Laptop won't boot

Discussion in 'Ask DACS' started by dragonbite, Sep 23, 2009.

  1. dragonbite

    dragonbite Well-Known Member

    Aug 30, 2008
    Likes Received:
    I just recently got my hands on a used Thinkpad laptop (T40) and it has some issues with booting up... it doesn't, or at least it doesn't every time.

    When the laptop does (or did) boot, it would
    1. fan goes on
    2. screen turns on
    3. splash screen shows up (with instructions on getting into the BIOS)
    4. fan goes off
    5. system boots up from hard drive, or CD if a LiveCD is in the drive
    Even when it was running, it would intermittently lock up but at other times it will run and run without issues.

    Unfortunately, now it only
    1. fan goes on
    2. screen never turns on
    3. splash screen does not show up
    4. if there is a CD in the drive it spins up.. then spins down
    5. if you pop the tray and then put it back in with a CD it will again spin up.. and then spin down
    6. the fan never turns off
    The air the fan is blowing out is not noticeably hot, just slightly warm and it doesn't matter if it is the first boot of the day or the 100th.

    I've tried this with the HDD in, the HDD out, the Optical Drive in, the Optical Drive out, plugged in, not plugged in, on the dock, off the dock (this is beginning to sound like the hokey pokey!)

    I'm trying to figure out where to go from here and am looking for suggestions. If it is the motherboard then I can look at replacing that but I don't want to be getting all the parts to replace unless I am pretty sure that may be the issue.

    Could this be cause by
    • loose component (I've tried opening it up and making sure everything was tight)
    • overheating (like I said, the air coming out isn't noticeably hot)
    • broken motherboard (how can I tell, I don't see anything but I am not very experienced in looking)
    • short circuit
    • something with the video and screen
    • gremlins[/list:u]

      btw, I know I am not going to be in the October General Meeting, but whether before or after hashing it out at the meeting, somebody could post the ideas here that would be great!

      Thanks for any suggestions/ideas.
  2. dragonbite

    dragonbite Well-Known Member

    Aug 30, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Ok, for some strange reason it likes my basement.

    I was doing some laundry when I tried turning it on. I was surprised because it did.. sort-of. After a couple moments it froze up. From the looks of it (because I left and returned) it froze up after the login but right before the desktop environment started. I had a (frozen) cursor so that tells me X started, but the rest of the screen was black.

    After a second try, it didn't boot up anymore. I'll try again tonight and see if it wants to come to life somehow.
  3. snh

    snh Well-Known Member

    Oct 6, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Could be a couple of things.

    1. Sounds like it's a power related problem, since you did eventually get past the login at least once.

    Whether it's a hardware issue (power supply browning out and not properly charging the batteries and or not supplying enough juice), or somehow the BIOS power-related settings/handling got corrupted, I wouldn't know. A new mobo with a fresh firmware install in addition to a new/NOS power supply will eliminate this as a reason.

    2. Bad memory. Believe it or not, memory does go bad, and unfortunately, it doesn't always fail in a way that indicates it is the memory.

    3. Networking - if there's a bad Wi-Fi dongle or a broken Wi-Fi card in there, that will cause a freeze. For the longest time I thought Norton A/V was causing my home desktop to freeze, when it turned out it was a bad Wi-Fi dongle. This was on a mobo/BIOS that was supposedly "crash-proof".

    So, yank the networking, swap some known memory in there, and try a good power supply and see if you still get the same problem(s).

    Hope this helps.


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