Running Avast real-time, plus manual scans with Malwarebytes and Superantispyware
I am trying to fix a "broken" laptop that is no longer covered under warranty. The laptop was already "fixed" twice through warranty, and the 3rd time symptoms happened, the warranty company replaced it. The replacement laptop is "ok"; the specs are a little higher, but the keyboard etc is not as nice because they replaced based on price I paid rather than the value of the laptop (there was a really good promo on the laptop - it was abt $250 less than usual price). So now that there is no warranty, I hope to be able to fix my original laptop on my own.
Sorry this is so lengthy, but I wanted to make sure to get as much info as possible in my first post.
Laptop purchased around March 2010.
1. Laptop ran nice & cool for awhile, then after about 9 months of frequent use, it started getting too warm if it was on for more than a couple hours. Symptoms as far as freezing/crashing started around March 2011. The laptop would freeze, with the cap locks & num locks lights slowly flashing in unison. After reboot, all was fine. It would happen again after a few weeks; I just restarted and it worked fine again. Then it started happening more frequently, sometimes the display would show just vertical colored lines, sometimes screen would look pixilated (sometimes these strange displays were accompanied by a loud screeching noise) but always with the num lock/cap lock lights flashing & keys nonresponsive. A few times the BSOD appeared. I would usually restart after a little while & it would be fine (only option was hard boot - ctrl+alt+del would not work). When it got to a point where it would happen after it was on just a few minutes, I contacted the warranty company. They had me do mem check, system restore etc with no luck. So I sent in for repair. (Launch startup repair didn't work either - would crash).
Repair summary June 2011: "Replicated prob with 3 hour stress test. Restored HDA using OEM restore CD. Reseated cables and chips, reworked solder joints, cleaned out fan and/or heat sink." On calling them today (2/10/12) for clarification I was told there was corrupt data / drivers on HD and it seemed like it was caused by virus. (which I didn't expect since I had Avast and did run malwarebytes & superantispyware regularly)
2. Laptop worked beautifully, and ran nice & cool, for about 2 months, until the same sequence of symptoms began. This time I also noticed the battery would die in about 25 minutes, even after I drained it down & fully recharged. There was also a strange battery error message telling me to replace the battery, but that only happened once. After a couple weeks & problem becoming more frequent, I sent it back in for repair at the same shop.
Repair summary Sept 2011: "Problem was duplicated and repaired. Replaced fan & tested. Repaired/replaced defective LCD. Reseated cables and chips, reworked solder joints, cleaned out fan and/or heat sink. Replaced touchpad." On calling them today, they also mentioned they replaced the plastic palmrest.
The laptop worked well again, & cool, for a couple months (till about Nov 2011). This time, since the computer was repaired twice already, the warranty repair company replaced the laptop.
The laptop has been unplugged & stored for months now. Every so often I turn it on, but it freezes within maybe a few minutes or half hour. This morning I tried running the computer with the battery taken out, but it crashed again after about an hour (with no programs running, just sitting idle).
On talking to someone at the warranty repair shop today (not a tech person, but with access to the repair information), he suggested trying a full system recovery (also suggested that it's either software related or could be an issue with the motherboard). The laptop had already frozen up on me a couple times today, but it stayed on long enough to do the entire system recovery plus install Avast (& updates), update Windows (including a restart), and downloading & installing a few other programs we use (eg firefox, chrome, malwarebytes etc). As I started checking gmail, it froze again. I've had a couple BSODs today, which are logged so I can provide that info if needed.
Note that after the problems with overheating first began, every couple months I used a vacuum hose on the vents to try to clean out some dust. After the first few times it froze up, I also used Speedfan and the temps were usually shown as ok at about 39-40C, but it did sometimes show hot at 41-44C, and had a couple times gone up too high to around 50C. As a non-techie, one thing I noticed is it seems that something happens with the laptop to cause a problem (eg serious overheating), and then the damage is already done & it will keep crashing/freezing etc until repaired.
Also, fyi, we have other laptops in the home that don't have any of these problems so if it's a dust-causing-overheating issue this is the only laptop affected.
Any advice or suggestions are greatly appreciated.
If it's not too difficult to repair on my own (as in, opening up the laptop, which I have done with a desktop but never with a laptop) I may do that as well, considering right now it's barely usable at all.
My last resort would be to take it to a local repair shop, but even so I'd like to be able to give them some info to guide them so they can fix it more quickly (& hopefully at less cost to me .
Edited by JadedGem, 11 February 2012 - 10:51 AM.