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help fixing laptop sought

by adamgram / December 29, 2008 8:47 AM PST

I'm hoping to get some help here on how to go about fixing my laptop. It's a one year old IBM Thinkpad T40 with Ubuntu studio 8.04 on it.

The problem is the image just disapears after being booted up for a brief period of time. Just how long it lasts varies, but it's never long enough to do anything (even to move files off the drive). Sometimes it shuts off during login, sometimes it starts the whole way up and lasts a few minutes, but it never lasts long enough to salvage anything on the disk and the behavior does not really change with an external monitor... sometimes one screen will go off first, then the other, and other times both screens go blank at the same time, but in any case, they both go out.

So my problem is 2-fold: My main immediate concern is getting the files off the computer and onto a hard disk. External disks through the USB jacks are not being recognized (USB has long been a problem for this thing). And before I get a chance to email something to myself or burn a CD, the screen goes blank. From what I can tell the computer itself is still running, I just can't see what it's doing. The fan's still on, the drive still spins, and so on. One idea I had was to attempt to access it remotely. I don't really know how to do that, but I read some things online and it doesn't seem that hard if I can get it to stay visable long enough to enable remote access. I'm not sure how these things work though... would that increase my chances of being able to see the screen at all? Or is that tapping in at the same place the external monitor is, in which case I'd be going in just as blind.

Is there anything else I could try to access the hard disk without utilizing any graphical interface on the machine itself? I tried a straight USB connection from it to another computer, but no luck. Is there software I could get to do something like that?

I tried booting directly from the Ubunutu Live CD (clean OS on the CD, presumably no access to possibly corrupt software), and the behavior was no different.

The other problem that I'll deal with later is whether or not it can actually be fixed. To this I have some ideas to try, namely wiping it clean with a new OS to determine if it's hardware or not (it has had beer spilled on it), but before I do anything I need to get the data off the computer... some of it is irreplaceable. Any advice/suggestions/general information would be apprecitated! Thanks in advance!

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To get the files out I....
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 29, 2008 10:33 AM PST

I remove the hard disk and put it on this cable -> which is attached to another machine that runs almost any current version of Linux. Then I copy the files out.

As to laptop repair these tend to be expensive as you can't find motherboards and parts for much less than a new machine. Given the costs involved did you keep the warranty or extend it?

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by adamgram / December 29, 2008 11:28 AM PST

hahaha warranty?!?!?! that's a good one... thanks for the link, I didn't realize those things were so cheap.

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by adamgram / December 29, 2008 10:56 PM PST

hahaha warranty?!?!?! that's a good one... thanks for the link, I didn't realize those things were so cheap.

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