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 The death of a laptop *Sorted, it is alive.

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Pastor Frank
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 8:01 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I have an older Toshiba laptop that I use at the cabin for checking in via WiFi. It was working fine all weekend, then a sudden black screen followed by an automatic reboot. I was then advised by Windows XP Professional that the config.sys file was missing or corrupted. I suspected that the HD was starting to fail and packed it up to bring home for some diagnostics. I was figuring on a new HD and a reinstall of the OS to be the fix.

At home I fired it up and... nothing, no BIOS splash screen, nothing. But the interesting thing is that after several minutes the cooling fan came on, as if BIOS sensed an increase in processor temperature. Hmmm, I thunk to myself, bad screen? I plugged in the VGA output to a CRT, nothing.

Bad video card? But why no BIOS start up sounds and the earlier config.sys error?

I next suspected a failing power supply, I checked, and it is the nominal 15 volts, as stated on the supply.

Any ideas?

Edit: The battery has been dead for a long time, and I only run it on hard power. I also smacked it sharply with my palm, in various locations, without success. Wink

Edit: More info, the hard line power indicator light is green, and the battery indicator light is yellow. No HDD activity heard, and none seen on the indicator light.

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Last edited by Pastor Frank on Sun Jul 06, 2008 9:54 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Biff Pile-On
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 8:08 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Buy a new one and sell that one to a mugu. Shocked

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Baek Ðu San
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 8:13 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^^
Quote:
...I also smacked it sharply with my palm, in various locations, without success.

Being violent towards your hardware isn't going to solve anything! Laughing Crying or Very sad

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bill2
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 8:27 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

can you boot from disk(floppy) or cd?
Screen is usual the first thing that retires, hard disk could be bad too, but with nothing working this will be fun to solve Crying or Very sad Get a new one for fast result, exchange HD with other one to see if... If not, get a new one anyway Wink

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Pastor Frank
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 8:35 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

@Bill,

I tried to get it to boot a Linux live CD and DSL from the USB, no joy. When I power up it does not make any clicks or whirs, as if it is not even looking for any media to boot up upon. When I pull the hard power cord, I do hear a small "crackle" from the speakers. Even if it was the HD, the BIOS splash screen should come up advising that there is "no bootable media found". The fact that the cooling fan, which I am 99.5% sure is driven by BIOS, comes on is very interesting to me. The lack of the occasional BIOS beep as it "powers up" also is strange, if it were a video card issue.

Edit Update: For whatever reason, on the 200+ reboot attempt it started to fire up.

Saw the BIOS splash screen. = BIOS and video card are operational.
Entered the True Crypt password screen. = HDD is functioning.

Entered the password and saw, "booting....."

It never booted. Tried again, and nothing... back to square 1. This leads me to believe some sort of power supply issue.


Edit: It was the HD, thanks for the help. (I physically pulled the HD and it booted Linux from a CD just fine, the rattling noise the HD made when I shook it was also a clue, as to why it messed with BIOS is still a mystery to me, usually BIOS will alert you to the HD failure. I guess the missing config.sys was the first clue, but once the HD failed BIOS should have caught the non bootable media and alerted me to it)

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bill2
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:06 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Too easy, this could have been a nice week long quest, but you solve it the first day Laughing
I hope you can get a HD for it and get it going again

Cheers

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Pastor Frank
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:23 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^A little OCPD go's a long way! Laughing

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CowboyBuck
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:07 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I have an old Toshiba laptop (made around 1999) which I only
power up occasionally.

If it has been turned off for a while (a month), then plug it in,
it will boot up and display the Windows 98 screen, then go black.

I have found that plugging it in for a while (time varies) will eventually
allow it to boot to completion.

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bill2
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:21 am Reply with quoteBack to top

internal battery is bad and charges first then it will boot. Not your battery pack, but a battery button(?) on the motherboard somewhere. Win98, eh, never got it to run on my old one, barely room to install '95 Laughing

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Pastor Frank
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:23 am Reply with quoteBack to top

^^Thanks WK419. I found the culprit, a bad hard drive. I pulled it and it is booting several different Linux CD's (Puppy, DSL, Slax) without issue. I am off to the Ebay for a new HD. Very Happy

Edit: Laughing (Note the bent IDE pin, caused by extreme abuse of the now deceased HD) Booting Linux wonderfully, all systems go.

Image

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