precisely the problem I'm having. I could buy an entire refurbed y500 for the cost of the some of the listed motherboards. This guy at least... sort of looks legit?

My laptop is powering on, fan spins, then no video.

$85 is a lot less than a new laptop, especially for one with similar specs to the Lenovo.

Should I go for it? Is shipping my laptop to a stranger on the internet a good gamble? That sounds like crazy talk. I'm going to sleep on it an decide in the morning. If anyone knows of any reason that I shouldn't go for ship-it-to-a-stranger-on-eBay route, please let me know.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 3:05 PM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Find one with a smashed screen for super duper cheap. I've seen the top of the line 4k version of the newer model lenovo Y for like... $250 in that state. Older ones are usually dirt cheap. Scan craigslist and offerup too, not just ebay.

Contemplate just swapping the display module and hdd if the rest of it looks clean. It'll be WAY less hassle.

I've done this to tens of laptops, both for myself and clients. An entire machine is somehow always cheaper than a questionable motherboard, and it usually powers on to test too(unless the person selling it has no PSU for it).

I've been screwed buying ebay motherboards more than once, for what it's worth. Little tiny connectors snapped off and shit. Huge waste of my time.
posted by emptythought at 3:20 PM on November 30, 2015 [3 favorites]

Lenovo Parts Lookup. Try by serial number.
posted by jeffamaphone at 3:52 PM on November 30, 2015

they are describing precisely the problem I'm having

Yeah, when I was clicking around there were several reports of this model stopping working after 18mos and similar.
posted by rhizome at 4:03 PM on November 30, 2015

"If anyone knows of any reason that I shouldn't go for ship-it-to-a-stranger-on-eBay route, please let me know."

When I had a similar issue with a phone, one of the things that I found by looking through the listings was that many of them were in those, like, Cellular Hut sort of businesses, so I called the one near my office and found that they did the same for the same amount of money (so I saved by not having to ship it). I'd be willing to bet that there's at least some local repair tech where you are, if for nothing else than serving the WMU student population. Take a look locally and you may be pleasantly surprised.

(On the other side of it, my dad had good luck using eBay for a chip repair job, shipping it off to Chicago. As always, caveat emptor, but if they've got a good reviews record and you insure the packages, it could make sense.)
posted by klangklangston at 6:17 PM on November 30, 2015

Last week I was looking for a replacement fan for a 2014 Lenovo laptop. Absolutely no dice from Lenovo or any supplier that I could find of new spares. In the end my only choice was to buy from somebody on Ebay who was selling the working components of a dead machine.

My conclusion is that the high variability of part types, the fairly low rate of failure during initial years, the low cost of replacing the entire laptop, and possibly some reluctance to co-operate on the part of Lenovo - have combined to kill the market for some kinds of spares.
posted by rongorongo at 11:48 PM on November 30, 2015

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