Today, Stephen writes:

(Addressed to Pirillo) Hey Chris,

My name is Stephen. I am a Computer Science and Mathematics student at Virginia Tech. I’ve got a problem that a master of technology, such as yourself, might be able to help me out with. I can’t go to the people on campus for computer help because they know just as much or less than I and my “hall-mates” know about fixing computers.

Everything that I can think of that is relevant to my problem:

  • I’ve got a Toshiba Portege m400 tablet laptop.
  • I replaced the hard-drive to install a fresh version of Windows XP. The bigger capacity hard drive that my laptop shipped with is now in an external enclosure.
  • A couple weeks afterwards my motherboard got fried and I had it replaced.

The Problem:

Recently my computer has been completely freezing (and the fans throttle up to 100% speed) as soon as it undergoes any sort of movement. Using my laptop on my lap is nearly impossible unless I remain ridiculously still. This is preventing me from being productive with my laptop in environments where a table isn’t available. Even movement while my laptop tries to go into or wake from hibernate will freeze it.

I’d greatly appreciate your advice in this matter — feel free to add your response to your call for help YouTube postings.

Perhaps I have been out of the hardware game for too long here, but this sure sounds like an internal hardware related issue rather than that of the software variety. The telltale way to know for sure is to try getting things to spin up and freeze before Windows boots. But all of this said, the replaced motherboard sure seems like a likely culprit to me personally.

Based on this conclusion, my next question is to ask if the motherboard is:

A) New, not a refurbished item?


B) Still under some kind of installation warranty?

Because frankly, the responsible party here needs to take care of this and not make it your problem. Obviously, the hardware is problematic and needs to be swapped or examined. Now, I turn this over to the other Gnomies for more feedback and their thoughts on the best course of action; short of buying a new notebook of course.

Do you have an IT-related question? Perhaps you are just burnt out on writing on the walls with crayons? Whatever the comments may be, drop me a line and you, too, can “Just Ask Matt!”

Also, don’t forget to check out “Just Ask Matt,” Linux Edition!

Unrelated FYI: When responding to Just Ask Matt posts, please use the comments area as the subject of the article will not see email sent to me. The email listed is for questions, not the solutions. Thanks! 🙂

[tags]laptop,notebook,troubleshooting,hardware,hard drive,motherboard[/tags]