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My 3-year old Asus EEE laptop has been working flawlessly in the past, but in the last week it has started behaving oddly. When I boot, one of the following happens:

  • Screen remains totally black. Absolutely nothing comes up. I need to retry booting. (Happens 70% of the time).
  • Laptop starts regular boot. However, somewhere during the boot process it goes black and I need to retry (20% of the time). Screen turning black is more likely when I move the laptop around during boot.
  • Laptop boots properly.

Once booted, all is fine. But I'm afraid to turn it off and have been keeping the laptop running till the night. Additional details:

  • All normal lights light up when I boot; whichever of the scenarios goes down.
  • There are no odd sounds or beeps, whichever of the scenarios goes down.
  • I thought it might be the SSD drive that is dying, but it does not use SMART and it appears difficult to troubleshoot.
  • I tried booting with and without the battery, but the scenarios are identical.

Before completely investigating the hard drive, I'd like to hear opinions regarding the cause of this problem. Is this most likely the hard drive, or could there be another cause for these symptoms?

Using Arch Linux.

share|improve this question
I doubt it is the drive. Most drive failures I encountered allow the BIOS to start, then hang or give errors (on a non-black screen). You can test this by removing the drive. (Unless the drive is soldered on the motherboard, e.g. with an Asus EEE 701surf). – Hennes Oct 2 '12 at 15:26
Black screen, worsens when moving, graphics card maybe, and since problem is more common if you move the laptop while booting, have you dropped it or done anything to it that might have knocked anything loose inside? What Have you installed/uninstalled just before the problem, and specs would help. – user88311 Oct 2 '12 at 15:37
Not dropped it but I did travel recently, so it's been moving more than normally. No other software or hardware changes recently at all. – please delete me Oct 2 '12 at 18:57

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