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I'm trying to fix a friend's Compaq NC6230. At my previous job, I was exposed constantly to these machines for tech. support, so I'm very familiar with them. However, this particular machine has an odd issue.

After about 30 seconds after boot, the machine shuts off. It's not overheating because I've been monitoring the temperatures. Also, I cleaned out the fade and checked for any other obstructions. When the machine shuts off the screen has lines across the screen (sometimes - this isn't 100% reproducible) that makes it look garbled. Ever since the first time this happened, the power light to indicate the machine is charging no longer comes on. However, under windows, it is plugged-in and charging just fine. I have tried replacing both RAM modules just in case to no avail.

If the computer turned on, logged in and then isn't touched - the computer stays on for a longer period of time before shutting off. I was thinking of trying to load a Linux Live OS to determine if it could perhaps be the OS installation causing issues (Windows 7).

Do any of these symptoms seem familiar? Would anyone have any other suggestions to try?

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I was going to suggest that you indeed try booting to a Linux CD and see if it still happens. After that, if it does not work, you are probably looking at a paperweight, because based on the age of that computer, it will probably cost more to fix than it is worth. – KCotreau Jul 17 '11 at 13:41
@KCotreau - Yeah that's what I figured. These machines are quite old. I'll try the live cd and update the post. – TheCloudlessSky Jul 17 '11 at 13:46
After you post back, if you confirm my hunch (I tend to believe it is toast), I will move it to an answer. – KCotreau Jul 17 '11 at 13:51
If it's not heating, it's just old and is not worth much more effort. – user3463 Jul 18 '11 at 3:06

How do you know it is charging, especially if the LED no longer comes on? My hunch is that the battery is simply going bad or there is a malfunction with the charging circuitry. Broken solder joints around the AC adapter jack are quite common on notebooks. In either case, the end result is the same as mentioned by @KCotreau. The cost to repair is probably not worth it. Instead, take the money and apply it toward the purchase of a new notebook.

One last thought ... Are you sure you are using the correct AC adapter, and is the adapter putting out the correct voltage? You wouldn't want to toss a notebook just because the AC adapter is bad.

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How could the bad AC adapter cause the machine to reboot? I was also leaning along the lines of the bad charging circuitry. – TheCloudlessSky Jul 17 '11 at 17:06
You didn't say the computer reboots. You said it shuts down. My line of thinking is that the battery is near dead and the notebook isn't getting power to recharge the battery or operate the notebook. This could be caused by a faulty AC adapter or faulty circuitry inside the notebook. Of course, if this is the case, after a few more attempts the notebook will not power up at all. – SteveM82 Jul 17 '11 at 18:38

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