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-   -   Laptop just dropping out (http://www.diychatroom.com/f13/laptop-just-dropping-out-59496/)

Thurman 12-17-2009 09:01 PM

Laptop just dropping out
 
Ding, Dang-nab-it! For some strange (aren't they always) reason, my laptop has been "dropping-out" in the last three days. Now, "dropping-out" is: while viewing a web-site the screen just goes black with the cursor arrow still on it, but the cursor cannot be moved. No certain web-site either, actually the last time it happened I was on this site about twenty minutes ago. Since the first incident, on Tuesday, I have learned not to touch anything and it will come back on exactly where I was at, all by itself. This take about eight (8) to twelve (12) minutes to happen. I have ran my "Webroot Anti-Virus/Anti-Spyware", and my "Anti-MalWare" and they find nothing. I've ran the "disc clean-up" and "de-frag". Only one web-site open at any time, unless I click a link related to the topic, then only one. I'm showing that I still have 24GB of free space on the "C" drive, so I don't think it's crowded. Any suggestions, please? Thanks, David

Thurman 12-18-2009 10:30 AM

Thanks, frozenstar. I'm thinking, at this time, it may be the motherboard (big OUCH there) as the lcd screen does not seem to have any problems at any given time. As far as the video card, it's a possibility I'm sure. I bought this Toshiba at a Best Buy on sale, and had upgrades done in the store at that time. It has never been touched since and has been flawless, to me at least. Maybe after the Christmas rush I will go to visit my sister and take it back to Best Buy to have it "anal-ized", as a co-worker used to say. Merry Christmas to all, David

80HD 12-18-2009 05:40 PM

First off, have you backed up your important data recently? What model of laptop? Do you know how to update your video drivers? I would do that first thing.

Does this only happen when you are browsing the web? Which web browser do you use? Only certain sites? Are they flash or java sites?

I would try a couple of things...

1. Use a different browser for a bit.... Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera... see if that happens.

2. Check out this tool, it will tell you how hot your machine is running: http://www.almico.com/sfdownload.php
See if it is overheating

3. Check your eventlog (application and system) right after one of these occurrences. (You can right click My Computer, click manage, and go to eventlogs - or click start>run ((Or WindowsKey+R)) and then type in "eventvwr".) Look for any red x's or yellow !'s right within the timeframe of the little blackout seizure your machine is having.

DangerMouse 12-18-2009 06:16 PM

i'd look into the power settings too.... could be one of them got bumped....
could also be the fan on yer video card is on it's way out. (if applicable)
that could cause the symptoms described.

DM

80HD 12-19-2009 02:50 PM

Yeah, check power settings - good call DM.

Probably a heat sink rather than a fan on the vidya card - if heat is the issue, the whole thing will probably need to be broken down and cleaned. I would also re-thermal paste the CPU and any other applicable heat sinks.

Thurman 12-20-2009 09:05 AM

Important data has been backed up. Toshiba Satellite M35X-S111. I did try the video driver update and was informed that I have the latest driver. Only happens when I am on the web, using FF, tried using IE for one day, same problem (just once). I'm currently using an "Antec" cool pad, as I sit with laptop on my lap a lot, no intake ports blocked and warm air coming from the discharge ports. I'll run the Amico link to see what it shows. I'll also have to check the event log also. It certainly is time to open it up for a good visual inspection and cleaning I know. I now have another problem, which may or may not be related. I've noticed that I cannot tap my touchpad (mouse) to lock the cursor and scroll using the right side of the touch pad. Tapping the touchpad does lock it in to use the "down" or "up" arrow keys to scroll though. I've gone all through the touchpad issues to no avail. Could these two problems be connected? Thanks, David

80HD 12-20-2009 05:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thurman (Post 369631)
Important data has been backed up. Toshiba Satellite M35X-S111. I did try the video driver update and was informed that I have the latest driver. Only happens when I am on the web, using FF, tried using IE for one day, same problem (just once). I'm currently using an "Antec" cool pad, as I sit with laptop on my lap a lot, no intake ports blocked and warm air coming from the discharge ports. I'll run the Amico link to see what it shows. I'll also have to check the event log also. It certainly is time to open it up for a good visual inspection and cleaning I know. I now have another problem, which may or may not be related. I've noticed that I cannot tap my touchpad (mouse) to lock the cursor and scroll using the right side of the touch pad. Tapping the touchpad does lock it in to use the "down" or "up" arrow keys to scroll though. I've gone all through the touchpad issues to no avail. Could these two problems be connected? Thanks, David

It's extremely odd that it just happens in browsers... of course, do you do much else with that machine? Browsers are memory hogs these days and if you happen to have some kind of memory issue that COULD be the cause.

