Dead laptop - CMOS problem?

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Hello all, before I attempt to take apart my laptop, I'd appreciate
some feedback on my problem. It's a Tiny (rebranded Mitac 8375 from
what I can figure out) laptop about 2 years old - Tiny having gone bust
for the second time, but immaterial anyway as I'm living in Nepal so am
about as qualified as anyone else here to fiddle with it! Had been
having a few problems recently with powering it on if I had to hold the
power button down to switch it off (in some circumstances) - it
wouldn't power on again unless I would take out the main battery and
put it in again. Didn't think much of it as it was an easy workaround
and only happened occasionally.

Main problem started last week after I had put in a new main battery
(old one was only lasting 20-30 mins) - it charged up fine and I
powered off for the night. Next day wouldn't boot - hanging during or
even before POST - only way to power off was 5s on power button, main
battery out, main battery in - made no difference whether I used old or
new battery. On one of the few times it booted up, I used the Tiny
rescue cd to restore the HD to its original state, ran checks on HD and
also memtest on RAM which seemed fine. Now it won't boot at all - just
a blank screen and keyboard seems unresponsive - caps lock/num lock
don't do anything, although if you put a cd in, the led comes on for a

I'm thinking it's a power problem of some sort (main battery charges
fine and power led is ok, and it runs fine off either DC/AC inasmuch as
you can call displaying a black screen running), or maybe something to
do with the CMOS battery - I've taken out/replaced RAM and HD before,
but not the whole chassis so I'm a bit nervous about that. Could it be
overheating - temp is mid 30's here - although it still doesn't work
after being off all night. Or maybe it just needs a good clean - the
fan had been making a racket about 6 months ago, but then went "quiet"
again. Any ideas gratefully received.


Re: Dead laptop - CMOS problem?

CMOS is not likely.  While some systems (both laptop and desktop) won't
turn on without a CMOS battery (or with a bad one), the usual symptom is
just that .... they won't turn on (AT ALL).

Frankly, heat problems are also unlikely.  While heat causes a lot of
system instability problems, it's just about impossible for a system
that has been off overnight to have heat problems so quickly that it
won't boot, unless someone has tampered with the heatsink mounting to
the CPU.  So I'd rule that out also.

Unfortunately, this leaves you with what I think is the most likely
cause, a bad motherboard (although I'd want to try another hard drive
before giving up).  And a bad motherboard, in your situation, is a just
about insurmountable problem.  [Yes, you could have a bad internal power
supply as well, but while a power supply would be cheaper than a
motherboard, if it even is a separate component and IF THEY WERE
AVAILABLE, in your situation they are probably equally unobtainium, not
to mention that on most laptops, the switching power supply is on the
motherboard and not separate anyway.

adrianwb wrote:
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