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Blacktape last won the day on July 31

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About Blacktape

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  1. God to hear you found the major culprit. Those laptops always ran pretty hot, for all the versions of them that I handled. I did not venture into alternate BIOS's, (not something my company does), so I can't speak to how that might help. Dust is definitely the arch nemesis of high wattage systems.
  2. Sounds about right for thermal fatigue.. Old GPU fought well for a long time, but got too hot at some point, and something inside the chip was damaged. I can still run, but wilts under pressure. (As it happens, this laptop I'm typing on is suffering from about the same issue... I can play most games though, it takes a heavily rendered scene to get the device to drop out of sight and crash the OS.)
  3. I think this is an interesting mod.. however, I don't see how the water can cool the laptop more efficiently than the heat pipes. The only benefit that water would bring, would be to have an external reservoir for more thermal mass to sink the heat to, and the ability to increase the size of the radiators. In that it appears that these are all internal, then I would expect they are a down grade, in that the radiation surfaces remain the same, but the thermal transfer is slower through water than a state changing vapor.
  4. I would definitely say that the GPU died. Would those games be likely to have simple enough graphics without an FPS limit that might make the GPU generate excessive heat and die from over heating? This is not an unknown end to a long time behaving card, after a long time, they will get too hot and cook too much, and then never turn on again, or if they do turn on, they are damaged, and will either turn off under load, or show graphics corruption, depending on where the damage is at in the chip. The fans spinning up is a common symptom of the EC BIOS looking for a temperature signal from the Video card, and, not seeing one, turns the fans on high by default to avoid letting something over heat before doing an emergency shutdown. Similar will happen if there is no reported Fan speed on all inputs, except it will flash the NUM/Caps/Scroll LEDs in relation to the position of the fan in the chassis, to indicate which fan it's sensing troubles with.
  5. Exchanging video cards in the slotted systems is usually hampered by BIOS support primarily. Secondarily, there may be power differences in the slot, with wiring changes,and I believe the slot key will change in relation to these differences. As you go up in the GPU levels, the power draw changes, and there are additional power cables to connect, using different connectors. There are compatibility possibilities, but don't expect it to be straightforward. On the systems with desktop CPU's, they do have sockets you can drop different CPU's into. I haven't seen a socket-ed mobile processor in a while though, so I'm not sure how prevalent that is these days.
  6. That sounds like the battery has been dead for too long, and is now unchargable. LI-Ion cells need to have a trace voltage in them to be charged. There are ways to possibly recover them, but it is unsafe, and the results could be anything from not working, to bursting into unstoppable flames. The best thing to do, is to source a replacement battery for it. Some battery places are capable of rebuilding the pack with new cells, but it costs a pretty penny, and may not have the capacity it used to. Gah, just saw the last line of your post. I guess you have a decent handle on some of the recovery possibilities. Proceed with caution, at your own risk.
  7. I do not see how these posts are relevant to the discussion in any way, topic, context, or subject alone. I would regard them as spam posts, since both users are new, they are both on the same topic, they are both at 1 or 2 posts. The only flags I see, are red.
  8. Oof, Sorry for not seeing this earlier, I haven't checked Tech Inferno in a while. I'm glad you were able to get it going for a while there, but sad that it's back to somewhat broken. Remember, these laptops have 2 to 3 different chips that they update firmware on, not just the main BIOS chip. The main BIOS for the system configuration is on the labled chip, but I would suspicion that the EC Bios and the ME bios are on different ITE quad package chips. If those firmwares are not properly matched to the main BIOS, it can keep the system from posting. My guess is that you are successfully flashing the Main BIOS, but one of the other chips still has a mismatched version of that firmware, and they are conflicting now. This is just a hunch on my part though.I would guess you have put this on the back shelf by now and suffer from repeated nightmares of flashing endless BIOS's... I wouldn't blame you. That's never a fun part of trying to build systems for customers.
  9. If this started happening with normal use, then (barring a fan issue) the problem is most likely one of the chips failing in some way. I would have to go through the schematic, do signal tracing tests as well as general oscilliscope testing, to try to figure out what is dieing. When the road startes getting really rough, it might be heading to a dead end.. I never had to go that far, though. I am in the posituon, that if a board is failing at that level, I get to RMA it back to Sager for repair/replacement.
