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Really wierd problem with nc8430 laptop. On a go slow!

by Gideon-IT / October 2, 2010 2:56 AM PDT

Something very odd has happened to my nc8430 laptop. I suspended it by shutting the lid after upgrading my anti-virus and when I turned it back on both the processor cores were running at 100% and the laptop was virtually unresponsive. After a few minutes of trying to reboot I forced a power off & restart. Since then the cores run at 90+% all the time even
when Windows is idle. Boot times is 20 times longer than usual.

Using Safe Mode (Windows 7 Ultimate) I un-installed the AV update and when that made no difference even used System Restore to roll back a day or so and still no improvement. In the end I booted an Ubuntu Live CD and that showed the same problem, so it's not the Windows software that's the
problem!!!

Even the BIOS configuration screens are sluggish and respond
very slowly. I tried with CPU virtualization off and on and no change. I re-flashed the BIOS to the latest F.16 release and still no change.

I took the HDD out and put a different one in that has Ubuntu 10.04 on it and that shows the cores running at 75%-95% constantly as well. I have 2x 1Gb of RAM installed and have taken each DIMM out and tried the laptop with each separately and there's still no change. I removed the battery and ran it just on mains and still no change. The only other visible
symptom is that the battery charge light is always on even after a whole night on mains - which never used to be the case.

The laptop runs but it's as if something, no matter what OS is running, is causing the CPU cores to thrash, so it isn't usable day-to-day. Can anyone suggest a solution or something else to check before I give in and buy a new laptop?

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Collapse -
How old is the laptop ?
by VAPCMD / October 2, 2010 3:51 AM PDT

Is the CPU area relatively free of dust ?

And the CPU is setup properly in the BIOS ?

VAPCMD

Collapse -
Not that old.
by Gideon-IT / October 2, 2010 3:58 AM PDT

The laptop is about 4 years old at the most. I used a can of air-duster to clean under the keyboard and round the CPU and it's fan and it's free of dust now, although it wasn't very dusty before.

The BIOS has no CPU options than can be changed except turning Virtualization support on or off.

Its wierd that it suddenly started doing this after perfect operation since the day I bought it. The hard disk is almost brand new (a 250Gb 7200rpm model) and the 2x1Gb RAM DIMMs are also only about a year old (upgrades from 2x512Mb DIMMs).

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