Can this be fixed or is it better to move on?
January 20, 2008 11:10 AM   Subscribe

My laptop either doesn't see the HDD on bootup (cannot find OS), or stops seeing it a few minutes into use (BSOD). Could this type of problem: a) be reasonably easily resolved by me for small amount of cash b) be easily resolved by a professional for a reasonable amount of cash c) be best resolved by selling it on ebay for parts or repair for a reaonably small amount of cash?

The laptop in question is a Thinkpad X31 - I asked about this before when I was at the troubleshooting stage (I then thought it was the RAM, but it wasn't).
It's not the HDD itself as I've swapped it out with another and I get the same problem. I have already posted to the Thinkpad forum, but I didn't get any answers. (And I've already bought an X40 as a replacement so I'm not looking for recommendations - thanks!)
posted by forallmankind to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
Does it boot reliably from CDs, or do you get the same cannot find OS error? What about booting from USB or network? Try using (not just running, but actively using) Knoppix for a few hours. Sounds like you have done Memtest already, but getting a copy of the Ultimate Boot CD and running Memtest and CPU burn in utilities is a good idea. If you have a laptop hard drive to experiment with, try installing a non-windows OS on it, and using that for a few hours.

It sounds like a chipset (hard drive controller, technically) problem, or a physical connector problem, but we don't really know anything yet..
posted by Chuckles at 12:37 PM on January 20, 2008

There's also a ThinkPad mailing list.

I wouldn't bother trying to get a professional to fix this—if you can't fix it yourself I bet it would cost more than it was worth.
posted by grouse at 1:10 PM on January 20, 2008

I agree with Chuckles that it sounds like a controller problem. If you do the knoppix thing, grep the syslog for driveready seekcomplete errors. If you see those, it's the drive, the controller, or the cable. Since you know it's not the drive and I presume you changed the cable/connector, it's the controller and you should just sell it for parts.
posted by systematic at 2:06 PM on January 20, 2008

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