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Laptop power surge

Posted on 2006-06-12
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
I have an IBM T20, 700mhz, 128MB RAM.  I currently have no battery pack for this laptop...I run it plugged into the wall.  

A few days ago, the laptop started power surging.  That is, while booted up and sitting idle for a little while (not a long time though), it would spontaneously power down for a half second and then try to power up.  It was brief enough so that the screen would be all streaked and the computer wouldn't even go through the POST when powering up again.  Since then, it has been happening more frequently.  My guess is that it doesn't matter if the laptop is actually idle or not, but for fear of further destroying the hardware, I am not using it until I resolve the problem.

Okay, so I've Google-searched and queried EE and found the following possibilities (amongst others):

1) "power supply" - for laptops, does this mean the power cord/adapter?  Or does this mean something attached to the motherboard?
2) CPU fan - fairly cheap and easy to replace; I've visually inspected mine and can't tell if it's bad or not.  How do I test this?  It looks a little dirty, but not too bad
3) RAM - does my problem actually sound RAM related?
4) BIOS/software - I can't flash my BIOS unless I buy a battery pack first; I guess I could try running some spyware tools, but I might fry the laptop by running it!

Any other suggestions?

I bought this computer off eBay last year for about $150...don't want to put a lot of $$$ into it, but I'm willing replace the CPU fan or add memory if it will fix the problem.  I've been wanting to upgrade it...add memory, buy a battery pack, etc.  However, if it's a MoBo issue, then all of that would be wasted.

500 points because I'm looking to get this fixed ASAP.

Thanks in advance,

Drew
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Question by:DrewK
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by:jhance
ID: 16884534
Sounds like the power supply is the problem to me.  Laptop supplies usually have very little reserve since they count on the battery acting like a built-in UPS.  So even the smallest power glitch can cause the problems you describe.  Add a battery, even a used one, will help.  
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by:AlexD_Gr
AlexD_Gr earned 100 total points
ID: 16885016
Hi Drew

See if i can help you out

1.) Power supply is indeed the AC adaptor that runs from the wall to your laptop. There is a power circuit on your laptop's board for regulating/controlling the input from the adaptor. If that fails, then it's 99.9% of your problem solved. Had you had a battery in, i would have pointed the finger first to a faulty battery. However, then, the laptop wouldn't boot up as they're usually quite sensitive and, to have something like that break, would essentially mean a new power circuit/laptop as it's integrated onto the mobo.
2.) CPU fan wouldn't give you such power glitches.
3.) You'd have to be pretty unlucky to have a bad RAM chip for your laptop. If your RAM chip dies or starts to fizzle out, it would give you common problems as to what you posted (not POSTing, failing to boot up) but, being a laptop module, it's difficult to check for sure (i.e. replace it with a friend's or something similar). You can try memtest86 when it does POST/boot up. Is it 1 mem chip or 2 ? if it's 2, take one and prograssively, the other out - see which one works, if any work or not. If it's 1 chip, then try finding a similar one to test
4.)BIOS/software issues would not give you such problems.

Try finding a mate with similar memory or somewhere to try it out, as well as looking for an AC adaptor to check and see if it is ok.
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by:knoxzoo
ID: 16888166
Typically the problem you're describing is caused by the power supply recep on the mobo getting loose or cracked so the mobo isn't getting a continuous, clean supply of power.  Try gently wiggling the plug where it plugs into the laptop.  If you hit a spot where the system powers on and runs, then you know that that is what's going on.  Then you have to decide whether it's worth the trouble and/or cost to repair.  If you're capable of doing it yourself, it's a $15 fix.  If not, it can get pricey.
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by:DrewK
ID: 16888410
thanks all...you have been very helpful

I recently procured a new battery on eBay ($35 incl shipping...not bad).  I will let you know if the problem goes away when it arrives.

knoxzoo - Let's say you've identified the cause of my problem, and I have a loose receptor.  I understand that the battery won't *fix* my problem, but will I still have to fix a loose connection if I have a battery?  Won't I just be sacrificing the benefit of a good continuous recharge (when I have it plugged in) by not fixing it?  I've never soldered anything that doesn't have water running through it...so I'm a bit hesitant to practice on my laptop.

