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Laptops Randomly Dying


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#1 dsouth09

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Posted 25 February 2015 - 09:12 AM

I manage a few physician offices' IT equipment and one office in particular has had a sudden outbreak of computers zapping out. The laptop in question is the Panasonic Toughbook CF-C1. The issue is users will get logged in to the laptop and start their programs and within a few minutes the screen flickers a few time then the entire computer powers down. I have seen this issue on 3 separate laptops within the past 2 weeks, all in the same office. All of the computers were purchased at roughly the same time so I suppose it could be an age thing, however it seems like a huge coincidence that 3 laptops would display the exact same issue within a 2 week period. The office has approximately 20 of these laptops in use and there are about 50 more spread out across the other offices but none of the others are currently, or have ever, had this issue. 

 

Here is what I have found so far:

 

I checked all of the chargers in that office for shorts - Nothing

I inspected each of the affected laptops for damage or signs of shorts - Nothing

Windows logs are showing a kernal power critical error. 

Moving the laptop to the same model laptop will cause the new laptop to exhibit the same behaviors.

Replacing the hard drive in the affected laptop corrects the issue

 

I am about to pull my hair out trying to figure out what is causing all of these laptops to suddenly go bad. From my findings above I can logically conclude that the hard drives are the issue, but I want to get to the source of the problem and see what is causing the hard drives to zap out the laptops. I would hate to replace the hard drives and have something cause them to go bad as well. Any information or guidance would be greatly appreciated. 



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#2 mauguilar

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Posted 25 February 2015 - 11:05 AM

Connect an external Monitor to the laptops and try to replicate the problem, just in case is an video issue..


Edited by mauguilar, 25 February 2015 - 11:06 AM.


#3 YeahBleeping

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Posted 25 February 2015 - 05:04 PM

Does this office happen to use/store/ their laptops near their MRI machine?  What about newer types of imaging using a high magnetic force?  Obviously yes if all these laptops were purchased at the same time there could be a ' bad batch ' of hard drives but I see your point.  Do you see mine?  What kind of laptops are these?  I would maybe check with the mfr. to see if there is a common problem / design flaw.



#4 dsouth09

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 10:58 AM

They do not use any imaging equipment except an ultrasound machine in this office and it it on the opposite site of the building. I suppose it could be a bad batch of hard drives that were shipped since they all have the same drives in them however, the laptops are a few years old so I'm not sure if there is anything they could do for me, plus it is Panasonic so getting anything from them is like pulling teeth (in my experience). Mauguilar, I don't think connecting an external monitor would give any further information since the entire laptop is shutting down after the screen flickers. Thanks for the replies.



#5 JohnC_21

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 11:14 AM

I am not sure if it would give you a clue but place the bad drives in an external enclosure. If the drive is detected run Gsmartcontrol and look at the attributes tab. Look for anything commom among the drives including the Gsense attribute which detects external vibrations and shocks.

 

Edit: Another utility you can use is HWmonitor. Check the temps and voltages between the laptops that failed and the ones that did not.

 

info_failing.png


Edited by JohnC_21, 26 February 2015 - 11:30 AM.


#6 YeahBleeping

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Posted 26 February 2015 - 05:20 PM

Not to turn you into a sleuth or anything but maybe theres an underlying cause.  Were these laptops plugged in during a power surge/outage into an un protected outlet?  Or possibly sitting on a cart that got nocked over during a ruckus?  I agree that it is odd that they would all fail this way at the same time and John makes a good suggestion to test the drives.






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