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Not an April Fools Day joke!*

I have a Lenovo T500 that will not boot once it looses complete power (battery depleted & AC power loss). The odd thing about the whole issue is that if I place the laptop in the freezer for a couple of hours it boots up just fine and continues to work up until it's disconnected from AC and the battery is again depleted. Then I have to redo the freezer process again to get it to boot up.

My question is what motherboard component(s) may be the culprit of this odd issue?

If it's something I can replace then I would like to do that. I'm not shy when it comes to soldering and have soldered surface mount RAM before in the past on a hobby project.

*References:

http://en.kioskea.net/forum/affich-70424-dv6000-lights-turn-on-nothing-else http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/254497-28-pavilion-laptop-boot#2595565 http://www.techsupportforum.com/forums/f108/toshiba-nb200-wont-boot-492391.html#post2846505

If I don't place the laptop if the freezer and try turning it on I can hear the fan spool up, the lights come on and then it basically resets. The fan spools again, the lights come on and then it resets. This happens about 3 times and then it just stays off. The LCD screen never displays anything though.

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This is an April Fools' Day question? You put the laptop in a freezer for hours?! LOL –  Radoo Apr 1 '13 at 20:00
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Not criticizing your idea, just wondering how you get to the point where you think, "Hmm, the laptop's not working, I think I'll put it in the freezer for a few hours." –  Moses Apr 1 '13 at 20:04
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Also wondering why you let the battery drain all the way out... that's really bad for the battery's longevity –  ÃŁŁǫǛȉЖΦΤїҪ Apr 1 '13 at 20:05
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It's never a good idea to put a whole computer into the freezer, except for doing extreme overclocking. Air condensation could create water droplets on the circuits which could cause your computer to fry. –  Radoo Apr 1 '13 at 20:14
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Found a forum thread that matches your symptoms pretty closely. Did you try replacing the CMOS battery? The OP of that thread said that replacing it fixed his issue. –  doug65536 Apr 1 '13 at 21:15
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3 Answers

I have seen this before in some laptops.

Take the battery out. The laptop should run without the battery in place (with the adapter plugged-in obviously). Then, when your session is complete, shut down. Reinstall the battery and charge as normal.

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This is actually one of the first things I tried, long before the freezer. –  Jerry Tunin Apr 9 '13 at 18:03
    
what happens if you leave the battery out overnight and not plugged-in. Will it boot the next day when plugged-in ? –  Tallon41 Apr 9 '13 at 20:11
    
Nope, I've let it set for months with no power and it exhibits the same behavior. –  Jerry Tunin Apr 10 '13 at 15:09
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I had the exact opposite problem with a customer's Vaio laptop..it wouldn't boot unless the unit was warmed, typically in an oven for a few minutes until it was warm to the touch. I took it apart, heated the motherboard in the oven, then powered up the board..and hit various regulator components on the board with freezer spray while the board was running..sprayed one of the caps and the board died. Solution? Replaced the board, since the individual components are not marked and no specs are published. My suggestion is to use freezer spray on your motherboard and see if the board comes alive. At least this verifies that you have a bad board.

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Great minds must think alike! :) I too had/have the exact symptoms you describe. Now since I am somewhat of an expert, I hypothesized that what might be happening is that the "overheating sensor" in the power supply circuitry must be malfunctioning, forcing the system to think it was overheating, and thus causing a "thermally induced shutdown". To test my hypothesis, I removed the battery and placed the laptop in the refridgerator for an hour, removed it, replaced the battery, and booted with a normal bootup. As long as I keep my system powered up, I am good to go, but if I shut down the system, I need to recreate the "cooling procedure", however, now all I do is put it in the freezer for 5 minutes. I ordered a laptop of the same model on eBay for around $250, and when it gets here on Friday, I will just swap my hard drive and memory into it, and keep my current system for other spare parts.

So, I strongly suspect some thermal shutdown circuitry in your system; might be in the power supply/charging section or on the motherboard somewhere.

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