Originally posted by OperaTenor:
....Given that, we now know the battery's good, and the charger is good, and the inverter is new, so I think we can rule out actual power problems, and maybe I am looking at a bios/software glitch?
Does this mean it's time to format my hard drive? I'm not afraid........I've done it before(on the computer in question, no less)................really..................
Well - I'm still awaiting my reformat wings. I am not at all skilled in Windows. You are waaaay ahead of me in the software department.
Your logic is straight. It certainly looks like a circle around the laptop would enclose the trouble. The power supply is clean by actual measurement. If it's the one provided with your machine and it's a 19 or 20 volt supply, then 19 or 20 volts is probably what the machine expects. However I'm mildly surprised that a laptop wouldn't expect 12 volts for use in a car. Can you verify by a user manual or marking at the power jack on computer?
Most machines go into setup mode if you hold down a certain key when the BEEP occurs at startup. I've seen Escape and various Function keys used on various brands. You can check and edit most of the bios settings from there if you can find which key to hold. Have you the manual? Look for Setup.
Next step is to tighten the circle again - software or hardware?
Now let's think - the program that ran last week ought to run this week. Windows 'Restore' function would let you try last week's software. If it's corrupted on disk there ought to be some checksum error or "file is corrupt" complaints, you haven't mentioned getting them. See what happens when you run scandisk from the dos prompt.
On reformatting - If the machine won't pass a memory test, it probably shouldn't be writing to system files. It might be prudent to run some self tests before reformatting.
My Dell book says to put the Resource CD in the CDROM drive, boot up , select START WITH CD-ROM SUPPORT and then run diags32
. It'll ask what devices to test. However the latest OS it covers is NT. Have you a CD and manual that came with your XP machine? Try a search for files with names containing diag and .exe, look for a readme nearby.
My old 98 machine once healed itself from fatal disk corruption by booting up on a floppy then running scandisk
from dos prompt. On that problem I got helpful advice by googling "How do i fix (my windows symptom).." there's sites devoted to 'shutters' troubles but looks like i didn't bookmark the one that helped me.
So - in summary:
1: Power supply looks good.
2: Windows troubles are beyond my level. If Scandisk won't fix it I re-install windows.
3: I'd suggest running the hardware diagnostics if you can locate them. Be sure to select the non-destructive disk test. At least run Scandisk.
4: Don't assume i know any more than you - I stumble around with these things, am simply too dumb to give up. "Folly is an endless maze - tangled roots perplex her ways..... " Wm Blake.
The computer has programs to check and report on its physical health, if we can just get them to run.
Rachfracha - is there a Windows doctor in the house?
Keep us posted, ol' buddy!
Cogito ergo doleo.