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#330599 - 17th Jun 2009 6:03pm Lappy "died"
Snodvan Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1253
Loc: Wallasey Village
Strange

The small Laptop is a Medion 96400 about 2 -3 years old. 11" screen job with AMD Turion chip and Win XP. It has given faithful service for my applications (web browse, Office and esp email).

It was working fine this morning. Then I downloaded Speedfan which is an application which reads from the various temperature sensors on a motherboard. I have had that application loaded and running on other machines for a while - with NO problems.

However, after loading it onto the Medion laptop the application would not run. Windows Task Manager said "not responding"

OK, told Windows Task Managwer to close Speedfan. It had a hell of a job doing that ie many attempts before Speedfan "went" from the Task Manager window.

Then I decided to shut down the Medion Laptop. It seemed to close but at the final page it went into hang mode at "Windows is closing down" ie it did not close.

I left it for an hour in that mode but then finally used the switch to shut off the machine

1. On re-start all I get is a black screen ie Windows does not show ANY sign of loading.

2. The hard disk does sound as if it is running.

3. pressing f2 repeatedly after switching on does not get to Bios (this machine uses f2 rather than the usual f8 - but I tried f8 anyway with no result)

4. I even put the original Opwerating System Installation Disk in the CD drive and switched on - nothing happened (although the disk did turn)

Stuck now - clues anyone

Snod


Edited by Snodvan (17th Jun 2009 6:04pm)
_________________________
5 Precepts of Buddhism seem appropriate. Refrain from taking life. Refrain from taking that which is not given. Refrain from misconduct. Refrain from lying. Refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness

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#330604 - 17th Jun 2009 6:30pm Re: Lappy "died" [Re: Snodvan]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9655
Loc: Birkenhead
An easy thing to try which works on HP/Compaq sometimes - take the battery out for 3 minutes so there is zero power (no mains either).

This isn't the same as a CMOS reset (before someone jumps in!), but it does work with some faults.

Worth a try before you get a bigger hammer out.
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#330605 - 17th Jun 2009 6:35pm Re: Lappy "died" [Re: diggingdeeper]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9655
Loc: Birkenhead
If the above doesn't work - another easy one is removing all things you can - CD drive, Floppy drive, Hard drive (they all just slot out on mine) - again on HP/Compaq this has let me get into the Bios from a black screen.

Then onto next bigger hammer ...
_________________________
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. Socrates

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#330608 - 17th Jun 2009 6:50pm Re: Lappy "died" [Re: diggingdeeper]
Snodvan Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1253
Loc: Wallasey Village
DD

Take a VERY large bow of thanks from me

Option 1 (remove battery for 5 mins) seems to have done the trick

Many, many thanks

Snod
_________________________
5 Precepts of Buddhism seem appropriate. Refrain from taking life. Refrain from taking that which is not given. Refrain from misconduct. Refrain from lying. Refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness

Top
#330609 - 17th Jun 2009 6:51pm Re: Lappy "died" [Re: diggingdeeper]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
AMD + Heat dont mix im afraid.

If you have used overriding software to quieten the fan, the way this will work is by lowering the voltage to fan, and thus, slowing it down.

If the CPU has overheated (quite likely) then with it being an AMD it won't stand much of a chance, especially if it was for more than a minute. If it were an Intel, the thermal protection would kick in and it would just stop responding, but should be okay.

Im afraid, short of leaving it for a some time without any source of power as DD says, it sounds like the CPU may be a victim of overheating.

When you get the black screen, but no Windows screen, do you get any normal POST screen before this, ie. the screen that loads when you immediately turn the laptop on, whilst it is performing POST checks?

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#330610 - 17th Jun 2009 6:53pm Re: Lappy "died" [Re: Snodvan]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Originally Posted By: Snodvan
DD

Take a VERY large bow of thanks from me

Option 1 (remove battery for 5 mins) seems to have done the trick

Many, many thanks

Snod

Glad you got it sorted fella, bet your relieved.

LET THIS BE A WARNING TO ALL!!

You BIOS controls the fan, you don't need any additional software to do so, it also controls the CPU speed using EIST or equivalent, you don't need any additional software to do this either.

If you choose to install such software to override the BIOS, you significantly increase the risk of CPU overheating/pumping too many volts/to few volts through the CPU and thus failiure, you have been warned.

smile

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#330615 - 17th Jun 2009 7:01pm Re: Lappy "died" [Re: MattLFC]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Guardian

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 9655
Loc: Birkenhead
Great News Snodvan - I don't know why that works - I tried it out of desparation one time.

What triggers my laptop to go into this faking-death mode is the loose power connector - 99% of the time it just switches between battery and mains, but once in a while it shuts down and locks up.

I would take Matts advice on fan controller software though. I know I can extend the battery life using this stuff (because it changes the speed of the processor - P4M), but if your system goes awol you don't know what is controlling your fans - if anything!

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#330617 - 17th Jun 2009 7:10pm Re: Lappy "died" [Re: MattLFC]
Snodvan Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1253
Loc: Wallasey Village
But I did not use Speedfan to change anything ! It never even loaded on the small Medion machine

Ironically the reason for loading a temperature sensing program was so that I could check out the efficiency (or otherwise) of a laptop cooler platform that I have bought.

