Question about NEC Versa SX Notebook
Worked fine earlier then turned power on and it powerd on but no screen
I have had TWO recent model NEC laptops with the same symptom in the past 5 months. I was quite surprised, since NEC is a quality product. But the problem was the DVD/CD-Rom, which is made by Philips (mine were Philips SCB5265 models, but there are others defective). The DVD drive has ROM that stores the firmware and static data, which it reports to BIOS at boot. Unfortunately, this defective drive somehow gets "Napoleon Syndrome", like a schizophrenic delusion, it somehow gets corrupted and says it is a HARD DRIVE instead of accurately reporting its identity as a DVD/CD-Rom. To determine if you have this defective Philips drive (or a smilarly defective Philips drive) do the following:
1. Make sure your computer is off. Do not assume it is, read ALL of this step! Because of the possibility that ACPI is resident, and computer is in partial standby instead of (cold) off, hold power button down 6 seconds. If computer starts when you release power button, press it and hold it for 10 more seconds. Now release button. Now to be certain, unplug PSU (the AC power supply) and remove battery. Wait 5 minutes.
2. Reconnect PSU unit (but not battery). Start computer. Immediately thereafter, press Escape button (ESC) repeatedly (and continuously). Because you may still be in alternate boot device mode, this may take 2-3 minutes, so be patient. Eventually, computer may start "beeping", just stop pressing the ESC if it beeps, and wait a bit longer for it to stop. Pressing ESC forces the computer to bypass any commercial display (Phoenix logo, PC brand name, like NEC, etc) and go direct to black screen post mode (with white text). Here, may get some indications of the problem that exists which are otherwise unreported in silent mode
3. The first report in this "black screen" post mode is usually BIOS type and version. The next report is memory (RAM) quantity (and brief testing of the RAM). If this halts in a lower quantity than you know you have, this means bad RAM may be the problem (or an additional problem). The next report is IDE/SATA hard drives detected as drive 0. This should say "Hitachi Model XXXX, XXX Gigabyte" (with all X's at some specific value). The last report is drive 1 detection. before the boot process goes This is where your DVD or CD-Rom drive or any other optical/secondary drive that is attached, gets reported.
4. If your DVD or CD-Rom drive comes up FIRST, as drive 0 (instead of second, as optical drive 1), then you have tis defective Philips DVD-CD-Rom drive! I am initiating a class action suit, so let me know if this is the case.
5. If, however, your screen reaches a stage where it should recognize/report a HD, but does not (halts here) then your HD is probably damaged/defective from shock or wear. If it recognizes a hard drive, and properly identifies its parameters (mfg, model, size, etc), then you probably do not have this defective DVD/CD drive. But if the whole post process halts after the HD, your DVD or CD-Rom drive may still be at fault (because it is damaged, dirty, full of hair/lint or otherwise impaired).
6. Regardless, if the DVD/CD-Rom is suspect, you can isolate this as the problem.
7. TURN OFF THE LAPTOP!
8. Underneath the laptop, there will be a screw about 4 inches in, on a centyer line direct from the DVD/CD tray panel. Remove this screw. Insert a pin or paper clip (carefully, and STRAIGHT in!) to the small hole next to the CD tray release button. This opens the tray manually. Pukll it out to the full open position, then GENTLY pull further, and the whole drive will release from the laptop.
9. Now, try to start the laptop. If it starts normally now, your drive is defective (or needs to be cleaned/repaired). You can buy a replacement at any legitimate advanced PC shop, or many used computer parts stores. Try the drive before you buy, just slide in and mount a CD/DVD. (you may have special adapter that must be removed from the old OEM drive, and the tray cover may need to be switched to allow the CD to close for testing)
10. Regardless of the outcome of any of the above, please post your results, and the complete text of the black screen here, so I can analyze the problem -or any other possibilities that may be indicated by the post dialog.
Posted on Mar 05, 2008
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