ThinkPad T61 Wiki



T61_small.jpgThe ThinkPad T61 notebook computer was released in May 2007 as part of Lenovo's premier line. The business-oriented T61 includes high-end features such as a magnesium alloy rollcage, 7-row keyboard, screen latch, Lenovo UltraBay, and ThinkLight. Models included the 16:10 aspect ratio 14.1" and 15.4" widescreen, along with traditional 4:3 aspect ratio 14" screens.

BIOS

Install the Middleton BIOS (additional download links below) on the ThinkPad T61 to enable the following:
  • SATA-II (3 Gbit/s) drive speeds - the stock ThinkPad T61 BIOS limits the SATA interface to 1.5 Gbit/s
  • SLIC 2.1 tables - simplify licensing of Microsoft Windows
  • Whitelist removal - allow installation of a wider variety of internal components such as wireless cards
  • Thermal sensing error fix - allow installation of Penryn-class CPUs on motherboards designed for Merom CPUs
  • CTRL-FN key swap (optional)
  • Dual-IDA (Intel Dynamic Acceleration) support - allow both cores of CPU to simultaneously run at higher speeds

Download the Middleton BIOS for the ThinkPad T61 here
alternate source here
alternate source for all *61 middleton bios downloads available here

HARD DRIVE


RAM SUPPORT

*Some 32-bit versions of Windows such as Windows Server 2003 Enterprise and Datacenter editions as well as some 32-bit Linux operating systems do support RAM over 4 GB.

CPU OPTIONS

The ThinkPad T61 supports the following 800MHz Front Side Bus CPUs:

Name
Model
sSpec
Frequency
L2 Cache
Class
Power
Lithography
Core Voltage
T5270
Core 2 Duo

1.4 GHz
2MB
Merom
35 W
65 nm
1.075V-1.250V
T5670
Core2 Duo

1.8 GHz
2MB
Merom
35 W
65 nm
1.0375V-1.30V
T7100
Core 2 Duo
SLA4A
1.8 GHz
2MB
Merom
35 W
65 nm
1.075V-1.250V
T7250
Core 2 Duo

2.0 GHz
2MB
Merom
35 W
65 nm
1.075V-1.250V
T7300
Core 2 Duo
SLA45
2.0 GHz
4MB
Merom
35 W
65 nm
1.075V-1.250V
T7500
Core 2 Duo
SLAF8
2.2 GHz
4MB
Merom
35 W
65 nm
1.075V-1.250V
T7700
Core 2 Duo
SLAF7
2.4 GHz
4MB
Merom
35 W
65 nm
1.075V-1.250V
T7800
Core 2 Duo
SLAF6
2.6 GHz
4MB
Merom
35 W
65 nm
1.075V-1.250V
X7800*
Core 2 Extreme
SLA6Z
2.6 GHz
4MB
Merom
44 W
65 nm
1.100V-1.375V
X7900*
Core 2 Extreme
SLA33
2.8 GHz
4MB
Merom
44 W
65 nm
1.100V-1.375V
T8100
Core 2 Duo
SLAYP
2.1 GHz
3MB
Penryn
35 W
45 nm
1.000V-1.250V
T8300
Core 2 Duo
SLAYQ
2.4 GHz
3MB
Penryn
35 W
45 nm
1.000V-1.250V
T9300
Core 2 Duo
SLAYY
2.5 GHz
6MB
Penryn
35 W
45 nm
1.000V-1.250V
T9500
Core 2 Duo
SLAYX
2.6 GHz
6MB
Penryn
35 W
45 nm
1.000V-1.250V
X9000*
Core 2 Extreme
SLAQJ
2.8 GHz
6MB
Penryn
44 W
45 nm
1.000V-1.275V
*Not officially supported by T61 so careful monitoring of temperatures is recommended


MotherBoards (Planar Card)