  10. There are service manuals that you can find which have the schematics, voltages, component values and power-up sequence in them. If you feel capable of doing so, you can troubleshoot the circuitry at a component level, but that is over most peoples ability. The schematics are always a fun read though. As far as sourcing parts.... I don't have any insight there to provide.. I was working with the supplier for repair and replacements when needed. There are several components on the board (inductors, resistors, mosfets) that can go bad and mess with the primary power and charging functions, and you can find them on the schematics easily, but the replacement is a bit more tricky in sourcing the right parts. And after sourcing them, comes the removal and replacement of surfacemount chips, which can be a trick as well.
  11. This sounds simmilar to something that i have seen on several laptops that we carried. Something in the way the cpu or gpu were reporting their temperatures to the EC BIOS wasn't working right, or the ec bios itself was crashing or not detecting a good signal from the monitored devices, and it was entering a panic state (turnign on all fans to attempt to keep cool, then shutting off after a 10 count to protect the system.) The keyboard issue, though, is likely a purely mechanical issue. Ihave had a couple new laptops where the keyboard frame wasn't stamped quite right, and all the keys had to be pressed really hard to make contact. If i smashed all the keys down really hard, it would slightly bend the tabs that each key mounted on, and made it a lot easier to get them to register. Not for sure, but that's what it sounds like to me.
  12. What you have happening is the EC BIOS shutting the system down to protect it from a failure at the "critical" level. That failure level can be triggered by various different problems. When you have a fan fail, the status lights on the side corresponding to the fans location will blink, along with the beep sounding, and then within a short time (I believe it is a 10 second count) The EC will cut the power to the system. But that is a fan failure, detected by the lack of a Tachometer signal. If the CPU or GPU are not reporting their own temperatures correctly, or at all, the EC will blink all three lights, and then shut down... the presence of beeping during this has been variable in my experience, sometimes beeping, sometimes no beeping. The main theme, though, is that the EC is in panic mode, and is protecting the computer the only way it know how to, and that's to shut down all power, and the EC only truly powers down when the battery and AC are both removed. The few routes of testing that are available, are trying a different CPU, trying a different GPU, Re-flashing the System BIOS the EC BIOS and the ME BIOS to the newest available, or having the Mobo replaced.. not fun.
  13. I have worked on a few of the the P370xx models, and they should be able to turn on and boot just fine without the batterypack in them. If the battery is out, and you plug it in, you should get a yellow light, indicating that there is power, that light should turn green when the system is powered on. If that light is not coming on, then you have an issue with the power getting into the laptop. I specify this, because it could be a problem with the power jack itself, inside the laptop, and this has been an issue with this line in the past. The connection inside the jack degrades and begins to generate heat, then melts the jack, fatigues the solder, and makes a bad connection. It is not a /hard/ thing to replace it /at my soldering skill level/, but most people are not able to do this. There is also a possibility that the power adapter itself is not working correctly, and the laptops power management circuit is designed to not accept dirty or bad power. You can try another power supply that outputs 19V, with the same type of connector, and see if that lights up the front LED, if it does, then the adapter is bad.
  14. If it's anything like the other Clevo laptops I've worked with, there are 3-5 chips that have 'bios' information on them. for a gamer laptop, there are two ITE subsystem chips (KB/EC), the main Bios chip, an ME chip.. Maybe a couple Video oriented chips to program as well. One thing you might look into, is the processor model that you have in there. Yes it is a good working chip, but some of the older bios's on the laptops won't post with a newer chip. You have to put in an older chip to get it to post, then flash bios's and then swap the CPU again. The same procedure would be done with the GPU if it isn't posting. It's easiest to find one that it will post with, flash bios's, then swap back to the better card. I'm sure it is possible to un-solder the chip and drop it into a programmer, but I haven't done the research to do that sort of operation on these laptops.
  15. Blacktape

    Service Manual

    I am now looking for a Service Manual for the NP95xER, Sager NP895x. The Clevo Mirror site has not been updated with it yet. Brian
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