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Is this a hardware failure of some sort??

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  • Motherboards
  • Computer
Last response: in Motherboards
August 30, 2012 6:18:59 PM

Hello

I am working on a computer that is badly infected with at least one virus. The computer is a gateway m-series sa1 laptop, with Windows 7 Professional installed. Windows Vista Home Edition was originally installed. There are a lot of things going on with this laptop. It has 3 lines running vertically on the screen. The computer will not boot into normal mode without giving the blue screen of death and then restarting. It was working in safe mode, but it will no longer do that. I tried to fully back up the system, but I was not completely successful with that. I was only able to back up the user’s documents. I tried to do xcopy and robocopy to backup the entire hard drive to an external drive but I kept receiving error messages. One of the messages that displayed during the blue screen was to check the memory, and I used the built in memory tester. While the memory tester was running, the laptop shut down and then when I restarted it, it will no longer boot to the hard drive. I went into the bios, and NO devices for the boot order section are listed - no option to boot from the hard drive, CD/DVD drive, nothing. There are two options on the bios screen – Press F2 to enter bios setup, or Press F10 to access the boot menu. When I press F10, the bios setup utility appears. When I would press F2 to access the bios setup, it will say “Please wait” and nothing happens after that. The bios screen sometimes will not display correctly either. I will try to upload pictures if I can. I have tried to reset bios to its default factory settings and that has not worked. I reseated memory and that did not work. I have not taken out the hard drive as suggested on other sites, and I am at a loss on what to do now. Is it something with the BIOS, motherboard, hard drive or something else??

Update 1:
I also noticed on with one blue screen of death error message, it was listing ntfs.sys as a problem file. I also ran chkdsk and it found quite a few issues, but this was all before the laptop stopped booting.

More about : hardware failure sort

a b V Motherboard
August 30, 2012 6:29:02 PM

That does indeed sound like you have at least the potential for several different hardware failures happening concurrently.

If the lines on the display are there from the moment you turn the computer on to the moment it shuts off, that is almost definitely a LCD panel failure.

The unit shutting down and BOSDing could be a sign of thermal issues.

The other issues could be anything from a bad HDD, bad SATA cable, or bad motherboard.

So, if the unit is under warranty, call Acer and make it their problem to fix it for you. If it's not under warranty, the cost of replacing the LCD panel alone might be more than the unit is worth, but factoring in some of the other potential issues, you may just want to write this thing off. But it would probably be a good idea to at least take it somewhere and get a diagnostic performed on it by someone who can actually see and manipulate the unit, as well as a repair estimate. Then you can make a more informed decision about whether you'd like to repair or scrap it.
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August 30, 2012 6:31:08 PM

mubin said:
Its a hardware failure. Its also memory issue i think. Check with memtest soft for memory error. You need to change ram or repair your laptop.


The laptop has two memory modules. I checked in the bios and both memory modules are listed there. Should I just swap out the memory modules and then try to reboot and see what happens? I could possibly determine if one or perhaps both of the memory modules are bad.
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a b V Motherboard
August 30, 2012 6:31:50 PM

Its a hardware failure. Its also memory issue i think. Check with memtest soft for memory error. You need to change ram or repair your laptop.
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August 30, 2012 6:35:23 PM

cl-scott said:
That does indeed sound like you have at least the potential for several different hardware failures happening concurrently.

If the lines on the display are there from the moment you turn the computer on to the moment it shuts off, that is almost definitely a LCD panel failure.

The unit shutting down and BOSDing could be a sign of thermal issues.

The other issues could be anything from a bad HDD, bad SATA cable, or bad motherboard.

So, if the unit is under warranty, call Acer and make it their problem to fix it for you. If it's not under warranty, the cost of replacing the LCD panel alone might be more than the unit is worth, but factoring in some of the other potential issues, you may just want to write this thing off. But it would probably be a good idea to at least take it somewhere and get a diagnostic performed on it by someone who can actually see and manipulate the unit, as well as a repair estimate. Then you can make a more informed decision about whether you'd like to repair or scrap it.


Could it possibly be an issue with the CMOS battery in the laptop? I am able to access the bios setup utility, and the time is correct in bios, although having the correct time is irrelevant.
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a b V Motherboard
August 30, 2012 6:36:05 PM

There is no way the CMOS battery could be causing all of these problems.
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a b V Motherboard
August 30, 2012 6:42:08 PM

Shania1682 said:
The laptop has two memory modules. I checked in the bios and both memory modules are listed there. Should I just take out the memory modules and then try to reboot and see what happens?


First try with memtest software.
Download it: www.memtest.org

Then check for memory error.
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August 30, 2012 6:53:56 PM

mubin said:
First try with memtest software.
Download it: www.memtest.org

Then check for memory error.


