I've got a laptop which won't start. When I hit the power button the fan spins once, I can hear the hard-drive kicking in then there's two short faint 'beeps' and the hard-drive sounds like it kicks back out...

This happens with the power removed or in and with the battery out or in.

There's lights on the charger box and when plugged in to the battery the charge LED shows...

Any ideas what it could be? Is the motherboard completely gone or is there a way to fix it?

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Maybe somethings wrong with the hard drive. Can you take it out and maybe use a linux live cd to see if the rest of the system is working.

Ok I just tried taking the hard-drive out and starting it there and noticed that the 'kicking in and out' is still there so obviously that wasn't the hard drive and was the fan... still get the two beeps... are these bios beeps?

Now does that mean it may be something to do with the hard drive or does it rule it out?

I actually meant detach the hard drive, try a live cd to see if all other components are working.

Might sound a bit daft, only ever used windows. What is a linux live cd? Do I just download it and burn it to disk?

Exactly. Download a distro, say Ubuntu. burn it too disk using imgburn or other image burner and reboot your machine with it in the CD drive. Or there may be one include in a DVD from a computer mag if you get them.

Have you tried just removing the hard drive and turning it on? It should come up with a message like "insert boot media" or something like that. This would probably mean the rest of the components are working.

That's what I said in the second post, took out the hard drive and exactly the same thing happened.

The fan kicks in, 2 short beeps, and the fan stops...

I'll try Ubuntu, or will that not work if things run the same with the drive out? Thanks.

Honestly I don't think it would help if you tried the cd.

So after these beeps it just turns off?

Well when you say turns off it never really turns on. There's the initial kind of movement noise which I thought was the hard drive but seen as it does it when there is no hard drive attached is obviously the fan (I know the fan spins because I tried it with the back off the laptop and it gives one spin) then there's two quick and short beeps and then the movement noise again and that's it...

have you check the memory module(s) for obvious signs of damage. If you have more than one have you tried alternating them?

Yeah there's just the one unit, doesn't seem like there's anything wrong with it. Might try the eraser trick if I can find one.

Would the computer be able to start up without memory installed?

Try it.

You see the problem is finding out what is wrong. It could be the motherboard, but then it could be any component that is connected to it.

So far we have ruled out the hard drive.

The only thing I can think of is removing all unnecessary components and testing each one until one fails, thing is they are reliant on each other.

Ok so there's the DVD Drive, the USB ports and the fan to check? I'm guessing the graphics/video is part of the mother board as I can't see any other detachable unit.

When I take them out and try should I try taking them all out first or would it simply not start that way? Am I best starting with the full system taking one out, putting it back, taking something else out and so on?

I would remove the components, then replace them one by one. If one works try another one at the same time etc...

If you can see the motherboard see if there's any burn or scorch marks.

I removed the DVD Drive and now there's no sound so I guess the sound is coming from that. It's giving one spin then stopping. You think that means its an issue with the DVD or does it mean I'm screwed and it's a power/motherboard failure?

There's no scortch marks

Okay have you tried every thing together minus the DVD then?

It could be something to do with the power... Trying something that draws more power may help.

Removing only the CD drive nothing happens at all...

Or do you mean leave in the CD drive and take out everything else?

How do I try something that draws more power?

I'm presuming the battery and battery supply are ok as the charge lights are on but could they still be a problem? Or is it more likely to be the DC Jack in the actual motherboard?

Remove the battery and see if it gets power.

I meant put everything back in except from the CD drive. - but this doesn't work.

Try putting everything in but the CD and Hard Drive.

Have you managed to get anything up yet. ie any POST messages?

It doesn't seem to be different with the battery inserted or not (the only difference is the charge light comes on when it's in)

With the CD drive and hard drive out nothing happens when I hit the power.

With the CD drive out nothing happens when I hit the power.

With the hard drive out I still hear the noise but nothing further...

No bios, no POST, nada...

If its two beeps according to your link it's a parity circuit failure (the ones I seen in the past said POST error which didn't make sense)...

I'll see if the memory in another laptop I have fits in and maybe that will shed some light.

Okay, I am guessing there's nothing wrong with the CD and HDD then (you could test this in another computer if you wanted).

On the memory thing, make sure it is compatable.

Tried the memory and there's no change. Still the whirr, the two beeps and the whirr then nothing.

Well If everything else is working it must be the motherboard.
Unless it's the processor but you can't really test that. - Look's like it's had its day.

Tried using a memory test bootable disc and you can hear the cd drive spinning away but nothing happens then it stops spinning.

Would this signify a power issue?

Either power or perhaps the processor. Any Beeps?

Still the two when I press the power button.

Is there any way to tell if the full motherboard needs replaced or if it's just the power supply/jack?

I tell you what you could do. If you have an old computer you could take the parts from the laptop and power them from the PSU from the old computer(if you have one).

Is there any way to tell if the full motherboard needs replaced or if it's just the power supply/jack?

charge lite comes on makes me believe it not the bower jack,i think the live Linux cd is worth a try


The laptop is off my hands now, I tried booting a memory test cd and it span a bit without anything happening... don't know if that would mean anything?

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