ThinkPad T41 freezes and then does not reboot

My thinkpad T41 worked very well till recently it started freezing and the only way to overcome the freeze is to press the power button down. When I restart  by pressing the power button it does not reboot sometimes. It stays there with a blank screen and does not recognize the hard disk. Sometimes it reboots normally and then I can work for sometime but then it freezes again. I can also see that the screen distorts terribly before the freeze occurs. I have run several tests using PC doctor and some tests were interrupted by the freeze. Even for tests that completed successfully without the freeze, there is no indication of any problem. Is there any solution to this problem? I am running windows XP SP2  on 512 MB ram.
sandeepchinAsked:
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ReddgumConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Howdy Sandeep,

Well, the T41 isn't exactly a new laptop and generally speaking, when laptops hang like that, it can be from software, but a lot of the time, it's from overheating. The screen distortion is the first give-a-way. Thermal issues will cause an analog distortion in the screen - the kind that a software bug or virus would be hard pressed to mimic.

A lot of laptops, including the T series lenovo (which is your IBM label) have cpu fans and are mounted in heat sinks with thin copper leaves. These leaves act like a great big hoover vacuum cleaner when it comes to lint, dust and hair. Suck up enough of them over a long enough period and the heatsink /CPU fan assembly will become hopelessly clogged - causing the heat of the CPU to bleed over to the graphics controller and shutdown the system.

My advice - take it to a shop or reputable service center and have them clean out the heat sink and replace the cpu fan (they *do* have a life span.)

A good service will include cleaning and re-establishing the heat sink compound (it tends to dry out after awhile.)

HTH,

-Red
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ridCommented:
Your hard drive is probably failing. It crashes (logically) and then it doesn't get recognised at a restart.

As already suggested, a temp issue is another alternative.
/RID
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sandeepchinAuthor Commented:
Thanks Reddgum
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