Drew
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by:AlexD_Gr
ID: 16888784
You'd charge up the battery then it would stay on AC power. Chances are you might cause a new problem with the battery as the AC power is not stable. You'd work continuously, but, if there's a loose connection, you might actually screw up the battery and then you're back to square 1
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by:Booda2us
ID: 16888814
Have you checked the PS/adapter's voltage under load? Have you tried using a different PS/adapter? These are quick and easy fixes and shouldn't be overlooked.....Hope this helps ya out.....Booda2us
p.s.classic symptoms of PS failure are spontaneous rebooting/ no post beep
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by:DrewK
ID: 16888835
Booda2us - how do I check the "PS/adapter's voltage under load?"  I don't have a different PS/adapter...I'd have to buy one just to figure out if this is my problem

Thanks,

Drew
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by:tmj883
ID: 16889938
You simply need the main battery as part of the circuit...there are generally more batteries than just the main battery in a laptop, the secondary batteries charge from the main battery, not from the power adapter. Continued use will deplete the secondary battery(ies) and eventually kill the laptop. As stated by jhance, the power supplies are limited but adequate with a complete circuit.
T
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by:knoxzoo
ID: 16890113
If the recep is loose or cracked, you can sometimes (SOMETIMES) get a short term fix by wedging it into a place where it has constant contact with a piece of a toothpick, or matchstick, or...  Let me emphasize the temporary nature of such a "fix".  

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by:DrewK
ID: 16893109
tmj883 - I'm not sure I understand what you are saying.  I just purchased (and still waiting for delivery) a new battery pack.  I don't have any other battery in the laptop aside from the Li-ion CMOS battery.  There is an "ultrabay" that can take an extra battery/DVD player/floppy drive/etc. which I'm currently using for my DVD player.  Would this ultrabay charge off the main battery?  In any case, when you say "kill the laptop," are you saying that I'm going to fry something?  Or just drain the power completely?
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by:Visual3DMaya
ID: 16894372
tmj883 i bet he don think you'll kill the laptop, just waste the small battery, although i'm not sure and don think it depends by the main battery, as a laptop should go very well supplied from the wall.
Extra battery only if you need more time spent unplugged.

An often happened fault is indeed the power jack or the cable break near the jack. To verify that (as it with or without battery should be fixed) put the laptop on a stable table, not bed, insert the power jack, after that plug in the wall cord and don touch at all the table or the laptop, just power it up and wait. Does it shut down itself this way?

Take care, my advice, don change the original power supply of the laptop as they are made specifically for a certain model or series. They are switching power supply, powerful enough to keep your laptop alive all the time and normally able to filter most net shocks that can appear.

I had a question related http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Laptops_Notebooks/Q_21879096.html
It might be useful to know:
"Tech: Notebook will not use power from the batteries when it connected to the AC power."
"Down side after about a year if plugged into an external power source (AC Power) the battery will loose its ability to retain a charge."
"If the laptop is always plugged up with very limited removal from the AC Power Source they will loose the ability to retain a charge (NiCd)"
" lithium batteries do not like to be empty, because they are losing capacity when discharged and left alone. So, it is not safe for them to not to be in the laptop."
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by:tmj883
ID: 16898279
The CMOS battery in most laptops, unlike Desktop CMOS batteries, is rechargeable. This secondary battery obtains its charge from the mainbattery, not the A/C power adapter. Without a mainbattery, the CMOS battery will eventually discharge and the CMOS will fail to retain BIOS settings. The laptop would only be mostly dead...not completely dead. The T20s CMOS battery seems easy enough to replace and inexpensive. This is the exception to the rule, so relax, replace both batteries. T
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by:Visual3DMaya
ID: 16900230
tmj883, it's interesting to know you need main battery, how you realised that?
If you have any link to this subject i'd like to read it too please.
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by:DrewK
ID: 16901300
>"The laptop would only be mostly dead...not completely dead."

But my laptop has "true love," so it has a reason to live ;)

Drew
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by:Visual3DMaya
ID: 16903599
Hey, did you do the test? It's so simple!
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by:DrewK
ID: 16903636
what test?
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by:Visual3DMaya
ID: 16903983
:), you respect the "rule", it's not the first time it happened to me, i write and who need my answer don read it. :))
Again:
An often happened fault is indeed the power jack or the cable break near the jack. To verify that (as it with or without battery should be fixed) put the laptop on a stable table, not bed, insert the power jack, after that plug in the wall cord and don touch at all the table or the laptop, just power it up and wait. Does it shut down itself this way?
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by:DrewK
ID: 16904075
Oh okay, I had read your post, but the reason that I didn't bother trying that is because of what I wrote in my initial question:

"...That is, while booted up and sitting idle for a little while (not a long time though), it would spontaneously power down for a half second and then try to power up."

