TravelMate 8210 freezing / no boot

I have an Acer TravelMate 8210 which is behaving erratically. Sometimes I can boot into windows, work around for 10 minutes before the screen freezes and the keyboard/mouse become unresponsive. Other times, I am not even able to reach the BIOS.

I installed SpeedFan to monitor the temperature, and the CPU temperature starts off around 48C and remains around 48C when the freeze occurs. I have touched the heat sink, and even though it is hot it is not burning hot.

I have tried to removing the memory and trying just one at a time and not luck.

When the computer will not even reach the BIOS the main power light and the "email light" are on. I am not sure if this lighting has any significance.

Please let me know what further details might be helpful.
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sypderAsked:
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andossCommented:
You can try booting into safe mode and see if the same crash happens there.
I assume it will as unfortunately it sounds like one of the components on the motherboard is dieing.
Is the laptop still under warranty? If so i'd contact support and let them know the trouble shooting you have tried.
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sypderAuthor Commented:
At this point I can't even get to the BIOS. I was sometimes in the past able to get into safe mode and even regular mode. I am pretty sure it is a motherboard issue. The computer is 2.5 years old, so I am thinking about calling it a day and buying a new computer.

Any idea what the power light and "mail light" mean?
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PaulCommented:
You could try different RAM altogether. A single stick is a good idea for troubleshoooting though so your on the track. Sounds like motherboard for sure. Intermittent lockups becoming more frequent till eventually it will go pow. Probably not worth repairing if it's that old. Your looking at at least $400 for the replacement of the board, and that doesn't extend the warranty on your other components which are all getting on.

As for the lights. When you turn the laptop on, it performs a power on self test. Its different for different laptops, but this sometimes means that all the lights will flash at the beggining of the power up phase. The email light probably always flashed for a short time on power on, but your only noticing it now because the computers not posting so it becomes stuck in the initial state.

If you want to keep trying at it though, and you are familiar with the internal working of a laptop computer, then heres how i would proceed. Firstly, performing any of these tasks will void your warranty and could damage your computer, proceed at your own risk. Though i assume if it was under warranty, you wouldnt be asking any quesitons here

Obviously by this stage you would be turning the laptop on with nothing else plugged in - definately no usb devices, PCMCIA or express cards. I would begin stripping the laptop of components like CD-ROM, HDD and any add on cards like wireless etc. one by one, stripping the motherboard back to barebone and testing it each time you remove of a component. If you have a bad piece of hardware it could be causing your problem, removing/replacing the piece could cause your laptop to miraculously come back to life. If your laptop supports functioning without a battery inside it (i.e. powered directly from AC adaptor without battery inserted) - some do, some don't - then you could remove that also in your testing processes.

Good luck.

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PaulCommented:
Sorry i forgot to mention that there is a potentiality that the combination of the mail/power light could POSSIBLY be some sort of diagnostic indicator that helps acer techs to quickly diagnose and repair fault machines. This is not unheard of but its a bit of a stretch, and the diagnostic information is not necessarily something you would find in your user manual as its in acers interest for you to have to return the machine to them for diagnostic and repair.
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andossCommented:
Yeah fairly certain the lights coming on is part of the normal power on self test.
Definately a dead motherboard if it's now not even getting to the bios.
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sypderAuthor Commented:
I am sure you are all right that the motherboard is gone. All of my tests were inconsistent, even with virtually all hardware removed. I tried some of the components in other computers and the components all seem fine (so thankful the HD is okay as I was on vacation and my last backup was 2 weeks old).
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