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Drjones
08-05-2010, 15:55
Hey.

My dad's laptop suddenly stopped booting consistently, and now it won't boot at all.

When I push the power button, the screen stays totally black - doesn't flash anything at all - the fan spins for a few seconds & it sounds like it's going to boot, but then it shuts off after 10 seconds.

I pulled the hard drive and pushed the power button, same thing - no error message on the screen or anything.

I checked the screen with a flashlight to see if the backlight or inverter had gone out, but NOTHING is displayed on screen at all - it is totally off/dead.

I'm thinking maybe, maybe bad RAM? But we just put new RAM chips in not even a year ago....

What do you think is the problem?

JFrame
08-05-2010, 16:01
Stab in the dark -- bad AC adapter...?

.

Drjones
08-05-2010, 16:03
Stab in the dark -- bad AC adapter...?

.


It was acting the same way even with the battery installed...plus, it would shut off every single time at the exact same time - right around 10 seconds - and in the exact same manner as I described above; screen stays black, fans spin, that's it.

JFrame
08-05-2010, 16:05
It was acting the same way even with the battery installed...


Okay -- it was a stab.

My next thought is a capacitor issue somewhere on the motherboard...

.

Drjones
08-05-2010, 16:06
Okay -- it was a stab.

My next thought is a capacitor issue somewhere on the motherboard...

.


....which means a whole new machine, right?

Drjones
08-05-2010, 16:07
Also, this is an old HP laptop and the RAM is somewhat of a pain to install - there isn't simply a little hatch on bottom like with 99% of all other laptops.

Even I forget how I installed it, but as I played with it, I saw there was no RAM port on the bottom & remembered I had to do a bit of disassembly....I think just taking off the keyboard.

Point being it's going to be a pain to test if it's the RAM or not....

JFrame
08-05-2010, 16:30
....which means a whole new machine, right?


Perhaps...If you, or someone you know, has the patience to go over each capacitor with a volt meter, determine which one is the offending party, find the replacement part(s), and have the confidence to un-mount the existing component and solder in the new part(s)...

On the other hand, a replacement motherboard swap could be pretty quick and cost effective. I know of at least one outfit in my area that keeps a supply of "dead" machines on the off-chance that someone brings in an equivalent machine to be fixed.

But if your machine is as old as you say it is, a new machine would enhance virtually every sub-component of the present system...

I feel your pain -- I hang on to old machines till they're literally falling apart. I part with them kicking and screaming, and only when I conclude that they've outlived their usefulness for anything other than a door stop...

You might want to check overstock.com for a replacement machine. I glommed onto an incredible deal for a Toshiba Portege laptop through them...

Good luck -- and I really hope I'm wrong in my prognosis!
.

IndyGunFreak
08-05-2010, 16:50
Also, this is an old HP laptop and the RAM is somewhat of a pain to install - there isn't simply a little hatch on bottom like with 99% of all other laptops.

Even I forget how I installed it, but as I played with it, I saw there was no RAM port on the bottom & remembered I had to do a bit of disassembly....I think just taking off the keyboard.

Point being it's going to be a pain to test if it's the RAM or not....

I'm guessing CPU or RAM...

IGF

Drjones
08-08-2010, 13:52
Just wanted to post an update:

I pulled apart the computer - undid two screws on the bottom to remove the keyboard, popped off a metal cover shielding the RAM - removed one module at a time and tried powering it on to see if it was faulty RAM.

It did the same thing as before; fans would spin, screen stayed black, then powered off after 10 seconds.

I guess it is the MoBo or something serious enough to consider the thing dead, since swapping out the RAM chips one at a time didn't have any effect at all.

Even tried booting it without any RAM installed, did the exact same thing; fans spinning, then dead.

At least I get to use the RAM to upgrade my NAS. :supergrin:

Just out of curiosity, is it the motherboard, CPU? What?

srhoades
08-08-2010, 15:07
More than likely bad motherboard. It is really really rare for a CPU to go bad. If it was a bad anything else the computer would at least give beep codes.

steveksux
08-08-2010, 20:32
Can you hook it up to external monitor? Wondering if the POST (POwerup Self Test) codes aren't displaying because the display is dead, maybe get some useful info about why the startup is aborting.

But yeah, going to be hard to fix if its on the MOBO. I had an old laptop I was nursing along, a 1999 Dell survived to almost 2008. I bought another from Ebay for like $150 for parts, and managed to pick a number of things (even moved the guts of the old one into the Ebay case when mine started cracking/flexing badly).

It finally stopped booting also, I wasn't ready to try to swap all the components onto the Ebay MoBo for an 8 year old laptop, hoping the Ebay MoBo was ok.

Randy