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Laptops worth building / repairing?

So I’m looking for a new project laptop that I could get cheap and make really over powered and do something stupid with. My last one was an Asus G50V and I got a quad core Core 2 in it and I think the processor got hotter than the 9800MGS it had. Unsurprisingly that machine died, so now I need a new toy to play with until I blow it up.

I’m between a 4th-5th gen thinkpad, but I’m unsure if any have socketed processors, or trying to get my T420S / L520 fixed. I don’t know what is wrong with the T420S, but the L520 has bad backlight fuses no thanks to me. I could get a new motherboard, but I’m kinda poor atm. I am not sure where to get schematics, but I think its a 2amp fuse and a .5amp fuse that I need to replace. I’m just unsure where on the mobo in total, nor am I sure if my tools are adequate enough.

If anyone knows where I could get a L520 or T420S schematic for cheap, let me know. Should I look for a new complete laptop to upgrade like crazy, or fix the mobo of one of my laptops I kinda want working again anyways?


Here is the schematic for the T420s

I can source the L520 for around 5 Euros, but IDK what you define as cheap.

I also found this pdf in a thread where people were requesting schematics for L420, maybe this will be of use to you as well?

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Yeah I found that forum but it looks sketchy as hell to me.

T440P/T550P is the one with the PGA Intel fourth-gen CPUs, as well as Dell E6540/E6440.

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If you hop onto I expect that someone would be happy to post a pic of the fuse in question, which will assist in locating same.

If you are patient, a deal pops up on ebay from time to time. I got a T420 CPU / motherboard for $19 and a complete, working X230 for $45.

I’d say stick with what you have. While I have newer ThinkPads, the T420 (with an Ivy Bridge upgrade) is still my primary machine.