Laptop switches on, begins to start up, switches off then repeats process


TS Rookie
Today when I switched on my computer it began to start up (barely staying on for five seconds) before switching off and repeating the whole process. It does stay on long enough for me to push either esc or f10 and go into computer set up. However i am not too sure what to configure and how and as soon as i exit out of it, my laptop starts the whole on/off process again.

I am not too sure about the specs of my laptop, only that it is an Hp and has windows xp.
Please, what can i do? I would be forever grateful if someone knows how I can fix this..


TechSpot Paladin
If you can post the model of the HP laptop, we can learn more for you.
You should find the model information on a sticker on the bottom of the machine.

It sounds like ESC or f10 will take you to the BIOS configuration utility.
Have you tried f8? You may need to press repeatedly, or press and hold.
This will take you to the option to boot to Safe Mode.
If this is successful, let us know. If not, let us know.

Next... you obviously have internet access from another computer.
There are two utilities you should download and run.
These utilities will check for errors in 1) your memory and 2) your drive.
Since they run outside of windows, trying to run them will give us a good idea if it is a hardware issue, or if it is a problem with your OS. (the f8 question may leave this an open question, but this will help get a definite answer, in addition to trying to isolate hardware faults)

To Test Memory... Using Memtest Please follow this guide...

Please note that (unless you start getting errors reported) you will need to let this run a long time.
A good way of doing this is to let it run over night. In each 'pass" there are a series of eight memory tests that are run, each more complicated than the previous. We used to advise letting it run a minimum of 7 passes, unless you start getting errors. We now advise at least 10 full passes. If you have errors reported, you may want to re-run the test with only one stick of ram installed, checked each stick until you isolate those that are faulty. That way you can limit your replacement to those that actually need it.

Also, I would like for you to run some hard-drive diagnostics, but I need to know more in order to point you to the right tools to download.
I may or may not be able to find out your drive maker from the model information you supply about your laptop.
Sometimes that information may be found in your Bios (bios sometimes detects it).
I will tell you how to determine your drive maker this way, after you tell me more about your laptop.

If I / we cannot determine the drive maker another way, we may need to have you open your drive bay cover.
Is the machine out of warranty? If not, for you to do this next step would void your warranty.
Are you comfortable opening the machine?
Do you understand the hazards of static electricity and know how to avoid damaging your computer with static?
Depending on your answers, I may have additional steps for you before we have you download your drive diagnostics.


TS Rookie
f8 worked what now?

F8 worked - there are several modes - i tried the straight safe mode but it starting restarting and shutting down again, what next?

My specs are
Hp pavillion dv2000
Genuine Intel T1350
Bios version F.11
System Board ID 30B2


TechSpot Paladin
You did correct, by selecting Safe Mode (not Safe with Networking).
Your results confirm that further testing is needed.

SO, I want you to power-on and enter your BIOS / Ssytem Configuration Utility:

Do not make any changes here. I just want you to retrieve any available information about your hard drive, and then to use your hard drive diagnostics.

Before Windows opens and while “Press <F10> to enter setup” is displayed in the lower-left corner of the screen, press f10.

Access the system information by using the Main menu.
On this page you may find information about your hard drive.
If so, copy down everything you find about your hard drive.

If you do not find it here, you may find it on the System Configuration Menu
If so, copy down everything you find about your hard drive.

Then, find Diagnostics Menu
Select Hard Disk Self Test
If it allows you options to "repair", select yes.

Please report your findings.
If the diagnostics reports the ability to create a log or report, do so, but it may be hard to find.
SO, I want you to copy down as much as you can about what the diagnostics does for you.
When you report this information, please tell us what you learned about the Maker (etc) of your hard drive.

I believe you have Hewlett-Packard 120GB SATA II hard disk drive - part number 417059-001
It may be made by Seagate, or it could be a Hitachi drive, or Samsung, or Fujitsu, etc
I want to confirm, so that we get the correct tools from the correct maker, for additional testing.
If you cannot confirm from BIOS, then I have another option.

BUT, meanwhile, please run the memory test indicated above.

Then post those results also... you may add them as an edit to your next post.
I will wait until I see all the results before replying... These are what I am looking for you to post:
1. Hard Drive information? or that you could not find it.
2. What results from the bios based Hard Drive Utility?
3. Memtest Results.

You may find this pdf of your user manual to be helpful.


TS Rookie
Thank you

Hi B00kWyrm

Thanks for all the help with my computer problems - I was struggling a bit with running some of the programmes so ended up getting one of my more computer-literate friends to help - we ended up having to restore my computer to its default settings as nothing was working. He thought that I had probably accidentally deleted some important windows system files :(

Thanks again,