The continuing laptop saga

After my last post, there were a few more complications. Unfortunately, no one seems to have an idea about what to do regarding them.

The problem I face is very weird—when starting up the machine, it will always automatically power down within a couple of minutes. This happens even on the BIOS screens, but if by chance the machine has booted up and I reach Ubuntu’s login prompt, it works normally. Ya, the machine can stop working any time while booting, but once the OS loads (in graphical mode), it remains stable.

The initial reaction of Dell’s engineers was that there could have been some loose connection left somewhere while they replaced my motherboard the last time. I’ve had another couple of engineers visits, where they couldn’t solve the problem after completely re-assembling the machine again.

Dell shipped me another new motherboard and some new RAM, but that didn’t help. The engineer booted up the machine without connecting anything—just powered on the motherboard with the CPU connected, and with no peripherals at all—and after a few minutes it powered down automatically.

I booted it up with a DOS-boot CD, and after DOS started, it stopped. Seems that only using a ‘graphical’ OS is acceptable to the machine…

To add insult to injury, last week Ubuntu started doing it’s routine disk checks—which it does every 30 or so boots. There is no way to cancel them, and the disk check usually takes more than a few minutes. I haven’t been able to start the laptop since, it always powers down during disk check.

Dell is sending me a new CPU, and probably another new motherboard on Tuesday. This will hopefully suffice. It is almost surely a CPU issue—the only other possibilities being the heat sink and fan. If replacing the CPU doesn’t help, then these two are the faulty ones. Lets see…