FRU

CPU

Aspect Ratio

Graphic System

Manufactured

Model

Compatible




14.1 WideScreen




41w1487
Merom
16:10
Intel X3100
2007
T61
T61 R61
41w1489
Merom
16:10
nVidia nvs140m
2007
T61
T61 R61
43y9044
Merom
16:10
nVidia nvs140m
2008-2010
T61
T61 R61
42w7866
Penryn/Merom
16:10
Intel X3100
2008
T61
T61 R61
42w7867
Penryn/Merom
16:10
nVidia nvs140m
2008
T61
T61 R61
44c3933
Penryn/Merom
16:10
nVidia nvs140m
2008-2010
T61
T61 R61



14.1 Standard




42w7648
Merom
4:3
Intel X3100
2007
T61
T61/p T60/p* R61*
42w7649
Merom
4:3
nVidia nvs140m
2007
T61
T61/p T60/p* R61*
43y9045
Merom
4:3
nVidia nvs140m
2008-2010
T61
T61/p T60/p* R61*
42w7650
Merom
4:3
nVidia fx570m 128mb
2007
T61p
T61/p T60/p* R61*
43y9046
Merom
4:3
nVidia fx570m 128mb
2008-2010
T61p
T61/p T60/p* T61*
42w7872
Penryn/Merom
4:3
Intel X3100
2008
T61
T61/p T60/p* R61*
42w7873
Penryn/Merom
4:3
nVidia nvs140m
2008
T61
T61/p T60/p* R61*
44c3924
Penryn/Merom
4:3
nVidia nvs140m
2008-2010
T61
T61/p T60/p* R61*
42w7874
Penryn/Merom
4:3
nVidia fx570m 128mb
2008
T61p
T61/p T60/p* R61*
44c3926
Penryn/Merom
4:3
nVidia fx570m 128mb
2008-2010
T61p
T61/p T60/p* R61*



15.4 Widescreen




42w7651
Merom
16:10
Intel X3100
2007
T61
T61 T61p T60 T60p
42w7652
Merom
16:10
nVidia nvs140m
2007
T61
T61 T61p T60 T60p
43y9047
Merom
16:10
nVidia nvs140m
2008-2010
T61
T61 T61p T60 T60p
42w7653
Merom
16:10
nVidia fx570m 256mb
2007
T61p
T61 T61p T60 T60p
43y9048
Merom
16:10
nVidia fx570m 256mb
2008-2010
T61p
T61 T61p T60 T60p
42w7875
Penryn/Merom
16:10
Intel X3100
2008
T61
T61 T61p T60 T60p
42w7876
Penryn/Merom
16:10
nVidia nvs140m
2008
T61
T61 T61p T60 T60p
44c3928
Penryn/Merom
16:10
nVidia nvs140m
2008-2010
T61
T61 T61p T60 T60p
42w7877
Penryn/Merom
16:10
nVidia fx570m 256mb
2008
T61p
T61 T61p T60 T60p
44c3931
Penryn/Merom
16:10
nVidia fx570m 256mb
2008-2010
T61p
T61 T61p T60 T60p
Motherboard table is a work in progress. Any errors or suggestions can be submitted to TuuS316

*modification required to install 4:3 T61 board in 4:3 T60 or R61 models. These hybrids are commonly referred to as FrankenPads

Motherboards designed to use Merom CPU can run a Penryn CPU if Middleton BIOS is installed. This 3rd party BIOS will suppress a false thermal sensing error generated by the boards inability to read the Penryn CPU's more advanced digital temp sensor. This BIOS will NOT provide full Penryn support.

Identifying information for a T61 motherboard can be found on a label under the battery or under the RAM modules.

NVIDIA GPU MOTHEROBOARD ISSUES


There is a well known issue with the nVidia discrete graphic system used on T61 series ThinkPads. It was first discovered in 2007 that these GPU chips were experiencing a greater then anticipated rate of failure. Although the rate of failure is believed to be low, perhaps less then 1%, with millions of units produced this adds up to a significant number. nVidia began addressing the problem as early as February 2008, but neither nVidia nor Lenovo ever admitted publicly that the chips were defective. The issue was handled as one of quality control with no "official" revisions issued, and no recalls. Failure rates sharply declined after February 2008, but it wasn't until July 2008 that Lenovo removed the subject Planar Cards (motherboards) from production, replacing them with cards based on a new shipment of GPU chips.

