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Old 11-01-2008, 01:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Perplexing lappy problem

OK, from the top.

This is a laptop problem. I am working on a Dell Inspirion B120 for a coworker. It's his wife's laptop, but he thinks her son did something to it.

The problem is it will not launch the OS, Windows XP Home. The laptop will POST, and then show a black screen. No sounds, no images. The hard drive light stays on but I can't tell if it is spinning up or not.

I have already went through the BIOS and made sure everything is showing up. I have went through the diagnostics in the BIOS and it then launched the diagnostics partition. I went through the tests (all of them, each test) and it passed. I have went through the section for the OS not booting and it passed each of those test.

I have pulled the hard drive and reseated it, but to no effect. I have also pulled the RAM and reseated it, nada.

I just tried booting from a Windows disk. I got the "hit a key to boot from CD..." but when I hit a key the screen went blank and stayed that way. It's like it can display from the BIOS, but loses its signal after that, if that makes sense.This model does not have a graphics card, but rather onboard graphics. The display works for the tests and for the BIOS.

Anyway, there's the run down. I am open to suggestions.
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Old 11-01-2008, 02:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Perplexing lappy problem

If the hard drive led stays lit then it could the drive is bad. Can you tell if it is spinning up at all?
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Old 11-01-2008, 08:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Perplexing lappy problem

The hard drive spins up, I can hear the head at least try to move.

My first suspicion was the hard drive, too, but after it passed all the diagnostic tests I am beginning to doubt it. It did boot from the diagnostic partition on the disk, after all.
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Old 11-01-2008, 08:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Perplexing lappy problem

I know I always say this but have you got an other bootable media you can tyr like a live cd of some sort?
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Old 11-01-2008, 09:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Perplexing lappy problem

OK, flipping weird.

It couldn't boot from my Ubuntu disk (64 bit), but it showed up on the screen. It did, however, boot up from my Knoppix disk, and booted up just fine... so fine I was worried it had installed it on the drive.

But it wouldn't boot from the Windows CD... :s I just tried using the Windows disk again. The last thing that showed on the screen is the message about inspecting your hardware configuration, then nothing. I know the Windows disk is good, as I used it for my own computer.

I am more than a bit confused over this thing right now...
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Old 11-01-2008, 11:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Perplexing lappy problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trotter View Post
OK, flipping weird.

It couldn't boot from my Ubuntu disk (64 bit), but it showed up on the screen. It did, however, boot up from my Knoppix disk, and booted up just fine... so fine I was worried it had installed it on the drive.

But it wouldn't boot from the Windows CD... :s I just tried using the Windows disk again. The last thing that showed on the screen is the message about inspecting your hardware configuration, then nothing. I know the Windows disk is good, as I used it for my own computer.

I am more than a bit confused over this thing right now...
Could have been a fluke. Try to install that again. IMO it is a bad hard drive. I've had disks spin and i could even hear it thinking but in the end the drive was bad.

As Kurrent said if the drive light is on constantly or not at all it would lead me to believe it is the hard drive. Do you have the ability to try another laptop drive?
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Old 11-01-2008, 11:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Perplexing lappy problem

Nope, the only other laptop drive in in my wife's lappy... and I ain't going there.

I would guess that the drive is dead, then. I'll give the guy a call and let him order one.
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Old 11-01-2008, 12:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Perplexing lappy problem

If you have a USB converter you could connect the 2.5'' to a desktop or another laptop to run some utilities on the drive itself. If anything to at least pull data off of it.
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Old 11-01-2008, 01:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Perplexing lappy problem

If I were industrious I could dig my comp out from under my desktop and put the drive in as a slave... but I'm not feeling industrious today.

The guy said he would go ahead and order a new drive and have me install it. $60 for an 80 gig, $80 for a 250.
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Old 11-01-2008, 01:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Perplexing lappy problem

Well there ya go. That is almost guaranteed to fix the issue. I'm sure with a few hours of work you MAY have gotten the drive to work, but IMO it wouldn't have been worth the effort.
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