I have an old laptop with an odd problem. It is a HP Compaq nc6220.
When I got it, it had XP Pro installed. It would boot and run for a short amount of time before the power cut out, sometimes getting all the way into the OS and running for a few minutes, other times dying seconds into the boot process. Mostly the latter. It's like there's no battery and you whipped the power cord out.
It seemed likely to be a straightforward hardware fault but even so, before pulling it apart I though it wouldn't hurt to try it with a fresh OS to rule out malware, and maybe save myself a few fruitless hours.
I wiped the drive with Parted Magic and tried to reinstall XP - no luck. Part way into the install, the power went out like I'd flicked a switch. Same thing twice more. So I tried Ubuntu. It installed flawlessly.
And it's been running Ubuntu flawlessly for over a week now. I've tried a few times to install XP over the top of it (using three different install CDs) and every time the thing loses power before it has finished loading drivers - although it gets a fair way into the process it doesn't make it the the point where user input is called for. Boot back into Linux however, and the thing is rock solid stable.
So all I can think now is that:
a. There is a hardware fault that is triggered by the Windows drivers but not Linux,
b. There's some persistent malware lurking about that is causing the power cut only in the presence of Windows,
c. I am victim to an amazing lucky streak and as soon as I return the now Linux laptop to it's owner the problem will reappear.
Have you seen anything like this before? What might be the problem?