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Gateway laptop has power but won't boot

By gja ·
Gateway Solo 2150 w/ 400 MHz Celeron; 64 MB RAM; running
Windows 98. When power button is pressed the LED light for
power on lights and some normal noise of the hard drive heads
moving are heard but no BIOS splash screen or any kind of
display comes on. The system will just sit like that until I
depress the power button and hold to force a restart and then
the whole thing is repeated.
I've tried to boot off Windows CD and Norton CD as well as
Emergency Disk (floppy) but same things happen. AC adapter
seems to be working fine. Battery has been dead and user has
kept the system plugged to the AC adapter to use.
I replaced the hard drive but same symptoms occurred when
trying to boot up.
One more thing: about once every five tries, especially if I let the
system sit for an hour or so after trying to start it, the laptop
does boot fully and we can get into Windows. But the system will
freeze shortly after fully loading and then when I have to force
quit it goes back to the power on but no display or boot
situation. On occasion the system will freeze in the BIOS boot or
Windows startup as well.
Any thoughts? Looks like a flaky motherboard to me. Anyone
have another opinion? Since I tried a new hard drive and still got
the same symptoms, I think I've ruled out a drive problem. I also
took out the RAM with no change in symptoms.
Thanks.

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by willcomp In reply to Gateway laptop has power ...

Yes, it may well be the mobo is the culprit, but won't hurt to try this first.

Remove everything removable such as optical drives, hard disk, floppy drive, PC cards, and modem card. Then see if notebook will POST reliably. Could be an intermittent fault in one of these devices causing the problem. Admittedly, it's not probable but still well worth a shot.

Dalton

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by willcomp In reply to

POST is Power On Self Test. Screen displayed when computer starts up unless covered by manufacturer's logo. Want to see if you get a display and any kind of message.

POST is where system does hardware check prior to loading operating system.

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by willcomp In reply to

Markus,

This is a notebook.

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by gja In reply to

Thank you for your help. I'm going to try the termal paste remedy below. If that
doesn't work, then I'm going to blame the motherboard and move on accordingly.

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by sgt_shultz In reply to Gateway laptop has power ...

i wonder if replacing the battery---? could you ask gateway that specific question by email from their website?

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by gja In reply to

Thanks anyway

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by gja In reply to Gateway laptop has power ...

Thank you, willcomp. I'll give that try. Sorry to ask a simple
question, but what does POST stand for and how do I get the
laptop to do it? I appreciate your suggestions.

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by gja In reply to Gateway laptop has power ...

sgt shultz: thanks for your suggestion. I've contacted a Gateway
tech and after some very brief troubleshooting over the phone
he said the only suggestion that they can make is for me to send
them the laptop for benchwork. An expensive proposition since
the system is out of warranty. Also, the user has said that the
computer worked fine for over a year with the dead battery
before the current symptoms arose. Don't think it is battery
related. But thank you for your input.

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by rindi1 In reply to Gateway laptop has power ...

You said you removed the ram? did you try to run the system without the ram or did you just take it out and put it back in, before you tried?

I think you should try opening the case and check everything you can remove. If possible have a particular good look at the heatsink for the CPU. If possible remove it, clean the CPU and the heatsink and add some thermal paste in between (you don't need much). also clean all the dust away from the fan, maybe if the fan doesn't run, the system may refuse to start. Make sure the fan turns freely. If it doesn't it may be possible to get a replacement from gateway. Then make sure every cable sits well, then try notebook again.

P.O.S.T. means something like
Pre
Operating
System
Tests

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by gja In reply to

I did take out the RAM and try to restart...same results...no boot.
Took apart the case and cleaned everything and checked the heat sink and all
cables. Fan spins easily and doesn't have any blockage. Tried to restart but
nothing changed.
Need to pick up some thermal paste to try that remedy. If that doesn't work, then
I'm going to blame the motherboard and move on. Thank you for your advice.
Thank you.

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