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HP 6120 Laptop Randomly Shutting Off

Posted on 2007-07-31
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Hello,

I have an HP nc610 laptop from my company that is randomly shutting off. The bad thing is that it does not record ANYTHING in the Event Logs -- nothing in System, App, or Security. There is no blue screen of death nor any error when the PC boots back up. It just simply shuts off seemingly at random intervals.

My diagnostic testing thus far has covered the following: I have run a memory test from within the PC's BIOS.  Interestingly enough, the PC shut off several times before I could actually  get it to stay in BIOS long enough to run the memory test. Once it started testing, it got to 100% but then almost immediately shut off.  What's even more interesting though is that the PC reportedly passed all 4 memory test results. I have also run a chkdsk /r and it found and repaired errors accordingly.  I downloaded a free temperature gauging software and my CPU temp is a steady 55C as I type this. Sys and Aux temps show 52C, while the HD shows 32C.

The system itself has 2GB of memory but as stated it passed the BIOS test. I have tried to do a Repair Installation but I cannot get the PC to boot to the CD long enough without shutting down. Once I got as far as the first setup screen, but then it shut off as usual. It seems to allow me to do work (such as type this desperate plea) for quite a while, but I am fearful it will shut down before I get a chance to submit this lengthy topic.

The PC is also equipped with Sophos Anti-Virus which is updated and no viruses found. I have run msconfig to remove any unnecessary or unknown programs from startup and also thoroughly checked for spyware with programs such as HiJackThis.

With that said, it seems like it's definitely a hardware problem because the PC will shut off if I am doing something that doesn't even involve booting the OS (such as booting to the CD Drive) -- so, what could it be? Failing CPU? Failing...mobo? Inadequate PSU? (FYI, yes, the PC reboots regardless if it's using it's fully working battery or AC power) Are that any programs or utilities that could test for those failing devices? I only ask this because unfortunately I don't have spare parts that are compatible with this model that I could use for testing.

Any help on this would be greatly appreciated. I realize it may be tough to troubleshoot something like this, so hopefully you can understand my own predicament, however I am confident the talented EE community will pull through as usual :)

Btw, I am offering the only points I have available, otherwise I would make it worth much more. Sorry!

Thank you.


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Question by:NJDfan1711
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by:_
_ earned 80 total points
ID: 19606273
Sounds like you have done most of the testing you can do. I am leaning toward a wanky power supply or mobo.
Most of the sotfware is just benchmarking and stress testing, but doesn't really tell you what is bad. Just that the system can't handle the strain.

If you have more than 1 stick of ram, try it with just 1 at a time
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by:r-k
r-k earned 80 total points
ID: 19606455
Check the cooling fan to be sure it is not plugged up or failed altogether.
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by:nobus
nobus earned 100 total points
ID: 19606748
try testing with devices removed : cd drive, extra ram sticks.
if it stays on long enough, i would start running metst86+ from www.memtest.org, or any of these :

http://www.pc-doctor.com/                                    PC doctor
http://www.passmark.com/download/index.htm                        Burnin test
www.tufftest.com/tt01-lite.htm                              free      TuffTest lite
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Glen A. earned 240 total points
ID: 19629276
Most certainly a hardware problem.  Software issues would leave blue screening/lockup or some event log entry.

Power supply issues are sometimes the cause... but it's easy to figure that one out... does it quit while on battery and not plugged in to power?  If so, it's NOT the power supply.

I would suggest it's a motherboard issue.  Could be related to anything from a broken trace to bad capacitors causing the issue.  More than likely will be resolved with a motherboard replacement.  Is it still under warranty?
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by:ChiefIT
ID: 19629899
I would think one of three things in this order.

Heat
Power supply
SCSI interfaces

A note on SCSI interfaces:
I have a Scientific computer system that collected data from 50 different serial sensors. The digiports connected by using a SCSI controller card. With the SCSI card in the server, upon the original install, the server would reboot repetitively. I had to upload the latest BIOS version for the machine to correct this problem.

Hope this helps
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by:Glen A.
ID: 19631870
Not generally a lot of SCSI cards in laptops :)  btw, "SCSI interfaces" is, in itself redundant.  the "I" in 'SCSI" means interface.  
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by:Glen A.
ID: 19631873
also, re: heat issues...  if it sometimes reboots immediately after turning it on... say, before it gets HOT...  then it's NOT a heat issue.
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by:NJDfan1711
ID: 19632269
Yes,

Just to follow-up, I do agree it probably isn't a head issue because I downloaded that free temperature utility and all temps seem normal as indicated in my initial post.

Again, as stated in my initial post, I already tried it on battery power and AC power and it doesn't matter -- it still shuts off randomly regardless of the power source.

Finally, I believe the laptop is under warranty, so I am going to try to order replacement parts (probably mobo first) and see what happens.

Thanks again for all of the replies. I will most likely make one final post and accept a solution for one or several of you.
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by:_
ID: 19632922
>> I believe the laptop is under warranty

Sounds like a good plan.  Good luck .    : )

Hi AB. Long time no see.  : ))
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by:_
ID: 19636241
Thank you much.  : )
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by:r-k
ID: 19636642
Good luck.
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