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#246052 - 6th Aug 2008 9:13pm Laptop problem - maybe death!
Snodvan Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1257
Loc: Wallasey Village
Looks like a bad problem with my laptop

Machine = Gericom Smartpower. Pentium 4, 3 gig processor etc with Windows XP

The machine is about 4 years old. Apart from being low on RAM (512) very heavy for a laptop (4 kg with the power supply) it works fine - until recently

First sympton was a "blue screen" saying a serious fault had developed and Windows had been shut down to protect etc etc. Suggestion was to try starting again normally if this had not happened before. It had not happened before so I restarted - and all SEEMED well. Internet was there and all the programs ran ok so I just carried on for 15-20 mins

. . . until it told me it was about to hibernate. That is a symptom of the battery being low so it should not have done that because I THOUGHT I was on mains power. However a quick look at the power pack showed - no green "on" light.

Strange - has the fuse gone? NO, checked with a meter and 240 v into the power pack and the expected 20 v out. However, if I UNPLUGGED the powerpack from the computer the green on the power pack light came back on. Plug it back in the computer and the light went out

Also - the power pack was almost cold. Normally it runs quite hot.

I'm confused.

Anyway, eventually the battery was so low the computer just switched off.

My diagnosis:
Duff power supply despite the measured 20V output? I can get a replacement for that easy enough albeit for 40

Something more "terminal" in the machine? Maybe, BUT it did run fine until the battery gave out.

Any ideas gratefully received

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

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#246078 - 6th Aug 2008 11:02pm Re: Laptop problem - maybe death! [Re: Snodvan]
_Ste_ Offline


Wiki Master

Registered: 7th Aug 2005
Posts: 15987
Loc: New Brighton
Hi snod, have you cleaned the ventilation fans/tunnels etc?
Does sound like the power supply but if the ventilation tunnels have been blocked the processor maybe overheating think
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#246084 - 6th Aug 2008 11:11pm Re: Laptop problem - maybe death! [Re: _Ste_]
Davey_Martin Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 17th Jul 2007
Posts: 2888
Loc: New Ferry
i had that with my old soundcard.

the power pack light turned off when i plugged the usb cable for it into all of my comps so im assuming it was the powerpack, altho it could have been the card...

do u know anywhere that would let u try another powerpack the same as the one u need just to eliminate one way or the other?

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#246120 - 7th Aug 2008 12:09am Re: Laptop problem - maybe death! [Re: Davey_Martin]
Mark Online   Reading


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Registered: 9th Nov 2003
Posts: 21027
Loc: Wirral
Humm
Power pack or Motherboard ??

Other than that its a guessing game.
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#246122 - 7th Aug 2008 12:15am Re: Laptop problem - maybe death! [Re: Davey_Martin]
Pomp Offline

Forum Veteran

Registered: 19th Aug 2005
Posts: 5253
Loc: Wirral
unplug the powerpack and battery an then push and hold the power on button for a few seconds then stick the battery in an see if that works? I've not had the thing with the powerpack and the lights but i've had it were i tried to turn the pc on and it wouldn't turn on and i took everything off an push an hold the power button for a few seconds an then tried again an all seemed well.

If that don't work then try what davey martin has suggested

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#246275 - 7th Aug 2008 10:03pm Re: Laptop problem - maybe death! [Re: Pomp]
Snodvan Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1257
Loc: Wallasey Village
First thing I did after checking the power pack really did have mains power was to remove the base cover and check that the fan was turning ok and free from dust etc - it was.

Another source of a power pack - I wish, I wish. That would be the logical next step I suppose. SOMEONE must have one. Aldi sold a lot of these laptops back in Feb/ March 2004

Pomp. I will try your technique tomorrow (bit later now). If the power pack and battery are disconnected I cant really see what pushing and holding the power button will do. I guess it will try to "do" something via the motherboard battery (which I will change tomorrow anyway just to eliminate that as a possible source of a problem).

I'll let you know what happens.