In other words, the laptop was sitting idle on a table top and it suddenly powered down (briefly)--like a "brown-out"--and then powered back up.  The screen was all streaked and so forth--I guess because the memory was only partially dumped and the computer never went through POST or restarted the O/S.  It had been running just fine up to that point and I didn't bump it or anything.  Something is obviously getting hot and causing it to short out briefly.

I'll let you all know when I get the battery and see if this happens again.

Thanks everyone for all the great advice!

Drew
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by:Visual3DMaya
ID: 16904365
You don do well waiting the battery. Almost sure it will work as the battery will instantly take the load, and you wont like going this way.
You must find the fault now without battery installed.
I would verify the power adapter first, replace it but pay attention how.
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by:DrewK
ID: 16904475
problem is I don't know if it's the power adapter/cord or the power receptor (or whatever the component on the mobo is called).

I can try wiggling the cable I guess, but what if it's something that only happens when the wiring/circuitry gets hot?

Drew
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by:Visual3DMaya
ID: 16904902
Take them by turn. If you replace the power adapter you'll know if it is the matter.
If not, it might be what you said, a fault chip. You'll need to take off the cover to reach the chips and put the finger to see which of them is aither too hot or stay cold or have cracks on the surface, hard enough.
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by:knoxzoo
knoxzoo earned 50 total points
ID: 16905479
If it's a heat related problem, it will take a while to rear its head, and be fairly consistent.  Heat related problems can be at either end.  It can be the power supply, or it can be a component on the mobo.  If it's heat related, pray it's the power supply.  You don't want to get into replacing the mobo, and you seriously don't want to get into component level repairs on the mobo.  If it's the power cord or recep, it'll be very inconsistent, and very annoying.  The wiggle test is the simplest way to find out.  Typically, if it's the power cord, you can bend it at the end (trying each end individually) and get a solid connection, then straighten it and the connect goes away.  If it's the recep, wiggling the plug itself will nearly always reveal it.  
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by:DrewK
ID: 16917135
Update:

I received the new battery today.  Thankfully, it arrived in a sealed, IBM box so there's no question that it's new.  Popped the battery in and let it charge for several hours with the laptop turned off.  Then turned on the laptop running off the new battery.  The first thing that happened is the computer beeped three short times and then I got a couple checksum errors (can't remember what they said and was too stupid to write them down) on the screen in list form along with a third error having to do with the incorrect date/time.  I entered BIOS and fixed the date/time to the correct setting and the laptop booted to Windows XP with no problem.  So it seems that the CMOS battery was drained and the BIOS lost all of its settings.  I had stored it unplugged while I was waiting for the new battery pack.  But this is nothing unusual...I didn't always have it plugged in before (when I wasn't using it).

Everything was going well...it booted up all the way, I noticed that the battery indicator said I had well over 2 hours of charge left.  I got into IE and started downloading a file...about 5 minutes passed and then the problems started again.  It began doing its old tricks...powering down and up several times in a row until I held the power button down to shut it off.  

So, could this mean a bad mobo?  It can't be the power supply since I was running off of batteries.  It's not software either.  After performing the hard-shutdown, I tried running BIOS for a good while without booting up Windows and I experienced the same problem.  Actually, the problem worsened.  The laptop just sat there flashing on and off...couldn't even spin the hard drive.  Could it be a bad hard drive?  I would think I wouldn't be able to boot Windows if that's the case.  Could it be that the CMOS battery isn't holding a charge anymore?  Would that actually cause the PC to reboot while you are using it?

Maybe one of you has already given me the correct answer, and so I guess I need that answer to be re-asserted if it's more probable that it applies (given the new info).  I just don't really know where to go from here.  Replace the CMOS battery?  Get a new mobo?

