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IBM Laptop freezes when moved

Posted on 2004-10-26
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
I have an IBM T23.  Whenever I even slightly move it, even carrying it sideways and not jarring it, it freezes up.  I have changed the memory.  I have ran numerous diagnostic checks including PC doctor for IBMs.  I have reformatted the hard drive and reloaded the OS (windows XP).  I have upgraded firmware on my Cisco Aironet 350.  I have tried removing the PCMCIA network card.  I have tried using a different battery.  I have tried no battery at all and just the power cord.  All this with no luck.  I am considering changing the hard drive, but at that price, I thought I would check the Experts Exchange before doing so.

Please help.  I really like this IBM laptop and really would hate to have to buy another one.
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Question by:dmkoyano
    10 Comments
     
    LVL 9

    Expert Comment

    by:ChrisSchumann
    Download your Hardware Maintenance Manual here: ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/pc/pccbbs/mobiles_pdf/62p9631.pdf

    Remove all your peripherals and extra memory and use the HMM to re-seat everything: remove your hard drive and ensure it's installed snugly; remove the keyboard and re-attach it; re-seat the connection for the lid closure switch; and anything else you can think of. Any intermittent connection like that can confuse the machine.

    And make sure there are no lose chunks of debris in the case while you're in there.

    If that doesn't help, use the HMM's intermittent problem troubleshooter.

    Try testing with no hard drive or optical drive or added memory.

    Download PC Doctor for that machine here: http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/document.do?lndocid=MIGR-4YZM3F

    Use that to test all your subsystems with no drives, added RAM or battery. If that doesn't hang, add back parts one by one. If it does hang....

    The troubleshooter will recommend parts to replace, in order, and the system board would be on the top of my list.

    Also, be sure you have a power supply that's large enough for your machine, and that it's not overheating by blowing out the CPU fan and ensuring it's turning when it needs to.
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    LVL 31

    Expert Comment

    by:rid
    This is going to be a bit diffuse, but anyway:

    1) I don't think this is a software issue. If you think it is, try booting the machine to a completely diffrent O/S (like using a knoppix CD) and see if the problem persists.

    2) I've had a similar problem on a Dell machine. Unfortunately I still don't really trust this unit, but it became much better after I took the thing apart and removed/re-seated all removable components I could find. Perhaps it was a bad connection somewhere... modern laptopps tend to be a bit flexible (metal shell models may be better) and any kind of joint may become disturbed by movement and cause problems after some time.

    3) It may be a good idea to check the PCMCIA slot for dust or other foreign matter.
    /RID
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    Expert Comment

    by:rid
    OK, when I started to type, the thread was emtpt. Sorry if I seem to repeat some things already said.... :)
    /RID
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    LVL 9

    Expert Comment

    by:ChrisSchumann
    That's happened to me too, rid. We all just want the asker to get the issue resolved, so we can all learn the answer.
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    LVL 31

    Expert Comment

    by:rid
    Well put!
    /RID
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    Author Comment

    by:dmkoyano
    Thanks for all your tips.  I will crack my laptop open tonight and try some of these suggestions and report back.  I will try running PC Doctor again.  The last time I ran it, it found nothing.  
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    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    by:joe_aqs
    Try putting a little pressure on the RAM socket. The Thinkpad DIMM socket lead solder welds to the motherboard could be better.

    Or try leaving only one RAM stick installed and try each RAM socket alone to see if the problem goes away.  

    Joe K
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    LVL 9

    Expert Comment

    by:ChrisSchumann
    Yes the T series models have had problems with DIMM sockets coming loose.

    Have any of these ideas helped you narrow your search?
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    Author Comment

    by:dmkoyano
    Thank you all for your suggestions.  Here is what I have found so far...

    1)  I took the laptop apart and re-seated everything after it got to a point where it wouldn't even boot.
    2)  I ran all diagnostics on PC Doctor numerous times and it could not find anything.
    3)  Cleaned the inside of dust of debris.

    Currently, here is the state of the laptop.

    I can boot the computer and it runs fine if I leave it on the desk and do not move it.  Sleep mode (closing the cover) does not allow the PC to awaken after I open the lid again.  If I shut down the computer and move it, when I try to boot it up again later, I power it on and it sounds like it appears to try to boot up but just hangs (black screen).  It makes a clicking noise just before it stops in the boot process but it doesn't sound like it is coming from the hard drive, which is weird.  I could be wrong.  Once this happens, the only thing I can do to get it to boot again is to remove the power cord and battery and remove and replace the RAM.  I am assuming there may be something wrong with the sockets and may have to look into replacing it but am not absolutely sure.  Before, I was able to just remove the power supply and battery and it would boot up after that.  This problem appears to be getting worst and am starting to consider just buying another laptop.
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    LVL 9

    Accepted Solution

    by:
    Make sure your machine is out of warranty. The first T23's were introduced in July 2001 and all had a three year warranty, so they are just coming off warranty, so yours just might be covered.

    Check IBM's site here: http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/warranty/warranty.vm

    Click Detect and Continue if using your T23, or enter the type and serial number from the bottom. It will tell you when the warranty expires.

    If it's not, you can get a used motherboard from eBay for about $125, or new for about $215. If you're not comfortable changing parts, you might consider buying another T23, swapping hard drives, then selling your machine with the problem either in a package or in parts to get some money out of it.

    You could also try a local computer repair shop. Get references.
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