The cooler platform is simply a slimline box with 3 USB pwoered fans. The laptop sits on the box (on pillars to give good space between the base of the laptop and the platform). The 3 fans then draw warm air from the lower surface of the laptop and push it out of a slot at the back of the fan box. Bought a couple of them on Ebay at about 6 each - one for me and one for my son's laptop. Seem to work fine - and the temp measuring program was just trying to put some numbers to how well they worked.

I did not intend to use my platform with the small Medion/ AMD because that normally seems to run quite cool (judged by case temperature) but rather with a much bigger Gericom laptop, a 3 gig Pentium 4 job that deffo gets HOT. One of the motherboard sensors shown bt Speedfan is at 105oC but I have no idea (yet) what the sensor temperatures mean. Statements from the program such as "foyund ACPI temp 75oC" do not mean a lot (actually - nothing)

I promise I will be VERY careful NOT to use Speedfan to alter any operating conditions eg fan speed, only to monitor temperatures.

[Note for Matt - when the black screen was showing there were NO POST sounds at all at start up]

Thanks again folks

Snod
_________________________
5 Precepts of Buddhism seem appropriate. Refrain from taking life. Refrain from taking that which is not given. Refrain from misconduct. Refrain from lying. Refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness

Top
#330619 - 17th Jun 2009 7:12pm Re: Lappy "died" [Re: diggingdeeper]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Best way to save battery life, if you can stand it, is by lowering the LCD brightness, the CCFL backlights use the majority (50 - 60%) of power consumed by a moden laptop.

Fortunately my laptop (Core2Duo) has an eco-button on it, which drops the multiplier on the CPU from 11 to 6, negating the need for the EIST, and I always run it, not only does it keep the power usage about 10w lower, but it also keeps it silent. With it being a Core2 on the Merom2M core, even at 1Ghz it is more than powerful enough to run all my programmes etc...

When running on batteries, the CPU speed will be regulated by the BIOS appropriately to meet your demands by dynamically changing the multiplier so it should very rarely waste power (of course it can sometimes).

In relation to the amount of power saved by disabling/lowering the voltage of the fan, compared to the CPU and backlight, it is minscule, the only real benefit is the system performing quieter, but the reason it will be noisy is either the chassis is badly designed (no fix for that) or the chassis and fan need a good cleaning out (I tend to clean mine every 6 months but I use it about 16 hours of each day). If the fan is noisy, it is usually noisy to protect you and your system (unless the fan is whirring etc, which may mean its defective).

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#330620 - 17th Jun 2009 7:14pm Re: Lappy "died" [Re: Snodvan]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Originally Posted By: Snodvan
The cooler platform is simply a slimline box with 3 USB pwoered fans. The laptop sits on the box (on pillars to give good space between the base of the laptop and the platform). The 3 fans then draw warm air from the lower surface of the laptop and push it out of a slot at the back of the fan box. Bought a couple of them on Ebay at about 6 each - one for me and one for my son's laptop. Seem to work fine - and the temp measuring program was just trying to put some numbers to how well they worked.

Ive had one of these about five years ago, from eBay lol, and it was pretty good in all honesty, but not earth-shattering results. The more cooling the better on a warm summers day imho. It's exactly this time of year when laptops do tend to get noisy and some even overheat lol... I neglected to clean my old laptop last summer when I should have done, and it kept locking up every few hours, randomly. When I eventually cleaned it, there was a carpet of dust blocking the extractor vents!!!

Gave the entire unit a good spray nd washed through the heatsing and heat pipes etc, and it was all silent again with no lock-ups - im lucky it was an Intel, or the consequences could have been much worse!

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#330629 - 17th Jun 2009 7:46pm Re: Lappy "died" [Re: MattLFC]
Snodvan Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1253
Loc: Wallasey Village
Matty

I do not worry about battery life - the battery in the small lappy is knackered anyway (will run the machine for maybe 15 mins) and at home I am on mains most of the time.

However, I do have a NEW battery which I put in the machine every month run to flat then recharge - take it out and put the old battery back. That way I have a "good" battery for when I need to take the laptop with me travelling or on business and cannot always rely on finding a power source.

Snod
_________________________
5 Precepts of Buddhism seem appropriate. Refrain from taking life. Refrain from taking that which is not given. Refrain from misconduct. Refrain from lying. Refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness

Top
#330630 - 17th Jun 2009 7:53pm Re: Lappy "died" [Re: Snodvan]
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Thats the ideal thing to do Snod, keep one battery good, another good idea for mobile use, is an inverter. I take my ultra portable with me when im travelling, and because the battery is only of tiny capacity (2200mAh) it only lasts for arouns 2hr 30 or so, so its handy for me to have the inverter to plug it in.

I have a 600w but a 100w inverter should be ample for a laptop and they are pretty cheap nowadays, far cheaper than a 12v laptop charger anyway, and of course can offer more use.

I don't carry it so much anymore as I have an HTC Universal to replace it (pocket laptop/phone) but if im venturing out of Wirral I will carry it.

smile

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