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Dropped Computer

By Trafficflow
Jan 9, 2009
Topic Status:
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  1. I have a laptop computer from a freind that was dropped. It is one of them cheap Walmart ones. The monitor does not light up but the power button works when you hit it. The fan comes on and i get 2 green lights. One is network light and the other is the power on light. I looked in the back and reseated the hard drive and the memory and one other card that was in there still nothin but the 2 lights. I now this is a cheap computer but I am giving him a hand. Any ideas where to start troubleshooting? Not sure what to do. The make and model is below. Thanks


    make Everex Stepnote Model NC1502
     
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Hard drive is likely ruined. Test with a new hard drive.
    Memory pops out. Remove and re-seat
    Look for impact damge on the corners of the motherboard, and for jumbled "stuff" behind the screen.
    Often found in our repair shop: cable from motherboard to video screen pops out. Remove and reseat all cables everywhere. Look for mispositioned CPU and CPU fan.
    It is probably beneficial to remove the keyboard and take a long and careful look at everything. Reseating every piece of hardware and cable is a requirement.
     
  3. Trafficflow

    Trafficflow TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 132

    Thanks for coming back so fast.Will try what you suggested this weekend. All great ideas.I do not have a spare hard drive. I quess I can look on ebay if that is the problem. Any ideas where else I can look? Thank you very much

    Trafficflow
     
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    There are lots of inexpensive (relatively) mobile drives in the 40 GB range at directron.com, newegg.com, zipzoomfly.com, outpost.com, and a few others... at least as cheap as eBay. ... but still around $35 to $40.
    or borrow and old 10 GB drive from a repair shop.
    A cracked motherboard is very, very difficult to diagnose so save that for last.
    The owner should show cash for the hard drive, because they will be using it sooner or later when the current drive (if good) wears out.
    Inspect every connection for bent pins or loose stuff... take your time. Use a couple of strong lights.
    If you have to tools and the skills, totally disassemble the computer... and reassemble.
    There are schematics for disassembly online for Dell, Gateway, HP, Compaq... perhaps others.

    You didn't say which brand or model. Sometimes that info can be helpful.
     
  5. Trafficflow

    Trafficflow TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 132

    The make is a Everex Stepnote Model NC1502. I hear you and will give it a try and post later.

    Thanks Trafficflow
     
  6. Trafficflow

    Trafficflow TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 132

    I have one more question before I work on the computer. If the hard drive is bad would the monitor not come on like this one? Unless it is a coincedence that it came unplugged. I would imagine the monitor pulgs in to the mobo. Should you be able to hear the hard drive when it is on. The green hard drive light comes on for a second at star up and goes right back out What do you think.

    Thanks Trafficflow
     
  7. Trafficflow

    Trafficflow TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 132

    Took the hard drive out and tested it was okay.I took apart and did not see nothing visible on the mobo. Should I put it back together and work on it or how will I determine what is bad. I guess i need some help at this point.How will I determine if it is the mobo or Cpu or video card . Lost on what to do I looked for a mobo on line and not to much luck .Make and model is above.

    Thanks
     
  8. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Tested it how?
     
  9. Trafficflow

    Trafficflow TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 132

    I took it to a shop and he hooked it up and I saw the folders.
     
  10. gbalkam

    gbalkam TS Rookie Posts: 24

    First, if you hear the hard drive 'spin up' it is probably fine. The fan sound indicates the power is going through the motherboard (or the fan wouldnt work, lights wouldnt come on)
    It sounds like everything is working EXCEPT the display. Check the connections to the display. As per "I took it to a shop and he hooked it up and I saw the folders." the hard drive is fine!.
    I suspect a loose connector to the display (most likely problem) ***OR***.. the display screen is damaged, in which case.. buy a used laptop and use the parts, the display costs more to fix than replacing the laptop would.
     
  11. Trafficflow

    Trafficflow TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 132

    The connections on the monitor were tight when I took it apart. I can not test
    anything because it is all apart. It makes sense how you determined that the
    mobo was probally okay because the fan starts although i had a dektop that
    had a bad mobo and the monitor did not come on either.I guess at this point
    I need to start putting it back together and see what happens. Will I be able
    to run some tests when I get it back together? That might take a while. I know
    it is a cheap computer but it is good experience for future problems.Better
    than experimenting on a good puter. Any suggestions? Let me know
     
