curious laptop behaviour

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Hi, I have a PC laptop that did something weird that has me worried.
the otherday i went to power it up and the fans started turning and
the cdrom span but the screen did not light up and the HD did not
access. I rebooted it several times from various power outlets with
the same effect. After taking it to compusa and being told it wouldnt
be worth it to fix. I went back home and kept trying to boot it.
nothing. Then I thought, maybe it had something to do with the video
card or the display itself. So I plugged a monitor in to the VGA port
on the laptop and powered up. The computer booted like nothing was
wrong. I am dumbfounded. Anyone have a clue as to what happened? Did
the monitor actually aid my motherboard in booting up?? I am very
dependant upon this machine as it carries my music programs and I have
a gig in 2 weeks. Im weary of even turning it off at this point. any
insight would be appreciated.


Re: curious laptop behaviour

On Jun 29, 11:01 pm, wrote:
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If it was just a dead screen, you should have heard hard drive noises.
And anyway, you say the screen now works.

If it is a dead/dying hard drive, you should have at least got the

You are left with a handful of possiblilites: marginal power brick,
something came unseated (like the RAM), a bad motherboard, or
partially broken dc jack. Alternately it could be a failure of the
RAM. Or enen a defective battery.

You can test the dc jack by inserting a pen into it and trying to
wiggle it (gently), if wobbles, it's bad. You can test the poorly
seated RAM theory by pulling it out and reinserting it.

The economics of repair is subjective. Decide how much preserving your
setup is worth to you, vs how much is a new laptop. I sense you have a
lot invested in your machine.

If you insist on doing a repair (not with compusa), and tell the shop
that you know the economics of the situation, any the machine is worth
saving, to you. They undoubtedly will repair it for you.

But first, try the simple stuff, as everything on the list, except the
motherboard replacement (or actually fixing the dc jack), even a
novice can handle. The process involves swapping suspected bad
components for known good ones. If you have a friend with the same
laptop, you might ask to borrow the power brick. The computer will
boot without a battery, and ram isn't that expensive. You should come
out ahead on parts cost, as the labor is the big killer in repair

It would also be helpful if you gave us the make and model of the
machine, so we can point you to compatible spares.

Re: curious laptop behaviour

thanks for all the input. Im wondering if the power brick has
something to do with it. sometimes the light pn the brick flickers
when i plug it into the computer. and the computer wont start up. i
have to keep replugging until the light burns solid. the dc jack
doesnt seem to wobble. My battery holds almost no charge but does have
a little bit and I did try to boot off the battery but i got the same
problem. I dont know if that eliminates the power brick as the problem
or not.
I havent checked on the RAM yet as I dont have a screwdriver small
enough to open it up. The computer was made by a company called
hugebee. I couldnt tell you the model though. it was a barebones
system. Im wondering if its worth replacing the battery at $170 if the
computer is on its last legs. If it cost several hundred to repair the
machine, I might be better off investing in a new one.

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Re: curious laptop behaviour

On Jun 30, 9:14 am, wrote:
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Re: curious laptop behaviour

On Jun 30, 9:14 am, wrote:
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Sorry for blank post. Itchy clicker finger.

Never heard of hugebee, but a quick search turned up mostly
dissatisfied customers. is "for sale," some mention of
parts on ebay.

Anyway, it does sound like a power problem. There are only a couple
reasons the green light will go out when plugged in.

1) Grossly mismatched to the laptop (underpowered)

2) A short on the laptop, drawing too much current. A loose screw or
metal bit will do that, pick it up and shake it, and listen for a
rattle. Gently. Of course, so will a defective motherboard.

3) A dead brick.

Given the same symptoms with  battery. we can probably eliminate 1 and
Given that the battery is almost dead, it's not a certianty, though.
It cannot hurt to try a spare brick.

"off brand" laptops typically use 19v, 3.16a, but that's not exactly a
rule. The underside of the laptop should have a sticker, telling you
what's proper. Bring the laptop in to the local radio shack, or
equivlent, and see if you can get a universal brick.

Re: curious laptop behaviour


Ive actually been very satisfied with my laptop it has held strong for
over 4 years now. This is the first problem of anykind.

I do have a gateway brick that supplies 19 v and 4.74a just like the
one im currently using. would you say it would be safe to try it?

Re: curious laptop behaviour

On Jun 30, 2:49 pm, wrote:
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As long as the plug fits, no problem. If it doesn't fit don't force

Re: curious laptop behaviour wrote:
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Hi Dave,

You've probably already thought of this . . . but on my HP
dv8000z, I have had the laptop get confused and think that
the external display was the primary display. All I had to
do with a monitor hooked up was go into display properties
and set the LCD as the default again. I have had the laptop
to this to me a handful of times. In each case is was after
watching a movie on my big-screen monitor.

Ciao . . . C.Joseph

    "A promise is nothing more than an attempt,
     to respond to an unreasonable request." /
  (A Windows professional's view of entering the Linux world)

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