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laptop now freezes at bootup

 
 
Nicole
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      04-27-2005, 03:10 PM
I have an acer extensa 391c P133 laptop which performed
flawlessly for many years. About a month ago, while
I was in the middle of a direct cable transfer
between this laptop and my desktop, the laptop
suddenly crashed. The computer has stopped functioning
normally since. The PC generally just freezes up
after a few seconds in the boot up process... both
with Win95/98, MS-DOS and Linux, from the hard drive,
bootup floppies and CD-ROM drive.

In two occasions, last week, I was able to boot it up
twice and the computer surprisingly functioned
normally for up to 15 minutes at a time. In the first
instance, it did in MS-DOS and I could repartition and
format the hard drive, then it gave up again in the
usual fashion and would not boot up, even after about
15 tries. A few days later, it did work briefly again
giving me the time to boot up a Linux installation
CD, create Linux partitions and go into the installation
process for about ten minutes, but then froze up again
after giving a segmentation fault warning and
resumed freezing after a few seconds in the boot up
process each time I started it (I tried at least about
twenty times...)

I would exclude a battery problem, because this behavior
happens both when it is powered by the battery alone and
when I use the external plug-in power supply with no
battery in. Also probably not a faulty RAM problem, since
I tried switching around simms and even tried with a new one
at the local store, with the same results. Perhaps a CPU
problem?

What should I do at this point to make it work?
Please help.

Thanks,
Nicole

 
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Rolf Blom
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      04-27-2005, 03:21 PM
On 2005-04-27 17:10, Nicole wrote:
> I have an acer extensa 391c P133 laptop which performed
> flawlessly for many years.


-snip-

>
> I would exclude a battery problem, because this behavior
> happens both when it is powered by the battery alone and
> when I use the external plug-in power supply with no
> battery in. Also probably not a faulty RAM problem, since
> I tried switching around simms and even tried with a new one
> at the local store, with the same results. Perhaps a CPU
> problem?
>
> What should I do at this point to make it work?
> Please help.
>
> Thanks,
> Nicole
>


Does the cpu fan work?

(Overheating can cause freezing, however strange that sounds.)

/Rolf

 
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Nicole
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      04-28-2005, 02:23 PM
On 2005-04-27, Rolf Blom wrote:

> Does the cpu fan work?
>
> (Overheating can cause freezing, however strange that sounds.)
>
> /Rolf


Actually, there's no CPU fan in an Extensa 391c.

However, is it possible that something broke
down during that last direct cable transfer I
mentioned and this causes some internal over-
heating? As a matter of fact, I noticed that,
before, the laptop's case would warm up only
when the battery was inside and under charge...
Now, if I leave the laptop plugged-in and on
(in the frozen state) for a few hours (even
with no battery connected) the PC's case DOES
heat up...

Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Nicole

 
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Rolf Blom
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      04-28-2005, 03:43 PM
On 2005-04-28 16:23, Nicole wrote:
> On 2005-04-27, Rolf Blom wrote:
>
>
>>Does the cpu fan work?
>>
>>(Overheating can cause freezing, however strange that sounds.)
>>
>>/Rolf

>
>
> Actually, there's no CPU fan in an Extensa 391c.
>
> However, is it possible that something broke
> down during that last direct cable transfer I
> mentioned and this causes some internal over-
> heating? As a matter of fact, I noticed that,
> before, the laptop's case would warm up only
> when the battery was inside and under charge...
> Now, if I leave the laptop plugged-in and on
> (in the frozen state) for a few hours (even
> with no battery connected) the PC's case DOES
> heat up...
>
> Any thoughts?
>
> Thanks,
> Nicole
>


Well, I never had a P133 in a laptop, so maybe you are right, if it's
low powered.

Still, to keep height to a minimum, there's usually a heatpipe cooler
on the cpu that transports the heat to a nearby air vent where a small
case fan would be mounted. The fan would not be on unless the system
heat starts it, but can sometimes malfunction or clog with dust.

One option to isolate faults without taking it apart would be to remove
modular bays/harddisk/cdrom/floppy/pccard devices and see if it's
working without suspected parts, using bios or floppy diagnostics.

If you broke something related to the cable transfer, maybe you could
try disabling the printerport/serial port you used and see if anything
changes. If hardware is damaged, it's not always possible to isolate the
fault, so you may need to contact a service shop.

Since it's an old machine, spare parts may be expensive/unavailable, and
a newer replacement could be a better choice.

/Rolf

 
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Nicole
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      04-29-2005, 04:12 AM
Hi,

I opened up the case and looked into it.
Found the heatpipe you mentioned that goes
from the CPU to the air vent. However, no
fan anywhere to be found... It seems the
extensa relies just on that air vent to cool down
the pipe that goes to the CPU.

I followed the advice you gave, that is, at first
I took out the pcmcia card, hard drive and
floppy (external), leaving just the cdrom inside.
Nothing changed... still same routine.

Last, I disabled the printer/parallel port that
was used for the cable transfer... again, to
no avail.

I have a feeling it's not a matter of the CPU heating up... there must
be something else
going on and causing it.

The computer gets to that point and freezes up, along with the image on
the display screen...

Nicole

 
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