My friend asked me to repair his laptop after several others failed and now I'm stumped too. I believe there is a serious hardware error but don't have anything definitive. Seems to run really hot as well but that might just be the P4.
Occasionally (less than 15% of the time) the computer boots just fine. Happened to be the first time I tried to turn it on and was able to get to windows update and install service pack 3 (up from 2) and download maleware bites. Restarts worked just fine also during the updates, so I just figured I was looking for a virus problem not a hardware one until the comp froze on an ie page and refused to come back to windows for the next few boots. First all I got was fans running, hdd light flashing in time with the cd drive restarting (like a continuous reboot), and a black screen. Then I would intermittently get the American Megatrends AMIBIOS screen (has been giving one short beep on successful and unsuccessful boots), followed by a black screen or the select windows startup type screen followed by a freeze. Finally I popped in a memtest 86+ boot disk which immediately showed nothing but errors on test #2.
Figured I was getting somewhere then until I gave it one last restart and memtest ran perfect. Changed back to the hdd for boot and windows started flawlessly. Decided to use it for a minute only to again get a freeze after about ten minutes. Memtest again throws errors when I get the bios to show up. Otherwise all I get is a black screen.
Tried moving the ram sticks and running with just one or the other, but no luck there either. Actually I get the same result with no ram installed, just a black screen and fans. One of the sticks was installed new just after my friend started experiencing the problems. Apparently the guy who installed it never experienced the error. Also popped the cmos battery to reset that too.
So, if any of this makes any sense or there are any other diagnostic programs I can run, any input would be greatly appreciated.
Computer Builders Warehouse Diplomat
Build #538265 Model# 258SA5
1Gig DDR333 RAM (2/512)
American Megatrends AMIBIOS
Windows XP Home SP3
Edited by Golden64, 20 August 2009 - 03:52 AM.