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PC shutsdown before boot (hardware OK)

Posted on 2011-05-06
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi everyone,

A customer of mine has a problem with his laptop. Nothing happened with it, but he won't startup :-P
These are the symptoms:
* When you boot the PC, the POST goes fine, the windows 7 logo comes on and suddenly the PC shutsdown. No BSOD.
* When you want to boot again, the PC just doesn't do anything. You have to remove the battery and power supply and then the PC will boot again.
* I have run the extended hardware test and everything is OK.
* One time I could boot in safe mode, but when I did a system restore and the PC started up again, the system shut itself down.
* Also tried chkdsk, but when the PC restarts and initiates the chkdsk, the PC shut itself down again.
* Also tried to restore to factory image after taking a back-up. This seemed the logic option because tests pointed out that nothing was wrong with the hardware, but when it wants to boot windows again, the PC shuts itself down again.

I really have no idea what could be causing this. The power supply in the laptop, really have no idea...

I hope you could help me!
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Question by:Silencer001
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47 Comments
 
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:jonahzona
ID: 35707807
Did you turn off automatic restart on system failure? This is done by pressing F8 and getting to the Windows Boot Options menu.

Usually this is enabled and you don't see the blue screen because it automatically shuts off.
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by:jonahzona
ID: 35707813
(Pressing F8 just prior to the Windows 7 icon coming up. I usually keep pressing it after the BIOS screen to be sure I get the menu)
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Brian Gee
ID: 35707851
If you get into Safe Mode again, see if you can take a look at the System logs to see if any errors or warnings are logged during the attempts when you try booting normally.
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Tyler Laczko
ID: 35707976
Sounds like a corrupt files.

boot to safe mode.
repair the windows installation
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Author Comment

by:Silencer001
ID: 35708304
@Jonahzone: Already tried it, but just shuts down without a BSOD. Once I saw a BSOD for just half a second, but for the rest no BSOD. Even when I did use F8 to try the automatically restarting..

@Yobri: I could boot in safe mode for 1 time and I checked the logs, but nothing about the rebooting.

@professionalcomputersolutions: I did a re-installation of the OS with the repair tool from dell. So the corrupt files should make no difference anymore..

Now I can't boot in safe mode also.. Gets stuck at classpnp.sys

Any other suggestions?
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Brian Gee
ID: 35708609
Just a question: are the fans kicking in upon startup? As routine, I will typically shoot some canned air blasts to clear the fans (beware: pretty gross) when receiving a client's computer...
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Expert Comment

by:nettek0300
ID: 35708949
We had this happen to a desktop and the problem was the system board.  If the laptop is under warranty, call the manufacturer.
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Author Comment

by:Silencer001
ID: 35709558
@ Yobri, I didn't remember, left the laptop at the office so will look at this first thing monday morning..

@nettek0300: thanks for your reply. I was also thinking the mobo was failing, but wouldn't there be some beeping at startup? 1 or 2 times I managed to boot in safe mode, can boot from DVD. I made a backup with a LINUX CD and tested the hardware with the dell tool.

So wouldn't this had detected the bad mobo?

Is there a way to be 100% sure it's the hardware and specifically the mobo? Since a clean install of windows doesn't also work, my guess is also hardware, but have to be sure...

Thanks again everyone!
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Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 800 total points
ID: 35711211
some possibilities, and things to try :
-try with battery alone, or from AC alone (battery removed)
-can it be overheating? when it shuts down - check in the bios what temps it has for the cpu
-tets if you can boot normally from a bootable cd  :
ftp://ftp.kernel.org/pub/dist/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V6.4.4CD-2011-01-30-EN.iso  Knoppix      
www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/                               BartPe
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Author Comment

by:Silencer001
ID: 35711837
I can boot normally from cd, I copied the hdd with à linux distribution.. Not possible That it is overheating, the Dell hardware test took 3 hours And all checks were ok, also the temp of the cpu.. The copying of the files took 6 hours with the cd And it never shutdown.. Any other suggestions? Thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 35711897
install another disk in it - put an os on it and test
that will show if software is the problem
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Author Comment

by:Silencer001
ID: 35712516
Thanks Nobus for the answer. I don't understand why this would explain if software is problem, sorry. Could you explain this more?

