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Is My Laptop Terminally Dead?


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#1
howlleo

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Possibly relevant facts:
1. I rarely turn my laptop off; I tend to hibernate it.
2. Around 5 months ago I began toting it around frequently in my backpack
3. I have an Inspiron 1150 running XP Pro. It is around 3 years old.

Very Relevant facts:
Monday morning when I turned it on from hibernating, it started up and then suddenly blacked out with a click. There was a bit of stirring underneath (it sounded like it was the optical drive, though, weirdly enough.)

The only LED on the front was the power light.

I reset it and it started up OK and worked fine. I put it into hibernate again at the end of the day.

Today (Tuesday) the same exact thing happened. Again, I reset it and it worked fine. Then I put it into hibernate.

A few hours later I tried to turn it on again. It started up, but this time only got until the "enter password" screen before it blanked out. It did this twice more, and then refused to start up at all.

When I press the power button the fan starts and the power light goes on, but nothing shows on the screen. (The lights are on but nobody is home.)

Is this a hard drive failure? Is there any way to retrieve files at all?
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#2
Neil Jones

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This can also be caused by the battery being dead.
Therefore the first thing to try is does it blank out when running on the mains adaptor?
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#3
howlleo

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It is plugged in when this happens.

This morning I was able to boot it up again and back up all my files. However, it is still intermittently blacking out.

Thanks for your assistance.
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#4
howlleo

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OK - I've been asking around.

One person suggested a dying motherboard.
Said it sounded like what happened to his computer recently.

Another said that it was likely a virus. (Something has been corrupting my malware scanners recently - or anyway, I can't seem to download new definitions.)
Suggested reformatting and reinstalling windows.
Can a virus attack before windows starts?

Does either make sense?

Edited by howlleo, 01 August 2007 - 09:13 PM.

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#5
Neil Jones

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Most likely a mainboard or power supply issue. If mainboard problem, the laptop is almost certainly a write-off.
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#6
howlleo

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Now when I try to boot up I get:
c000021a {Fatal System Error}
0xC000000510x00000000 0x00000000
The system has been shut down
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#7
Neil Jones

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c000021a, every time I've seen it, is pretty fatal. It means a serious issue with the Windows and/or a dying hard drive or some bad hardware issue.

Apparently you can rescue this situation by pressing F8 constantly on boot-up to get the menu and choose "Last Known Good Configuration", but usually this doesn't work because the issue's too far gone by this point to salvage the installation and its quicker just to wipe it (assuming the rest of the hardware still works).
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#8
howlleo

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Thanks. When you say issue with Windows - does that mean it really could be a virus?

Thanks for your time.
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#9
happyrock

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have you tested your memory yet...
try running memtest 86+
get memtest 86+ here ...this will test your memory...
get the second one down
let it run for at least 2 hours...if you get any errors then the ram is bad and will have to be replaced...no errors after 2 hours...it will run until you press the escape key then its probably good and we can try other things..

the how to is here...


you could also run chkdsk /f/r to try and have the hard drive checked and repaired if possible
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#10
howlleo

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I can't get into Windows any more. :-( Got a error. Tried reinstalling the OS, and it conked out in middle of the operation around 3 times, so I'm guess it's a hardware problem.

Thanks for your assistance, all. I guess it's time to start shopping.
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