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Odd problem

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,985
Thanks: 5
Fixes: 3
Registered: 01-08-2007

Odd problem

WOndered if any of you guys could shed any light on this, as it has me stumped....
Switched on my laptop last night, and went off to make a cuppa. On my return, windows had frozen at the boot screen with the moving blue blocks. Couldnt do anything with it, so kept the pwr button pressed for a few secs to shut it down. Restarted and nothing. The CPU fan span up as normal, and I could hear HDD activity, but not as much as is normal, and the screen was blank, not even a BIOS spash screen. Tried a couple of times, nothing, but eventually got a BIOS screen. Went into BIOS, nothing unusual, so rebooted, and tried going into windows safe mode, but it halted halfway through the boot process. Rebooted again, back to a blank screen. This happened almost all the time then on, so I pulled the screen apart, wondering if it was the connector, but all OK. Managed to get a BIOS screen again, so managed to boot from a PARAGON rescue disk, as I have an image stored. Moved all the files I wanted to the backup partition, all also ran a file integrety check, which was OK. Rebooted again, just to see if it would work before I restored the image file, and all worked OK, all night, no probs at all.  I was thinking this could not be a windows issue, as the BIOS screen was not showing up. Wondered if this was a symptom of a failing MOBO, or something else, but it now works fine.  Anyone any ideas at allHuh?
24 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Odd problem

how old is the machine and has it ever been cleaned inside?  you can usually get at the fan by removing the keyboard.  the fan is a good place for dust to accumulate.  might be a good idea to get some canned air and blow throught all the vents.
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Grafter
Posts: 666
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Odd problem

Quote from: artificer
the fan is a good place for dust to accumulate. 

Absolutely!
I have a solution (actually, not mine! but that of my longtime friend Peter Raistrick who has been in the computer  business since he was a lad ...and that's a long time ago!!!!)
what he did with every PC he built for me was to.... reverse the fan so that it sucks instead of blows... and place a sponge pad over the exit air grille..
This way, instead of drawing in dusty air into your PC, you 'filter' the incoming air!!!!!
cheers
Eddie Johnson
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,985
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Odd problem

Thanks chaps.
So you are suspecting an overheating issue...  I recently (4-5mnths ago) replaced the motherboard. It has for a while now, been used on a plastic mat by my wife, on the kitchen table, with n o issues, but maybe its overheated.  It was odd, as it was working fine the night before.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Odd problem

In terms of designed air flow through a case that is completely wrong.
The correct procedure is to have the rear mounted fan pulling air from the case with a dust filter on the front air intake.
For extra air flow a front mounted fan can be added which pushes air into the case from the filter and if you really want to go overboard one or more top/side mounted fans also sucking air through the case.
With respect to having a rear mounted fan pushing air into the case it is very likely most of the air will go out through the power supply instead of cooling the contents of the case. Have read of this - it is a bit out of date but still relevant
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,576
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Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Odd problem

Its highly unlikely its heat if you had only just turned it on. The only way that would be heat is if the fan had failed as some pc wont boot with a failed fan to protect the cpu.
It hard like a doctor  diagnosing a patient he cant see but I would look at the HD. If that is failing the bios could hang trying to find it and windows could then fail to load.
Do a full check of the hard drive checking the cables and connections and then running chkdsk c: /f also check other partitions if you have them
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,381
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Odd problem

If it was over heating then restoring an old image wouldn't make any difference.
I suspect the HDD might of had an error reading some initial boot data and probably got reported to the mobo as faulty during POST.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,985
Thanks: 5
Fixes: 3
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Odd problem

Thanks.
I didnt suspect an overheating issue, I was actually thinking of a MOBO issue, as the inital BIOS splash screen never appeared, although the CPU fan was running, also the HDD light was very spasmosic, rather than the normal rapid activity when booting windows. I didnt think a HDD issue could cause a boot failure so early in the process.  I have pulled the HDD, and reinserted it, and at the mo everything seems fine. Did a disk check through Paragon, and came up clear. Will try the chkdsk from within windows, see what that shows.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,985
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Odd problem

well...... its virtually constant now, failing to get anything on the screen most of the time, and when I  can get the BIOS splash screen, it either freezes at this point, gets to the windows loading screen ans stops there, or after the splash screen, just a flashing cursor in the top left corner. It is set to use the CD as first boot device. I am looking at the following differential diagnosis really....
1..  Faulty power inverter (remote possibility).  Dont think its this, as there is no HDD boot activity as well, and if it was just the scrren, windows in effect should boot normally.
2..  HDD issue.  Cant do a scan, as cant get into windows, but I do have a 2.5 to full size adaper, so I can put into my desktop, and maybe run the scandisk from there?!?!?  I have looked at the IDE connector, to the MOBO, its a direct connector, with no cable, and it seems OK. I did try another HDD, that I know is OK. Its blank with no OS on it at all, but still had the same issues, with no screen display etc etc.
3.. MOBO failure, although unsure as to why, as it went from working perfectly, switched off, and when tried again, nothing.  We do however, occ leave it plugged in, on the chager as we forget to take it out, so if we have a power spike, it could have damaged it I suppose.
Would really welcome some advice, as I am now stumped...
Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: Odd problem

I had similar problems with a laptop. Turned out to be bad memory. Replaced memory and everything worked fine. Something to consider?
Community Veteran
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Odd problem

Thanks
I am sure the memory is OK, as its virtually new, and has always been Ok up to now, but will run MEMtest, just to be sure.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
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Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: Odd problem

OK just something else to eliminate. Check the memory sticks are properly seated too.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,985
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Odd problem

I also wonder if this could be a CPU issue, I will also try removing the CPU, reapplying the thermal paste, and then reseating, in case overheating has caused a problem. ( the CPU fan has been doing doubletime recently, even though when I replaced the MOBO recently, with a second hand one, I used decent thermal paste ( arctic silver).
(MOBO was replaced as when I got the laptop off a mate, he had dropped it, and it would not work. Fitted another MOBO, everything OK, but it was from a dynabook, and the BIOS was in japanese, and some of the keyboard functions would not work. Managed to find an english satellite 1130 mobo, with a faulty power connector, which I replaced, and all was well again, and has been until this issue)
Community Veteran
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Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: Odd problem

You might find Speedswitch useful
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,985
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Odd problem

If I can get the damn thing booted into windows  Angry,  I will give the CPU speed thingie a try.  Its very intermittant, last night tried and tried, most of the time CPU would spin up, and with my ear to the case, I can hear the HDD spin up as well. Mostly its a black screen, with no attempt at lighting the screen, but there is also no HDD activity with I think precludes a display issue but I will try tonight connecting to an external monitor. Sometimes I get the BIOS splash screen, and occ get to the windows loading screen, or the screen that says windows failed to start, what would I like to do, sometimes the clock counts down, sometimes its frozen. Managed to get it to boot eventually, and odd thing is if it boots, there is absolutely no issue, and it runs like a dream. Did Scandisk, with no errors reported, also used SFC /scannow, no apparant issues.  I would lay money when I try tonight it will refuse to boot. Also when it refuses to boot, cant do MEMCHECK, or even use a diagnostic CD with I have.
Anyone Cry Cry