The hardware test showed my hdd was OK and I also installed a new OS on this HDD, so don't think software would be the issue.

But if I install a new HDD when will it show it is the software? When it boots, it's the hardware or the software?
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 35712656
i mean -the disk can have bad sectors - and when the OS reaches that part..shutdown
i did not see if you ran a diag on the disk yet; the long test may reveal  bad sectors (you posted extended diag -including disk? )

also - there is still another possibility : the factory image may have problems
is it on the disk, or did you restore from cd?

all the above can be tested with an OS on another disk  - i mean not the factory image...
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Author Comment

by:Silencer001
ID: 35712743
Indeed, the long extended test from dell. I did scan on bad sectors, but came clean out of the test.

I did restore from the factory image from the disk.
I will try another disk with an OS installed.

But the files from the hdd copied without any errors on my USB powered hdd.. Or maybe this doesn't give any errors?

Thanks for your advice again!
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 35712769
the only other explanation i see at this point is a faulty device
you can test with a free OS if you like, like Knoppix, ubuntu...
from usb ..it  should give errors as from an internal disk
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Author Comment

by:Silencer001
ID: 35712821
I also think this will be it.

I will perform chkdsk /x /r to test the hdd again. I tried /f /r but then the systems reboots and the OS shutsdown again.
I have access to the pc this monday

The OS boots from CD so I also guess the hdd is giving the errors, but the hardware test from dell said otherwise..
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 35714511
that is why i suppose a bad image, or still a problem on mobo
did you try running from a live cd yet?
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Author Comment

by:Silencer001
ID: 35715123
Yes, I ran a live cd from backtrack to make a backup of his files. This gave me no errors..
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 35715198
then it looks more like a bad image to me
can you try a fresh install?  + drivers?
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Author Comment

by:Silencer001
ID: 35715590
I can try fresh install. But why wouln't the windows boot before i restored the image? The image couldn't be the fault before I restored it..
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:Toxacon
ID: 35717630
That sounds like a minidump and an automatic reboot after BSOD. Modify the startup parameters not to reboot at BSOD, so you could get a hint what's going on.
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Author Comment

by:Silencer001
ID: 35717784
To modify the parameters, it is Just pressing F8 and then choose the option don't restart after an error? Don't know the exact sentence.. Thanks already for your reply!
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 35717888
here is how to enable minidumps :  http://lazybit.com/index.php/2007/12/14/windows_blue_screen_troubleshooting_tips
if you have one, post it for more info
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Author Comment

by:Silencer001
ID: 35717938
This could come in handy when I was able to boot the OS.. I am not able to start the normal windows, not even in safe mode..
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LVL 8

Assisted Solution

by:Toxacon
Toxacon earned 600 total points
ID: 35718052
Boot with OS DVD and from a prompt run

bdcedit /enum

Open in new window


Then look at "Windows Boot Loader" and "nx". If it is "AlwaysOff" run

bdcedit /set {current} nx AlwaysOn

Open in new window


If it is AlwaysOn run

bdcedit /set {current} nx AlwaysOff

Open in new window


This enables or disables the Data Execution Prevention which may cause problems in some cases.
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Author Comment

by:Silencer001
ID: 35718087
Thanks for your reply Toxacon.

But I can't run bdcedit /enum.. It isn't recognised as a internal or external command, program or batchfile.

It is translated from dutch, so the message may not be correct.
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:Toxacon
ID: 35718175
Try Windows\System32 folder in the hard drive.
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Author Comment

by:Silencer001
ID: 35718196
Wow that was stupid of me, will try it when chkdsk is complete..

Thanks for your reply Toxacon!
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Author Comment

by:Silencer001
ID: 35718511
Toxacon, this value was set to: OptIn

I changed it to AlwaysOff, but still just shutsdown..

