Ever seen a computer that needs to warm up?
November 4, 2006 10:18 AM   Subscribe

Laptop hardware question: My laptop takes a couple minutes to "warm up" before it will boot... details inside.

My out-of-warranty HP dv4000 has this problem: Turn it on, and the blue power LED lights up, but the screen does not turn on, and the machine does not boot (no hdd activity). It will stay in this state forever if you leave it. If you turn it off and on again, same deal. However, if you leave it on in this state for 2 or 3 minutes, then turn it off and on again, it boots up normally. If you use it for a while, turn it off, and a few minutes later turn it back on, again it boots normally. This problem only shows up when the laptop is "cold." Note there are no beeps to indicate that it's failing some kind of POST, but who knows.

I dual boot Linux and Windows on this computer and both work fine after this "warm up period" which makes me think it's a hardware problem, not a software one. Also, you never even see the BIOS screen for the first power-ons, but you do see it when the machine decides to start working.

My question(s) are... has anyone seen anything like this before? Is there a chance that I could open it up and fix whatever it is? It's not a big enough problem (to me) to merit paying hundreds to have someone fix it.
posted by knave to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
If you're not seeing a POST, but it is getting power, chances are very likely that it's the motherboard. Could also be the power supply, but I bet you'd solve this with a new motherboard. Of course, since it's a laptop, that might not be worth doing.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 10:58 AM on November 4, 2006

Yeah, it could be a small fracture on the motherboard (or possibly somewhere else), which causes problems that go away with thermal expansion. You may be able to detect this by closely inspecting the board, with a magnifying glass. I've seen that a few times. It's very unlikely you'd be able to fix it. There's a good chance the problem will get gradually worse over time.

On the slim chance that it's just a cable or connector not making contact somewhere, you could always just take it apart as completely as possible, then put it back together. That's always fun to do with a laptop, and may have some small chance of making it work better, or else breaking it completely.
posted by sfenders at 11:43 AM on November 4, 2006

Response by poster: That's always fun to do with a laptop, and may have some small chance of making it work better, or else breaking it completely.

Very encouraging... :) Thanks for the replies so far.
posted by knave at 12:39 PM on November 4, 2006

That's interesting. I have the same model (HP dv4000), and I get an occasional similar freeze-up, but at a different point in the boot-up process. What happens at times when I restore the laptop from hibernation mode is that after the "restoring your Windows session" progress bar has gone to 100%, I sometimes have to wait about 3-5 minutes for it to actually boot into Windows. I know this doesn't address your question specifically, but I was struck by the similarity (given that we have the same laptop).
posted by Pontius Pilate at 7:02 PM on November 5, 2006

I had a similar issue on a Thinkpad T41 at work - the IBM technician swapped out the motherboard and the issue went away.
posted by enfa at 7:03 AM on November 15, 2006

« Older Making my cat comfortable in what may be her last...   |   How do I automatically empty the recycle bin? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.