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Hardware Thread, Tilting laptops to make them work in Technical; We've (Stu and I) come across a strange problem. A laptop trolley contains 30 identical HP nx6110 laptops running Windows ...
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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Tilting laptops to make them work

    We've (Stu and I) come across a strange problem. A laptop trolley contains 30 identical HP nx6110 laptops running Windows XP. 4 of these laptops have recently developed a problem where by they hang at POST.

    If you tilt the laptop, it will continue to boot... stopping the tilting causes it to hang again... etc.

    We tried the usual stuff:
    • Re-image: hangs during re-imaging
    • Hardware (memory, hard disk, etc.) test: all come back OK
    • Re-seating every component: this took a while!
    • Re-setting the BIOS options: didn't do anything
    • Removing combo drives (which have had their lasers prised out by the little darlings!): nothing


    What else can we try? Do we just need to start writing these off?

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    stu
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_ View Post

    What else can we try? Do we just need to start writing these off?
    I personally think laptop Jenga

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    dalsoth's Avatar
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    If they work when you tilt them does that not indicate that it may be something physical that is causing the problem. First thought was a dodgy hard disk causing them not to boot but then that would not stop them posting would it.

    Perhaps some connector is not physically pushing up properly in the innards that connects when you tilt it?

    Maybe take the casing off and try to prod and poke things at post to see if you can narrow the search. Maybe a CMOS battery not connected properly when not tilted?

    Really weird one.

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    stu
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    Quote Originally Posted by dalsoth View Post
    If they work when you tilt them does that not indicate that it may be something physical that is causing the problem. First thought was a dodgy hard disk causing them not to boot but then that would not stop them posting would it.

    Perhaps some connector is not physically pushing up properly in the innards that connects when you tilt it?

    Maybe take the casing off and try to prod and poke things at post to see if you can narrow the search. Maybe a CMOS battery not connected properly when not tilted?

    Really weird one.
    Have stripped all the casing off and (I squeeze ric tilts same effect) squeezing the region around the touch pad it starts running again then when you stop squeezing it stops have looked at bored for visible damage and cant see anything and all connections are firmly secured. (then rebuilt just to be sure my poking and squeezing didn't inadvertently fix it and it is still faulty.

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    I agree that it is probably a physical cause - perhaps some little darlings were carrying them all in a pile back to the lapsafe and dropped the lot.
    Have you looked at the battery? Do they work OK on AC power without the battery? I did have one with a dodgy battery connection but it was fine if the battery just wasn't there

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    @witch: Removing the battery didn't help

    I was wondering if they had been dropped but I would have expected at least one to be marked

    Maybe HP just built in an EOL date?

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    stu
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_ View Post
    Maybe HP just built in an EOL date?
    Pretty sure that would be illegal,


    and if they had been dropped what is the chance of all 4 having the same fault even if there was a sign of damage, and if a pile were dropped the bottom laptop should show considerably more damage than the top

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    Eyeballed the motherboard for stress cracks / lines?
    Are the mounts for the motherboard all ok? i.e a friction-fit connector out of place due to a plastic nub being broken?

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    Eyeballed the motherboard for stress cracks / lines?
    Are the mounts for the motherboard all ok? i.e a friction-fit connector out of place due to a plastic nub being broken?
    They look fine inside (and outside for that matter).

    Moe ideas anyone?

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    We had the exact same problem, same model, same fault.

    I dismantled the laptop and checked over the board and while I couldn't find any visible problem with the board itself (and I do know what I'm looking for), I did find what looked like a small piece of a paperclip close to the battery connector which I imagined might be causing the problem by shorting the connectors.

    In reality this was a red herring and I've still never figured out what was wrong with it. But then for us it's a one off, if you've got four with the same fault it's no joke. I suspect you may end up discarding them.

    Do the usual, re-seat memory, cpu, all cables etc. Also, I've seen some weird stuff caused by duff batteries. Try using it with a battery from a known good laptop, see if that makes any difference.

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    We had a tower computer once built buy some random company bought before i started work for the school and it developed a problem like that but it would only boot if you pressed your finger on the top left corner of the case? There was nothing near where you had to press only the cd drive we had a an idea that it was an earth problem and when we touched it we earthed ths case we changed power supply but there was no difference spent weeks on it and ended up chucking it. A few weeks later another 2 computers did the same thing we ended up swapping everything out of another same type computer and it was never fixed it always had the same problem ended up telling staff to stand with there finger on the tower while it booted up and replaced them as soon as we had the cash. Dosn't help much but could make some stickers tilt until booted

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    stu
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    Quote Originally Posted by Batman View Post
    We had the exact same problem, same model, same fault.

    I dismantled the laptop and checked over the board and while I couldn't find any visible problem with the board itself (and I do know what I'm looking for), I did find what looked like a small piece of a paperclip close to the battery connector which I imagined might be causing the problem by shorting the connectors.

    In reality this was a red herring and I've still never figured out what was wrong with it. But then for us it's a one off, if you've got four with the same fault it's no joke. I suspect you may end up discarding them.

    Do the usual, re-seat memory, cpu, all cables etc. Also, I've seen some weird stuff caused by duff batteries. Try using it with a battery from a known good laptop, see if that makes any difference.
    i did notice that where i was squeezing there was an intel chip but couldn't see any signs of duff joint or anything of the sort. not sure what it was for it was seated directly below the touch pad, Ric reckons it was either the north / south bridge or graphics related.

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    dalsoth's Avatar
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    Perhaps try swapping each possible component with another working laptop and then perhaps even the working motherboard into the faulty casing. Perhaps it could be something like the case pinching something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_ View Post
    If you tilt the laptop, it will continue to boot... stopping the tilting causes it to hang again...
    what about cutting two of the table legs shorter then you have a tilting table, laptops boot no stress for you two everyone happy.
    Sorry I could'nt resist it

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    stu
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    Quote Originally Posted by alextreadwell View Post
    We had a tower computer once built buy some random company bought before i started work for the school and it developed a problem like that but it would only boot if you pressed your finger on the top left corner of the case? There was nothing near where you had to press only the cd drive we had a an idea that it was an earth problem and when we touched it we earthed ths case we changed power supply but there was no difference spent weeks on it and ended up chucking it. A few weeks later another 2 computers did the same thing we ended up swapping everything out of another same type computer and it was never fixed it always had the same problem ended up telling staff to stand with there finger on the tower while it booted up and replaced them as soon as we had the cash. Dosn't help much but could make some stickers tilt until booted
    lol good stoy but its the kid laptops so they would read all kind of instructions in that

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