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Laptop Dell Inspiron 1150 - Hard Drive Error Vs Overheating


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#1 Darren De Wilde

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 07:30 PM

I have been asked to look into a problem with a Dell inspiron 1150 laptop concerning an intial BSOD error which is intermittent and has happened twice and only twice in the last week according to its owner.

I witnessed the error today but unfortunately did not note any particulars of the error. What I did notice was that the error happened when the power was supplied by the AC adaptor. The hard drive emitted a continuous clicking noise as if it were trying to boot after and at the BSOD. On turning the laptop over to its underside with the BSOD on screen, I noted that the fan was still.



On the BSOD, on pressing the power on button with power supply in, the BIOS reports that there is no bootable device and does not provide any access to a HDD menu in setup. On removing the power supply jack and rebooting from the battery pack, the laptop boots perfectly.

While writing this post, the laptop has emitted two click type noises and the screen has frozen.
I am now of the humble opinion that there is an overheating problem here since the underside of the laptop is warm and the fan has stopped - - at present the laptop turns on then swiftly back off again regardless of where the power is sourced.

I have advised the owner to purchase a cool mat to alleviate the heat build up since there is a paltry sized fan supplying air flow to the components.

Is this a common problem with Dell inspiron laptops, all laptops or is there a fundamental hard drive problem approaching. I will be backing her data up this evening if I can get the laptop on again.

Many thanks for your help and opinions.

Darren

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#2 ThorXP

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Posted 24 July 2006 - 09:14 PM

In this case I would call Dell tech support they may be of some help and have them check the part number of the AC Adapter for the unit. It may be the wrong one. If the unit boots which apparently it does I suggest until you verify the proper power supply that you do not use the pwoer supply, if the polarity is wrong for the computer and I think it is there could be damage to the computer, the noise you hear from the hard drive is probably the hard drive running backwards or trying to.

As for the BSOD if you can get the error message for us and/or Dell tech support it would be most helpful

#3 Enthusiast

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 09:03 AM

If the fan stopped it is a significant problem - overheating which can destroy the processor, motherboard, graphics adapter - more than a bsod would cause.
A bsod causes a hijacked home page.

If the fan stopped it is a significant problem - overheating which can destroy the processor, motherboard, graphics adapter - more than a bsod would cause.
A bsod causes a hijacked home page.

#4 ThorXP

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 07:51 PM

Hey double your pleasure double your post.

THe fan not working can be because of the power supply might not be putting out enough vitals/amps. Also if it is the wrong polarity it could cause the fan not to run at all since the fan is more than likely a DC fan. I still say verify the model number of the power supply with the manufacturer and also check the voltage output with a volt meter.

Or if you can swap with another exact power supply it would do the computer different and you have the answer.

#5 Darren De Wilde

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 08:05 PM

I'm no longer convinced that there is a power problem as when I was looking at it without the power supply it froze for no reason. When I rebooted it went beserk emitting continuous beeps with a blank screen. I removed and re inserted the batt pack rebooted and it was fine.

Why would the hdd try to go backwards by the way. I think someone mentioned that was what the clicking noise was?
I did run checks with spybot, AVG and housecall including windows malicious software detector and there were no findings there. I remember on the BSOD it said to uninstall any new hard drive controllers (which none were installed by the way) and to check for viruses.

I am waiting for the error to appear again but cannot work out why in one instance windows simply freezes to the point where the batt pack, AC supply or both have to be removed to reboot and yet in another instance a BSOD occurs Of course its bloody annoying to the owner and annoying to me as the problem seems to be beating me.

Owner said she has had the laptop just over a year. She bought a cool mat today also hoping that it may be an overheating problem. This problem has been happening only over the last week or so.

Thank you all so much for your help.

Darren

#6 Wynand

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 06:41 AM

Well, in this temperatures outside my notebooks temps are much higer (from 39C to over 55C for the CPU). A hard drive that makes tikking/clicking/.. noise mostly means that it's at the end of his life, and my only suggestion in these situations is make a backup before it's to late and buy an other drive.

#7 usasma

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 02:16 PM

The hard drive won't go backwards - that's a tech joke from way back (sorta like sending the new guy to find a left-handed crescent wrench).

Clicking, depending on the drive can be ok - or it can be a sign of impending hard drive failure. Backup the data now!

The power supply is different from the cord and block that power the computer. The power supply is inside the case, and it transforms the power to the corrent voltage, frequency, and type for the laptop to handle in it's various parts.

The most significant thing is the change between with and without battery. I'd definitely get Dell tech support involved in this if the system is still under warranty.

Check the event viewer for error messages relating to the system crashes/freezes. This might reveal something - but I suspect this is either heat or hardware based.
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#8 Darren De Wilde

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 03:18 PM

Dear All,

The laptop has now been returned to the owner.

After using a cool mat the problem reccured. When I passed her desk this morning a message was displayed on screen that there was no bootable device found and to press F2 for setup.

I have advised her that since the problem started to occur a week ago and has become more frequent, we would be looking at a hard drive failure. The laptop is out of warranty so I believe that it is going to be a case of new computer vs extortionate costs for parts and labor.

Thank you all for your valued opinions and assistance and for pulling my leg about the hard drive going backwards...:-)..I can't believe I fell for it..now you know why I only have two squares under ranking...he he he.

Case closed




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