Drew
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by:Visual3DMaya
ID: 16918594
I don think is CMOS, as it works without battery at all in a desktop.
You better unplug the hard disk, cdrom connectors and run it so, what happens?
Ok, lets say it's the same behavior, then a wire break must be the reason as it is the main fault that happens, few know.
It happens because of the bad handling, shocks or repeated windings, that's why magnezium cases make all the money.
That's why when buy a new mobo don let the paid drones from the shop insert it in the case, do it yourself with much care as its multilayer micron size circuits easily burst or break and they are thousands.
So you can try bend the mobo until reach a place where it works.
Keep us updated!
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by:DrewK
ID: 16924160
Okay, another update:

I tried your advice Visual3DMaya...I pulled out the HD and booted just into the BIOS.  I let it sit there without going further (it would have obviously failed to boot the O/S anyway).  About 5-10 minutes passed and the problem happened again.  Before shutting it down (I had to pull out the battery pack to turn it off since holding down the power button didn't work), I held the laptop up to my ear to listen for anything unusual.  I heard a faint fluttering sound coming from the CPU fan!  So, I really hope that this is the problem.  Would this make sense?  It only happens after the laptop has been running a little while and it happens more frequently if I keep testing the problem without giving the laptop a rest for a good while.  Then, when I come back to it the next day, it takes a solid 5 minutes to start acting up again.  So, something is overheating and causing the reboot.  It must be that fail-safe that sends the PC into hibernation/stand-by.  I guess I'll replace the fan and let you all know...unless someone has a better idea?

Drew
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by:Visual3DMaya
ID: 16926658
Do you see how fast does it spin?
At begining it should be low freq as processor is cold. As it begins to warm up, (maybe after 5 min already) the fan should spin faster.
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by:DrewK
ID: 16926935
Okay, this morning (after the laptop sat cold all night), I booted it into the BIOS only.  I put it up to my ear as I did this to listen for the fan.  I did this while running it off the battery pack alone.  Here's what happened:

1) I pushed the power button and the fan came on strong...blowing cool air out of the vent
2) I pressed [F1] to enter BIOS and the fan came to a full stop.  I could actually see the fan splines through the vent.
3) I set it down on the table and waited.  At least 10 minutes...maybe 15 min. passed...then it tried to reboot.
4) I immediately picked it up to listen for the fan, but it had already begun to reboot and the fan was blowing strong (as it did in #1).  Only, this time warm-to-hot air was coming out of the vent.

I'm pretty sure that the fan was not running at all right up to the point that the laptop rebooted.

I don't know about laptops (since they are low voltage), but I would think that the CPU fan should ALWAYS run???  In any case, I'll start scouring eBay for a replacement.

Drew
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by:Visual3DMaya
ID: 16928980
All laptops i know have variable speed fans. When in BIOS it does not take much resources and i think BIOS knows that and stops the fan.
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by:Visual3DMaya
ID: 16929037
I think you let it go supplied just from battery and see what happens.
See if its BIOS shows processor temperature and monitor it.
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by:DrewK
ID: 16930405
>>I think you let it go supplied just from battery and see what happens.

See my message above where I said: "I did this while running it off the battery pack alone."

Or am I misunderstanding you?

I'm not sure I want to keep firing this thing up...I might fry it if it's overheating, no?

Drew
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by:DrewK
ID: 16930418
AlexD_GR said (earlier) >> "2.) CPU fan wouldn't give you such power glitches."

Alex: Do you still think so?  Or have I provided enough additional info that you change your mind?  If not, then what else could it be?

Thanks to all for sticking with me here...I really need this laptop fixed soon.

As an update: I'm still waiting for delivery of the new CPU fan/heatsink that I bought on eBay for $15 (incl shipping!)

Drew

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by:Visual3DMaya
ID: 16930438
i just forgot and it's too much text to search.
What about the temperature, did you read my comment :) ?
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by:Visual3DMaya
ID: 16930468
As the fun reaches a maximum it's clear it's ok, else should be at blame, the program that commands it, the hardware monitoring IC, etc.
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by:DrewK
ID: 16931262
I just checked...I don't have a temperature reading/setting in the BIOS.  I've been wanting to flash the BIOS too, but I've needed a battery pack to do that and I just now bought one!  I don't know if the laptop will run long enough to install the software that kicks off the flash (upon reboot).  Well, whatever is causing this problem seems to be when the computer gets heated up.
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by:Visual3DMaya
ID: 16931282
May too well be what i first said, a broken wire that make contact at cold when contracted, but we need to be sure.
It's a good idea rewrite the BIOS and it usually takes 15 seconds after give the command.
Before this i'll try something like CPUCooL, Windows program, that shows among other the temperature.
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by:DrewK
ID: 16956246
Since I already bought and paid for the new fan, I'm going to give that a shot.