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

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#246351 - 8th Aug 2008 1:27am Re: Laptop problem - maybe death! [Re: Snodvan]
benjim Offline
Beginner

Registered: 8th Aug 2008
Posts: 3
Loc: Bebington/Rock Ferry
could be a few things, ram could be playing up, but the more than likely one oevrheating issue, try getting a new fan installed in the laptop, if not ork get bk 2 me

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#246359 - 8th Aug 2008 9:10am Re: Laptop problem - maybe death! [Re: benjim]
Snodvan Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1257
Loc: Wallasey Village
No joy following the advice from Pomp

There is now no life at all in the main battey so I cannot now recheck the fan operation BUT I know it was turning fine while I was using it on battery when the fault first occured and for the 15- 20 mins until it shut down because the battery was flat. I had the base off the machine and physically checked the fan was turning as well as listening to the noise - it is not the quietest of machines (understatement)

An alternative mains supply would be ideal but that is 20v at 6 amps (yes, takes a lot of power) and that is not the easiest supply to arrange. The alternative I suppose would be some proper check of the existing power supply. It does measure 20 and a tiddy bit volts output but whether it is delivering the required current I do not know. Somehow I doubt it because (as stated initially) the power pack was almost cold when I first noticed the problem and yet the machine was supposed to be running on the power pack. Normally the power pack is (putting it mildly) "quite hot".

Snod


Edited by Snodvan (8th Aug 2008 9:13am)
Edit Reason: typo
_________________________
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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#246361 - 8th Aug 2008 9:28am Re: Laptop problem - maybe death! [Re: Snodvan]
SoundLad Offline

Are you SoNutz?
Forum Master

Registered: 22nd Aug 2007
Posts: 2987
Loc: Birkenhead, United Kingdom
Hey snod.. right one thing to try i know it'l sound stupid and you might of already tried it.. Well take the battery out and leave it out of the laptop. Plus the power supply into the laptop and jiggle the wire around to see if its a wire issue to the power supply if nothing happens then it may as well be the power supply if things work it'l be the battery.. If none of the above works then the possibiilty of the power supply being dead is possible... If you need to try the laptop out i have a power supply here which can rule out the laptop being broken yes i know manfactures say use there power supplys cause there tested and checked but to Check to see if the laptop is working fine i could try this power supply here if you so wish its entirley up to you smile
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#246411 - 8th Aug 2008 10:04pm Re: Laptop problem - maybe death! [Re: SoundLad]
Snodvan Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1257
Loc: Wallasey Village
Lee

I tried as you suggested but with no luck.

Since there is no hurry for a repair test option so far is to take it to a couple of "computer mend it men" I know and let them have a look. They do that for free so nothing to lose. If they both independently agree on the cause - well that will be a start and I can consider the repair cost options.

If it is diagnosed as the power pack I have found those for as low as 15 on Ebay (genuine item, not a copt) and that is not too bad.

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

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#246412 - 8th Aug 2008 10:13pm Re: Laptop problem - maybe death! [Re: Snodvan]
SoundLad Offline

Are you SoNutz?
Forum Master

Registered: 22nd Aug 2007
Posts: 2987
Loc: Birkenhead, United Kingdom
Ahh okie dokie mate happy hope things go alright with it..

laugh
_________________________
Lee Mills


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#246487 - 9th Aug 2008 1:31am Re: Laptop problem - maybe death! [Re: SoundLad]
_Ste_ Offline


Wiki Master

Registered: 7th Aug 2005
Posts: 15987
Loc: New Brighton
good luck smile
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#246529 - 9th Aug 2008 2:21am Re: Laptop problem - maybe death! [Re: _Ste_]
jason24v6
Unregistered


Laptop problem :r:fook me i have five fooked takes the piss

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#246535 - 9th Aug 2008 2:29am Re: Laptop problem - maybe death! [Re: ]
_Ste_ Offline


Wiki Master

Registered: 7th Aug 2005
Posts: 15987
Loc: New Brighton
lol laugh
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#256354 - 11th Sep 2008 12:37am Re: Laptop problem - maybe death! [Re: _Ste_]
Snodvan Offline

Forum Addict

Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1257
Loc: Wallasey Village
Computers - aaaaagggggghhhh!!!!

OK, back to the story of my "big" Gericom laptop which had apparently died.

Was it the motherboard or was it the power pack - that was the question?

I had the laptop all packed up ready to send off for a repair when by chance I was vsisting a friend and found he had almost the same machine and importantly the same power pack

Today I took the parcelled up laptop to my friends place and

a. Plugged MY Powerpack into his laptop. It worked. So looked like my power pack was OK

b. Then I put his powerpack into my laptop - and ****er me it worked. My laptop started to charge the battery etc

Humm, confusing. You JUST KNOW what is coming next

c. I plugged my power pack into my laptop - and the ***** thing has worked perfectly ever since !!!!!! Been on for maybe 8 hours now with several restarts etc

Well, that saved 100+ for the repair but WHY WHY WHY would step c. NOT work a month ago???

Confused etc

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

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