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Showing posts from February, 2009

Lenovo W500 Further Review and OS Install

This is a continuation of my previous look at the Lenovo W500 Thinkpad. Please read my first posting which lists the specifications and my initial impressions. In this review I cover installing Windows Vista, device drivers and software applications, including ThinkVantage System Update. Then I’ll wrap up with my final thoughts.

In the previous post I said the Thinkpad W500 model number is 4061-AC4 with the following specs:

*Processor is an Intel Core 2 Duo P9400(2.53.GHZ)
*ATI Mobility FireGL V5700 graphics
*Switchable Graphics(see below)
*15.4 inch WUXGA(1920 X 1200) LCD widescreen display
*160GB 7200rpm SATA hard disk drive
*4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 memory
*Mini PCIe 802.11 wireless – Intel 5300
*Intel 82567 1GB ethernet

It had Windows XP installed and was working great, all the components were recognized and was a stable system. I decided however to install Windows Vista because of the ability to switch between the graphics chipsets on the fly from within Vista. Windows…

Automatically Update Your Thinkpad With ThinkVantage System Update

Want to install updates to your Lenovo machine but don’t know exactly what you need or where to find the files you need?

ThinkVantage System Update 3.14 can automatically install and apply updates to software, drivers, firmware and BIOS all from one application. It can be configured to run fully automated where it downloads and installs updates on a scheduled basis or manual mode, where you control how and when it runs.

System Update installs under Windows 2000, XP and Vista and requires Microsoft .NET Framework version 2.0 or better to work correctly. The newest release of System Update, version 3.14, seems to be more stable and work much better. I had the previous release installed and frequently received an error message while gathering information and the application would stop. This new release has run flawlessly for the several times I have run it. I usually like to download and install updates myself and am cautious about applying updates to drivers from Windows Update, but so…

Recycle Your Lenovo and Get Paid

NEW Lenovo recycle information can be found of this post.

People today are concerned with protecting the environment more than ever before. We look for ways to be energy efficient and are encouraged to recycle, reduce and reuse. Companies are no different and many are getting involved in their own recycling programs.

Lenovo has partnered with ECO International to offer an easy solution to recycle used electronics. ECO either reuses equipment or dismantles and recycles it, there is a zero landfill policy. There is free shipping on all Lenovo products and on select IBM products. Plus, you can also recycle other manufacturer’s electronics and receive a reward for any device that can be reused.

Just follow a three-step process to enter information about your electronics. ECO will estimate a dollar reward based on the information entered and if they can reuse it. Once they receive the equipment they send you the money. Shipping is free for all Lenovo products and all products that qualify…

Lenovo W500 Thinkpad Specifications

I finally got hold of a Lenovo W500 Thinkpad. On the outside it looks very similar to a T61 but under the hood are some new and improved upon features. It’s price certainly distinguishes it from the Thinkpad pack by starting at around $1200.00 and adding available options will drive the price higher. Thinkpads are known for their quality, innovation and reliability, so any model you choose you know you're getting your money’s worth. The full features and specifications are listed on Lenovo's website.

The W500 I’m working with is a 4061-AC4 and the specs are as follows:

*Processor is an Intel Core 2 Duo P9400(2.53.GHZ)
*ATI Mobility FireGL V5700 graphics
*Switchable Graphics(see below)
*15.4 inch WUXGA(1920 X 1200) LCD widescreen display
*160GB 7200rpm SATA hard disk drive
*4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 memory
*Mini PCIe 802.11 wireless – Intel 5300
*Intel 82567 1GB ethernet

*Switchable Graphics has both an integrated Intel graphics chip and an ATI discrete graphics chip…

T60p Expansion ROM Not Initialized - Intel NIC boot issue

A Thinkpad T60p with an Intel integrated NIC boot error recently came across my desk. The T60p on boot-up would pause with the following message:

Initializing Intel(R) Boot Agent GE v1.2.31

PXE-E05: The LAN adapter's configuation is corrupted or has not been initialized. The Boot Agent cannot continue. Then after a couple of seconds would beep and display another message:

Expansion ROM not initialized - PCI on Motherboard
Bus:00, Device:00, Function:00

Press [ESC] to continue So after hitting the [ESC] key I entered the BIOS to look around at the settings. Everything was set properly but I changed the ‘Internal Network Option ROM’ setting to disabled just to see what effect it would have.
On reboot I still saw the same error message so I decided to upgrade the BIOS, but to no avail. The error was still there..

