I have an odd issue with my new Windows 7 laptop, and I'm at a loss to explain it.
I was listening to a podcast downloaded to my hard drive (incidentally a StackExchange podcast) while I did the dishes this morning, with the laptop on battery power with its lid closed. The podcast played perfectly.
I finished the dishes before I finished the podcast, so I carried the computer, under my arm, back to the living room. As I was travelling, the podcast cut out. I thought it was an issue with the application (Media Player Classic), but another test with YouTube seemed to confirm something was going on. I tried with both the podcast and a YouTube video playing, and the podcast cut out a couple seconds before the YouTube video.
Through some of trial and error, I've narrowed down the reproduction steps:
- The computer must be on battery power. The sound returns almost immediately when I plug the computer back in, and doesn't disappear at all when plugged in from the beginning.
- The laptop must be in a "carrying" position. For example, from a seated position, I close the laptop normally and then tilt it so that I'm looking at the underside of the machine.
- The laptop lid must be closed. I tested with tilting the laptop while still open, and no loss of functionality occurs.
- The sound (at least) cuts out after about 12 seconds.
- If I simply leave the machine still, the sound resumes after a few seconds. When I walk around with the laptop closed, the sound stays gone.
I'm not sure what exactly is happening during the outage, since the only indicator I have is the sound. I tried a couple things to make sure the rest of the computer was still working, like running a script to print a countdown on a one second timer (which seemed to still count down during the outage). I even started a virus scan before a test once to test for a hard drive issue (results inconclusive: the drive felt like it was spinning, but without an accurate before/after count, made impossible by the 12 second delay, it's hard to tell, though it seemed like it successfully scanned things).
I'm at a loss to explain what could be causing this:
- I thought it could be a power settings issue, since it only happens on battery, but then why does the laptop need to be tilted? Also, I examined the advanced power settings and nothing jumped out as a possible suspect.
- I suspected a hard drive issue, thinking a loose connection could cause issues when the laptop is tilted, but then why does it only happen when the laptop is closed and under battery power? Why does the problem only last for a few seconds rather than intermittently? Why doesn't Windows blue screen?
It's a refurbished computer, so there's certainly the possibility of a hardware problem. However, this is the only issue I've encountered in the week or so I've had it.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.