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Laptop wont stop crashing

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Posted

i'm having a problem with my laptop. i think it may be overheating but i can't tell for sure. it started about a week ago, my laptop just started crashing at random times, no blue screens, nothing in event viewer, so i downloaded speedfan to keep an eye on the temps... i noticed the temps were getting up to 50C+ so i decided to take off the back covers, clean out all the dust and replace the thermal paste, see if it would help. the cpu and gpu run between 35-45C but the harddrive is still always hanging on 50C and higher. there's nothing running in the background, hdd light doesnt flicker, prefmon shows barely any activity. but i just noticed something weird, if it IS overheating... it doesnt crash till i move the laptop. as in, i pick it up or nudge it trying to tilt the screen... its fine sitting there till i touch it. i have NO idea what could be causing this and now its driving me mad trying to figure it out... if anybody could help me solve this id REALLY appreciate it i have an acer aspire 5630 running windows vista. 2gb ram, intel duo 1.8ghz, 160gb hdd, its dual booted with ubuntu, im using it right now to see if maybe its just windows causing this to happen?

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Posted

A loose connection somewhere is possible. Check the battery, could be that. I suppose your fan could give out when you move it and cause overheating also? You didn't really convince me that it was an overheating issue though.

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Posted

would it really be the battery, even if its plugged in? the battery doesn't get hot at all if thats what you mean. when the temps are lower it doesn't seem to happen, once they're around 50C it starts crashing. i've done virus scans using avg, avast, and scanned with malwarebytes and they found nothing. i don't know what else it could be :(

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Posted

I more meant that it is possible that the battery has a loose connections (googled and that was a BSOD issue for someone else). It sounds like you have a loose connection somewhere if it is crashing when you move it. Google also suggested that it could be an issue with the memory seating.

 

I don't really see why it would be affected by temperatures and 50C really isn't that hot. Based on your symptoms though if the fan stopped for a bit, the laptop could suddenly overheat and freeze... I suppose. 

 

First thing is to try to eliminate things you can rule out: remove battery, does it still happen? Reseat ram, does it still happen? Shake laptop, does it happen regardless of temperature (don't actually do this one -- unless you don't actually have a mechanical hdd or anything you could break by lightly shaking it), etc. 

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Posted

Do obvious things first, then try new thermal paste. Works wonders.

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Posted

i've been trying to make it happen by wiggling the screen, pushing on the battery, and pressing on the corners near the hindges where the case is a little loose, nothings happened so far. im gonna try reseating the ram tomorrow. hopefully that'll work. i checked around on google, somebody said they disabled aero and it worked for them. im just really hoping its something i can fix, i dont have money for another laptop right now :'(

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Posted

tried reseating the ram and hdd, but still getting the same problem. this time i had the laptop on a flat surface. it crashed and i got a beep code. 1 long 2 short, then a minute after just 2 short. i looked it up and it said a graphical error. the 2 short was for not being able to access bios to show the error? when the computer rebooted, the date and time were set to june 25th 2005. the time was 1:00 AM... this never happened with the other previous crashes.

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Posted

Get a new CMOS battery. It's losing info, probably why its crashing.

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Posted

Get a new CMOS battery. It's losing info, probably why its crashing.

 

That isn't true. It wouldn't crash if the battery was bad. It would run -- albeit with defaults.

 

 

tried reseating the ram and hdd, but still getting the same problem. this time i had the laptop on a flat surface. it crashed and i got a beep code. 1 long 2 short, then a minute after just 2 short. i looked it up and it said a graphical error. the 2 short was for not being able to access bios to show the error? when the computer rebooted, the date and time were set to june 25th 2005. the time was 1:00 AM... this never happened with the other previous crashes.

 

What type of bios is this or what is your computer model? Errors could be different depending on the bios type (award/phoenix/ami/etc). I see for phoenix that 2 short beeps could mean a CMOS error which is possible considering your date reset. Second, 1 long and 2 short is a video card error for a lot of different bioses, but not necessarily for all.

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Posted

That isn't true. It wouldn't crash if the battery was bad. It would run -- albeit with defaults.

 

Could be a setting in BIOS that was reset, causing this very problem.

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Posted

Could be a setting in BIOS that was reset, causing this very problem.

 

it's be very unlikely that default settings in the bios would cause crashes (it isn't like defaults would OC or change voltages...)

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Posted

it's be very unlikely that default settings in the bios would cause crashes (it isn't like defaults would OC or change voltages...)

 

Unlikely, yes, but in any situation, it can be. I'm not saying overclock, I'm saying like AHCI/IDE.

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Posted

I have Phoenix bios. Not sure which version. I'll try changing out the battery since I have to reset CMOS to get passed the password it's asking me for (it had a password by default, I didn't set one) I'll try reconnecting all cables I come across in the process. But if this still doesn't solve the problem what else would you guys suggest?

