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Line of business laptops originally sold by IBM and then purchased by Lenovo in 2005. Older models (Pre-XX50) have a WiFi whitelist, so wireless card replacement is not as easy as buying a bulk generic card online.

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Thinkpad T530 fails to charge battery

The battery is FRU 42T4793 and had already run out of juice.   BatteryInfoView shows 78% on a T420

Plop it in the T530 and the battery icon blinks green quickly three times, pauses, then blinks more slowly seven times in amber, one more time in green, and then stops blinking.

”Charge” for 30 minutes, pull the plug, hit the power button, and there's no reaction.

The AC adapter is 90W. No hard drive installed, but the T530 generated a message about the failure to support the installed battery. I can’t replicated that message so far.

Same battery works as expected when placed in the T420

I can replicate the behavior on the T530 with another battery, FRU 42T4791

I actually have a replacement system board at the ready, but what else can I try before swapping out system boards?

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Some laptop batteries have a lock out window that after X amount of cycles, the battery will either go to a modified charge map or block charging altogether - you cannot fix this without replacing the cells and resetting the microcontroller. As such, the first thing I’d do is recommend a new (aftermarket) battery to see if it persists. These are old enough to suspect a lockout based on cycles.

It’s also important to note not all batteries use this protection. The common method is a modified charge map, which is implemented by most of the manufacturers. This isn’t as bad because the pack still works, but it may get naggy about a known problem. I’d take nags and a modified charge map over a lockout because you were unlucky and hit the lockout threshold. The Latitude series will let you run them until they no longer accept a charge, even if they die within 30 seconds. If they rely on a cycle lockout, I’d question the safety of the pack because that tells me the vendor isn’t confident in their BMS to regulate a high mileage battery.

I would be genuinely surprised if you need a motherboard. I have never seen a ThinkPad motherboard fail outside of nVidia defect T60 series machines. If it’s “dead”, it’s usually because someone forgot the SVP and a perfectly working board was killed over a password.

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