     
  12. gbalkam

    gbalkam TS Rookie Posts: 24

    Well if it is the experiance you want, I would start looking for an identical computer, as long as the lcd lights up (screen) anything else you should be able to replace. (I would look on kijiji around here, or the local equiv in your area) People will give stuff away because they hate to throw it out, or sell it very cheap. I would take the screen in for testing though, perhaps it is just something simple like a small crack in the IC board that could be soldered, or you could even open the screen yourself and look for a crack. They would be hard to see, but with 3x reading glasses (got mine at the dollar store for reading IO circuits) it should be possible. If your laptop has a video out (such as s-video) connector, you could connect it to a tv and see if that works. Thats an if though, since I dont know your system. My suggestion at this point, before putting everything back together, inspect the components closely, (pay attention to capacitors to make sure the tops are flat not rounded and around the screws (look for cracks)). Make sure everything is firmly in place as you are putting things back together, particularly the video card (unless it is onboard) recheck the connections and the power to the display. From whay you have been saying, and from replies to other posts, I think we have the issue narrowed down to the video card, connectors, or the screen (or power to the screen). I always try to eliminate the least expensive things to repair first.
    Aside from what I mentioned above, without seeing the physical components, I can only toss out maybes.
    O M G!!! I was just thinking... and I hope this is not the case... is there a fuse to the video? Like in the back of the screen on the IC board? (would be a glass tube fuse, a small square green resetable fuse (could be a toggle) or a resistor like part (single colored no stripes with an F on the circuit board) It would be a kick in the head if it turned out to be a fuse. Particularily, if it was a glass type fuse a jar might break the filament inside. Something to look for anyway.
    Hope this helps or give you some ideas.
     
  13. adweston

    adweston Banned Posts: 333

    Does the computer power up and post without the hard drive in it? Those el-cheapo computers don't use hard drives with shock protection in them. We actually have one in today, an acer, that was dropped. The hard drive is accessible from another computer, but the computer will not boot while the drive is installed in the computer. Replacing the damaged drive resolved the problem. Same thing with a Dell Inspiron that came in a few days ago.

    It's also possible that the fellow cracked the motherboard. Take a meter and measure the voltages across the contacts going to the battery itself while the machine is plugged in and "powered up". Obviously you do this with the battery removed. You won't hurt anything, but if no combination of the leads generates a voltage, you've got a hairline fracture on your board.
     
  14. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    The main problem is that motherboards shatter when dropped... but may still look as if they are together... and they cracks cannot be seen without an appropriate light and a hardware scope or a very find magnification device... less visible that what I consider a hairline fracture.
    Voltage and circuitry tests are a good idea, but you must test them at a variety of temperatures... and insurance companies will only accept the results of those tests performed by technicians licensed and certified to do so.
     
  15. Trafficflow

    Trafficflow TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 132

    Thanks for all the feedback. For a newcomer that is great.All the points are of interest. I need to put the computer back together after I examine the board real close. Have to come up with some better lighting. I should have not took it a part so fast. Give me some time to get it back together and I will get back.
     
  16. adweston

    adweston Banned Posts: 333

    You don't need to put it back together to test voltages. Just make sure it's not sitting on a conductive surface when you plug it in and take a meter to your test points.
     
  17. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    But it is important to know EXACTLY what your test points are.
     
  18. Trafficflow

    Trafficflow TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 132

    I understand what you are saying about voltage checks.How can I identify the points?There is about a half dozen points. I imagine positive and negative. What about the rest?Will be working on it this weekend. Thanks
     
  19. adweston

    adweston Banned Posts: 333

    It's actually quite easy. First, where your adapter plugs in. Make sure there's voltage at the motherboard (the jack is soldered onto the board. Test there and at the leading edge of surrounding caps, diodes, etc.

    The battery.. just try different combinations. You won't hurt anything if you have the meter on 20V DC. If no combinations give any voltage, then you know that there's a problem with a component on the motherboard.
     
  20. Trafficflow

    Trafficflow TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 132

    Doing some troubleshooting tonight. This is what i have so far. I removed the battrery and I have 3 and 14 volts at the motherboard left to right. 14v-3v-14-3v
    to ground terminal. I have the hard drive in and reseated the ram and installed
    video card. I do not have the other halve that has the monitor, keyboard.mouse attached. to the mobo. I have external monitor usb keyboard and mouse hooked up. I have the same result on startup. The hard drive light will comes on momentarily like it is trying to post then goes back off. There is a liitle switch that has to be made.I am going to try that now Any ideas. Thanks
     
  21. adweston

    adweston Banned Posts: 333

    So your board has power if it's making it to the battery terminals. Good start. Check for any spills, damaged caps, etc. Look for scorch marks.

    Also unplug the battery off the motherboard and leave it sit for 10 minutes unplugged from the wall as well. Plug it back in, thus resetting the BIOS. Clean the contacts on the RAM with an eraser. Try starting it without the hard drive in it.
     
  22. Trafficflow

    Trafficflow TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 132

    I did everything and still no post and no video. Tried witth hard drive in and out no luck.
    Will it post without a hard drive? If I had a bad video card adapter would that keep it from posting even with external hookups mouse etc? I do not have any spare ram to try next. Need help again. Thanks
     
  23. adweston

    adweston Banned Posts: 333

    In many cases they'll post without a drive, yes. IBM seems to be an exception to that.
     
  24. Trafficflow

    Trafficflow TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 132

    Well I think we have determined that the mbo is good and I will get a stick of ram also. That leaves the video adapter and the CPU. Can I rule out the video adapter if I hook up externally? Or is there a setting to disable the onboard video to use the external jack? That takes me to the CPU. Will that stop the post? I am going to look for some info on the net about posting. Any suggestions?

    Thanks Trafficflow
     
  25. Spleenharvester

    Spleenharvester TS Enthusiast Posts: 146

    It could still possibly be the mobo. Yes, try hooking up to an external display.
     
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