 

 

EDIT:

i just realized, is there a possiblity that its the IRQs? i can post what everything is assigned to. i know its usually set up automatically to avoid this kinda thing but its a possibilty, no?

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Posted

I have Phoenix bios. Not sure which version. I'll try changing out the battery since I have to reset CMOS to get passed the password it's asking me for (it had a password by default, I didn't set one) I'll try reconnecting all cables I come across in the process. But if this still doesn't solve the problem what else would you guys suggest?

 

Luck and godspeed :-) Phoenix is the bios that has the error code with 2 beeps on cmos error so I'd bet money that it lines up with your cmos resetting. I think you probably have a real hardware issue at this point if disconnecting/reconnecting things doesn't work. The one other thing I can suggest is trying to see if other people with your laptop model have the same issue. I once had a HP laptop with a motherboard that had a high chance of a defect that would cause the screen to stop turning on 9/10 times on boot. It was a nvidia chipset issue and HP refused to acknowledge it or fix it even though nvidia acknowledged the issue. Basically though, all of those models would eventually fail in the same manner.

 

The best you can do is trying to trace it to a particular component as you have been trying. Did you try to check if the issue occurs with the battery disconnected? or the power supply disconnected? I.e. to see if one or the other could be causing the issue? The reason I ask now is that perhaps it isn't high temperatures, but high load and fluctuations in the supply voltage/current that is causing the issues. A surge/sag of some sort could even cause the type of issues you are seeing with cmos being reset. I've had my dell 3-4 times tell me the real time clock isn't working and refuse to boot until I pull my battery out as if some kind of power issue occurred.

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Posted

A bad bios battery isn't going to cause it to crash.

Sounds like the CPU or GFX chip is over-heating.

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Posted

yea i've stopped thinking its a heating issue once i noticed i picked it up and it crashed. i'm trying to think if this started before vista updated or after...

i don't think the cmos battery would cause it to crash either, but its worth a try. i've taken the battery out and it still crashed the same way, had it only powered using the battery, same deal... i'm already looking at prices for a new mobo online. they're not too expensive, but id kick myself in the head if i bought a new one just to find out it wasn't the mobo lol. i have the whole day off tomorrow, so in the morning after some coffee, ill try reconnecting everything i can find and update you guys. thanks for all the help so far, its given me some hope :)

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Posted

a very common problem with older laptops,especially with **** poor cooling is the chipset bga chip losing contact with the motherboard. because of the constant heat and cool cycles, the crappy lead free solder balls become brittle,and crack. the fix is a solder reflow, which needs special equipment to do. moving the laptop causes micro vibrations which could lead to the chip contacts losing contact from the board for a split second,leading to a crash.

 

it could also be something loose in the unit that's conductive,and its causing shorts when it moves around.

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Posted

so i opened up my laptop, took it completely apart, reconnected everything, reset the bios. turns out the battery is soldered to the mobo =/ put it all back together, went into bios and theres nothing at all mentioning temps or clock speeds. right now i have it sitting on a cooling dock and im still getting the same crash problem, after it crashed it restored the password for bios so im locked out again... but temps r normal, everything 40C and below. im figuring its either bad mobo or the harddrive is acting up, maybe when i lift it the plates spinning causes it to crash? never had that problem before though.

 

 

a very common problem with older laptops,especially with **** poor cooling is the chipset bga chip losing contact with the motherboard. because of the constant heat and cool cycles, the crappy lead free solder balls become brittle,and crack. the fix is a solder reflow, which needs special equipment to do. moving the laptop causes micro vibrations which could lead to the chip contacts losing contact from the board for a split second,leading to a crash.

 

it could also be something loose in the unit that's conductive,and its causing shorts when it moves around.

 

i saw videos about this while i was searching for what might be causing this. they were saying you can fix it with a heat gun... ill try anything at this point lol. anybody ever try it?

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Posted

so i opened up my laptop, took it completely apart, reconnected everything, reset the bios. turns out the battery is soldered to the mobo =/ put it all back together, went into bios and theres nothing at all mentioning temps or clock speeds. right now i have it sitting on a cooling dock and im still getting the same crash problem, after it crashed it restored the password for bios so im locked out again... but temps r normal, everything 40C and below. im figuring its either bad mobo or the harddrive is acting up, maybe when i lift it the plates spinning causes it to crash? never had that problem before though.

