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ASUS S56CA Black Screen Boot, MB Lights On, Hard Drive Spinning, No Fan Spinning

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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October 11, 2013 10:28:03 AM

Hey Tom's Hardware,

I recently purchased an ASUS S56CA from eBay's NewOpenBox. ASUS doesn't acknowledge the warranty from eBay, I got a ADP card of some sort. But, just three days ago the laptop was trying to boot into PXE, so I went and disabled it in BIOS. I am pretty sure I didn't turn it off, I just changed the boot order. Then, on reboot a black screen.

I have tested the hard drive and it works. I've tried pulling the CMOS battery for thirty minutes, still nothing. Powering on without ram does not yield any beeps. I've also checked the monitor/display and to no avail. I've plugged it into both an HDMI and a VGA display, nothing.

The lights on the front turn on: power indicator, hard drive usage indicator, and battery charging indicator. The hard drive turns off after maybe a post? But, when I open it up the fan, I think it is the CPU fan, doesn't spin up. I've taken this apart three times and still am lost.

I'm quite frustrated because this was a lot of my money I saved up and now it isn't working, seemingly, because I turned off that pxe boot option.

Maybe a dead GPU? But, this laptop isn't that old. I did have it on my bed, so heat would have trouble getting out, but that was only a few times. I would be astounded if the graphics card was fried because of that.

If nothing can be done to fix it, any suggestions on selling the items? I was thinking of taking it apart and selling the display, ram, hard drive, mSATA, and maybe the WLAN card.

I would appreciate any help, thank you. I also apologize if this is the wrong sub-forum.
a b Ĉ ASUS
a b D Laptop
October 11, 2013 10:52:13 AM

PXE is just network boot. What did you place at the top of the boot priority?
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October 11, 2013 11:10:07 AM

I put a "Windows Boot Loader" in front of the pxe boot. I didn't choose a hard drive, because there was only the WBL option. Three days ago, for some reason, the laptop would try to boot into PXE instead of W8 and I hadn't updated, changed any hardware, or added drivers.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a b D Laptop
October 14, 2013 1:32:14 PM

Windows Boot Loader means BIOS hands control over to the boot loader after POST, if present. It sounds like either your Windows installation is not being detected, or your hard drive is not being picked up.
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October 14, 2013 2:40:20 PM

The CPU fan is not spinning upon power button being pressed, either. I think the laptop is supposed to inject the W8 Key when it boots up. I was able to boot the drive on my desktop sucessfully, so I can rule out the hard drive being bad. Maybe it is my BIOS or something? But, at the same time I can't flash the BIOS or anything since there is no screen...

If the hard drive isn't being picked up, how should I change that with the BIOS? As I mentioned I don't have any video output. Now, I wish I didn't even change the pxe option in BIOS :( 
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a b D Laptop
October 15, 2013 1:34:24 PM

Well if you're sure the CPU fan is not spinning, that alone is enough to have it exchanged or refunded (if possible). By black screen, I'm not sure if you mean no backlight, or if you mean there's simply no picture but the screen is illuminated.

Disabling PXE ROM should have no bearing on being able to boot the system, as long as it is not the boot priority.

And the Windows 8 key is hard coded into the firmware; it's not injected at boot, per se.

Do you have an external display you can use to test? That will help to determine whether the problem is the monitor/monitor cable or if it's indeed the display adapter.
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October 15, 2013 5:11:46 PM

The screen is black with no picture or backlit display. Similar to when you open a laptop that is off.

Unfortunately, it is not under warranty (ASUS doesn't recognize eBay's ADP warranty, which came with the laptop). But, I should contact the eBay seller.

I have tried it on both vga and hdmi external display and nothing shows up. Maybe I need to be more patient and allow ten minutes for something to appear. Would the BIOS be viewable via external display?
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a b D Laptop
October 23, 2013 8:00:50 AM

that's the next thing to see- if you can get some kind of image on the external display versus an external with blank screen it might help determine the full extent of the problem.
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November 2, 2013 11:58:23 AM

Do you think the magnetic lid would disable the viewing on an external display? I am refusing to believe it is the graphics card. Because at the time of the incident all fans are running and everything was working.
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Best solution

a b Ĉ ASUS
a b D Laptop
November 12, 2013 12:46:44 PM

No, whether the magnetization is at the lid or the chassis, it won't adversely affect external video output.

Video cards are problem children in laptops, so the possibility is there. Depending on the type of failure, the fans could still operate in any case, so that's not always a clear indication.
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December 5, 2013 9:06:26 AM

I had the same problem 2 times now but i putted Windows 7 on it using a USB stick(whitch worked great btw) but after that i was trying to boot from a USB stick whitch was ntfs formatted and the files for backtrack where on it (yes i know that the BIOS doesnt reconises ntfs but is was just playing around) and putted it into my laptop and tried booting it and my screen went black and i had basicly the same probleem as this guy has.
Now they have replaced my MB in the laptop 2 times and still no one knows realy what the problem is
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a b D Laptop
December 6, 2013 2:13:51 PM

enzowe said:
Now they have replaced my MB in the laptop 2 times and still no one knows realy what the problem is


Problem = quality assurance. ;) 
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December 17, 2013 8:34:52 PM

I just had the exact same thing happen. Adding windows 8.1. Booting from wrong place. Switched to windows boot loader, now the power light comes on and that's it. I even bought it off eBay. What did you do???

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