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Lenovo ThinkPad T400 was a laptop introduced by IBM for corporate and commercial use. The T400 was released along with the T500 in July of 2008. Similar models include the 400, 410, 420, 510, and other models in the ThinkPad T series.

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Upgrade Advice for a Lenovo ThinkPad T400?

I have recently received a Lenovo ThinkPad T400 from a friend of mine who also repairs things. I traded a broken Samsung J7 Prime to him in return for it. He found it at an America's Thrift Stores. I have cleaned it of dust, reapplied thermal paste, etc. I don't have a power cord for it yet, so I can't test stuff to see if it works.

The previous owner took out the HDD (likely to protect or recover their data). They also took the caddy and rails, so I need to buy those as well. I plan to either buy an SSD for it, or use an old HDD I have lying around from another laptop. It has two 1GB DDR3 1066 MHz sticks of RAM in it, but one of the RAM sticks is dead, as it didn't work when I tried it in another laptop. (Likely why the previous owner donated it to the Thrift Store.) I put some other RAM sticks in it (also 2x1GB, but a higher quality plastic on the PCB and possibly slightly faster.)

It is one of the top of the line T400 models, with switchable Intel GMA and ATI Radeon Mobility HD 3470 graphics. It has an Intel Core 2 Duo P8600, clocked at 2.5 GHz. It also has a working battery, as my friend said it turned on without a power cord a few times before dying. I would like some upgrade advice on what else to put in it.

Please don't say "BRUH WINDOWS VISTA IS LIKE SUPER OLD SO U SHOULD DO LINUX OR SELL IT ON EBAY!" I am not going to use this as my daily laptop, I only want to restore and upgrade it for fun, because I love ThinkPads and want to add a functional one to my steadily growing collection of laptops.

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Hi @eucador

The T400 supports a maximum of 8GB of DDR3L-1600 PC3-12800 sodimm ram i.e. 2 x 4GB

Depending on how much you wish to spend the laptop supports 2.5" sata SSDs up to 4TB capacity.

With this amount of ram and storage you can install and run Win10 bearing in mind that support for Win 10 ends on Oct 14 2025.

You can also install Linux as well for longer OS support. (depending on which Linux version you choose)

Here's the hardware maintenance manual that may help.

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Thanks for this, I didn't know that it supported up to 4TB of storage. I like the idea of using Windows 10, but driver support seems a little scarce. Maybe some Windows 8 drivers will work.

I understand that the system only supports 2x4GB of RAM, but will 2x8GB work? I have learned in previous projects that sometimes unsupported RAM will work, but will just not have much documentation or support by the manufacturer.

Also, do you think a CPU upgrade from an Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 to a P9900 is necessary, or would be particularly helpful? It has a clock speed of 3.04 GHz, but still is only a dual-core CPU. If I do upgrade the CPU, should I spend $300+ on a new P9900, or buy one used on eBay for around $30-$40? I don't have much experience in buying CPU upgrades (this T400 is the first laptop with a socketed CPU that I have, my only other socketed CPU machine is a desktop from 2004 that already has the best CPU possible.)

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@eucador

You have to check what type of socket is being used and then what type of CPU is supported by the socket.

After this the chipset also comes into play so you have to see what CPU is compatible with it.

Next given the age of the laptop I doubt that 16GB of ram will work due to BIOS limitation also check what the CPU/chipset supports as well.

The 8GB is guaranteed by Crucial ram supplier

Win 10 driver support is fairly good for most PCs but you can always search online for "generic hardware drivers" (Drivereasy perhaps) which will allow whatever hardware to work but maybe not with all features possible. You have to know the make and model number of the hardware e.g. audio controller, LAN controller, etc etc.

さんによる

If I libreboot it, will the BIOS support 16GB? This laptop is known to work with librebooting.

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@eucador

You can only try or search online for information by people who have said that it does.

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I have searched for whether or not it can be librebooting, but I can't find out anything about 16GB of RAM besides one unhelpful reddit post. Guess I'll try some stuff out. Thanks for all the advice!

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maybe a RAM upgrade if you want better internet surfing

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Mcniner さん、ありがとうございました!
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