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 Post subject: X31 won't start
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:07 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:56 am
Posts: 15
Location: Perth, Australia
I have just got my cherised X31 back from my mother-in-law's after three years! It was being used by my son and then put away until this week when I recovered it. Plugging it in the charge light shows. Powering on the caps lock and num lock lights flash briefly and I can hear the hard drive start up. But nothing shows on the screen; no bios boot up sequence no response to any of the keys including caps and num locks. Listening closely the hard drive doesn't sound like it's doing anything except for a steady hum. Is it dead for good?


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 Post subject: Re: X31 won't start
PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 10:44 am 
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Admin
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Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 1:26 am
Posts: 8800
Location: San Jose, CA 95120 USA
Welcome to thinkpads.com!

With a "dead" system, the usual advice is to remove all hardware that plugs into sockets/connectors and then see what the bare system does. This means take out all of the memory, the hard drive, the MiniPCI card, modem/bluetooth daughter card and in the case for the X31, undock it from the base. Power it up and if you don't get the missing memory beep code (1-3-3-1), then yes, the motherboard is probably gone. If you do get the 1-3-3-1 beep code, then plug in one memory module and re-boot. If the system is then able to finish POSTing (IBM splash screen and BIOS is accessible) then whatever hardware you removed has a problem. It's then a matter of re-installing one piece at a time before you find out which one causes the system a problem.

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Ray Kawakami
[DONOR] X22;X24;X31;X41;X41T;X60;X60s;X61;X61s;X200s;X300;X301;Z60m;Z61t;Z61p;560Z;600;600E;600X;T21;T22;T23;T41;R50;A21p;A22p;A31;A31p
NOTE: All links to PC-Doctor software hosted by me are dead. Files removed 8/28/12 by manufacturer's demand.


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 Post subject: Re: X31 won't start
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:38 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2007 5:53 pm
Posts: 13
Location: London, UK
rkawakami,

I'm in exactly the same situation with my X31 as moviedude; the symptoms are identical.

I'll do as you suggested and update this thread. However, a few more details would be helpful; do I need to remove the case to disconnect the hard drive? And what is the modem/bluetooth daughter card?

Thanks for the advice (although not intended for me it is still useful!) If it does turn out to be a duff motherboard what are my options? Can you still buy them, or am I looking at buying a machine that is broken in some other way and constructing one working machine from the two of them?


Oli.


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 Post subject: Re: X31 won't start
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:56 am 
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Admin
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Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 1:26 am
Posts: 8800
Location: San Jose, CA 95120 USA
The hard drive can be removed without too much trouble and does not require any major disassembly. The memory modules are under a cover on the bottom of the system and the MiniPCI and communication daughter cards are underneath the keyboard and requires the removal of several screws. All of the information can be found in the Hardware Maintenance Manual. You can download a copy from here:

http://download.lenovo.com/ibmdl/pub/pc ... 9t6189.pdf

The daughter cards are simply small printed circuit boards that contain the modem or a modem/Bluetooth combination. They are held in place with a couple of screws and plug into a socket on the motherboard.

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Ray Kawakami
[DONOR] X22;X24;X31;X41;X41T;X60;X60s;X61;X61s;X200s;X300;X301;Z60m;Z61t;Z61p;560Z;600;600E;600X;T21;T22;T23;T41;R50;A21p;A22p;A31;A31p
NOTE: All links to PC-Doctor software hosted by me are dead. Files removed 8/28/12 by manufacturer's demand.


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 Post subject: Re: X31 won't start
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:16 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2007 5:53 pm
Posts: 13
Location: London, UK
RKawakami,

Thanks for your helpful posts. I did as you suggested - stripped everything off the motherboard, and tried booting. And - yes, it did the 1-3-3-1 pip. So I put things back one by one, and when I had a memory module in (my machine has two) and the HDD, it POST-ed and booted!

Other memory module and a couple of other bits later and it was all fully built up and still booted ...

So, I'm not sure what was wrong but it is all as it should be now. I am guessing there was a duff connection somewhere (possibly caused by thermal cycling) and removing the relevant component and replacing it has solved the problem. In the lack of a clearer answer, I'm happy to believe that, at any rate.

So, thanks for your suggestions and encouragement. I now have an operational X31 again! (I may add that the machine is now 10 years old, and still the best piece of IT I have ever bought! I thought it was dying about 4 years ago and bought an X61s2 as a replacement, and it's not a patch on the old X31 ... )

I'm happy - thank you.


Oli.


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 Post subject: Re: X31 won't start
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:38 pm 
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RBS10000
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Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Posts: 12908
Location: Mt. Cobb, PA USA
If you still feel like working a bit more on it: the contacts of the RAM modules are probably quite dull.
Remove AC and battery, then the RAM modules.
Use an eraser to rub the length of both contacts sides of the RAM modules, blow off the detritus, the contacts should now be bright and shiny.
Reinsert RAM. Enjoy.

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 Post subject: Re: X31 won't start
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:17 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:56 am
Posts: 15
Location: Perth, Australia
If I wanted to access some files from the X31's HDD how would I do this? I'm not familiar with the connector on the end of the HDD.


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 Post subject: Re: X31 won't start
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 6:04 am 
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RBS10000
RBS10000

Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Posts: 12908
Location: Mt. Cobb, PA USA
X31 HDs are of the ATA/PATA/IDE (all the same) type.
Put it in a USB enclosure with ATA/PATA/IDE connector.
Connect the USB cable to a laptop or PC, and use e.g. Windows Explorer to access the data on it.

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Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)

Check out The Board Room for:
- LED-mods for the 15" T60/R60/R61
- SATA-mods for any T43/R52 with ATI GPU
- other Services


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 Post subject: Re: X31 won't start
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:42 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:56 am
Posts: 15
Location: Perth, Australia
But the HDD has two blocks of pins. The main is 2*22 (less 1 pin) and then a block of 2*2. The IDE cable expects to plug onto a block of 2*20 pins.
And how would I power the HDD?


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 Post subject: Re: X31 won't start
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:11 am 
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Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder

Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 6:20 am
Posts: 5307
Location: Israel
Laptop IDE connector is different from desktop connector.

You can get adapters from USB to laptop IDE. Since these are small 2.5" drives, the USB is usually enough to power them too.

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Current: X220 4291-4BG, T410 2537-R46, T60 1952-F76, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X61 7673-V2V
Collectibles: X32 w/ IPS Screen, A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad
Past: Z61t 9440-A23, T60 2623-D3U, X32 2884-M5U


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 Post subject: Re: X31 won't start
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:27 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:56 am
Posts: 15
Location: Perth, Australia
OK thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: X31 won't start
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:50 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 9:56 am
Posts: 15
Location: Perth, Australia
Just an update ... bought the adapter from eBay and it works a treat. Managed to access all the files I wanted (proving that the HDD is working fine).
Having recently replaced some dome-topped capacitors on my desktop pc and fixed a random freeze problem that has been plaguing me for months I now feel more confident at tackling what might be a similar problem with my X31. There's another thread where this has been discussed before so I'll continue it there.


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