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ThinkPad T40 (2373-AU1) "Fan Error" -Need to update BIOS but unsure how?


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#1 andrewset

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 05:32 PM

My ThinkPad T40 (2373-AU1) laptop just started getting an infamous "Fan Error" upon booting up, upon which it shuts down, so I researched the issue, and blowing compressed air into the vent doesn't help it start up, so I need to either replace the fan, which I cannot do--I'm not an 'inside-the-computer' guy--and/or update the BIOS, so I want to do the latter option, but upon checking the BIOS download page for my laptop, seen here...

http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/downloads/default.page?
(But you'd have to run search for the ThinkPad T40 (2373-AU1), or else go here for what they call the 'Diskette' version http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/downloads/detail.page?DocID=DS014089 or here for what they call the 'Non-Diskette' version http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/downloads/detail.page?DocID=DS013709

I'm unsure how to update the BIOS with either method because the laptop doesn't include a floppy disk drive at all, just a CD/DVD drive, and I can't find a Bootable Disk option for this particular laptop to make use of the CD/DVD drive, and I can't boot into Windows at all to utilize the above 'Non-Diskette' version because of the "Fan Error" that shuts off the system each time.

Please help?
Thanks

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#2 rotor123

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 06:15 PM

I'm somewhat familiar with these laptops , T40 T41, T42
If the fan isn't working the computer is being shut down to protect the motherboard and CPU.

You can download the maintenance manual from Lenovo.

This document applies to the following systems:
- ThinkPad T40, T40p, T41, T41p, T42, T42p

http://download.lenovo.com/ibmdl/pub/pc/pccbbs/mobiles_pdf/39t6192_01.pdf
In the : Removing and replacing a FRU section, Page 101
FRU is IBM speak for field replaceable unit or Parts to most of us.
This is a fairly easy one to change.

Troubleshooting guide
http://download.lenovo.com/ibmdl/pub/pc/pccbbs/mobiles_pdf/39t2332.pdf

Fan error - The cooling fan has failed. Have the computer serviced


Good Luck
Roger

Edited by rotor123, 02 July 2012 - 06:32 PM.

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#3 andrewset

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 08:20 PM

Thanks for the time and info.

I purchased an inexpensive refurbished laptop off Amazon since I was going to change the old laptop mentioned above for years now anyway and this new error was the final straw, but it should take a week or more to arrive, so my question is: Is there anything I can do, short of opening the laptop since I don't do that and since getting the fan part I need would probably also take enough time that the new laptop would arrive by then anyway, to get this laptop working at least sometimes within this next week? I'd like to back up just one more thing from it anyway if I can before the new laptop arrives. I already tried compressed air in the holes that I always felt warm fan air from in the past, but it didn't seem to help.

Thank you

#4 rotor123

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 10:10 AM

Nothing I know of to do beyond change the fan. Since you do not want to open it. If you opened it you could see if the fan is frozen or just being stopped from spinning by dust.

If you removed the keyboard you could see the fan on the left side of the laptop. And then using a gentle touch see how freely the fan turns. The link to the service manual I gave would show how to do it. On your model depending on 14 or 15 inch screen, first you remove the battery and AC power, then 4 screws and one plug for the keyboard. In the manual look in the Removing and Replacing a FRU section for 1060 Keyboard and that has the instructions.

Any computer shop near you might have such a fan on hand, the real computer store where they repair and build computers.

Roger

Edited by rotor123, 03 July 2012 - 10:11 AM.

Fortune Cookie says: Fortune not Found: Abort, Retry, Ignore?

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#5 andrewset

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 12:25 PM

I'm also trying to order the correct fan part, for the ThinkPad T40 2373-AU1, so that I can be ahead of the game when I bring the laptop in to be serviced at the nearest computer repair shop I can find, but I can't find the exact fan model number, (and when attempting to open the laptop myself I found out that I'm unable to because the screws are so tight that the screwdriver just chips metal off the screws themselves and because some screws are * shaped instead of + shaped, which I lack the proper screwdrivers for, so this looks like a repair shop job) so I'm wondering what the exact model of the fan/heat sink is for the ThinkPad T40 2373-AU1 so that I can order it at the cheapest place online (usually ebay)? Thanks

Edit: Oh I didn't see your above reply until after I made this post. I'll see if I can unscrew the keyboard alone (assumedly from the top, but I'll find out soon enough). Thanks
Edit2: Unfortunately the screws are still physically too tight for me to handle, but if I can get the exact fan model so I don't order something wrong I can ensure that I have the proper part when I take it in to be serviced. Otherwise I'll just take it in and have them order the part if need be--I just think ordering it myself allows me to hunt for the best bargain since that's easy enough that I'm experienced at it.

Edited by andrewset, 03 July 2012 - 12:30 PM.


#6 rotor123

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 12:29 PM

The maintenance manual which shows part numbers as well as repair instructions shows 5 different part numbers.

Roger

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#7 andrewset

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 12:35 PM

Meaning it may be hard to tell which is mine? I searched for simply "T40 fan" on ebay--terms which may be too general--and found this which is very inexpensive and right by where I live: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1x-IBM-Thinkpad-T40-T41-42-Short-CPU-Fan-HeatSink-/300421411431?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item45f282f267
(My reluctance to look at the maintenance manual is because it freezes my browser, but I'm assuming that a T40 fan is good for any T40 system.)

Edited by andrewset, 03 July 2012 - 12:44 PM.


#8 rotor123

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 12:48 PM

There are both a Long and short versions.
The short being the more common from what I've seen.
That would most likely work.

from the seller

These Heatsink fan are COMPATIBLE with IBM Thinkpad T40 T40p T41 T41p T42 T42p. It is recommended to use these if your system has the ATI Radeon 7500 32MB video chip.


The Long also cools the Video chip. depending on what chip you have you may or may not need it.

Have you checked with a local shop to see if they have used ones they can supply?

Roger

Edited by rotor123, 03 July 2012 - 01:01 PM.

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