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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:00 pm
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Location: Worcester, MA
A couple weeks after the warranty expired I spilled tea-no sugar-on my T60 (about 6 months ago now) . It wouldn't boot back up. I opened up the laptop to let everything dry out for a few days. Eventually the system did power up fine and everything functioned normally. The next time I went to power up though no response and back to a brick. LEDs (battery and AC) light up, but nothing. I thought I had turned it back on too early and short-circuited the motherboard. I tested it again for the next couple of weeks and nothing, was sure the whole thing was good for the junkyard.

About two months later, right before sending the machine to electronic recycling, I tried powering on again. To my surprise it turned on and booted up just fine. I used it to play a game for about 2 or 3 hours before powering down again. The next morning again it would not power up at all, nor would it for the next days/weeks.

Today again, about 4 months later for kicks I tried it again, and sure enough it powered up - system was a bit slow but all in good operating condition. 5 minutes later I powerdown to see if it would start again and the process is confirmed... it won't. I've been scouring forums for hours now trying to figure what it could be but nothing seems to match this particular situation. Odd no?

The battery no longer holds a charge, but don't think that would affect anything since it does boot up with AC power on those few occasions. I just want to figure this out, know that it's not salvageable or work to fix it if it is worth it. Has been a good machine to me. Thanks for any suggestion.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:12 pm 
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Welcome to thinkpads.com!

This sounds very much like a common problem with some older T2x systems. In those, the laptop has what's been termed the "Blink of Death". Only the hard drive LED flashes for a brief time when the power button is pushed. Left alone for some time, usually without power of any kind, they may boot again. As far as I know no definite solution has been found but suspicion points to one or more of the power controller circuits as the root cause.

My guess is that there's still some residue on the motherboard from the spill that's causing this problem. About the only way I know of to fix it would be to remove everything that resides in sockets (memory, CPU, CMOS battery, PCI Express Mini, modem, etc.) or bolts to the board (PC Card, etc.) and submerge the board in distilled water and lightly scrub it (both sides) with a soft toothbrush. Allow it to air dry for a couple of days. Re-assemble everything and see what happens. The worst thing that could occur would be that the board never powers up again and then you're left with the decision to replace the motherboard or recycle the system; about the same choices you have right now.

A more precision approach would be to inspect/clean the areas around any of the power controller ICs. Those can be found by looking for Maxim (MAX) or Analog Devices (ADP) logos or part numbers. Something along the lines of MAX1901 or ADP3207. Murphy's Law would say that those parts would be on the bottom side of the motherboard but take a close look at the top side before you remove the board. For in-place motherboard cleaning I would use some 90+% isopropyl alcohol dipped cotton swabs. It might be possible to use some commercially available printed circuit board cleaners but you have to be careful that they don't attack any of the plastics. Some of those solvents can turn plastic into a goo :) .

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:00 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Worcester, MA
I finally got around to trying the distilled water scrub and it actually turned back on. Thanks for the tip, really didn't think it would work so nice surprise!


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