Doesn't Boot...Sometimes
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Thread: Doesn't Boot...Sometimes

  1. #1

    Doesn't Boot...Sometimes

    Ok, been messing with this one for a few days and perpetually running in circles with it. Maybe you guys can help!

    IBM ThinkPad T41.

    The computer doesn't boot up -- sometimes. That's the kicker right there that has me thrown. In fact, most of the time it boots up fine, so it's hard to intentionally recreate the problem.

    I first learned of it when a user sent it back saying it wouldn't boot up properly. Plugged it in here, cranked it up, came up perfectly. Rebooted, no problem. Rebooted, no problem. Left it running all day, no problem. Rebooted a couple times more, no problem.

    The next day, put it into standby -- problem. It wouldn't come back up.

    Rebooted, fine. Put back into standby, fine. Reboted again, fine. Another day goes by, just fine.

    Shut down, doesn't boot back up. I can hear it taking power, hear the fan running. No hard drive light, no nothing -- the only light I see lit looks like a titled "Z" inside a circle (I have yet to figure out what that light MEANS, haven't been working with IBMs for long, and never saw these on Dells).

    Power down, power on, same problem. Little "Z" light lit, nothing more. Just the fan running.

    Shut down, leave sit a bit, come back later -- boots up fine! Rest of the day, boots up fine. Reboot over and over, no problem. Go into standby, comes back up.

    Come back hours/day later, shut it down, won't boot back up. "Z" light lit, nothing more. Wait a little while, try again. Boots up fine. Rinse, cycle, repeat.

    I ran WinDoctor on it that I downloaded from IBM's site. All hardware passed all tests except for the HDD, which hung during the SMART test twice, never would complete, but never produced an error either -- just hung as if the hard drive was busy. So ran Western Digital HDD diagnostics for a second opinion, passed all tests. Went back to WinDoctor, passed all tests. Nothing but nice little green checkmarks. Ran chckdsk just as another precaution.

    Reboot, fine. Reboot again, no problems.

    Came in this morning, had left in standby overnight. Comes up fine. Reboot, fine. Windows froze, so I powered down without properly shutting down to see what would happen.

    And here I am back to the one "Z" light and running fan, nothing more.

    And a last FYI, battery is removed -- running on AC adapter.

    Any ideas? I'm not sure where to run with this next, especially since I can't reliably reproduce the issue...
    Last edited by AngelicKnight; December 11th, 2007 at 03:22 PM.

  2. #2
    AOs Resident Troll
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    Back it up...sounds like the harddrive may be going.

    Then run chkdsk

    MLF
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  3. #3
    Yeah, ran chckdsk already. Fortunately it's a freshly wiped drive, so expendable if push comes to shove.

  4. #4
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    well found out what the little z with a circle arround it is... looks like its the power light and its supposed to be lit when the laptop has power.

    ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/pc/pccbbs...39t6192_01.pdf

    this is the manual for that laptop. hopefully it will help.
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  5. #5
    AOs Resident Troll
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    ok...short on the board, CPU overheating, bad memory...

    I believe IBM has diagnostic tools for thier hardware

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  6. #6
    I'd rather be fishing DjM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moxquito
    well found out what the little z with a circle arround it is... looks like its the power light and its supposed to be lit when the laptop has power.

    ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/pc/pccbbs...39t6192_01.pdf

    this is the manual for that laptop. hopefully it will help.
    Actually my understanding is the little circle around the Z means the system is ON. We have seen some issues with the IBM's having issues in sleep mode. It looks like the system hasn't booted or didn't boot when it's actually just in sleep mode. Closing the laptop and reopening often solved the problem.

    Cheers:
    DjM

  7. #7
    Senior Member IKnowNot's Avatar
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    Just a little correction:

    I believe it means the power is on and NOT in stand-by mode.

    Did you check for BIOS updates? ( I saw there was a problem with some when removing the unit from docking while in hibernation ... it would not resume. )
    " And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be" --Miguel Cervantes

  8. #8
    I believe IBM has diagnostic tools for thier hardware
    Yes there is, that is the WinDoctor I was referring to. Basically it works alongside the ThinkVantage system update software to run diagnostics on hardware and check software versions. As noted above, it passed all tests with flying colors, except for the brief hiccup with the HDD.

    I'm going to swap out with another freshly wiped HDD and see what happens.

    Will check on BIOS updates too...

    [edit]

    No dice on swapping hard drives. Booted up fine first time, wouldn't boot up second time.

    It seems to happen most often when I have to manually power down using the power button. During normal reboots it usually does just fine. What I did this last time was let it sit powered off for a minute, then it came right back up.
    Last edited by AngelicKnight; December 11th, 2007 at 05:46 PM.

  9. #9
    Ok, update (apologies for the double post):

    As stated above, no luck swapping drives.

    Tried updating BIOS, says update not needed, so that should be up to speed.

    I seem to be identifying a pattern however -- If I reboot normally, or shutdown and reboot normally, no problem. However, so far today if I shutdown by simply holding the power button and killing power, that's when it won't boot until it sits idle for a minute. Again, just the "Z" light and fan spinning.

  10. #10
    Gonzo District BOFH westin's Avatar
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    as far as what we are required to do, try swapping memory with a working thinkpad... if still fails, sounds like a sysbd problem... if it is still under warranty, we can send it into the depot, or if you have onsite, we can send a tech out with a sysbd, to try to correct the problem... [though, PM me and I will tell you about some of the onsite stories I have heard] ... do you get any POST beeps, error messages, or just a dead sys when boot fails? ...
    \"Those of us that had been up all night were in no mood for coffee and donuts, we wanted strong drink.\"

    -HST

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