It hasn't arrived yet so I'll let you know what happens.

Thanks,

Drew
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by:DrewK
ID: 16960215
Oh by the way, I downloaded and installed CPUCooL on my desktop computer as a test.

It took several minutes to download and it requires a restart to finish...I'm not sure that my laptop would stay on long enough for it to finish.

Also, I'm not sure that I could successfully complete a BIOS flash and don't want to risk rendering my mobo useless if it were to power off in the middle of the flash.

Drew
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by:DrewK
ID: 16965312
Update:

Okay, I received the new (used) cpu fan today and installed it when I got home from work.  My first attempt at installation was unsuccessful (I must have tightened the screws too hard), since the BIOS complained.  My second attempt was successful.

So it booted up and I decided to try and flash the BIOS.  I had the battery pack installed and the laptop plugged in.  You must do this otherwise the update won't allow you to continue.  I had already downloaded it and saved the update to a USB drive.  I was able to complete the Windows side of the update, it rebooted into the flash menu and then told me that I did not require an update.  So I must already have the latest version.  I went ahead and allowed it to boot up Windows which then tried to take me through a disk checking program.  I have noticed that it does this from time-to-time so I canceled it.

So, I next decided to install CPUCooL.  I was able to do this...all the while thinking that I can't believe that the laptop wasn't rebooting yet.  I must have been working for 20 minutes or so.  I successfully installed CPUCooL and rebooted.  When CPUCooL loaded, it said that I had a hard drive problem and I clicked "OK" to get rid of the message.  After playing around with CPUCooL, I closed it.  By this time, I was seriously thinking that the problem was fixed.  Then it crashed in the same way it was doing before.  Just sitting there blinking.

Okay, so could I have a bad hard drive that is causing this?  If so, why was I having this problem when just sitting in the BIOS menu without a hard drive even installed???  Any other suggestions?

Drew
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by:Visual3DMaya
ID: 16967544
No hard disk problems. SMART error is something usual.
Let the laptop cool and start it, enter Cpucool and set the mainboard and mainboard type or press i dono.
If you dono change front side bus and set PLL if you can find it. Then set the freq to a minimum and see if it works so.
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by:Visual3DMaya
ID: 16967677
Or change it from BIOS if possible.
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by:AlexD_Gr
ID: 16967877

>>>
AlexD_GR said (earlier) >> "2.) CPU fan wouldn't give you such power glitches."

Alex: Do you still think so?  Or have I provided enough additional info that you change your mind?  If not, then what else could it be?

Thanks to all for sticking with me here...I really need this laptop fixed soon.

As an update: I'm still waiting for delivery of the new CPU fan/heatsink that I bought on eBay for $15 (incl shipping!)

Drew

>>

A couple of questions to ask : does your bios support smart temp monitor ? i.e. does the fan start up only when it passes a given threshold ? Does your bios have a system temp monitor ? If so, at what temp is it ?

One other question - when u get the hard drive error messages, can you hear a distinct clicking sound ? Like pulling a trigger on an unloaded gun ? It doesn't have to be everytime, it can be at random points in time. (have to explore all avenues at this point in time..)
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by:AlexD_Gr
ID: 16967948
My confidence in that point has dropped a bit as far as the fan is concerned however, if the laptop is generating enough heat, it could be affecting the system overall hence a longer duration for your laptop to power up, hence why instead of 5 mins it took 30 mins to crash. You could try something - take a fan, ordinary house fan, point it at the laptop when cold, boot it up and see how long it'd take to crash. Chances are that the hard drive (at first) or some other component is giving you hell with heat problems.
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by:DrewK
ID: 16969516
As I said earlier, I do not have a temperature reading/setting in the BIOS.  It seems that the fan is working correctly, since the "new" one is acting exactly as the old one did.  

I only received the hard drive message once while working in Windows and it was a message coming from the CPUCooL application...not the O/S.  The other message was upon booting into Windows, but I'm not sure if that's relevant.  The hard drive might be bad since it's older...but I still don't understand why that would cause the reboot while sitting idle in the BIOS.  