The computer will no longer boot from the CD/DVD drive. When the computer turns on, the screen with the Gateway logo appears along with the BIOS options at the bottom. It will not boot any further. I can only access the bios, and that is it
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a b V Motherboard
August 30, 2012 7:03:09 PM

You can try it from usb drive. But i think you have to take it in customer care as it cant detect hdd or boot from dvd rom. You sure dvd/hdd is not detected by bios?
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August 30, 2012 7:09:41 PM

mubin said:
You can try it from usb drive. But i think you have to take it in customer care as it cant detect hdd or boot from dvd rom. You sure dvd/hdd is not detected by bios?


When I put the cd in and I go into bios, it will show the cd capacity as 0. The cd drive was listed in the list of bootable devices, but no devices are listed in the bios boot section at all. I am going to try to upload a picture shortly. The hard drive also has 0 MB next to it in bios.
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a b V Motherboard
August 30, 2012 7:12:11 PM

That means only cd-rom but no hdd. Is your laptop fall out of hand? I think it get lose connection.
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August 30, 2012 7:20:57 PM

mubin said:
That means only cd-rom but no hdd. Is your laptop fall out of hand? I think it get lose connection.


I don't think the laptop has been dropped, but I will admit that I am not entirely sure. The laptop actually belongs to someone else, and he bought it over to my home for me to fix. I have never had an issue like this before. I also noticed that the laptop felt a bit hot after it had been on for a few minutes. The guy that bought it over said that he would bring it over when he left work. I would hate to think they the laptop sat in his hot car all day, when the temperature here was close to 100 degrees; I'm not sure if that is part of the issue or not. I am going to take the laptop to a local pc shop and see what the computer repair techs think about it. I will be back in a little while.
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a b V Motherboard
August 30, 2012 7:35:55 PM

For badly virus-infected systems, rather than try to get Windows into a state where I can install/update/run a virus scan, I just remove the hard drive. Put it into a clean desktop system and run the virus scan from there. The blue screens on boot usually mean the virus has corrupted some of the files the OS needs to boot, so I doubt you'll be able to remove the virus without putting the HDD into a desktop. The upside is, it makes it a lot easier to get data off the drive, provided the owner hasn't encrypted it.

The laptop sounds like it has multiple hardware problems though. The lines on the display are an LCD or video card problem. Spontaneous rebooting is a memory or overheating problem (try using compressed air on the fan to blow dust off the heat sink/fan). And failing to detect the HDD or CD at boot sound like bad connections to the or on the motherboard.
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August 30, 2012 8:14:46 PM

Solandri said:
For badly virus-infected systems, rather than try to get Windows into a state where I can install/update/run a virus scan, I just remove the hard drive. Put it into a clean desktop system and run the virus scan from there. The blue screens on boot usually mean the virus has corrupted some of the files the OS needs to boot, so I doubt you'll be able to remove the virus without putting the HDD into a desktop. The upside is, it makes it a lot easier to get data off the drive, provided the owner hasn't encrypted it.

The laptop sounds like it has multiple hardware problems though. The lines on the display are an LCD or video card problem. Spontaneous rebooting is a memory or overheating problem (try using compressed air on the fan to blow dust off the heat sink/fan). And failing to detect the HDD or CD at boot sound like bad connections to the or on the motherboard.



I was told that it would be an issue with memory, so I am going to try a few things to resolve memory errors. I do agree with you about the multiple hardware problems though. This is just crazy for the laptop to just stop working properly like this. It could be an overheating issue as well. I think this laptop may have been exposed to heat, and I think it had been sitting out in the car for a few hours before I received the laptop. I will use compressed air to remove any dust or debris.
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August 30, 2012 8:27:57 PM

mubin said:
Its a hardware failure. Its also memory issue i think. Check with memtest soft for memory error. You need to change ram or repair your laptop.


Mubin, I think you are right. I took out one of the memory modules and I restarted the system. It started up just fine, with no BSOD either. I am still going to check for viruses. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed!!
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August 30, 2012 9:20:57 PM

cl-scott said:
There is no way the CMOS battery could be causing all of these problems.


I meant the bios chip, but I think I have solved the problem.
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August 30, 2012 9:48:32 PM

mubin said:
Its a hardware failure. Its also memory issue i think. Check with memtest soft for memory error. You need to change ram or repair your laptop.


You were right. I decided to take out the first memory module and the computer started to work again, although it still had malware on it. I am in the process of removing the malware. Thank you!!
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August 30, 2012 9:49:19 PM

Best answer selected by Shania1682.
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a c 331 V Motherboard
August 31, 2012 12:22:35 AM

This topic has been closed by Nikorr
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