Black screen and continuous restart with any HD

By apomyzo ยท 12 replies
Aug 6, 2010
Post New Reply
  1. Hi,

    My laptop seems to have a hardware issue, but I can't figure out what's going on.

    A book fell smack on top of my laptop, and ever since the following happens. After a minute or 2 after starting, it will return a black screen and restart. This happens with two different internal harddrives that I swapped out, as well as with a recovery disk. One of the drives is a little faster in starting up than the other, and the system will actually boot. With the other drive, the system won't even get to booting up completely. I can't get into safe mode. I managed to start up completely once, and shut down successfully, but that didn't solve the problem.

    So it doesn't seem to be a drive or software issue. What could be wrong here?

    HP Pavilion DV6000 with Windows Vista home edition.


  2. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,020   +2,549

    The CPU heatsink being partially knocked off is the first thing that springs to mind. After that, any one of a number of loose connections or dislocated hardware, up to and including a cracked motherboard, but I think motherboard is probably a worst case scenario. Does the LCD panel continue to work during the reboots..? Because I'm sort of curious as to how you missed that with the book.
  3. apomyzo

    apomyzo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for your reply. I took the thing apart for the fourth time in 2 days.. The heatsink seems to be in place, and the fan is working. Also, there is no obvious mechanical damage to any of the components, and there are no (obvious) loose connections. The LCD works fine - wasn't hit...
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,020   +2,549

    Does this thing have a "reset" switch that could be damaged...?

    I wouldn't completely rule out the HSF, as it might only take a bit of a bump to interrupt the thermal connection between it and the CPU. In fact, you might try reseating it with fresh thermal compound, just to rule out overheating as a cause of the reboot.

    If this computer has a glued on heat sink, I'm going to feel so silly for saying this.

    So, be sure to check for bolts or a clip on the HSF, before you do anything rash.
  5. apomyzo

    apomyzo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    No, it doesn't have a reset switch that could be damaged.

    All the bolts on the heatsink are still tight, and there seems to be a good connection between it and the CPU. The sink itself actually appears to be pretty tight on the CPU, and it seems not very likely that the two came apart - though I might be wrong here..

    I may try and reseat the HSF, but supposing that it's not the HSF causing the problem, what would be your next suggestion?

    Thanks again!
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,020   +2,549

    I'm sort of perplexed at the idea that the 2 HDDs behave differently...! or possibly...? One could come to the conclusion that they're either both good or both bad. Although, I suppose the speed issue could be as simple as one drive being 5400 RPM, and the other 7200RPM.

    I'm far from the laptop guru here, so we might wait for a second or even third opinion.

    Have you tried resetting the system BIOS by removing the battery, waiting a few minutes, then reinstalling it?

    If you do have a clean hard drive and the recovery discs, it could be argued at that point that it would have to be a hardware failure.

    BTW, if the system is not picking up the keyboard or mouse, it may reboot because of that. So, a damaged keyboard or, "pointing device", could be a suspect also.
  7. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    Are both hard disks using Windows thats been installed on this laptop?

    Reason I ask, is because a hard disk with an OS installed from another computer is unlikely to load anyway.

    If its not that, then I'd check the keyboard next.

    If you load it into BIOS, and then leave it in there, does it still reboot after a few mins? Or does it sit in BIOS absolutely fine?
  8. apomyzo

    apomyzo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes, both HD have the same version of Windows installed. One is a carbon copy of the other, though without the latest updates.

    If I load it into BIOS, it's just fine and will sit there indefinitely.

    I tried removing the battery to reset the BIOS last night, but that didn't resolve anything. I also disconnected the pointing device, keyboard, DVD drive, and the modem, to no avail...
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,020   +2,549

    I don't think that would help. In fact, it might make things worse, since if the keyboard or pointing device isn't detected, that would cause a halt.
  10. apomyzo

    apomyzo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Brought it in to Geeksquad, and by glancing at it they suggested it's a motherboard problem and to buy a new laptop.. A local repair shop wants to charge $50 just to diagnose the issue. Getting pretty frustrated by now, and am on the verge of throwing it out and buying a new one.. That's an expensive option, though.. Any other thoughts on diagnosing the problem myself?

  11. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    Download and burn a copy of Ubuntu linux. See if it will run with the linux CD. (bear with me, I have an idea!)

    If it runs fine using the live CD, I would put it down to software problems. I think even at this late stage it could possibly be a disk issue. running Ubuntu live will test all of your hardware, with the exception of your hard disk (as its a live CD and doesnt mount your physical disks). If it runs in Ubuntu live mode without crashing/rebooting you KNOW the hardware is OK.

    It'll either then be one of two things:

    1. Both your hard disks are faulty
    2. Your original hard disk is faulty, and your new one has a bad/corrupt image of the original on it.

    Having thought about it some more, its possible that one of your drives has a bad image, and therefore isn't working. If its the original disk thats starting up, then its almost likely the image hasn't been restored correctly.

    I would also completely remove the CPU heatsink, and then re-apply thermal grease and refit it. It might not solve your problem, but if it does its a dam sight cheaper than a replacement laptop so worth the small cost.

    Its worth a try before spending money.
  12. apomyzo

    apomyzo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    That's actually a great idea! I tried running Ubuntu from a CD, but still the same problem - it crashed and restarted before Ubuntu was even fully loaded. So that would definitely rule out HD and software failure, right? I also removed the heatsink and reinstalled it with fresh thermal compound, but that didn't help either. So, no HS issue.. Does that leave us with a motherboard problem? "Refurbished" MB with this part number go for ~ $150, but how reliable would those be? After all, they're used, and might be on the verge of failing as well..
  13. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    Sorry to hear it made no difference. :(

    I'd say if Ubuntu doesn't want to run on your hardware, its definitely hardware related. Its possible Ubuntu won't run on your hardware, but thats very slim as I've not come across a computer running XP onwards that wouldn't yet.

    I think you might need to bite the bullet and purchase a motherboard. Either that, or see if you can find your model as spares or repairs (with say a smashed screen), that way you have extra parts and it'll be cheaper than a reconditioned motherboard alone.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...