Go *beeep* *beep* *beep* yourself...
October 27, 2006 7:49 PM   Subscribe

I have a Thinkpad G41. About an hour ago, I (shut it off) packed it in a backpack-style case, and rode my bicycle to the radio station where I work. Upon arriving, I turn it on and the screen does not do anything at all. Everything else about bootup appears normal, except the total deadness of the screen (the light behind the TFT does not appear to come on). Also, there are (what I presume to be) BIOS beeps, one long two short. Googling produces this which informs me I have a "video adapter error". What do I do now? (This laptop is about a year old, I think it's out of warranty now... is it just doomed to become a server?)
posted by phrontist to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Make sure it's out of warranty, then check to see if you bought it with a credit card with automatic warranty extension.
posted by trevyn at 7:54 PM on October 27, 2006

Are you saying the drive is bricked?
posted by Fupped Duck at 8:07 PM on October 27, 2006

Response by poster: Fupped Duck: No. I'm consistently getting BIOS beeps which indicate a video board failure. I have no reason to believe the HDD is bricked.
posted by phrontist at 8:09 PM on October 27, 2006

I'm certainly not an expert, but:

1.You can see if it's still under IBM warranty by simply going here and entering your serial number.
2. If not, check trevyn's suggestion.
3. Even though it's probably a video adaptor error, try hooking an external monitor; your G41 has a VGA-out, right?
4. If 1-3 fail, go here, and see whether your video is integrated into the planar card. If it's not integrated, this will cost you no more than $125 to fix. If it is integrated, you're probably screwed.
5. If you need additional information, go to thinkpads.com.
posted by Kwantsar at 8:13 PM on October 27, 2006

Best answer: Alternatively, download the hardware manual, pull out a screwdriver, and confirm with your own eyes whether you have a seperate video adapter.

If you have an adapter that you can replace, I suggest (again) thinkpads.com, where someone can tell you whether you can source a new card more cheaply than you can through IBM.
posted by Kwantsar at 8:17 PM on October 27, 2006

Response by poster: Hmm... it just booted fine. Strange. I hope it doesn't revert. Does anyone have any idea what would cause this?
posted by phrontist at 8:20 PM on October 27, 2006

Heh. A loose connection to the video adapter?
posted by Kwantsar at 8:21 PM on October 27, 2006

Response by poster: I spoke too soon. X (I'm running SuSE 10.1) did not start. Trying to start it manually failed. I tried to reboot... back to BIOS beeps.
posted by phrontist at 8:25 PM on October 27, 2006

You may wish to temporarily unmark best answer, then.
posted by trevyn at 11:53 PM on October 27, 2006

I've got a T42, and I've experienced the same problem. Wiggle it too much, and it dies a video-oriented death. I've had to get mine repaired three times now. I wish I had better news. :-(
posted by Coda at 12:04 AM on October 28, 2006

Sounds like a loose connection to me. If there's a card that can slip out of its slot, or a flex cable that can slip out of its connector, then you'd get symptoms like that. If it's out of warranty, open it up and carefully re-seat everything.
posted by hattifattener at 2:59 AM on October 28, 2006

I'm going to vote for a loose cable from the main machine to the TFT in the upper part of the monitor. Most of the time these two parts are connected with a flex cable and I'd imagine that the ride has shaken it loose just enough to cause your problem.

So, yep, download the hardware manual, pull it apart and reseat everything. The external monitor idea might also be a good test, because if it's a loose video cable, it should still work with an external monitor.

Let us know how you go!
posted by ranglin at 4:10 AM on October 28, 2006

I've got a t23 and there's a closed screen switch at top of keyboard into which a poppy seed became lodged once. I was ready to ship the thing for a fixup before I extracted the seed.

If your device has same switch, and like me, you eat over the keyboard on occasion, worth checking.
posted by pallen123 at 2:34 PM on October 28, 2006

This advice is a little late, but for the future, always remove the battery when transporting. You'll save yourself from a major headache. Especially if checking it at airport, or even riding a bicycle.
posted by cjburton at 5:43 PM on October 29, 2006

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