laptop problem - please help

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Can anybody tell me what's wrong with my laptop computer, and what I need to
do to fix it?

I bought it about four years ago.  The battery stopped charging a while ago,
but I didn't worry about it because the computer still worked fine with the
A/C plug-in.  But then later the computer started freezing up.  Sometimes
the screen would go balnk and it wouldn't turn off even after holding the
power button down for a while, and the only way to turn it off was to unplug
it.  Then it started happening more frequently, until either the screen
would blank or it would shut off within a couple of minutes of turning it on
every time.

Is there a way to fix this that's cheaper than getting another laptop?

Also, it is possible to access the hard drive from another computer via a
cable without the laptop being booted or on?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!!

Steven J. MacInbaney
Professional mime assassin.

Re: laptop problem - please help

The easiest solution to your problem  is to show your unit to a
competent laptop .technician.
It will tell you if its worth repairing. or   you really needs to get a
new one.

Steve #92525 wrote:
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Re: laptop problem - please help

Steve #92525 wrote:

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Most likely if the freeze ups have increased in their frequency over time
you have an overheating problem.  Here's what to do first.  Get yourself
one of those cans of air (available at Staples, WalMart, CompUSA, etc) and
be sure its one with one of those L-O-N-G hollow nozzles that plug into the

Then find the vent slots on your laptop which are usually along the side(s)
or back.  Insert the long nozzle as far in as you can and start the air
blowing.  While doing so, slowly pull the nozzle out.  Do this for all the
regions that the various vents cover.

The CPU on the motherboard requires cooling and the headsink and fan are
probably caked with dust.  The blowing will hopefully dislodge most of it
and blow it out.  While you're at it, try blowing out any other area you
can find.

You also didn't mention the make and model of your laptop because some
readers might be more familiar and can provide more specific details.

Most likely this will at least reduce the amount of freeze ups you
experience.   Please let us know how you make out.


Re: laptop problem - please help

Good advice on cleaning out the unit.  And to your question about the hard
drive:  yes, you can remove the hard drive; and get a cable that will allow
you to connect your hard drive thru a usb port to a 2nd computer.  Do it all
the time, and keep the cable with me.... although can't say why.  dr
--  // (not better than you
deserve, just more than you're used to)  // (for new
lines of wireless service; all carriers; the phones are almost always a

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Re: laptop problem - please help

Air might work but having used laptops for 3 years while in school, the heat
may have baked your hard drive. This is why you always back up important
data, no matter how new your computer is. Cd/dvd writers are around for a

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Re: laptop problem - please help

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It is my understanding that these are not considered the best
long-term, archival media. For that, I think actual hard-drives are
considered best. (External, removable, in other computers, etc.)
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Re: laptop problem - please help

I think you are incorrect on the reliability of optical drive media compared
to magnetic media. The optical media (CD/DVD) have an expected shelf life of
100 years whereas the magnetic media (HDD,Tape, Floppy) only have a shelf
life of 20 years. The magnetic media are also more susseptable to heat and
shock than the optical, as well as being erased by any type of magnetic

Re: laptop problem - please help

Regarding backup and use of hard drives, well, first, there is the
matter of cost.  A hard drive costs perhaps $100.  A blank DVD costs
maybe 15 cents, or maybe $3 per 100 gigabytes.  As to reliability, a
properly burned DVD (one-time DVD, not rewriteable) has an expected life
of many decades to two or three centuries.  That's at least as good as
the expected life of magnetic media (floppy disks, tape), but when you
talk about a hard drive, you have to also take into account the
mechanism and electronics.  The DVD is probably higher reliability.

[the "properly burned" part is important ... a bad burner can underburn
the media and the data may "fade" [overburning is possible but both less
common and less likely to produce a problem that isn't seen
immediately].  Optical CD/DVD media is a lot like photographic film,
there is a range of correct "exposure", and a bad drive can be outside
that range (when this happens, the laser beam is almost always below
expected power output).  But people with problem drives tend to find
that out fairly quickly, they have problems reading the discs that they
have recently written.

Inquirer wrote:

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Most Reliable Back-Up Media (was Re: laptop problem - please help)

On Tue, 12 Sep 2006 23:52:44 -0400, Barry Watzman

Thanks for all this info., seems I formed an inaccurate impression. (I
was careful to write, "It is my understanding..." )

Just a few questions on the following:
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1. Is there any advantage to DVD over CD when high-end graphics is not
an issue?