Laptops with production date code of 08/08 (2008/August) and later are NOT affected, assuming the original motherboard is still present.

Production of the T61 series was cancelled after August 2008, but a few special order system were made in September and October 2008, and boards with the new GPU design continued to be produced until about 2010. The supply of new boards was quickly exhausted, however, and currently only refurbished boards are provided by Lenovo/IBM service. Some boards refurbished by Lenovo contain new Genuine GPU chips, while others appear to have the older original chips. To determine which chips a board contains it is necessary to examine the chip itself which bears a four digit date code represented by yy/ww (year/week). The (new) example linked above was manufactured in 2010, 21st week and the older one 2007, 25th week. Original boards from ThinkPads manufactured in August 2008 vary from 0820 to 0829. Since there were many production lines and many factories producing these chips, the actual date on the chip isn't a conclusive way to demonstrate the chip is the improved version. The date on the laptop itself is the key factor.

There have also been reports of counterfeit chips, most likely re-badged chips that were pulled from old boards, being used in boards refurbished by third parties.

Lenovo attempted to address this problem by offering free out-of-warranty repairs to anyone experiencing this problem. This free repair program ran from March 1st 2010 until March 31st 2011. Since this date there has been no further help offered by Lenovo, but the community forum has been helpful in assisting members.

OPERATING SYSTEMS and DRIVERS


WIRELESS NETWORKING

The Intel Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN PCIe Mini Card network adapter is the most capable internal WiFi adapter that shipped with the ThinkPad T61.
  • Operates in both the 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz spectrum providing data rates up to 300Mbps
  • Provides up to 5x greater speeds and up to 2x greater range than standard a/b/g adapters
  • Capable of connecting to wireless N access points and routers
  • Capable of connecting to any of the legacy Wi-Fi standards: 802.11a, b or g
  • Supports Multiple-Input/Multiple-Output (MIMO) technology to increase connection speed and range
  • Full specifications and users guide
  • Lenovo part numbers: 42T0865, 42T0867, 42T0869, 42T0871, 42T0905
  • Search now on eBay
See the discussion section below regarding newer WiFi adapters that can be installed in the ThinkPad T61.

ULTRABAY SLIM DRIVE

The ThinkPad Super Multi-Burner Ultrabay Slim Drive is the most capable optical-media drive available for the ThinkPad T61.
  • Records DVD video to DVD+R/-R for playback in most consumer DVD players
  • Records to DVD+R/-R Double Layer (DL), DVD-RW and DVD+RW media
  • Full specifications and users guide
  • Lenovo part numbers: 39T2677, 39T2679, 39T2829, 39T2851, 39T2855, 42T2501, 42T2506
  • Search now on eBay

BATTERIES


CONTROL FAN SPEED and HEAT


CPU UNDERVOLTING and THROTTLING

The maximum CPU clock speed may be limited when the system is operated on the 65W AC adapter and no battery is installed. source

By reducing voltage the CPU will run cooler and draw less power, usually providing an extra 10 to 30 minutes of battery life.
CPU speeds can also be throttled to reduce temperatures and extend battery life.

MULTI-TOUCH TOUCHPAD

Windows: The touchpads on most models of the ThinkPad T61 are capable of multi-touch features, including two-finger scrolling, with the proper touchpad driver.
  1. Go to Control Panel > Programs and Features
  2. Uninstall Lenovo UltraNav driver
  3. Uninstall Lenovo UltraNav utility
  4. Download and install the Synaptics Gesture Suite™ Device Driver
  5. Restart the computer

Linux: Two-finger scrolling should work without any special configuration in Ubuntu. If not, follow the procedure here.

HARDWARE MODIFICATION & REPAIR


WINDOWS 7 ADJUSTMENTS

Increase the speed and responsiveness of Windows 7 by doing the following

WINDOWS 8 ADJUSTMENTS

DISCUSSION FORUMS


DOCUMENTATION


LENOVO PARTS LOOKUP

http://support.lenovo.com/us/en/partslookup

LENOVO WARRANTY STATUS LOOKUP

http://support.lenovo.com/en/warrantylookup

REVIEWS