Drew Community

Drew Community (https://community.drew.edu//index.php)
-   Technology Discussion (https://community.drew.edu//forumdisplay.php?f=89)
-   -   Power Keeps Cutting Out on my Laptop (https://community.drew.edu//showthread.php?t=675)

09-01-2006 09:09 PM

Power Keeps Cutting Out on my Laptop
My junkpad R40's been acting up again.

Seemingly at random, all power will simply cut out from the system. I could be in MS Word, I could be doing something more hardcore like gaming. Just... whenever my computer doesn't feel like working anymore, all power will cut out from the system, and completely die.

Now here's where it gets really odd.

If I leave the AC adapter plugged in, the power button will not work.

If I remove it, the power button *will* work, and I can just plug it back in.

If it goes to sleep mode, it will not return from it at all. Period. Regardless of whether it's plugged in or not, it will not come out of it.

The random shut-downs sounds like something that would happen if the thermal sensor thought it was overheating, which... I'm not sure about. I'm not confident what the R40's typically run at, but mine is currently at 52C, which sounds a bit high. Could it be a faulty sensor, something with the adapter itself, or some other unforseen problem?

I'm bringin' it in as soon as I can, but if anyone has any suggestions for a fix in the meantime, that'd be great. Thanks!

Jason R. Howe 09-02-2006 12:32 PM

If I'm not mistaken the thermal limit for the R40's is somewhere in the high 70's C. So 52 is just fine. I annoyed at Laptops running so hot myself, as the way I have my desktop setup it hardly every sees 40.

Infact there is a utility (the name of which escapes me now) which we use to check temps on the laptops, and generally what you will see when running it at full blast (running prime 95 or something) is that the temp will creep slowly up, even while the fans are running full blast, then when it hit's the thermal ceiling, it will automatically scale back it's speed to like half or so, until the temp comes down a couple degrees, then it will kick back up to full speed and repeat the process.

But the problem you're having sounds like a bad mainboard, that is generally the only time when it just shuts off. I would suggest you bring it to the helpdesk as soon as possible so we can that fixed for you, and also take a look at your groupwise problems.


09-02-2006 12:40 PM

A bad mainboard would be... erm... bad.

Had mine replaced not even a year ago for a video card error. Guess I'll just bring it in.

09-02-2006 12:53 PM

it'll be a while. they just had to order a mainboard for me too...no eta...

09-02-2006 03:21 PM

Mine actually got replaced within a couple weeks, which was fine considering I had a loaner.

I should really invest in an external at some point. Seems I'm backing up my data and shipping it down to CNS every two to three months for a re-image or hardware replacement. It'd certainly save me the hassle of CD-Rs.

Anyone know how many hardware failures you need before they just give you a new damn laptop? >_>

Mike Richichi 09-02-2006 05:00 PM

Our "lemon clause" is 3 major failures within 6 months. If they're spaced out more than that, or determined to be accidental damage, they don't count.

As an aside, this is why we spec 4 year warranties and accidental damage coverage nowadays. A 3 year old laptop, no matter how good, can start to show its age, especially if it's heavily used. I own an R40 that had to get its lid latches replaced, and a new mainboard because the power pin and Ethernet jack weren't holding cables anymore. Doesn't mean it's unreliable.

09-02-2006 05:29 PM

Oh, the warranty has been wonderful.

What's not wonderful is that it seems no matter how hard I try to keep my laptop maintained, I've still had to keep bringing it in to reimage it or fix some other random hardware problem no less than twice a year.

Like all computers, they can show their age given time. It's just the fact that mine has been showing its age since December of '03. Re-imaging your computer should under no circumstances be a "do it every two or three months" thing... not if it isn't loaded with assorted garbage. I've literally lost count at this point how many re-images I've had, but in the three years I've had it, I'm willing to guess the number is around six or seven. Tack on a replaced hard drive, a new mainboard, and what sounds like a *second* new mainboard, you're not looking at something I would call "reliable."

Let's run down the checklist!

- My computer lives in a case.
- I de-frag and clear out old data files every two weeks.
- My virus protection is always current.
- Ad-Aware SE 6 is always updated and set to go.
- I don't use IE, nor do I hunt around using any sketchy software.
- I stay away from filesharing software which would probably make things worse.
- I don't pour root beer into my keyboard on a regular basis.

Am I missing anything? Despite all of the above, I keep running into problems, and keep getting told "there's nothing wrong with the ThinkPads." This is an understandable response, coming from a team whose job it is to help a school full of people who break their computer because they don't know the damaging effects of Blubster, or what a CD-ROM is. I assure you - I'm not one of those people.

I know for a fact that I'm not the only person who has had hardware issues with these things. Two out of three people I know have had to bring in their computers multiple times for corrupted OS files, faulty hard drives (like myself), dying video cards (like myself), dead ethernet jacks, and what have you. Is this just the price we pay for mass-manufactured laptops? I almost wish this were like Staples, where if there's a problem or two, you just get a gift card to buy a new damn computer. Too bad this is the real world, and not a multi-billion dollar office supplies company (but wouldn't it be totally sweet if it was?).

This coming fall, I want you to look at the senior class, and see how many of them have switched to Macs. I won't be one of them, as I hate Macs, but it's a pretty great indicator of where the satisfaction rate lies with IBM/Lenovo right now.

I try not to sound harsh here, but I'm just getting a little tired of hearing people try to defend recurring problems and denying that there's anything wrong. Just because a ThinkPad that you own has never had any problems doesn't mean that the rest of the school's haven't. I sort of feel it's kind of like when our school's network exploded last year, and it took me a week's worth of data collection and a lot of confused posts to CNS for anyone to stop telling me "you don't know what you're talking about," and get anyone to even *start* investigating the issue.