2. Which brands of blank CDs/DVDs are considered the best quality?
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Re: Most Reliable Back-Up Media (was Re: laptop problem - please help)

Fuji is considered the best. Whether you use dvd or cd depends on how much
data you have to burn

Love and Teach, Not Yell and Beat
Stop Violence and Child Abuse.
Friends don't turn friends on to drugs.
The path often thought about and sometimes chosen by abused children as
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Games I'm Playing- Falcon 4, SP:WAW

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Re: Most Reliable Back-Up Media (was Re: laptop problem - please help)

RE: "1. Is there any advantage to DVD over CD when high-end graphics is
not an issue? "

Yes, of course, size.  I have many folders that won't even fit on a
single DVD, some that won't even fit on a DL (dual layer, 9 gigabyte)
DVD.  You really want me to use 15+ CDs to back that up?

By the way, "DVD" has NOTHING to do with either video or graphics.  A
DVD is just a large capacity optical media.  CD = 650MB, DVD = 4,700MB,
DL DVD = 9,000MB).

I've had extremely good luck with an "off brand" DVD-R media made by
K-Hypermedia (sold by OfficeMax and at times by other retailers).  In
the name brands, Verbatim is considered one of the top brands,
especially for the DL type media (which is, however, very expensive and
I'm not sold on the long-term reliability of DL).

Inquirer wrote:

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Re: laptop problem - please help

Barry Watzman wrote:
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I hope you have some very good source study material to back that up.
ALL the independent government- and museum-funded studies I have read
suggest that writable optical media have a widely variable survival
life, anticipated MTTF not more than a few years at most, and are
utterly unsuitable for long-term data backup.

The lifespan of these phthalate dyes is also severely affected by
exposure to light and/or "extreme" temperatures (by "extreme" I mean

If you keep your DVD media in an airconditioned safe, you *might* still
be able to read them with a properly functioning drive in 30 years.

However, in 30 years' time there will be nothing on the market that can
read those disks, so you had better put a drive in that safe as well,
and a computer capable of using that drive (since no storage device
interface presently in existence will be standard in 30 years time).

Re: laptop problem - please help wrote:
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Oh what a load of crap! I worked for Philips when CDs where first being
developed. This is like 25 years ago. And what nobody knows, but the
first CDs (before sold to the public) where two pieces of glass with a
thin layer of metal between the two and glued together. We figured they
would have a life of 50 years at the time. Later we figured that we
didn't really need the top layer of glass. Just coat it with something
to prevent damage to the thin metal layer.

Glass CDs were very cool. They didn't scratch as easy as plastic, etc.
The bad news is when you dropped one, they braek like a glass cup. Oh
well. Someone got the great idea of making them out of plastic. Thus the
modern plastic CD/DVD where born.

And the only thing that hurts them, are oxidation (exposed to oxygent)
and scratches. And we are pretty sure with a little care, they will last
100 years or more. No fancy enviroment or anything. If you want them to
last thousands of years, a vacuum chamber should do the trick. I don't
know the effects and tempature has, as I never seen this to be a problem


Re: laptop problem - please help

BillW50 wrote:

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You are talking about FACTORY PRESSED CDs. As you state, the most
likely source of degradation of FACTORY PRESSED CDs [not counting
trauma such as scratches] is oxidation of the aluminium reflector layer
- which happens from the edges inwards. This is worse on larger media,
since flexing helps the layers delaminate - which, incidentally, is one
of the reasons why old LDs are so prone to rot.

I am talking about WRITABLE OPTICAL MEDIA (see above), which suffer the
same oxidation problem unless the reflector is gold. However the
life-limiting factor for these media is the dye used in the data layer.
These dyes are all more or less light sensitive (the older dyes very
much so) and heat-sensitive. Long-term backups are not safe on such

A representative article, by the way:


Re: laptop problem - please help

You are correct about the differences between pressed and burned CDs.

But the PC World article that you cite is based [indirectly] on the work
of a single individual whose views are simply not highly regarded by the
industry.  There is no total, irrefutable consensus on this matter
throughout the entire industry, but there is a very broad consensus the
the life is many decades to perhaps 2 or 3 centuries.  I summarized much
of the available information on this subject in a piece that I authored
for C|Net.  That piece can be found here:

The industry consensus continues to be quite a few decades to a century
or two.  And at this point, many, many of us have recordable CD-R media
that is already more than a decade old (recorded in 1995-1996)and which
shows no sign of deteriorating.  Granted that some media will
deteriorate, but some (perhaps much) media is junk qualtiy to begin
with, some burners are marginally defective (low laser power that
incompletely burns the media) and some users abuse and improperly store
their discs.  You have to base an expected media life around good
quality media, burned on an up-to-spec burner, and properly stored. wrote:

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Re: laptop problem - please help

Barry Watzman wrote:
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It wasn't a good reference, but it was in the first few results that
came up in a quick casual search.

I've read several objective [sounding] pieces written by media
librarians, and in one case NIST, that cite comparable lifespans for
writable optical media. My interest was ensuring to a client that I
could provide him with backup copies after 25 years. (I got this term
written out of the contract. I don't believe it's possible to guarantee
it without significant risk).

I believe, actually, that film is a better backup medium - but lower

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