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Author Topic: Dying laptop advice  (Read 1353 times)

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Offline alahendraTopic starter

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Dying laptop advice
« on: December 17, 2006, 08:51:28 PM »
I have a dying IBM T20 laptop (I know old, but works great for Elliquiy).  Except I keep having trouble where sometimes it will not boot up.  It just stays at the IBM splash screen.  I can press F1 to go into BIOS but then it just sits there lying to me, saying it's going into BIOS when it's really not.

I've got a replacement coming soon from E-Bay but I was just wondering if any of you computer knowledgable types have any idea what could be causing this.  (I did try swapping out the two ram sticks one at a time)...


Offline Vekseid

Re: Dying laptop advice
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2006, 09:05:24 PM »
Could be overheating.  Drop it in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer for a few minutes.  If that lets you boot further then you need to get some canned air, open the thing up and carefully blow out the grill (remember to hold the can level and use short bursts).

Beyond what you said you've already done, the only other advice is to make sure you've popped out any PCMCIA cards and disconnected any other peripherals - things like printers and external hard drives are capable of causing such problems.

If you're feeling frisky you can try removing the network card and potentially other hidden peripherals, depending on your machine - but usually if the above two don't work I just recommend getting a laptop drive enclosure for your old hard drive and acquiring a new laptop.

Offline alahendraTopic starter

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Re: Dying laptop advice
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2006, 09:10:27 PM »
I thought about the overheating thing--but it does it even after I've left it off for a long time (over 24 hours).  I have tried removing the network card and all that (it doesn't have one built in).  Could it be a problem with the switch itself?

The laptop I ordered is a similar model so I am hoping I can just swap the hard drives...

Offline Vekseid

Re: Dying laptop advice
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2006, 11:19:12 AM »
It may be heating up just enough only when you turn it on - thus my suggestion.

If the switch was the problem you'd have trouble starting it...

And yes, it should almost always work like that - though you may get some driver errors on startup.

Offline alahendraTopic starter

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Re: Dying laptop advice
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2006, 06:49:02 PM »
Ah...
well, what I've decided to do is once my new one arrives, to go out into a field somewhere and reenact the printer scene from Office Space. :D

Offline Hunter

Re: Dying laptop advice
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2006, 06:51:33 PM »
Now if that isn't a pleasant thought.  There's a few admins I wouldn't mind doing that to either....

Offline alahendraTopic starter

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Re: Dying laptop advice
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2006, 07:25:28 AM »
Nah...I prefer to reserve physical bashings for misbehaving objects...

Seriously though, another question, is there a website or something where I can figure out if the hard drives are interchangeable?

The old one as I said was a IBM Thinkpad T20
The "new" one is an IBM Thinkpad 600X

I am also wondering if the removable DVD Rom drive is interchangeable.

Thanks!

Offline Vekseid

Re: Dying laptop advice
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2006, 06:21:25 PM »
Laptop drives are almost always interchangable.  If they are both between 8 and 120 gb you should be fine.

Removable drives are usually designed for the mold the laptop was made to...  so I doubt it :-/

Offline alahendraTopic starter

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Re: Dying laptop advice
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2006, 07:43:29 PM »
Hey Vekseid, ye Computer God (*bows and such*), or anyone else who may want to jump in and answer this...

I discovered I can get a DVD Rom on Ebay for about 40 bucks, so it's all good.

Here's my newest question.  I am going to swap the hard drives.  The one that came with the "new" laptop is the exact same one.  I've heard I can buy a kit to make the other drive into an external hard drive. Is this true? Where would I look to find such a think to buy online?

Thanks!

Offline alahendraTopic starter

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Re: Dying laptop advice
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2006, 07:44:27 PM »

Hey Vekseid, ye Computer God (*bows and such*), or anyone else who may want to jump in and answer this...

I discovered I can get a DVD Rom on Ebay for about 40 bucks, so it's all good.

Here's my newest question.  I am going to swap the hard drives.  The one that came with the "new" laptop is the exact same one as what was in the old one.  However, they aren't very big (12 Gigs each). IBM MobileStar or whatever the mobile version of DeskStar is...  I've heard I can buy a kit to make the other drive into an external hard drive. Is this true? Would it plug into a USB port? Where would I look to find such a think to buy online?

Thanks!

Offline Vekseid

Re: Dying laptop advice
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2006, 05:51:13 AM »
Yup

Firewire ones also exist, but they are more expensive.

You can also search for 'laptop drive enclosure' or sometimes 'caddy', but really, $20 is about as cheap as they get.

Offline alahendraTopic starter

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Re: Dying laptop advice becomes "new laptop advice" -- to Linux or not to Linux
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2006, 10:44:21 PM »
Sing a song of Linux box a pocket without viruses...

$20 bucks sounds not so bad for a drive caddy..I've got the crazy idea to install Linux on one of the disks and make it dual boot.  I don't know much about Linux, but I want the learning experience.  Is that a completely nutty idea? If not, what flavor of Linux do you recommend for a newbie like me?

The processer in this thing is a 500 MHz Pentium 3, IBM Thinkpad (600 MX model, which seems to be better than the slightly new T20 I had before) with 256 megs of pC133ram
It needs a new bios battery which is currently on its way to me*  I am trying to ascertain without much luck where I can find some good online resources for Linux newbs...
I want to be able to:
-surf the internet and make posts on very naughty forums ;) (Firefox-check)
-do some wordprocessing and spreadsheet applications (Open office-check)
-listen to radio on line including MP3 archived shows (I believe WinAmp works with Linux)
-watch some movies in bed with my honey once I install a DVD player (If I recall WinAmp runs DVD too, but I gotta believe there is a linux ap out there somewhere that does......

So My guess is, most of what I want to do will work.  If I really get stoked on Linus, then I'd get rid of the windows drive altogether and have two linux drives... Am I completely out of my mind?

*any Linux types please feel free jump on in! Convince me why I should (or should not) do this, what your favorite flavors are, and why*

Thanks,
Your Local LLN (Linux Lappy Newb)

Offline pixiekitn

Re: Dying laptop advice
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2007, 12:56:34 AM »
If you have an older machine and just want to play around with linux, I recommend Damn Small Linux.  It's less than 50MB by definition, and it will run on anything.  I could prolly make it work on my calculator.  It worked fine on my old Thinkpad 386XD (Pentium 120, 40MB RAM) WITH X when NO other linux distro wanted to.