Question about Packard Bell (181379) Motherboard

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The screen of my laptop comes up with squares and small circles on reboot

I have had a Tiny N19 laptop for about 2 years now. About 2 weeks ago I installed a new keyboard on it because the original one had been broken due to some beer spillage :( Everything was fine for some time but one day when I was transfering 13GB of data via local area connection to my desktop computer the screen went mad. I tried everything I could. I formatted the hard drive several times and it was ok until I installed OS, then it went like that again. I thought it was a Bios virus so I formatted the hard drive several times again and disconnected the cmos battery. It did not help. Well, I mean it did until I started formattong the hard drive before installing OS. Everything happened all over again. I think it's worth mentioning here that before I did that my laptop had been unused for over a week so the graphics card was totally cold. I reckon it's the graphics that is being grilled. My mobo num. is PWA-8050MB/M BD. and I can't find any to replace it. Besides, the ATI Radeon 9600 pro is integrated with it. :(

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  • jacas77 Jun 21, 2008

    I checked everything several times. Can it be a bios virus? In the mess on the screen, which is also sort of beaming, I can see smiley circles,dollar signs and clubs as in cards. The screen was all right until the fan started humming because of installing the OS. How about the graphics card?


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The N19, is also known as an ECS G900, and you may have more luck finding that model/spares. By your description, the pictures you see are basic ASCII characters
(no longer used) but you would rarely see them in anything except DOS. Windows uses a totaly different scheme to show screen characters, whereas DOS will just show
any character you tell it to even if its wrong or dangerous.
The 'most' unlikely thing it could be is a BIOS virus though. The idea of them faded out long long before now, and are more for history lessons that anything else, plus
they don't pick on individual grafix issues anyway - a BIOS virus works on low level hardware, such as hiding your hard drive or changing the date to 1905, or just
blanking the whole CMOS data with zero values etc. It cannot have an effect on an operating system as it won't even know what system may be running. A BIOS virus
has no room to move, its not a 2Mb file, just a tiny few bites hidden away.
Here's a few possibilities...
1) Your beer (oops) has gone under the keyboard and rested on the circuit somewhere. It gets warm, bacteria WILL grow and eat away at the coating on the board.
The tracks and components can only cope with so much abuse and they can form cracks, rust, overheating issues, and even the essential near-perfect resistence on a
component can be changed to a wrong level :( It may not happen instantly, maybe never, or it could be affected in 3 seconds. I have a PACKARD BELL laptop, perfect
working order, but only after i cleaned its circuit of soda reminants 6 months after its owner had last used it. Until then it only booted occasionally, and said its CPU
speed was -1 MHz in the BIOS ha ha.
2) The OS cannot make your fan 'hum'. Special software can alter the fan speed, but that's as far as it goes. The fan on an N19 can catch liquids if they pour thru its air
vents and stuff, eventally. The fans on these are a bit rubbish, and vented above so liquid can get in that way. If so, water will short the fan out, but anything else will rest
in there and go sticky - hence a noisey fan maybe. It may also just be that your fan is now worn out as a coincidence too. The N19 gets VERY hot and NEEDS a perfect
fan to work. If the CPU gets too hot, you can get 'any' kind of error you can imagine, including an OS dropping back into BIOS level and showing basc ASCII characters
as you have seen. Make sure a lot of contact paste is between the CPU & FAN too, essential on these laptops.
3) Try getting a CD of AUSTRUMI (a free full OS, only 50Mb, needs no hard drive - boots offf the CD into RAM instead). See how that works, and run it with & without
your hard drive, to see if that affects anything.
4) if you can install your OS ok, try it with, or without, a video driver. If using XP, you can run it as normal (though slowly) as it is - no driver needed yet. Or, use no drivers
at all, and keep it defraging the full hard drive to keep it hot and busy for a few hours maybe. That's a handy way to just test the hardware, and see what overheats.
5) Check for beer smells when running. If it smells stronger when warm/hot, you may have your problem there, and the board and connections need cleaning off. Best
done by a professional, i can't suggest how i do it, as somebody will know doubt try it and kill the board or something :(
I hope something there may help just a little :)

Posted on Jul 31, 2008

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Normally I would say this was a driver issue, however ,since you reformatted and reloaded your op system and it still does the same, I'm going to say it's either the inverter or the screen. Check the connections to make sure they haven't worked loose.

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