When pressing the start button the Hard Drive indicator flashes momentarily but doesn't startup. Let set for a few days and it will startup normally. Stays running till I shut down with Windows. Try to startup again and it will not start and I have to let sit for several days. Then it will startup and operate normally again. Doesn't seem hot. My battery is old too but will hold a little charge. Doesn't make any difference if it's on AC or Battery. My first impression is that it starts only on a low battery because every time it DOES start I have to switch to AC shortly after. I can shut down and restart multiple times on the low battery but once it's charged up it won't start. I thought it might be the hard drive but it should start to the BIOS even without a Hard drive. The CPU comes to mind but I don't have replacement to try.

Memory's good, I have a new battery and AC power supply.

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That's an interesting situation... Please clarify for me, during the main body of the post, you said your battery is old but it can hold a bit of a charge, but at the end of the post, you said you have a new battery and AC power supply. Which is it? Are you experiencing this problem using the new battery and AC adapter? or just with the old stuff?
My first impression would be the battery. Even though it's holding a charge and sometimes last through several 'reboots'... batteries can act up and do some pretty odd things when they're dying.

It could be a matter of "stiction" if the drive isn't properly parking the heads on shut down (possible on an older system). Try giving a whack on the edge of the computer on the front left corner of the system, parallel to the surface of the keyboard, with the heel of the palm of your hand, and then try turning it on.

If that doesn't work, get a USB docking bay for the type of hard drive connector you have (probably a mini IDE/PATA connector but depending upon the age of the system it could be a Sata-1 device), and attach that to another computer's USB port. Turn it on, and if it powers up and you can access the drive, then it is likely the disc controller and/or other motherboard issues.

In any case, my advice would be to backup your data, get a newer laptop, and transfer your data to the new system. It would be cheaper than fixing this one.

The new power adapter, is it specifically for your model laptop? Compare the power descriptions on the power adapter with the power requirements described on your laptop.

Many older laptops had sufficient cooling around the CPU, but not much thought was given to the likes of the video controller and other chips that get a little toastier. It sounds more like temperatures are making it temperamental. If you really want/need to fix this then you may be looking at a new motherboard or a one-off 50/50 method known as Reflow.

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