TechSpot

IBM Thinkpad won't boot

By cttech
Jun 4, 2008
Topic Status:
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  1. I have a friend's Thinkpad I Series that won't boot at all. Here are a few things that I do know that's wrong and what it is doing. First off, the battery is dead so I have to use the AC adapter. When I turn it on, the IBM Thinpad logo comes on the screen(well at least did a few times at first, now the screen is completely blank when I try to start it), it does nothing from there besides make some short bursts of grinding type noises. It does 2 sets of 4, then 5 and keeps on doing that. I did happen to be fortunate enough several times when I hit the F2 key during attempted startups and got into the startup configuration. Memory test was disabled and boot from a cd was enabled. I enabled the memory test and when I saved the settings, it tried to restart and I got a message saying the memory was good, but the CMOS battery was bad. I attempted to boot from a bootable CD which has it's own operating system on it, but it won't even boot from it. Would the CMOS battery being bad be causing all the trouble, or do you think it's the motherboard altogether? I appreciate any insight, thanks.
  2. mscrx

    mscrx TS Rookie Posts: 829

    usually a bad cmos battery would not cause this sort of trouble. the cmos still holds all basic functions but can't remember anything you can set/change.
    but its worth a try to get a new battery anyway, before digging into other causes.
  3. cttech

    cttech TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Ok, thanks.
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Hmm grinding type noises, if comming from the internal HardDrive, could mean a HardDrive fail
  5. cttech

    cttech TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Although that is possible(about the hard drive), it still won't boot from the cd though, which bypasses the hard drive on startup. The thing is, when you turn it on, it should start the POST process, which has nothing to do with the hard drive, it won't even do that.
  6. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    You have to change the BIOS before it will boot from the CD. Di you do that?

    The i-Series are a very old Thinkpads... 10+ years, anyway, so if the hard drive is the original IBM Deskstar, an unreliable "problem" drive, that failed hard drive is your main problem.
  7. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    No

    A faulty HardDrive can disrupt the POST
  8. cttech

    cttech TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Didn't realize that. Sounds like it may need not only a new CMOS battery and a hard drive. I can't change the BIOS if the battery isn't holding, and am having enough trouble even getting to the settings with what's probably a faulty hard drive. Thanks for the input all.
  9. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    If you disconnect the HardDrive from the Motherboard
    You should still be able to get into CMOS though
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