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I've a laptop here that when turned on powers off after about 9 secs (before video is initialized). I was thinking it was overheating BUT this is what's really odd: if I hold down a key on the keyboard it will stay on and even boot the OS. Until I release the key, then it shuts off in 9 secs.

This would seem to rule out overheating and the PSU. Any ideas what it might be?

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THis is any key right? Will this happen in BIOS (if that key is the DEL or your particular laptops BIOS key)? –  Logman Jun 11 '12 at 19:53
    
Seems like any key but F1 which seems not to work. I often use Ctrl or Fn. –  tails9 Jun 11 '12 at 19:57
    
In the BIOS some keyboard activity is required or it will shutoff (I usually have to keep moving the selection) –  tails9 Jun 11 '12 at 20:00
    
disconnect the keyboard in the laptop and try an external usb keyboard... –  Logman Jun 12 '12 at 2:28

2 Answers 2

Try powering it up without the keyboard attached. Maybe the keyboard is defective with a key that is functioning as depressed all the time. I had a Toshiba with this problem. The right 'Shift' key was always depressed and this would cause my login hexadecimal code to be upper case and since it was hidden as i typed...(it took a while to figure out).

By you depressing another key during bootup may be preventing the computer from seeing the 'Broken' key?

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Here are the common troubleshooting methods I recommend:

  • Unplug your laptop from the power supply and remove the battery. Hold down the power button for 10 seconds then reconnect the battery and power, and turn on. Do the symptoms persist?

  • You indicate that it is not a power problem; is the bottom of the laptop very warm in the time it is running? Are the fans running? It could very well be a power supply related problem (I find them to be the most typical for random shut-downs).

  • Try opening up the laptop and re-seating the memory modules.

  • If you're unable to determine the cause of the problem, reformatting is usually one of the last ways to fix a misbehaving laptop. There are devices you can get that you can connect your laptop hard drive to, then plug it into a usb on another computer to extract personal data.

Also, could you add some more information about the type of laptop you have? Dell? HP? You may be able to procure some help from the manufacturer, even if you don't have a warranty (it may cost some to have it repaired by them without warranty.)

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1) Yes, did the static discharge. No change. 2) Not the PSU. As long as a key is held down it operates normally. 3) I did reseat the RAM and tried both by themselves. 4) Nothing to do with the software. It will shut off before attempting to boot the OS. --- It's a Toshiba. –  tails9 Jun 11 '12 at 22:47
    
I am out of ideas besides sending it in to Toshiba. Please post any progress that you make; I am interested to see who the culprit is. –  Gaʀʀʏ Jun 12 '12 at 15:34

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