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Old 01-14-2012, 09:57 PM   #1
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Default Laptop won't power on when not hot / on AC.

I have this old laptop I would wish to sell to buy a new mobo + cpu + gpu for my desktop, but the problem is that it's FUBAR. And by FUBAR I mean I don't know what in the world is wrong with it.

My laptop:
  • Toshiba Satellite L300 - PSLB0E
  • Intel Celeron M 2.13GHz
  • 160GB HDD
  • Intel X3100

Ok, here's the story: After two years of use, the battery has lost a staggering 90% of its charge capacity. I could no longer use it without plugging it in. No problem, since I only use it at home.

The problem is, whenever it's plugged in, and then I'd boot it, it would attempt to power on, and then shut back down and then back on, then shut down again. Repeat until infinity. Nothing in the screen or anywhere since I couldn't even see the bios.

Weird part: It would boot just fine when on battery (which I could use for only 5~ minutes). After it got a bit hot, I plug it in and I could continue using it. When I try to plug it in while powered on and not hot enough, it would abruptly power down (like a blackout).

Things I'm quite sure of: AC adapter / charger is perfectly fine, since I can charge. It's not because of Window's powersaving features and stuff, since I couldn't even get past the BIOS at times. And that I'm running ArchLinux.

What could be wrong? A relative of mine is looking for a super cheap pc and this could just be the one. WIN = WIN situation.

And oh, things I've tried: Completely remove battery and AC only, "drain power" by removing all power source including AC and holding down the power button for 30secs, checking the hard drive, removing and replacing a bit of my ram. Nothing.

Any ideas?
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:35 AM   #2
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Default Re: Laptop won't power on when not hot / on AC.

When you say shut down do you mean like a normal shut down or like when you hold the power button ?
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:30 AM   #3
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Default Re: Laptop won't power on when not hot / on AC.

Since you said you could get it to boot to the battery, but not to the AC adapter, it sounds like you've got some loose connections on the board which are making it hard for the system to get power from the specified power source (not at all uncommon on Toshiba laptops)

You can do one of two things here.

Take the motherboard out of the system, place it on a cookie sheet and bake it in a 200 degree oven for a few minutes, then take it out and let it cool off, then put it back into the system.

Why?

The heat would liquify some of the contact points on the motherboard and get them to fill in any gaps that might be causing the issue.

It's highly risky though, and I don't really recommend it because if you don't know what you're doing, you can easily trash what is still good.

The other and safer alternative is to sell it on EBay as a "parts PC" - I recently sold about three of these on EBay for varying amounts, the most of which got me about $80.
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: Laptop won't power on when not hot / on AC.

Take the battery out of the laptop and only leave the A/C cord in it. See if that works.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: Laptop won't power on when not hot / on AC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmacavali View Post
Take the battery out of the laptop and only leave the A/C cord in it. See if that works.
They did. Check the post again.
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:46 PM   #6
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Default Re: Laptop won't power on when not hot / on AC.

It may be just a problem with the battery.
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:13 AM   #7
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Default Re: Laptop won't power on when not hot / on AC.

Seems like that was added after my post.....
Still might be worth it to buy a new battery and see if that helps. Won't hurt to have a good battery anyway.
Otherwise I'm out of ideas.
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:39 AM   #8
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Default Re: Laptop won't power on when not hot / on AC.

After some tedious googling (Which I should have done prior to posting here. Sry), it turns out that the problem lies in one of the motherboards capacitors, specifically the one under the CPU. The NEC/Tokin capacitor needs replacing.

Found the answer here: Toshiba Satellite - Locks up when plugged in - Page 4 - Badcaps Forums. We have the same symptoms, so there's a 90% chance we have the same problem.

Thanks for the help anyway guys. I can't get a 2.5v 330uf tantalum capacitor anywhere here where I live, so I might just sell it as a parts pc. I just hope there are parts pc buyers here since e-bay is not really an option here in the Philippines xD

@arsenalbates - Hold down power button kind of poweroff
@indigo - That's scary. I won't do that under any circumstance hahahahaha
@Dngrsone; @jmacavali - Hard to find a replacement one without ordering online. I live with my grandparents so they're not into credit cards and stuff like that. Soooo, yeah. I really have to buy from stores, but they don't usually have the stuff I want.

Thanks anyway guys
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:50 AM   #9
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Default Re: Laptop won't power on when not hot / on AC.

So, there is not an electronics parts store anywhere around? No one who could order it for you? For that matter, no broken radios bouncing around that might have a good 330uF cap in it?
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Old 01-18-2012, 06:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: Laptop won't power on when not hot / on AC.

There are a lot of electronics parts stores here, but none of the stores I checked had a single piece of that capacitor. They do have a capacitor with the same resistance but with a different voltage. I don't know the difference when put on a mobo, so I might just wait until I get my hands on a 2.5v.

I'll see if I can get someone to do the ordering. Thanks.
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