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Andy, Computer Consultant
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 5316
Experience:  11yr exp, Comp Engg, Internet expert, Web developer, SEO
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Customer Question

hello ?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Computer
Expert:  Robert M. replied 2 years ago.
Can I help you with something
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

packard bell laptop, worked fine for 3 years. Last week was switched off at mexico airport to move between gates. Then when switched on again would display black screen, hard disk not booting, hard disk light not flickering.

Created image today on DVD from sister computer bought the same day. Laptop would boot from DVD but screen remains black with HD light off but DVD reader making obvious working noises, then after an hour or so DVD would stop making noises and just keep turning

Expert:  Robert M. replied 2 years ago.
Sounds like the hard drive went. It might be dead or it might have just got disconnected traveling. Usually there is a little trap door thing where the hard drive can be accessed. A couple of screws and it slides or pops off and you can see the hard driveTry taking it out and putting it back in again making sure the little cables are on securely. If that doesn't work a new hard drive should work and you can put the image on that
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

OK so here's the news.

I removed the trap door and could clearly hear the HD humming.

Switched the laptop off, removed the HD and put it in an external casing, connected it to the "sister" laptop and could see all directories nicely developping.

Bottoms line :the HD works but for some reason does not boot.

Any suggestions ?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.


Seen my previous answer ?

Wait! There is more !

After I had removed the "faulty" HD from the laptop and put it in an external casing (and saw it working), I removed the HD from the "sister" laptop and replaced it with the "faulty" HD. It works perfectly fine !!

So ... it appears the HD is not faulty at all but somehow the "faulty" laptop is not "calling upon it" to boot.

Any suggestions ?

Expert:  Robert M. replied 2 years ago.
Have you tried putting it back in the bad laptop. Or putting your sisters in to see if it boots? The most likely thing would be that the cable got disconnected
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

That was a good idea but no cigar yet.

I put the "sister" HD into the "faulty" laptop and it did not boot.

Whereas the (supposed) faulty HD works when put in the "sister" laptop DID work.

Tip : when I put either HD in the faulty laptop there is a "clicking" noise (about 1 click per second) coming from the ventilator area. Means anything ?

What is the process that makes a laptop "ignite" the HD ?


Expert:  Robert M. replied 2 years ago.
Usually they boot off the hard drive. If you press the button it says to press for setup when you first turn it on you should be able to find a place where it says what drives are in the systemanother section where it says the boot order which it boots from first and where it boots if that is not there. the clicking might be another hard drive that it actually boots from which is broken. or it might be a broken fan.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi again

When I press the button all I get is a black screen. I cannot access the BIOS hence not change the sequence in which hard disk, CD drive and/or USD port are accessed.



Expert:  Robert M. replied 2 years ago.
try hitting F2 repeatedly immediately on turning it on. But its starting to sound like there is a problem with the mother board. I had thought you said it booted from a cd and would run until it said it cant find the hard drive. if it can do that it should be able to pull up the bios setup screen. I wont be on till sometime tonight as i am not in the office today.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I did not say I "could boot from a cd and would run until it can't find a hard drive". I said I "could boot from a cd and it would run undefintely withotu anything happening".

But indeed IF it could boot from a CD THEN it should be able to pull up the BIOS setup screen BUT as it says here

this can only be done AFTER the LOGO appears on the screen

and my screen remains black

So ... here is an hypothesis : is there anything I could have done to tell the screen to remain black ? I know on some computers there is a key which switches the wi-fi or the touchpad OFF for instance ...

Anything similar on Packard Bell ? I connected an external screen on the faulty laptop and it said "Check signal cable" even when the cable was connected to the laptop.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

And further to my today's reply , according to this forum

it is graphics chip problem common to packard bell computers.

Expert:  Robert M. replied 2 years ago.
sorry my mistake. I thought it was running from the cd but wouldnt install to the hard driveI guess i got that stuck in my head. yes if you never get anything on the screen than its going to be a faulty screen or graphics card. if it wont go to an external monitor either than its got to be the card in this case a chip on the board. There is no switch that would stop any screen from coming up with at least the logo and to get into the setup bios. The only place i know of to turn the screen off would be the setup bios and it doesnt go off. it can switch from internal to external on some laptops. but there is no setting where it would have no display at all.