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Old 01-09-2015, 03:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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i was on my laptop this afternoon, and i dozed off for about 15 minutes. when i woke up, the screen saver was running. i tapped the touch pad, to wake it up so i could type something in. but when i tapped the touch pad. the screen went black, and everything died on the spot. my first thought was that maybe the 3+ year old battery died. i am fortunate enough to have a spare, that was charged about a month ago when i had it in and running. so i exchanged batteries, and verified that the charger / power supply was still working. when i press the start button, the power light comes on for about 1/2 of a second, and the battery light for about 1/2 of that amount of time. then they go black again. the screen, fans, and the rest do nothing. and i get this faint little sound that sounds like a 3/4 dead mouse trying to get out of a cage from the hard drive area. just a faint little movement and squeak. i am wondering if the hard drive died. would that cause what i am experiencing? the hard drive was replaced when i bought this laptop used, a little over a year ago. they forgot, or maybe lost, the cover and tray that keeps it securely in place. as a result of that, the drive came out of the computer several times. for whatever reason, it always landed on some sort of cushion. i guess the hardest fall it ever took that i am aware of was about a 2 foot fall onto padded carpet. but that was 9 or 10 months ago, just prior to me getting the tray and cover to hold the drive in place properly. they replaced the drive with a tiny 80gb hard drive. and of course, i have no idea if that was new or used. so that is the history that i know about. does it sound likely that the drive is dead? or am i grasping at straws?
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Old 01-09-2015, 04:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What kind of laptop is this? Name brand and Model?
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Old 01-09-2015, 04:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: death

The HDD being bad shouldn't prevent the computer from booting.

You could try removing the HDD and try booting - it should just give an error about no OS found or something like that. But you should still be able to see your splash screen / attempt to boot even if the HDD was bad.
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Old 01-09-2015, 10:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: death

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The HDD being bad shouldn't prevent the computer from booting.
really, i thought all of the O.S. was stored there, and pulled every time at start up. RAM gets purged every time the computer turns off, so where does the boot information get stored? is there a chip someplace on the mother board where booting info is burned into?
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Old 01-09-2015, 10:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: death

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What kind of laptop is this? Name brand and Model?
Dell Precision
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Old 01-09-2015, 10:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by XWrench3 View Post
really, i thought all of the O.S. was stored there, and pulled every time at start up. RAM gets purged every time the computer turns off, so where does the boot information get stored? is there a chip someplace on the mother board where booting info is burned into?
It should at least be able to boot into BIOS.

Are you able to see the startup splash screen (where it shows the brand name of your computer) at all? The BIOS is stored on a chip on the motherboard.

The HDD only stores the boot info for the OS itself. The OS gets info from the BIOS to be able to boot - both work together. But you can still at least boot up to the BIOS without an HDD.
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Old 01-10-2015, 09:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: death

sometimes. last night it displayed the beginning screen about 3 of 7 tries. the longer of interval between tries made seeing the splash creen chances go up. the first time after letting it sit for 4 or 5 hours, the little what i call a "boot line" made it all the way across the screen before everything just died. it actually gave me a glimmer of hope for the computer. i also did try holding the power button all the way down to see if maybe it had a bad start button. but that made no difference.
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Old 01-10-2015, 11:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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i looked up the oem specs for my laptop, looking specifically at the hard drive. the one that is in there is 7mm thick (since it is not the original, i do not know if that is correct). with a mounting tray. i do not have a good way to measure the inside area where the hard drive sits, to see if a 9.5mm thick hard drive would fit in the opening. and of course, the specs do not say how thick, just the data size and speed. which brings up another question. the oem sizes available were 100gb@7200 rpm, or 120gb@5400. would i be limited to those specs? or will a larger data capacity hard drive work alright in it? i am thinking about something in the 250gb range. i do not want to get crazy, as it will not be my main computer. of course all of this is assuming that the hard drive is the problem. /// is there some kind of boot device i can make and connect via either usb port or sd card input, that will let the computer come up and running despite a bad hard drive if that is the problem? i have no problem removing the hard drive if it will benefit trying to figure out if it is the problem or not.
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Old 01-10-2015, 12:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: death

Removing the HDD is already what I suggested doing and see if you can get into BIOS/Setup .

You can make a Linux LiveCD (such as Ubuntu) and attempt to boot off of it - however if it can't even get passed the splash screen reliably (or stay powered on), then it's not the HDD.

Please try as I suggested previously though and remove the HDD and then try booting. It's possible that it's something else.
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Old 01-10-2015, 01:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: death

Quote:
Removing the HDD is already what I suggested doing and see if you can get into BIOS/Setup
sorry, i missed the part about removing the hard drive. my "pre-teen" daughter has freinds over for a sleep over, and they have the whole house disturbed. it was not until last night until i finally figured out what the draw was for sleep overs. its to behave in a way you would never be able to at home. needless to say, this will be her LAST sleep over.
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