Packard Bell Easynote TK boot problem

By Japhir
Dec 12, 2014
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  1. Hi there!

    I've recently bought a second hand laptop because it was cheap and seemed to only have a minor problem, which I hope to be able to fix. So far I've not been able to, so I thought I'd ask here for some help!

    Packard Bell Easynote TK
    CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 N970: 2,2GHz
    Videochip: AMD Radeon HD 6650M, 1 GB VRAM
    RAM: 6 GB DDR3
    orginal OS: Windows 7 Home Premium

    So the problem is that if I try to boot it, about 29/30 times it starts up, I can hear the fan and HDD starting and see the lights turn on. Then after a couple of seconds (before seeing anything on screen) I hear the fan stopping while the lights remain on.
    The 1/30 times it boots up properly, and everything works.

    What I've done so far: remove battery and power adapter, reinstall RAM (both at once and one by one), hold down power button for a minute and try again with the power adapter connected. This doesn't appear to do anything much. I haven't removed the CMOS battery yet because it's embedded in a peculiar way and I'm not familiar with how to remove it yet.
    Then, during one of the few sessions where I was able to boot successfully, I installed the newest BIOS-version from the Packard Bell site. This also didn't do anything.
    Then, since I wanted to do it anyway, I started with the installation of Arch Linux where so far I've only wiped the entire HDD and repartitioned it (then I was too busy and couldn't complete it). This doesn't matter much; as long as I can get into the BIOS properly I'll be fine. (I'm a Linux newbie but have successfully installed Arch Linux on a very old laptop).

    So what I wanted to ask: do you know any way to make the startup work everytime? Do you have any ideas what it might be?
    My theories so far:
    - It's probably a hardware related problem, since it still occurred after BIOS-update and full HDD-wipe (without OS!)
    - broken powerbutton connection somehow --> replace powerbutton?
    - broken fan (overheating --> shutdown)
    - broken fan cable (sometimes does connect correctly?)

    I'm curious if you have any theories on how to save the laptop!

    Kind regards,

  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    The laptop may need its thermal pads or paste replaced. The motherboard may be detecting a false over-heating signal...
  3. Japhir

    Japhir TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 20

    Thanks! So what do I do to check that? If I take the laptop apart, can I see something? Or should I replace it anyhow?
    I have little experience in taking apart laptops, I've only replaced a keyboard, some RAM and popped out the CMOS battery once. Do you think I'll be able to manage by viewing a youtube video or should I consult someone with more experience?
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    "...should I consult someone with more experience?" Yes, the laptop would need to be near totally torn down
  5. Japhir

    Japhir TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 20

    Hmm it looks like you might be right!

    I just took it apart alone anyway :cool: and found that the thermal paste was kind of coming out and appeared to be broken. Here's an image after taking the cooling off

    I followed this take-apart-guide on youtube. Was pretty easy! I hope getting it back together will be as easy ;).

    So any recommendation on what sort of paste or pads I should get? I read somewhere that you hardly notice the difference if you don't intend to overclock, since the way you apply it is much more influential.
    I really hope that replacing the paste will fix it! Thanks again for the help so far!
  6. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

  7. Japhir

    Japhir TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 20

    Thanks! I bought some thermal paste at a computer store today, but they didn't have thermal pads unfortunately. Also, the guy recommended me to use toilet paper to clean it and an old credit card to apply the paste... pretty much the opposite advice from what I found on youtube (clean with microfiber cloth and alcohol, apply drop and let it spread by the pressure). What do you think?

    I guess I can't apply it as yet, because I need the thermal pad replacement as well right?
  8. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    I would use a plain paper towel,and alcohol, not toilet paper to remove the old paste. The YouTube method is better for applying the new paste. For the worn pads, re position them to lesson the tears and flatness and try to reuse them. You will certainly get better results using new pads though
  9. Japhir

    Japhir TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 20

    Hi there, happy new year!
    So I applied the thermal paste and, since no computer shop in my city had thermal pads, put the laptop back together. I didn't entirely remember where to put what screws exactly but did manage to get it back together.
    Unfortunately it still has the exact same problem I started with, so I doubt that it was indeed the bad cooling.

    Any other suggestions before I take it to a shop?
  10. Japhir

    Japhir TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 20

    So, unfortunately the guy at the shop told me he didn't do such hardcore hardware problems. He advised me to take it apart entirely and see if the motherboard + RAM + monitor worked, then slowly start adding parts and see where it goes wrong.
    I just tried doing that but quickly ran into trouble: the power button's cord is glued to the plastic front cover, such that removing the cover with the power button still attached is not really possible. Do you guys think it's worthwile to remove it from the plastic and play around? Or would you just give up at this point?

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