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Everything seems to work like normal once it actually boots up. I can go through log in, surf the web, run applications etc. I can even reboot it!

But if I turn it off (and leave it off) for a couple of minutes, and try to start it up again, it returns to the blacked out state once more.

To be clear, I press the power button and nothing happens on the screen. The power button lights up and I can activate/deactivate the touchpad through a light-up button (though I can't verify that it works cause nothing appears on the screen.

My laptop does have a hard drive light-up icon that does NOT do anything when I hit the power button. Does this mean my hard drive is dying or near death?

Also... I have managed to reformat and reinstall Windows 7 without any issue. However, the problem popped back up again about 20ish-hours later.

About 10-30 minutes after I have pressed the power button, I hear the hard drive fans go off, the screen light up and it loads directly to the windows 7 os loading screen with the coloured bar scrolling across. So I don't see a BIOS/Manufacturer screen. I can use the computer like normal at this point until I shut off the computer for an extended time; at which point it returns to the screwed up booting state.

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Some details of your hardware might help. Does the same apply battery only? – pnuts Dec 28 '12 at 9:00
This may sound stupid, but please check you are not trying to boot something else before : go to your bios and make sure the relevant harddrive is the first in the bootup list. (and, for example, take out any CD you may have in your CD tray...). I hope your bios itself is loaded within a few milliseconds (but may be set to not show up anything unless you press the right buttons. Try F1, F2, f11, or Del, in the first second after you turn computer on, to see if you can enter the bios. Some pc, such as lenovo, have a dedicated button for this.) – Olivier Dulac Dec 28 '12 at 14:09
Do you have RAID? – wchargin Nov 17 '13 at 4:48
Do you have any peripheral devices (USB mice, bluetooth dongles, etc) plugged in? If so try removing them. Another thing to check is your CMOS battery. – Brian Neal Jan 22 '15 at 0:16

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