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I am having a very weird issue on a Lenovo W510 laptop. It will lock up randomly. I have had it lock up during post, during the boot-up of Linux, during login, and after the login. The following are tests that I have performed on the laptop.

  • I ran memtest
  • I took out the extra memory module.
  • I swapped the HDD with another HDD that had Windows 7 on it. (It BSOD'd, and before anyone could possibly read the error line, it restarts.)
  • I tried taking the battery out and booting with only the Power cord.

The only other options I can think of the problem being are the motherboard or the PSU. If anyone has any advice, I appreciate it. If not, the HP guy will be here in a few days to fix it. I would just love to call them up and tell them that the service is no longer needed.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Locking up usually identifies a problem with some sort of internal component short circuiting, locking up, or temporary loosing connection etc.

I most often see this with laptops used in very harsh environments - usually heat or vibrations. Heat can cause motherboard to slightly flex and conductive parts to flake off, whilst vibrations can make components come loose (e.g. plugs/jumpers out of their sockets).

Lastly, with regards to the BSOD restarts, take a look at Nirsoft BlueScreenView, it can be used to identify past Blue Screen errors in Windows. If you want to stop automatic restart on system failures, go to System Properties > Advanced System Settings > Startup and Recovery and disable it there.

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This is most likely the issue. Thank you for the great answer. The HP guy will be here today sometime. If it is a hardware failure, which it probably is, you are definitely correct! What you said about the flexing maxes perfect sense. The "owner" of this laptop carries it around in a backpack and he could have slung it around a little too violently, which would definitely support your answer. Thanks again! – David Feb 10 '11 at 15:29
If the tech support is going to have a look at your laptop, ask him to clean up the fans of your computer. Heat could cause this kind of lock-up too, and in the worst case, even damage vital components of your system. – wtaniguchi Feb 10 '11 at 16:27
Yup... It was the motherboard. Thanks! +1 to @wtaniguchi for mentioning I should clean the fans. That is very important. – David Feb 10 '11 at 18:47

Which Linux version are you booting? The installed one?

Try booting a newer Linux version with a newer kernel. Knoppix is always worth a try.

Was that Windows HDD installed on that computer/hardware ?

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I'm not sure which Linux OS it is. I'm not familiar with it. It showed an iguana during the boot-up. About the Windows HDD, I have swapped HDD between Lenovo laptops before with no BSOD :). I thought it was awesome. So I don't believe the drivers would cause it to BSOD like that. When I tried the other HDD, I was also trying another OS. Thanks for the advice though! – David Feb 10 '11 at 15:25
If it locks already at the POST screen, then it's clearly a hardware failure or a BIOS error. – rems Feb 10 '11 at 17:42
Iguana? Probably openSUSE ? Something like… ? – rems Feb 10 '11 at 17:46
yup. That is the one. I replaced the mobo and everything is working perfect. Thanks for the help though! – David Feb 10 '11 at 18:45

We have had many T410's (same design, but with a 14" screen) lock up for random reasons. Turns out it is heat related in our case. Is your laptop un-naturally warm?

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At first I thought that, but it even happens when I leave it off over night and try it again in the morning. When the co-worker gave me the laptop, it was FREEZING from being outside in the cold. We then tried to boot it, and it locked up at the POST screen. Thanks for the help though. – David Feb 10 '11 at 15:22

If it locks already at the POST screen, then it's clearly a hardware failure or a BIOS error.

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Try changing the SATA mode in the BIOS.

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