Surprise! Turns out there was something wrong with the network.

I know you guys catch a lot of flak from the students, but please don't shut us down in your haste to show that you know more than us. We know that you know more than us. That's why you're there, and not us.

I promise you - every now and then, you'll find a legitimate issue that's been overlooked.

I'm sorry for the rant and thanks for the help. I hope you can understand why I would get a little irked.

Also: Nice avatar, Mike. ;D


Mike Richichi 09-03-2006 08:56 PM

You're right, you caught our massive plot to defraud and mislead everyone.

We (and IBM/Lenovo) watch the laptops well. What makes you think there's a systemic issue? If we see a problem 3 or 4 (or 10 or 20) times that doesn't usually mean anything--and you can't lump everyone's individual problem together either, because there's no consistent causation. Anecdotal reports about people replacing 3 year old computers also doesn't prove any point either. I can tell you there's no comparison between the R40s and what the class ahead of you had--and those we did deal with systematically and worked with the vendor to get machines replaced.

The flip side is, yes, despite all our monitoring and observation, we need people to tell us constructively if there's a problem, and help us solve it sometimes. It's the nature of support. We aren't claiming infallibililty--perhaps some initial disbelief, but that's it.

What do you think our motive is here? I mean, really. We're not trying to deceive you or anyone else. Not sure why you seem to think we are.

Paul R. Coen 09-04-2006 09:44 AM


Originally Posted by Justin M. Giza
problems, and keep getting told "there's nothing wrong with the ThinkPads." This is an understandable response, coming from a team whose job it is to help a school full of people who break their computer

Actually, when there's a systematic problem with a model, we spot it very quickly, usually more quickly than the vendor (or more quickly than the vendor is willing to admit). We've had a history, not just with the student computers but also University-owned equipment, of finding problems and either working through them with the vendor, or (when possible) forcing the vendor to take some action. Or even ourselves when we've had to. I can give concrete examples back to the second model of laptop purchased by Drew in 1989. There were even examples prior to that. When you've got a small number of people seeing the same issue coming up, and you're buying in quantity 500 or 600, or 50 at a time or so for desktops on campus, common issues crop up quickly.

The only issue I'm aware of with the R40's in particular is that the original motherboard's ethernet jack can fail through repeated insertion/removal. Actually, any network port will fail over time - some R40's seem to fail more quickly. That requires a motherboard replacement, which is covered. I'm not sure if the replacement part is less prone to failure - I'd have to check with Rian, our hardware support specialist. The "lemon clause" would rarely kick in on this, since it's the "major failures within 6 months". By the way, some vendors won't do a lemon clause - another major computer vendor (who I'm now glad we didn't select for other reasons) indicated that the lemon clause was too specific for them to agree to.

In terms of dueling anecdotes, yeah, I have an R40, and I know a bunch of other people (students, faculty, staff) who are using their own or University-owned equipment. So, if I know a dozen people without major problems, what does that mean? Not much. It's the overall repair rates, and to the best of my knowledge, there's no data showing a major issue - certainly nothing that would trigger a wider vendor action or recall.

09-04-2006 04:00 PM

Like I said in my post, I don't think you guys are "out to get us." That would be completely antithetical to the purpose of... y'know... what you guys do. You guys aren't out to get us, and I'm certainly not out to get you. I take no pleasure in having things go awry with my computer. I would gain nothing by trying to convince the world that "CNS doesn't know what they're doing," so... yeah. I'm not saying that at all. Just because you guys repair computers doesn't mean that you'd exactly want to create unnecessary work for yourselves. You taking the time to respond to these posts is proof enough that y'all just want to make sure everyone's satisfied in the end.

I ask all this just because I want opinions, and an occasional solution - not 'cause I'm out to troll CNS. Sorry if it sounds heated on my end... I'm biting my tongue best I can.

Breaking it down, I'm just getting kind of frustrated at the number of times I've had to bring in my laptop for even something like re-imaging. I wasn't trying to be a jerk in my previous post, I legitimately want to know; Read my list above, and tell me what I'm doing wrong here, because the care I give my laptop coupled with the amount of times I've had to bring it in is sorely disproportionate. I really want to get something done about my laptop, and I'm just not seeing any light. I'm getting tempted to ramp up my credit card bill and finally jigsaw my desktop together.

I really just want the functional piece of equipment I was promised and paid for. When they work, they're great computers. When they don't, they make great paperweights. It just so happens that mine makes a great paperweight every couple months.

A lemon clause is a great idea, and you're right - not many places will offer one.

Just tell me what I'm supposed to do here. No laptop means I can't do my work, and I'm trying to calculate how much time I've lost in my three years here. Yes, I am fully aware of the loaner policy, but that's even more red tape I have to waste my time with. More importantly, that's not even an option for another 2 weeks unless I can get a professor's signature - easy enough, but again... more red tape.

At this point, I will literally do anything in my power to get a replacement or something.

I will have a knife fight with a rowdy singing and dancing street gang.
I will put inanimate objects into my belly, whether they're supposed to go there or not.
I will pay blood sacrifices to the CNS gods.

Well, not quite. But I'd totally be willing to take y'all for a hearty steak luncheon. Or get you some sweet, chewy candies.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:11 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.5.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Drew University is not responsible for the content of posts made on this site. All posts and comments reflect the opinion of the author.