IBM Thinkpad’s have been the cream of the crop when it came to laptops meant for the business world. Some collectors look for them due to their aesthetic appeal while some also look towards their robust built form and construction. In spite of being a durable unit, it over time any laptop will succumb to wear and tear. This tutorial will show you how to fix your external VGA port on your IBM Thinkpad laptop.
1. Since you’re dealing with a VGA port, make sure that you’re natively connected to the monitor with a VGA to VGA cable.
2. Replace the VGA cable and see if that changes the issue.
3. Uninstall and reinstall the latest or recent most stable drivers for your GPU.
4. Make sure you’re on the latest BIOS update.
5. You should have a button to select the display options for your built-in display as well as the external. Usually if should be activated using the FN key + one other key along the function keys row usually FN+F7. Pressing the combo will cycle through your available display options.
6. If have one, use the VGA port on your docking station.
7. Similar to step 5 you can try and work with your external display while in BIOS. Boot into BIOS and hit the F1 and then Ctrl+F7. If you’re yet connected to the external monitor then you should be able to get a display while in BIOS on your external display.
8. If you don’t get anything, then you will need to uninstall your graphics drivers and reinstall them with the last known working driver.
9. If you yet can’t get display out via your external VGA port or you get discoloration on your external display, the worst case scenario here is that your motherboard or your GPU or your VGA port has failed. Replacing the motherboard will alleviate the issue.
10. In order to disassemble the laptop, you will need to download the service manual with respect to your Thinkpad’s model from Lenovo's support site. Work your way through the bottom of the laptop first.
11. In order to keep track of each screws origination, it’s advised to have a sheet of paper and mark each screws location. Lay it on top of each marked point.
12. Unlatch the cooling assembly and all the cables and replace the motherboard.
13. Reverse the steps you took to disassemble the laptop in order to assemble it and power up the laptop.
After replacing the motherboard, the first thing you should do is verify which BIOS revision you’re on. Then make sure you’re on the latest chipset and device drivers specific to your Thinkpad. You should be able to get on with where you left off with respect to the external display output.