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At Wits End with Unstable Laptop

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Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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March 27, 2006 8:58:56 PM

I got a Clevo 2300T laptop (1.2 Ghz Celeron, 256, 20 gig, CD-ROM) and it simply keeps blue screening, restarting & freezing on me. It does this in both WinXP and Linux (Ubuntu 5.10) so it's not a driver or OS related conflict, it's just the machine itself. I've tested the memory and it's not that and there's nothing helpful in the WinXP's Event Viewer (viewed after a crash or BSOD). After almost 5 months trying to figure this thing out, I believe the problem may be the CPU fan isn't running because the machine gets really hot. I'm not sure how to fix that (I mainly work with desktops) and the thing is, now I'm just too tired to fight this thing anymore.

What can I do to salvage this laptop??? (As a whole or in parts)

TIA
March 28, 2006 2:35:08 AM

You are proably right about overheating. If you have access to compressed air. Blow out all the lint, be prepared for a dust storm. If you have access to the cpu cooler, heat pipe system. If out of warranty go ahead and try. Most have any where between 4 to 6 screws. Once the screws are loose you will need to WIGGLE THE HEATSINK back and forth. DO NOT TRY TO REMOVE HEAT SINK TILL YOU GET IT TO MOVE. LIFTING THE HEATSINK BEFORE IT IS LOOSE WILL RIP IT LOOSE FROM THE SOCKET OR BOARD. Follow the wire to the fan connector and unplug. Depending on what thermal link (paste/pad) used it may take some work. I had the same problem with my LT. The heat paste was the cheap white thermal paste developed 30 yrs ago. Once you get them seperated use a paper towel and wipe it clean. This stuff is real thick, and if its been over heating you may have a indication by the color. Use alcohol and q-tips to complete the clean up. Use Artic Silver 5 for the thermal paste.

A good source of info is www.notebookreview.com

Download a copy of cpu-z, it will tell you who made the motherboard, then goto their web site. Most have forums.
March 28, 2006 4:32:24 AM

I can't believe it! I can hear the fan now! I finally figured out how to actually move the keyboard to get to the CPU and hard drive. It appears the cpu heatsink fan came loose and wouldn't move because it was brushing up against the bottom of the heatsink panel. I simply pushed the fan back in, made sure everything was seated and tucked in, blew dust out the way, snapped back on the keyboard, booted up and VOILA!!! The fan is working (I can feel the hot air blowing out too) and it's been 30 mins and no crashing, freezing, BSOD (it usually crashes after 10-15 minutes)!

i can't believe i was gonna chuck this thing

thanks Blue68F100
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March 29, 2006 8:36:10 PM

"can't believe i was gonna chuck this thing"

Beware... now YOU are one of the guys that takes equipemnt people are ready to chuck and tries to fix it.
April 14, 2006 5:00:43 AM

Hi there,
Your problem sounds SO familar. I would like to try your fix. BUT I have not found a way to separate the case to get to the mother board.
You mentioned wriggling the keyboard ?
I have taken all the screws out from the back but it still appears to be firmly connected somewhere.
Any suggestions?

Thanks Ian.
April 14, 2006 8:42:17 PM

Don't know which LT you have. but most have 3 catches in front. Locate a Service manual, it may help.
April 17, 2006 2:40:31 AM

You need the service manual not user manual. First thing I would do would take compressed air and blow it out real good. You should hear the fan whirl. Beware of a dust storm.

I would download cpu-z to see who actually made the LT.

The contact the mfg and see if they can send you a service manual.

At first glance I would see of the back comes off, doing so will void any warranty left.
April 18, 2006 8:47:50 PM

many of the laptops I have dealt with have a thin plastic piece that sits just in front of the keyboard and the monitor (when it is in the viewing position).

If you ever receive a service kit for the laptop, they give you a sharp plastic knife to pry this piece up without gouging it (with say a screwdriver). Sometimes you can even put your fingernail under it and pop it up.

Laptops can be a little intimidating but they aren't unlike their desktop counterparts...we've all encountered a case that doesn't seem to want to open or a disk drive on the inside of a case that seems nigh impossible to access.

My recommendation for tearing apart a laptop is to have a clean work area where you can begin removing screws. If you have a tacklebox or even a hardware holder with seperate bins--it will help. If not, just begin removing screws from the bottom and place them on the table in the same orientation that you removed them, so when the thing goes back together you know where the screws go.

damn I hate the ZIF connectors on the insides of laptops. :twisted:
April 20, 2006 9:15:31 PM

Mine has the bezel in front. But the service manual shows poping the keyboard loose first. There are 4 switches (buttons) and 4 led's in the bezel.
!