My laptop (Compal IFL90/Sager 2090) wont boot up! Blank screen, HD, CD drive still whirring. DESPERATE help needed! More details inside...
December 27, 2008 8:05 PM   Subscribe

My laptop (Compal IFL90/Sager 2090) wont boot up! Blank screen, HD, CD drive still whirring. DESPERATE help needed! More details inside...

When i started up my laptop today (Compal IFL90/Sager 2090) it showed me the normal Phoenix BIOS startup screen, and then i accidently pressed one of the "special" keyboard buttons on the far left of the laptop, the one on the top which i believe is a button to charge the battery only up to a certain percentage to help save battery life (i never use it). Well anyway, I press this button I believe during the Phoenix startup screen and my computer just turns off. When i turn it back on the monitor does not turn on meaning its not even black but completely off with the normal green tint. However, I hear my harddrive working and if i insert a CD it wirrs up as well. No matter how many times i turn off and turn on my computer its the same thing it will not get to my GRUB menu (i dual boot ubuntu and vista). This makes me believe its a BIOS or a hardware problem but im not really sure.

Things I have done so far: (have not done much since i don't want to screw up comp further)
-removed battery and held power button down for a min, no luck
-tried a/c only without battery

Anyway, this is really my only computer and im a CS student so i really need it up and running again. ANY help you could give even ideas would be appreciated im freaking out thanks! :)
posted by Javed_Ahamed to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
Can you describe the icon on the button?

What happens if you push it, wait a few seconds, then push it again, repeat until your monitor returns?
posted by jeffamaphone at 8:16 PM on December 27, 2008

any chance its some sort of hibernate button? or even a button to engage a secondary monitor?
posted by kaydo at 8:20 PM on December 27, 2008

Response by poster: The icon's picture is just a wire, with two prongs on it. Apparently this is "smart battery"
"Smart Battery Charge lets the user “manually push the notebook charge 70% in an hour”." The button under that has the usb icon, and this button lets you charge usb devices when the computer is off, but im pretty sure i didnt hit that.

I also tried starting the comp holding down that button, and pressing it multiple times and nothing happened :/
posted by Javed_Ahamed at 8:22 PM on December 27, 2008

Response by poster: Ah Kaydo you posted while i was typing up the last one. No it doesn't do hibernate, and I also tried using a secondary monitor to see if that worked and pressed the FN+f3 button to switch monitor viewing modes but no avail :(
posted by Javed_Ahamed at 8:23 PM on December 27, 2008

Response by poster: I was wondering if this could be a BIOS problem, and if it was how would I go about resetting my bios or making it better again?
posted by Javed_Ahamed at 7:09 AM on December 28, 2008

Some machines have an over-all reset button. It'll be on the bottom somewhere and it'll be the kind that you have to push with an unbent paper-clip. If you have one, and you can locate it, try pushing it once. If that doesn't work, try holding it in for a few seconds.

Alternatively, you can try taking out the battery, push the power button (to drain the system), put the battery back in, and hold the power button down for a few seconds.
posted by jeffamaphone at 10:50 AM on December 28, 2008

Response by poster: I don't have a reset button and i have already tried the battery draining tip. :( thanks though.
posted by Javed_Ahamed at 11:46 AM on December 28, 2008

Response by poster: Does anyone here know how to fix the BIOS? I've posted this problem on a number of sites and no one seems to know whats going on :(. My guess is still since screen isnt turning on and Phoenix BIOS logo is not coming up that the BIOS is kaput?
posted by Javed_Ahamed at 1:17 PM on December 28, 2008

This forum thread might help if it is a problem with the BIOS, but be warned: the procedures described within could easily render your computer a useless brick if done wrong, or possibly if even done right. However, it sounds like that's already the case, so it might be worth a try. Make sure you read the entire thread, every page of it, and understand exactly what's going on before you do anything.

On the other hand, it's odd that the BIOS/CMOS would suddenly just die like that, no matter what button you pressed. Unfortunately a hardware failure seems much more likely, unless there's a specific issue you somehow triggered with your laptop. Have you called Compal support? Perhaps they can shed some light on the situation.
posted by Xuff at 5:37 PM on December 28, 2008

Response by poster: I am going to call XOTIC pc, the company i bought the notebook from monday, but I really do not think im under warranty anymore. My dad bought the notebook and hes not one to spring for extra warranties and i bought this one and a half years ago.... That and people bored at work on monday mefi'ng all day are what I am going to count on for the future of this laptop :(
posted by Javed_Ahamed at 9:19 PM on December 28, 2008

Response by poster: Well i called the tech line today and they are thinking its either gpu or motherboard failure... im wondering if i should send it to them to get it fixed its going to be shipping + $40 dollars for diagnosis + $80 for labor fee + cost of part (ballpark 200 for gpu 400 for motherboard) or if i should just be shopping for a new laptop now........ any suggestions? i paid 1.5k for the current one one and a half years ago.
posted by Javed_Ahamed at 1:24 PM on December 29, 2008

You'll probably get a lot more bang for your buck if you just get a new laptop. Have a quick look around Dell's site and configure one that has approximately the same specs and compare the price vs. the estimated repair bill.
posted by Xuff at 11:23 PM on December 30, 2008

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