I don't think the problems are likely related, but they certainly COULD be... if they are, I would say possibly bad RAM, a loose connection, or a motherboard getting ready to cash in it's chips.

Some other things to try....

1. Next time it does this, try using the keyboard shortcut to suspend the computer. If it works, bring it out of suspend and see what happens.

2. Download http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/s.../bb896645.aspx - Process Monitor - and kick this heifer off before you start browsing. If you have the disk space, log it too. Keep an eye on the time. When your computer goes Patty Hearst style on you, wait until it snaps out of it and then stop the logging. Snip from like 2 or 3 minutes before the outage until right after the outage. Post that here.

3. Play some MP3s, see if they keep playing during an outage.

4. Download the Fedora 12 LiveCD http://torrent.fedoraproject.org/ (You could also get Ubuntu or Mandrake, or whatever) There are direct downloads out there too. Burn this to a CD with like http://www.poweriso.com/ (assuming you have a burner and cds handy!) Now, boot to that, fire up firefox and browse as normal... you know what, you might just try http://ftp.heanet.ie/pub/linuxmint.c...inuxMint-8.iso as it supposedly includes flash out of the gate - in case flash is causing the issue.

This could rule out something in your OS, drivers, etc... without doing a reinstall of Windows.

5. Shutdown and pop the case. RAM should be easy enough to get to. If you aren't really comfortable doing this off the cuff, let me know and we can do like a step by step. It SHOULD be fairly easy to get to the RAM, the HD, and like probably the wireless card. So, start with re-seating the RAM. See if that works. Assuming you have two sticks (Make a small mark on one of the stickers if they are identical), and if re-seating does not work, try swapping their slots. If that does not work, pull one... leave the other in it's slot. Check that. If that does not work, pull that stick and pop the other into the other slot. That should be enough, but if you are OCD and have the time, you could try each stick individually in each slot. (Very unlikely to produce anything, but you never know!)

6. As an alternative to the Linux LiveCD route, you could also try installing VMware or another virtualization program... fire up an instance of XP in there, and see what that does. This is hardcore nerdery, so you can most likely disregard, but I was up 16 hours fighting an ESX upgrade last night so I am all kinds of improvise, adapt, overcome (and caffeinated).

Anyway, let me know how she go!

DangerMouse 12-20-2009 05:18 PM

sounds like you covered most everything i was going to add today...
i was coming back to mention the ram. sometimes the sticks get a wee bit of corrosion.
is knoppix still around? i liked that ok.
try Opera, see if that makes any difference.
www.opera.com
good to have you here 80HD

DM

DangerMouse 12-20-2009 05:21 PM

but i still miss Nestor Kelebay.... Po)

DM

80HD 12-20-2009 05:35 PM

Hahaha thanks! Pretty cool place, and I enjoy helping out - I signed up because I am going to do some electrical and remote gate stuff in the future, but saw this forum and said HEY! If I am going to leech off of one side, I can try to help the other.

You bring up a good point on the RAM - Thurman, when you take it out, make sure the contacts are clean - they should be fairly shiny copper.

DangerMouse 12-20-2009 06:13 PM

yeah, the guys here help figure a lot of diy problems ....even a couple of MINE! lol
i do believe that's why i signed on to begin with.... had to check what code was on a project.

DM

Thurman 12-21-2009 08:49 PM

Thanks for all the reply's and helpful suggestions, 80HD-It will take some time for me to follow all of your suggestions as I'm not a computer savvy person. I did try this and it has seemed to help-I had an extra battery and decided to put it in as I had not used it in a while. After putting it in and letting it charge up I have not had this laptop drop out since. I very seldom run this unit on just the battery(s) as they both have a short life span, so I just plug it in. Maybe there was something in the other battery causing this laptop to drop out, who knows? Now if I can get the scroll on the touchpad to work I'll be back to normal. I do have a wireless mouse and it works fine, but I just miss my scroll function. Thanks, David

DangerMouse 12-21-2009 08:53 PM

"Maybe there was something in the other battery causing this laptop to drop out, who knows?"

dang... dunno how i missed that one.... of course it had something to do with it... grrrr....
heck, mine did the same thing last month....

DM

thegame 12-22-2009 07:35 AM

My laptop just died after almost two years. Anybody have a great laptop they want to recommend?

I know the MacBook is top shelf but I'm not sure I want to drop 1k on it.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

DangerMouse 12-22-2009 07:49 AM

i like my HP laptop....7 yrs and still going strong.
my son got one too.
my daughter got a toshiba... it's ok, but she's had problems with it.

DM


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