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Thread: If you are a laptop expert or technician, PLEASE read.

  1. #1
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    If you are a laptop expert or technician, PLEASE read.

    Hi guys. Sorry to bug everyone again, but I've found myself in a pretty big problem. I have a Gateway 7405 gx laptop that has been shutting down randomly. It seems to be a heat issue, so I did what any logical person would do. I ripped the case of the laptop open so I could blow out the fans and clean the heatsinks. Wonderful idea, huh?

    It's not the worst Idea ever. I tore apart my old sony laptop after it was broken, so I've got a relatively good idea of what to do and where stuff goes.

    I tried to enter the case from the bottom, took out all the screws and tried to gently pull the case apart to access the internals. This did not work. Screws on the top were holding it together. Duh, I know this from last time. I remove the power strip panel and keyboard from the top. No big deal. I then remove a silver support panel that was under the keyboard.

    Alas, I have internals. I take out my Can-o-Air and spray the fans, heatsinks, and wipe down the heat pipes by the processor and GPU. Everything's looking good. I reassemble everything in reverse order. I had a small issue re-attaching the connecting ribbon cable between the power button strip and the motherboard, but I assume I solved that because the power button works.

    I reinstalled the battery, dvd-rw, ram, everything I took out. No big deal. Everything's going fine.

    Go to power on the laptop to enjoy the fruits of my labor ...(yeah, this is where it gets good).

    Now all of a sudden, it won't boot. What it does is this:

    1. Press power button, power button illuminates and system sounds as if it were powering up. Blue "ON" light on the front of the case also illuminates.
    2. Hard drive spins up, and dvd-rw checks for any bootable media, numlock and caps lock LEDs flick on for a second.
    3. Numlock and Caps lock LEDS go off for 2 seconds.
    4. Repeat steps 2-3

    Also, to turn the laptop off, I have to press and hold the power button for 5-6 seconds, instead of just a quick press, which indicates to me something's going on... but it sounds like it's repeating the first stages of boot over and over.


    So, I guess my question is this... What would cause this? Laptop worked 5 minutes prior to disassembly (not counting it getting hot and shutting down), so hardware failure is probably not the cause. Is there something loose? After it didn't boot the first time, I disassembled and reassembled the entire system to check my connections. Still the same symptoms.

    Do I have any options short of paying a technician to take a looksie?


    My warranty is up, I'm unemployed (livin off my nest egg), and probably screwed. Please don't tell me that I shouldn't have opened my laptop up if I wasn't able to afford breaking it... I know, but I've done stupider things
    Any help rendered here will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance
    -dan

  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate avengerki's Avatar
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    Sounds like you got a loose connection somewhere. That cable you mentioned between the power strip and the mobo would sound like a good place to start. Do you get any video or just it hear everything going on?
    Avengerki
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  3. #3
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    No video, just sounds. That ribbon cable just connects the piece above the keyboard that controls power on, volume up/down, and loads IE, to the motherboard. It's the equivelant of a lilliput front panel control setup.

    I would think that if It's recieving the power-on signal, it'd be secured correctly. I'll try re-seating it (although the mobo side was very difficult, took almost an hour)

  4. #4
    Super Moderator. If my typing sucks it's probably because I'm driving.... turbocad6's Avatar
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    is this a p4m laptop? this is what usually happens with them when they overheat... toasting the main board...

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    No, it's an a64 3200 system and the system was perfectly fine prior to disassembly, so I doubt it's a hardware issue. I'm wondering if something simple jiggled loose or something.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator. If my typing sucks it's probably because I'm driving.... turbocad6's Avatar
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    sometimes the case screws hold certain connections togeather, mostly 2 components grounding to each other & a loose screw can cause a bad connection.....

    either that or don't assume because the power button works the whole ribbon is ok.... try reseating it.... is it damaged?

  7. #7
    Constant Bitrate avengerki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbocad6
    sometimes the case screws hold certain connections togeather, mostly 2 components grounding to each other & a loose screw can cause a bad connection.....

    either that or don't assume because the power button works the whole ribbon is ok.... try reseating it.... is it damaged?
    Thats what I was refering to. its possible with those ribbon cables to have them where it will half function.
    Avengerki
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  8. #8
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    Laptop is at local shop being diagnosed today. We'll see how this goes. I can't handle any more **** right now.

  9. #9
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    You say the system was totally fine before you took it apart but in your first post, you say it was shutting down randomly. maybe it could be the same problem? A hard drive going bad maybe? sometimes taking it apart and putting it back together can be just enough to kick it.

  10. #10
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    It was apparently a heat issue, would only shut down when playing halflife 2 or unreal 2004... and then it would only happen a few seconds after the primary fan switches on full blast.

    The symptoms make it seem doubtful that a hard drive or ram is bad. I figure something jiggled loose or something that I didn't know about.

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