I hope you have some more options I could try.
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Author Comment

by:Silencer001
ID: 35718893
Hi everyone, just wanted to thank everyone for their help!
I used another HDD and the laptop would boot, so the HDD is the fault!

Thanks again for your helpfull information!

Could one of you may answer this question: Why wouldn't the extended test of dell see this hardware fault? I was also able to copy the files on the HDD.

Thanks! Will reward point for your help
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 35719215
>>  To modify the parameters, it is Just pressing F8 and then choose the option don't restart after an error?  <<  that is correct.

>>  Why wouldn't the extended test of dell see this hardware fault?  <<  There is NO test that tests every possible fault
you can run other diags on the disk, eg DFT, or the manufacturers diag
find all on the ubcd : http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/      

maybe the disk is not bad - but the software on it; also verify the connectors to the mobo and disk
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Expert Comment

by:nettek0300
ID: 35719309
I did not have any beep codes when the M/B caused our issue.  Our PC actually displayed the Windows XP screen and would crash about two or three seconds into loading Windows.  We took the hard drive and put it into another computer (same model) and it booted fine.  That is how we determined it was hardware related.  If you have another comptuer that is the same model, that would be a quick way to determine if it is hardware related.
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Author Comment

by:Silencer001
ID: 35719827
Ok I am wrong with the output I guess.

I have put the "faulty" hdd in another laptop and it booted perfectly..

What can be the cause of this?
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:nettek0300
ID: 35720014
If it booted perfectly in another laptop, the problem is most likely the system board (motherboard).  We had the same issue with a desktop PC.  If the laptop is still under warranty, call Dell.
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Author Comment

by:Silencer001
ID: 35720069
The laptop isn't under warranty anymore, so that's the problem..

Why would it boot with another hdd then? And could the laptop run smoothly when we just replace the HDD with the current mobo?
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Author Comment

by:Silencer001
ID: 35720084
Another symptom is the fact that when the pc shutsdown, I have to remove the battery and power adapter and then it can boot again.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:nettek0300
ID: 35720094
Okay, so the broken laptop will boot with another hard drive?  Or does the hard drive from the broken computer boot in a different computer?  If the broken laptop is booting fine with another HDD, then I would replace the drive.  There may be physical damage to the drive causing it not to boot.
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LVL 6

Assisted Solution

by:nettek0300
nettek0300 earned 600 total points
ID: 35720108
If you have to remove battery and power adapter to get it to boot, then that further leads me to believe it is probably the motherboard.  If it is not under warranty, then it may just be time to buy a new laptop.
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Author Comment

by:Silencer001
ID: 35720161
It does both.

If I place the "faulty" hdd into another computer, the computers boots perfectly from the other hdd.
If I place a good hdd into the "faulty" computer, this also boots perfectly..

I also guess it's related to the mobo, but don't understand why it would boot another hdd and not this one..
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Accepted Solution

by:
Silencer001 earned 0 total points
ID: 35720173
OK, it's the motherboard for sure.

The good HDD was running in the faulty laptop and the pc just shut itself down for no reason. It was already booted..
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:nettek0300
ID: 35720351
If that is the case, it may also be a heat issue or a faulty CPU.  If I was in your shoes, I think I would just get another laptop.  It would save a lot of grief and aggrevation.
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Author Comment

by:Silencer001
ID: 35720423
Think a new laptop would be the best option. The laptop has been booted for several hours with the dell tests and when I copied the hard drive from a bootable CD.

So don't think heat issue would be the problem. Also the tests from dell indicated that everything was OK with the temp
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 35721443
you can always install speedfan to monitor the temps; then you see if they rise too much
http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:midnight51
ID: 35762303
Sounds like a short somewhere in the hardware that triggers and causes the system to reboot itself.
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Expert Comment

by:midnight51
ID: 35762304
You could also try removing the battery from the laptop and use only the AC adapter.
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Author Comment

by:Silencer001
ID: 35837944
Sorry I forgot I got this topic still open...

Will award point for your help!
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Author Closing Comment

by:Silencer001
ID: 35877212
Thanks for helping me find the right solution. I was the mobo
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