Decided it was time to search this issue on the web and see what other people were experiencing. Seems this is a fairly common problem and for some unknown reason th…

Thinkpad and Lenovo 90W Slim AC/DC Combo Adapter

Lenovo Laptop Charger
If you travel frequently with your Thinkpad you know well the aggravation and discomfort of lugging around a computer bag full of weighty items. Even if you own an ultraportable notebook the accessories that accompany it can be bulky and not easily packed.

Lenovo now offers a multi-purpose AC/DC power adapter to make life a little easier. The Thinkpad and Lenovo 90W Slim AC/DC Combo Adaptersupplies power to your Thinkpad and charges the battery at the same time. The adapter plugs into a standard AC wall outlet, an automobile power plug or an airplane in-flight power connector.

The thin slim-line adapter is easy to carry and weighs just under a pound. Included interchangeable connector tips provide 20v or 16v output and an option is available to power your notebook as well as another device such as a cell phone simultaneously.

The price for the adapter is $119.95 and includes a carry pouch, AC and DC cables and the voltage tips to power different notebooks.

The s…

Keyboard removal for the IBM/Lenovo T60, T60p

These procedures describe the steps required to remove and re-install the keyboard and palm rest for T60 series Thinkpads.

- Turn off the computer and disconnect the AC adapter. - Close the display and turn the laptop over. - Remove the battery. - Remove four screws that have a drawing of a keyboard securing the palm rest and one screw securing the keyboard.

- Turn the machine over and open the display cover. - Carefully push on the palm rest and lift it away from the computer.

- Detach the connector from the palm rest to the motherboard.
-Lift the keyboard out of the laptop paying attention to the connector cable attached to the motherboard and detach this cable.

-Reverse these steps to re-install the components.

Lenovo Thinkpad USB Portable Secure Hard Drive

Data security is an important issue in today's world and Lenovo's latest offering provides both security and portability. The Lenovo USB portable secure hard drive is a small, lightweight and easy to use data protection device.
It is available with either 160GB or 320GB hard drives, USB 2.0 and full disk 128bit encryption. It has standby, admin and user modes which are accessed through the numeric keypad on the case. The device's default mode is standby when plugged into a USB port and is also locked which means the computer does not recognize it yet. Simply enter either the admin password or one of 10 programmable user passwords to unlock the device and make it ready for use.

If the drive does get stolen and someone attempts to reset the device, all the data becomes inaccessible and is erased. Both are on the pricey side;the 160GB is $179 and the 320GB is $219; but just might be worth it for the security they provide.

ThinkPad USB Secure Hard Drive - 160GB --…

Thinkpad Movies

A nice collection of Thinkpad movies covering everything from general descriptions to detailed views of components. They serve as a nice visual guide to the location of the components and as general reference.

T40/40p, T41/41p, T42/42p, T43/43p:
Locations overview movie
Hard disk drive movie
Battery removal movie
Keyboard removal movie
Memory removal under keyboard movie
Palm rest removal movie

T60/60p, T61
Locations overview movie
Hard drive removal movie
Battery removal movie
Keyboard removal movie
Memory removal movie
Palm rest removal

IBM/Lenovo T40/40p, T41/41p, T42/42p fan assembly removal

Is your fan noisy or just fails to start anymore? These instructions guide you through the fan removal process for T4x series Thinkpads.

Remove these parts in order to remove the fan assembly.
-Remove the battery
-Remove the hard drive
-Remove the keyboard
-Remove the palm rest

With the keyboard out of the way you can see the fan assembly on the left side. It is attached with three screws holding the heat sink to the motherboard. The heat sink covers the CPU so be careful in the following steps.

-Remove the three screws holding the assembly
-Either carefully pry or gently wiggle the fan assembly until you can lift it out. It will come out at an angle since it is under the side lip of the machine. You will also need to disconnect it’s connector from the motherboard.

To reinstall the fan assembly you need to apply a small amount of thermal grease to the pad under the assembly.

Palm Rest Removal - IBM/Lenovo T40/40p, T41/41p, T42/42p

Simple instructions for removing and replacing the palm rest for T4x Thinkpads.

Remove these parts in order to remove the palm rest.
-Remove the battery
-Remove the hard drive
-Remove the keyboard

Turn the Thinkpad over. There are five screws on the lip of the machine covered by black plastic tabs. You will need to remove these tabs, I use a razor blade and then save the tabs to re-apply them. After the tabs have been removed take out the screws and take note of their size and placement. The screw on the right side is a little longer and will need to be put back in the same place. There are also several other screws to remove a little farther up on the machine. They will have a small drawing of a memory chip next to them. These screws are different sizes as well so make note of their placement.

-Turn the Thinkpad over and open the display
-Remove the touchpad connector from the motherboard
-Pull the palm rest toward you slightly and lift it up and out.

Reverse the steps to install th…