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  #1  
Old 04-30-2007, 12:15 AM
Justin M. Giza
 
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Default R40 power supply/mainboard question

Hey hey, all.

Sorry to once again be asking about my R40.

I've had the brick on my power adapter replaced (the wires were frayed), and a mainboard replacement very recently (as in, a few months back), due to frequent power cut-offs for no real reason in the middle of using the laptop. Also had my keyboard replaced via IBM, due to a malfunctioning midsection.

Things have been running swimmingly since my keyboard replacement, until the past few nights, where power is (once again) randomly cutting out on my laptop. I could be doing something intensive like gaming, I could be typing a paper, it could be playing music off my external, it could be sitting there with a screen saver on. Thus far, I've had four shutoffs in two days, with my having little knowledge as to what's prompting it.

My question is, what gets replaced when the mainboard etc. gets replaced? Is the power supply an on-board power supply, or is it a separate part? I'm mainly just trying to gauge if I'm using the same power supply I've been using for four years, or if it was replaced with my mainboard. Given that this has thus far proved to be a problem almost impossible to replicate on cue for CNS, it's especially been a touch hard to troubleshoot.

Thanks so much guys.

--Justin

EDIT: She did it again in transit from my class to home! She died in my arms, captain! She died in my arms!

Last edited by Justin M. Giza : 04-30-2007 at 12:53 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-01-2007, 02:46 PM
Rian D. Spivak's Avatar
Rian D. Spivak Rian D. Spivak is offline
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On a Thinkpad R40, the mainboard pretty much comprises most of the components of the system. As far as the traditional responsibilities of the power supply, this is split up between the mainboard and the power adapter. The power adapter's job is to convert the power from AC to DC at a specific voltage. Once the power is fed into the machine, it gets converted to right voltages the different components of the computer needs.

The small explanation is yes, a mainboard replacement replaces the components that handle the job of the power supply.

I'm not sure exactly what might be causing your current problem and as you stated is hard to duplicate. Chances are though, if it was a power adapter problem, then the battery should kick in to compensate for the lack of power. Does the computer turn immediately after it shuts down?
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  #3  
Old 05-01-2007, 05:40 PM
Justin M. Giza
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rian D. Spivak
On a Thinkpad R40, the mainboard pretty much comprises most of the components of the system. As far as the traditional responsibilities of the power supply, this is split up between the mainboard and the power adapter. The power adapter's job is to convert the power from AC to DC at a specific voltage. Once the power is fed into the machine, it gets converted to right voltages the different components of the computer needs.

The small explanation is yes, a mainboard replacement replaces the components that handle the job of the power supply.

I'm not sure exactly what might be causing your current problem and as you stated is hard to duplicate. Chances are though, if it was a power adapter problem, then the battery should kick in to compensate for the lack of power. Does the computer turn immediately after it shuts down?

Sorry, your very last sentence didn't make much sense to me... but I'll describe it best I can.

In a nutshell, now and then power will completely cut out. It does not suddenly switch to battery power then die, the computer will outright go black. It doesn't go through shutdown, nothing. The "power" indicator next to the battery light is dead, and half the time at this point it will stop even reading that the AC adapter is plugged in.

At this point, plugging in or unplugging the AC adapter will (sometimes) not even display on the battery light on the R40. Removal and reinsertion of my battery has sometimes fixed the job, but in all honesty, it seems like a coinflip as to whether or not it'll actually start recognizing that something, ANYTHING is powering the system, be it a brand new battery or power adapter.

Occasionally after these shutdowns, the power button will not respond for several moments... and if it does, it will be immediately followed seconds after by another shutdown.

EDIT: Alright. Nearly twenty shutdowns today. Only my persistence and the DVD menu for Borat kept me going. Bringing it in tomorrow. Here's hoping that pink elephant syndrome doesn't occur again (they already seem to think I'm crazy down there). Here's hoping we can actually nail the problem this time, instead of just replacing the mainboard a third time and crossing our fingers.

Last edited by Justin M. Giza : 05-01-2007 at 11:54 PM.
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  #4  
Old 05-02-2007, 10:27 AM
Rian D. Spivak's Avatar
Rian D. Spivak Rian D. Spivak is offline
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Sorry about that last sentence, it was meant to say "Does it turn on again immediately after turning off." I can only think of a couple of things to try off hand. You could try running the computer without the battery, DVD/CD drive, and any extra devices unattached and see if the problem resurfaces or goes away. If it does go away, you can then add each piece one at a time until you find out which piece causes the problem.

Of course if it doesn't go away, then some other troubleshooting would need to be done.
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Old 05-02-2007, 02:55 PM
Justin M. Giza
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rian D. Spivak
Sorry about that last sentence, it was meant to say "Does it turn on again immediately after turning off." I can only think of a couple of things to try off hand. You could try running the computer without the battery, DVD/CD drive, and any extra devices unattached and see if the problem resurfaces or goes away. If it does go away, you can then add each piece one at a time until you find out which piece causes the problem.

Of course if it doesn't go away, then some other troubleshooting would need to be done.

Ah. Much clearer. Sorry about that.

No, it does not turn on immediately after turning off. In order of events as they occur:

1. Power cuts out.
2. I test the power button. No dice.
3. I unplug the AC adapter.
4. I plug it back in. GAH! IT'S GOT A LIFE OF IT'S OWN! IT'S A-BOOTIN'!
5. It shuts back down. A very weak poltergeist indeed.

Today I did some really basic testing on it (as in discharging all static from the machine via removing the battery/adapter, and hammering the power button), but it didn't do too much. It would appear as though it stays on longer while it's on battery power, and kind of dies quicker when the AC adapter is plugged in. I'm... not quite sure what this means.

I spent a good hour just troubleshooting with IBM's tech support (didn't feel like tying you guys up at the desk), to little avail. I couldn't help but giggle a little bit when she started giving me a fifteen minute (I kid you not) lecture on how using a laptop is a lot like driving a car, and how "You gots to try it 'fore you buy it, son!"

Oh, IBM. Anyhow, now that I've sidetracked.

I'm using the R40 to type this all out, so it's hopefully going to gimme' another few minutes of power before it hates me again. I'll try the removal of hardware and booting it to see if there's any difference.

Thanks for all your help. I'll post soon!
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