 

 

 

i saw videos about this while i was searching for what might be causing this. they were saying you can fix it with a heat gun... ill try anything at this point lol. anybody ever try it?

heat gun might work, temporarily. most of the time,for a permanent fix, you need a proper reflow. I've done the heat gun trick numerous times. sometimes it'll last a day, sometimes a month. it really depends on the state of the solder.

what you want to do is remove the heatsink, clean of any thermal paste. cover everything around the chip with tin foil,leaving only the chipset chip exposed. do the same on the backside of the board, leaving a spot under the chipset chip exposed as well. I usually do 1 minute bottom, one minute top, then repeat once or twice more. let it cool, then connect everything back up.

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Posted

so i opened up my laptop, took it completely apart, reconnected everything, reset the bios. turns out the battery is soldered to the mobo =/ put it all back together, went into bios and theres nothing at all mentioning temps or clock speeds. right now i have it sitting on a cooling dock and im still getting the same crash problem, after it crashed it restored the password for bios so im locked out again... but temps r normal, everything 40C and below. im figuring its either bad mobo or the harddrive is acting up, maybe when i lift it the plates spinning causes it to crash? never had that problem before though.

 

 

 

i saw videos about this while i was searching for what might be causing this. they were saying you can fix it with a heat gun... ill try anything at this point lol. anybody ever try it?

 

Depending on the laptop model maybe it is possible to test if it is the hdd by lightly tapping it or where it is and seeing if there is a freeze? I suspect it isn't just the hdd given that your mobo settings are resetting.

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Posted

Acer eh? Seems that the mainboard is kicking the bucket; I've seen some old Acer laptops that had completely weird errors (DVD drive would not work no matter the drive installed or DVD inserted, random reboots, etc.) all due to faulty mainboards. Also if speedfan isn't reporting a overheat it's because it isn't overheating (50

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Posted (edited)

Overheating should restart it (automatic safe measures). Reseat the RAM and HDD , reinstall Windows and I fear that some controllers or even their drivers might crash it. Try to open Task Manager and keep a watchful eye on the CPU and memory usage. If they suddenly go higher while crashing you might have a software related problem. What about 3rd party devices ? It could be the webcam , some faulty USB key or even your mouse.

 

Edit: I've read that the nudging issue causes the problem... well, it is clearly a hardware issue! It happened that I moved my PCI ethernet card while my PC was working and had the same symptoms! One hardware piece lost its connection and causes your computer to freeze.

Edited by Decebalvs Rex

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Posted

i think im ruling this one out as a faulty mobo. i either need a reflow or just buy a new board. it seems like one of the chips is coming loose so when i pick up the laptop the board slightly bends and that certain chip is breaking connection. i have it sitting on an unplugged cooling dock to support the underside and since then, no freezes, crashes, errors, random reboots. i can move the screen, nudge it, tap the spot where the hard drive is and nothing. not overheating, no cpu spikes, already reseated the ram and hard drive, checked smartfan, hdd isnt failing. so i guess i just have to either try and do a reflow with a heat gun or give in and get a new mother board or even better. a new laptop... preferably not an acer.

 

i had an acer in the past and that thing fell to pieces. HORRIBLE errors and hardware issues going on with it. the case melted and warped so bad it just gave out and snapped in half one day trying to lift the screen. keyboard is completely wrecked, nonstop post error beeps even when it boots into the OS, once in the OS it just crashes, i think it overheats at that point. and its only 3 years old. ive had this one im using for about 2yrs and feared its heading the same path -.-

 

thanks for all your help though guys. really appreciate it :)

it helped me narrow it down and figure out what it most likely was. learned something new, and had a good time doing it (although stressful lol)

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Posted

i think im ruling this one out as a faulty mobo. i either need a reflow or just buy a new board. it seems like one of the chips is coming loose so when i pick up the laptop the board slightly bends and that certain chip is breaking connection. i have it sitting on an unplugged cooling dock to support the underside and since then, no freezes, crashes, errors, random reboots. i can move the screen, nudge it, tap the spot where the hard drive is and nothing. not overheating, no cpu spikes, already reseated the ram and hard drive, checked smartfan, hdd isnt failing. so i guess i just have to either try and do a reflow with a heat gun or give in and get a new mother board or even better. a new laptop... preferably not an acer.

 

i had an acer in the past and that thing fell to pieces. HORRIBLE errors and hardware issues going on with it. the case melted and warped so bad it just gave out and snapped in half one day trying to lift the screen. keyboard is completely wrecked, nonstop post error beeps even when it boots into the OS, once in the OS it just crashes, i think it overheats at that point. and its only 3 years old. ive had this one im using for about 2yrs and feared its heading the same path -.-

 

thanks for all your help though guys. really appreciate it :)

it helped me narrow it down and figure out what it most likely was. learned something new, and had a good time doing it (although stressful lol)

 

Good luck in your future laptop adventures! Laptops are supposedly cheaper this season because of the Haswell release. Intel made an announcement saying as much iirc. I ended up getting a Toshiba with an Intel 1370u from bestbuy for $230

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