Also, the hard drive does indeed make a clicking sound when it hasn't been spinning and it is first being accessed.  It has done this for quite some time.  I figured the clutch is going bad (or whatever you call the mechanism that engages the spindle), but again this doesn't seem relevant to my rebooting problem.  However, I could definitely be wrong since I'm not the "expert" in this area ;)

Don't misunderstand me...I'm willing to try anything at this point...just short of buying a new motherboard.  The immediate need for this to be fixed has been worked around with me using a different computer for my needs, but I still want to fix this at some point and if I don't do it soon, I'll end up just storing it broken some place and forget about it!

I'll try the house fan tactic.  By the way, how the heck do I read what CPUCooL is reporting?  What am I looking for besides temperature?  I have never used this before and the amount of info is a bit overwhelming.  If you could explain how it could help me, I'd appreciate it!

Thanks again all,

Drew
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by:knoxzoo
ID: 16969876
A failing hard drive can cause Windows to kick and shut the system down.  If you've been getting that clicking regularly, that may be the problem.  Even though the symptoms still sound more like they're heat related.
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by:AlexD_Gr
ID: 16970268
Was about to post that. The clicking sound is the danger signal for a failing hard-drive. Heat can accenuate or even accelerate that problem, giving you regular failures.

Try this - disconnect the hard drive and leave the laptop in bios and see if it switches off or crashes. If you have a linux-bottable cd (i.e. a norton antivirus cd that is bootable and runs from CD) leave it on and watch to see if it crashes.
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by:DrewK
ID: 16970682
>>Try this - disconnect the hard drive and leave the laptop in bios and see if it switches off or crashes.

I know this post has gotten really long, but I've already tried that (see above), and it still reboots spontaneously

Drew
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by:Visual3DMaya
ID: 16973693
CPUcool can change the fsb/processor clock from windows, only it must know what type of PLL is there. This is an IC that generates the clocks. Look for it with a MAGNIFYING GLASS or tell Sandra to help you.
After that do exactly what i said above this post.
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by:DrewK
ID: 16978594
Okay, please define "IC" and "PLL", and who is Sandra????

Drew
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by:Visual3DMaya
ID: 16979272
SiSoftware Sandra Professional 2005 http://www.sisoftware.net/
or other test program to give you the code of the integrated circuit that generates the clocks through the phase look loop internal circuit.
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by:Visual3DMaya
ID: 16979342
It's rather dificult so better get a system or room fan and point it to the circuit board to cool it badly and see whether it behave normal after that.
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by:DrewK
ID: 17019629
Update:

I've been sick the past few days and I'm also in the middle of studying for the CPA exam (which is why I needed the laptop to work ASAP).  I take the Auditing section of the exam tomorrow.  Anyway, I had a chance today to set the laptop in front of my A/C window unit.  I stacked a bunch of books on a chair and set the laptop right on top in front of the A/C vent so that cold air would continuously blow on the laptop.  I then booted into BIOS only.  After several minutes...I'd say less than 15...the screen started blinking and giving me the streaks and ghosted images of the BIOS.  

**This happened before when the problem first started, but up till now, I haven't noticed it do this exact thing.  Rather, the laptop would power off quickly and the screen would go black.  **

Anyway, when it started doing this, I put my ear down to the case and heard that the HD was spinning without interruption.  So, I think I might have more than one problem here...maybe the screen is also bad?  So, I took the laptop off the books and set it on the hardwood floor and unplugged the A/C power (so that it would run on batteries alone).  This is when it started to power off and on (as in more recent history).

Okay, to recap.  The screen ghosting/streaking was happening when this problem first sprung up.  However, in those days, the unit was powering off and on when that occurred.  Then after about the problem repeated itself in separate instances down the road, the streaking/ghosting stopped and the screen would just go black.  Now that I kept the unit cold while booting, I'm getting the streaking/ghosting again, but it happened independent from the powering on/off!

I'm beginning to realize that this laptop is a giant piece of s***.  Any of you heard bad things about the IBM T20?  I didn't realize that this was going to be a lemon when I bought it on eBay less than a year ago.  I'm not sure how much more time and money I'm going to invest in this.  If I need a new motherboard, screen, etc., I might as well buy a new machine or another used T20 and use this for parts.

