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Author Topic: Laptop problem  (Read 484 times)

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Offline OniyaTopic starter

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Laptop problem
« on: April 21, 2010, 01:18:13 AM »
Mr. Oniya was using his laptop about 15 minutes ago, when all of a sudden, the hard drive spun down (it made that soft little whine) and the screen went black.  He was surfing the web and had just attempted to launch Minesweeper.  It was running off of house current, so it wasn't the battery running down. (Windows Vista, Compaq, AMD 64 Athlon X2, NVidia - that's all I can remember.)

So far, restarting it brings up the usual indicator lights (connection light around the power port, blue indicator light on the power/sleep button, activity light on the drive), and it sounds like it's spinning up, but nothing shows up on the screen.  He's planning on taking it to GeekSquad in the morning (although the protection plan has run out a couple years back), but if anyone has any ideas, I'll be up for a little longer.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Laptop problem
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2010, 01:26:44 AM »
Don't take it to the Geek Squad. There is almost certainly a local shop that will do the diagnostics for free or cheap rather than $135, and you will get better technicians.

The easiest thing you can do yourself is to simply remove the battery and let it set for a few minutes. I actually put the whole thing in a plastic bag and freeze it for ~15 minutes as well. Replace the battery and turn on, see if that works.

If not, try and look closely at the screen to see if anything is actually showing up. LCD screens use a backlight to display - when that backlight goes out, windows still get drawn on the screen and such - they're just nearly impossible to see. Replacing backlights is never an easy prospect (though I imagine the LED backlights on newer monitors are both easier and safer).

Otherwise, you can try and see if removing the hard drive itself 'fixes' things (screen should turn on and give an error). Dead hard drives can cause problems for a variety of reasons.

Offline OniyaTopic starter

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Re: Laptop problem
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2010, 01:36:13 AM »
Well, it's currently unplugged and de-batteried on the desk, and the plan was to leave it that way overnight.  I'll reassemble it in the morning and see if it comes back up.  Since the protection plan is expired, I'll give the hard drive a go after I talk to him.  (I've worked inside other laptops.)  I'll also hit up the local yellow pages for computechs.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Laptop problem
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2010, 02:30:31 AM »
If turning it on works in the morning it's probably a cooling problem, so it just needs to be opened up and cleaned out. If it's the LCD backlight, you might be able to order a new LCD screen and install that, but for an old machine those are usually more expensive than getting a new laptop of equivalent ability.

Offline Izu

Re: Laptop problem
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2010, 04:57:32 AM »
My laptop was doing the same for a while and it turned out that it was because there was so much dust in it that it couldn't spin the fan at all, so no cooling = no computer. Try blowing through the opening of the fan (or even suck?) and see if you get your lungs and mouth full of dry ewie dust. If it's no it... well, Veks already told you want else could be causing the problem. :]

Offline OniyaTopic starter

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Re: Laptop problem
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2010, 12:11:10 PM »
Well, the little bugger isn't even going through POST.  The 'good news' is that the hard drive doesn't seem to be the problem - in other words, all of his data and documents are intact.