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Laptop Hard Drive Activity Light Not Blinking..even when computer turned on


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#1 Daale7905

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 02:23 PM

My  7 1/2 year old HP Pavilion dv9000 laptop does not boot up.  It doesn't even start to boot.  The OS is Vista.  After turning the computer on the screen stays black and I noticed the hard drive activity light, which normally would blink as the computer starts up, doesn't blink at all. I use the laptops power supply vice the laptops battery so power is supplied and indicator lights on the keyboard are normal and bright.

 

I'm worked on desk top computers with various problems over the years but have not had the need to tackle a laptop. I'd appreciate any comments or suggestions on what might be the best way to proceed to hopefully isolate and resolve the problem.

 

My first thought is to try to try re-seating any electrical connectors on the HD, and then test the HD itself. Any comments /suggestions on how to test the HD would be very helpful.

 

 



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#2 ranchhand_

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 09:06 AM

I am going to assume several things here because you did not furnish details, so correct me if I am wrong.

I assume that you are not getting the POST screen on boot; the power indicator light glows ok, maybe you can even hear the cooling fan spin up, but  the the screen is dark and unresponsive. The HDD activity light is dark. Possibly you cannot even see the mouse curser on the screen.

That means that the power from the power supply is not reaching the BIOS chip to enable it to run the POST (Power On Self Test) feature for boot. That is a low-level hardware failure, and that can only be caused by one of 4 things: bad power supply, failed CPU, failed motherboard, or a failed or corrupted BIOS chip (extremely rare).

Off the top, I would suggest your motherboard has failed. CPU and BIOS chips rarely fail, almost unheard of in normal circumstances and your power brick evidently lights. If your indicator reads a fully charged battery, it would appear the wall adapter and battery are good. HOWEVER...if you have a seven year old battery and wall adapter, that is very old and they usually fail on a laptop before that long a time. Check it out very carefully.

Laptops are a lot harder to work on than desktops, and repair/replacement of components is greatly restricted. They are designed to be used and disposed of when they have problems. About the only things that can be replaced without a lot of work are hard drives, memory, and batteries. Getting replacement parts for a lap that old is pretty well impossible, you will be forced to use eBay, and anything you get will be already used. By the time you pay for used replacement parts (if you can get them and they actually work) you will have paid in labor and materials almost as much as a new laptop will cost. Not worth it.


Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#3 Daale7905

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 04:04 PM

ranchhand, Thank you for your comments and prompt response. Your assumptions are right on the mark. And I appreciate the brief tutorial on what could be a cause of the symptoms I'd experienced.  I've got some good news!!    :clapping:

 

After puzzling over my problem it dawned on me to try a search on the internet for a maintenance guide for the HP dv9000, not really expecting to find anything useful since I've tried these kind of searches before and more often than not didn't come up with anything useful.  But this time I discovered a PDF file Hp dv9000 Service and Maintenance Manual of about 130 pages. It was quite detailed and clearly explained how to replace batteries, hard drives and memory ... with pictures!   Reviewing that manual made me feel comfortable enough to remove the battery and pull out the HD and then reseat them both.  Lo and behold, the HD activity light blinked when I turned the computer and the computer seems back to normal operation.  Lucky me !!  Fingers crossed.

 

It seems pretty well known among folks who work on electronics that one of the first things to try when electronic gadgets malfunction is to unplug and replug  electrical connectors. I've found that to be true in a number of cases in the past. Once I got to the HD, it was very easy to take out and then reseat it.  That appears so far to have solved my problem.     



#4 ranchhand_

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 04:47 PM

Great!  Happy computing! :cowboy:


Help Requests: If there is no reply after 3 days I remove the thread from my answer list. For further help PM me.


#5 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 08:00 PM

For more general information.

 

Dell and HP as well as most manufacturers are fairly good at documenting their products. This is an area where 'Google is your friend' really applies.

 

It is almost always worthwhile googling 'computer make + model + manual'  to find the answers to questions like these.

 

And it is the same on YouTube if you want to find out how to dismantle and rebuild a laptop - 'Make and model + teardown' will usually find a video on the subject.

 

Chris


I am going to be away until about the 22nd October. Time on-line will be reduced and my internet access may be limited. PMs may not be replied to as quickly as normal !





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