Drew
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Expert Comment

by:AlexD_Gr
ID: 17019669
sounds like a multitude of problems there Drew. Problems that are going to cost you. Scrap it in my opinion or re-sell it on eBay ;)
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Accepted Solution

by:
Visual3DMaya earned 300 total points
ID: 17021551
Scrap and sell it so, possible for components.
So it seems had worked for an year, think what could have cause the fault.
Eat as much lemmon, drink it combined with YO 1 part, water 6 parts, hope you find it to the supermarket as it seems to be a flue. Avoid salicylic acid and antibiotics as they could lower your immunity. Call 911 or 112. Hope this works!
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Expert Comment

by:knoxzoo
ID: 17038013
If you're going to end up scrapping it anyway, why not try running a BIOS update.  It's possible that the BIOS has become glitched and is not properly controlling temps with the fan.  If that's the case, doing a cold boot BIOS update might just solve the problem.  If not, you're not really any worse off than you were, given the fact that you were going to dump it anyway.

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Author Comment

by:DrewK
ID: 17041662
knoxzoo -

I did try running the BIOS update.  Downloaded the latest version from IBM's web site (or Lenovo).  

When it ran, it said that my BIOS was already running the latest version.

Any other ideas?

By the way, what would be an appropriate way to close this question?

I don't think anyone has given me the correct answer yet, but you all have helped me...seems a shame to just have points refunded (I have unlimited points anyway).

However, I don't want to PAQ this question with an "Answer" since that misleads other people looking for their own answer.

Thanks,

Drew
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Expert Comment

by:Visual3DMaya
ID: 17043852
When it ran, it said that my BIOS was already running the latest version.

Any other ideas?
>>>does not matter, it's better to rewrite it, that is the idea.
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Expert Comment

by:Visual3DMaya
ID: 17043855
Anyway my opinion is that wont help :(
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Author Comment

by:DrewK
ID: 17043884
>>>does not matter, it's better to rewrite it, that is the idea.

And how else do I "rewrite it" (other than flashing it)????

Drew
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Author Comment

by:DrewK
ID: 17043918
In other words, the IBM program that flashes the BIOS won't proceed because it sees that I already have the latest version.

How else could I flash the BIOS then?

Drew
0
 
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Expert Comment

by:Visual3DMaya
ID: 17043935
Why other than flashing? (maybe i've lost the thread)
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Expert Comment

by:Visual3DMaya
ID: 17044158
Are you sure?
Run it with: /?
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Author Comment

by:DrewK
ID: 17044191
>>Are you sure?
>>Run it with: /?

I downloaded the BIOS flash program from IBM's Web site...actually might have been Lenovo (IBM outsourced their PC sales/service/support).

The flash program is an executable that you run, it then reboots your machine automatically and then flashes your BIOS.

I ran the exe file, it rebooted, then it told me that it was going to stop at that point since I already had the latest version.

There was no command prompt at that point...I doubt there are switches that I can run different parameters to get around that...seems built into the flash update program itself.

Drew
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Author Comment

by:DrewK
ID: 17044230
Here's the link that I used:

http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/document.do?sitestyle=lenovo&lndocid=MIGR-4MNN8X

I didn't get past step #9 in the installation instructions...it aborted since I already have version 1.22 installed.

Drew
0
 
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Expert Comment

by:Visual3DMaya
ID: 17044262
Better to be sure instead have doubts.
So, as i think, you run it from a floppy, so look in autoexec.bat and "locate" the path of the .exe.
Boot in dos (or command prompt) and run .exe with /? and see what happens.
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Assisted Solution

by:Booda2us
Booda2us earned 50 total points
ID: 17069564
Maybe it's your CPU failing, or an IC on the motherboard. Since you have worked so hard on BIOS updates and fixing voltage problems, cooling issues...and the problem exists when the hard drive wasn't in the loop. You have to start looking at what's left....Booda2us
0
 
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Author Comment

by:DrewK
ID: 17089827
Well, I pretty much figured that it must be the CPU/mobo if nothing else worked.

I guess I should close this question soon.

Anybody have an objection to me requesting this question to be canceled?

I'll give a few days for a response before I proceed.

Thanks,

Drew
0
 
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Expert Comment

by:Booda2us
ID: 17196609
split the points between everybody who worked so hard on this for you....
0
 
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Author Comment

by:DrewK
ID: 17214815
Okay, I split the points according to level of effort displayed...I tried to be fair.

Thanks to everyone for working on this...unfortunately, it is still unresolved!

Drew
0

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