My cursed Lenovo T480, is it the MB you think?

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by SJLPHI, Oct 15, 2021.

  1. SJLPHI

    SJLPHI Notebook Evangelist

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    Hello, when I started a new job, my work bought me a brand new Lenovo T480 i7 with Nvidia dGPU.

    Since then...
    The OEM RAM died, The OEM SSD died, The upgraded 2242 size M2 Toshiba 240GB died, Seagate 2.5" 2TB Firecuda died which was replaced by Seagate 2.5" 2TB Barracuda replaced by WD Blue 2.5" 2TB died, screen randomly got a vertical line across the screen.

    Each of the non OEM parts were replaced under RMA and while the laptop was under warranty, Lenovo replaced the screen, and the RAM for free but it is now out of warranty and the WD Blue 2.5" 2TB HDD just died. My work is now buying me a WD Red 2.5" 2TB SSD to replace it.

    I am not abusing the computer... It has good thermal paste, regularly cleaned inside and out, always sits on a cooling pad. I run 4 OSes (3 Linux and W10) off of a WD blue 500GB PNY M2 2242 and it and uses an NTFS partition in the HDD to share data between OSes and W10 has a dedicated NTFS partition on the HDD and Linux share a parge ext4 partition. This laptop is primarily used for drafting C++ and CUDA codes to work with my full tower desktop and a server cluster but it does get regularly run some things over night at 100% CPU and GPU usage.

    Now... I think this T480 is cursed! None of my other computers, not the work desktop, not my T430, W530 or AW15 had so many darn parts failed and replaced and they handled more intense jobs for longer times. The question now is... Is it the MB? Should I just salvage whatever good parts there are left and just migrate over to another computer or pretend that it's just bad luck? Of course the diagnostics software says everything other than failed components are perfect.

    For the time being I switched to my W530 as the workhorse because even with the WD Red 2.5" 2TB SSD, I don't want to take a computer that may die while I am traveling for work.
     
  2. Tech Junky

    Tech Junky Notebook Deity

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    Yeah, with all of those replacements and no MOBO swap it would lead me to believe it's a lemon. RAM / Drives / Screen.... Even just the multiple drives indicates an issue in that area of the MOBO or daughter board depending on how they laid things out. M2 / NVME should be direct to the board / CPU. SATA though could possibly be a PCH > CPU. HDD though is definitely PCH based though.

    Is it worth throwing money at post warranty? Probably not. Could it be rebuilt? Probably.
     
  3. SJLPHI

    SJLPHI Notebook Evangelist

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    Since my work ordered a 2TB WD Red, I will try that as a last resort because it's more premium than other drives that has gone in it. If it still has issues, I'll return the laptop to work and ask them to recycle the junk and keep the RAM and SSDs for the next laptop.

    At this point, I don't even know what to buy. I had faith in Lenovo T series and T480 completely ruined my opinion about them. I don't even know what's a reliable brand anymore. I might do a super downgrade to Toughbook CF-31 and just settle for super reliable at the cost of portability and performance.
     
  4. Tech Junky

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    No need to be extreme in the pendulum swing on picking something different. You could probably do a direct swap and be fine. There may be some bad solder on the board causing it to fail frequently, it could be a bad chip from the run at that time when they made it, it could be a lot of things really that have since resolved on the MFG line.
     
  5. SJLPHI

    SJLPHI Notebook Evangelist

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    and... the wlan card just went bust (on both Linux and W10, continuously works/not work) Today as I was backing up the dying HDD to a work server... I am going to try the Lenovo diagnostic from UEFI one last time, try the new WD Red then retire this laptop and let my work have it back. I am beyond frustrated with T480. It's literally crippling my work. It's going to take me another 30 hours before my backup W530 to be up and ready.
     
  6. Tech Junky

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    Personally.... I wouldn't put any more time into diagnosing the issue unless you're going to grab a new MOBO for it to see if it is the root cause. Considering the expense of the MOBO/CPU/GPU it's likely not worthwhile to investigate further. Can always take out the drive you're backing up and throw it into a dock/enclosure and speed things along considerably. Even moving it to another system internally would be even faster. With all of the replacement parts / drives and so on it should be decommissioned with a sledge hammer or thrown off a cliff.
     
  7. SJLPHI

    SJLPHI Notebook Evangelist

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    I am going to give it one more try.... I will have a lot to explain to work if I decomission it with a sledge hammer.
     
  8. SJLPHI

    SJLPHI Notebook Evangelist

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    Okay... I've had enough. Now the diagnostic tools are telling me that the RAM is bad. Time to decomission this hell of expensive disappointment. I'm done buying Lenovo... I'm going back to W530 until
     
  9. Tech Junky

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    Lenovo (IBM) has its pros/cons like any other company and sometimes it's just a lemon. I've been in the "IT" business a couple of decades and Blue was the way to go. times change and companies combine into bigger ones. I had a Legion and it worked just fine and I've had other laptops that didn't. I was into Dell for 3-4 of them over the years and they were all fine. I've built a couple of Desktop's from scratch and if I could build a laptop I would rather do that than buy something off the shelf but, we're just not there yet.

    With all of the issues you mentioned.... time to put it to sleep and go adopt a new one.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. SJLPHI

    SJLPHI Notebook Evangelist

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    I am afraid of adopting a new one... I am downgrading to W530 for now and maybe someday I will find a modern 14" laptop but right now I need reliability and raw power more than battery life, lower power consumption and portability. T480 lacked the heat removal, reliability and raw power.

    It's a shame, I even just freshly applied kryonaut when I was putting on the WD Red.

    Ironically while testing T480 over the weekend, I was re-fitting my W530 from Legacy to UEFI. Maybe I should give it 32GB RAM too, it currently has 28GB mix matched.
     
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