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Dell Latitude d610 laptop fails with increasing severity

Posted on 2011-10-16
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
The laptop was purchased used in April 2007. It worked well until the hard drive died in May 2011. I replaced the hard drive with a Samsung HM160HC 160 GB hard drive and it worked well until very recently.

The owner complained that it would no longer boot and was getting some sort of hard drive error. When I received it, I could not get the system to show a boot error message but the screen came up discolored and flashed on and off and would not boot. The power was on but there was no display.

 As time went on the flash lasted for shorter and shorter duration. I attached an external monitor and was able to get the f8 screen of boot choices. Both regular and safe mode failed and repeatedly recycled to try to boot. I also tried the last known good boot and it also failed.

There seems to be some life in the drive because the safe boot brings up a long list of files until it hangs for a bit on mup.sys.

I was able to once get it to not attempt a repeat on failure and it produced an unmountable boot device failure.

I booted it off of a UBCDWin CD and it could not see the hard drive.

In summary, it looks like the video is gone and the hard drive may have some problems.

What is the next step in zeroing in on the system problems?
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Question by:dovidf
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11 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:SuperTaco
ID: 36977112
if you're not getting video anymore, it's more than likely your system board is tanking.  If this machine is under warranty, I would highly recommend calling DELL.
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Author Comment

by:dovidf
ID: 36977132
The machine was bought used in 2007. I don't think it pays to put any significant new parts into it at this point.
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by:SuperTaco
ID: 36977172
I agree.  I would try to recover the data using  a disk enclosure and move to a new machine.  this is definitely hardware related.
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Expert Comment

by:edbedb
ID: 36977175
The first thing I would try is replacing the memory.
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Accepted Solution

by:
regevha earned 1600 total points
ID: 36977463
You may try to use windows recovery mode (boot the machine from win xp installation cd or WinPE cd) and "chkdsk" just to be able to access and salvage some data from the harddisk.
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Expert Comment

by:web_tracker
ID: 36977502
It may be possible the system is over heating, this may be causing problems with your video card causing you to lose video for shorter and shorter times. I would try to blow out the air vents with a canned of compressed air to see if that would make any difference. If this laptop is seven years old, I beleive you had a good life out of it. The systems definitely indicate a hardware problem.
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Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 400 total points
ID: 36978089
you can always run diags, to be sure about the basics, ram and disk - best download ubcd : http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/      
run memtest86+ for the ram and DFT for the disk
you can also test if it runs fine from a bootable cd : like Knoppix :  ftp://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/linux/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V6.7.0CD-2011-08-01-EN.iso  

if this runs ok - the hardware is probably fien - if not ..well you know what then..
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Author Comment

by:dovidf
ID: 36979235
regevha's suggestion worked and although the chkdsk /r took a long time, it's working fine now. I guess the bad state of the drive prevented UBCDwin from seeing it.

I think I will try nobus's diagnostic tests to see where the hardware is.

I'll check the event logs to see if I can find when it died.
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Expert Comment

by:regevha
ID: 36981032
I am glad that my advice regarding chkdsk was helpful. I had the same issue on a family desktop few days ago :) , it failed to boot in Windows XP safe mode. I tried first ubuntu fsck which did not help much besides the ability to back up some data
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Author Closing Comment

by:dovidf
ID: 37012642
The computer needs some hardware review but it is working now.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 37013435
don't forget to test ram and disk, and take the needed steps to repair it
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