06-02-2017 04:22 PM
Wednesday evening I got home from work to find that my w530 had ran out of battery. I plugged it in and attempted to start it, but was unable to get past the lenovo splash screen and couldn't get to windows login. Iritatingly, the computer will randomly boot to windows login and allow me to login very rarely.
Since then I've tried various attempts to fix the issue but things haven't improved. Initially I could attempt to boot to a DVD or USB but now when I select either boot option the computer goes right back to the boot options. If I can use one, the computer will hardreset and reboot. If I hit f12 I can get into BIOS or into the diagnostic utilities and the computer is stable without any crashes, even when running diagnostics for 3+ hours. Diagnostics have not found any errors with the ram, mobo, cpu, or HDD.
I thought initially it might be something BIOS related, so I reset to default options, tried pulling the CMOS battery, and then flashed and re-installed the latest BIOS version without any effect from any approaches.
I pulled RAM sticks one at a time to see if that was the issue without any change. I then tried pulling the HDD, all but 1 ram stick (4gb of 16gb), as well as pulling the 16gb SSD flash drive. Even with this I couldn't get the computer to boot by USB or DVD. When I connected the HDD to my desktop tower and used the bootrec.exe command in command line I was able to get the tower and laptop to get to windows, but it has since reverted.
I've dissambled the top cover and am going to replace the thermal paste on the heat sink in case that is related to the issue. Is there anything else worth trying before I shelve the computer and call it a lost cause? If it's a hardware issue why isn't it affecting the computer when it's in BIOS or diagnostics?
no beep codes on startup, except for 1 long beep when I hit enter to get to boot options
- 1tb HDD, 5400 rpm
- 16gb SSD
- 16gb ram
- Win10 pro
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06-03-2017 05:14 PM - edited 06-03-2017 05:19 PM
You don't think it might be some corruption to Windows on your hard drive used for booting? Or perhaps a hard drive failure??
If the battery had "run dry" when you returned home, was the machine actually in sleep mode (or did it go to sleep) when you left the house n the morning? Hibernation? OFF?
If it was technically still ON and drawing battery power when the battery ran out, perhaps something crucial was going on at that instant and failed to complete, perhaps corrupting something unexpected.
Do you have a "system image" backup you can restore? Of course your statement that you've already tried to boot and run to CD/DVD or USB has also not been successful, so maybe my idea regarding Windows corruption is not justifiable. But I'm curious as to what software you were trying to run from CD/DVD or USB?
But again, if the hard drive and/or file system on the drive itself has been damaged or corrupted, then perhaps your CD/DVD or USB software actually DID get started ok (like your BIOS Setup and machine diagnostics) but only when attempting to communicate with the hard drive was failing, somehow triggering the machine re-boot symptom.
A new hard drive or SSD might be worth a try. If you have Macrium Reflect or Partition Wizard, both of which can be booted from CD/DVD or USB, or a Win10 install CD/DVD or USB stick, you could see if the W530 behavior returns to normal after putting in a new drive. If that works and it was a hardware error in your old drive you could then restore a "system image" backup (assuming you had one) of your old system, and write it off to a drive failure.
P.S. - is your HDD the boot drive and where Windows lives, and the 16GB SSD for "cache" or what? How is your W530 set up? I have a W530 with a 512GB SSD in it and nothing else, so I'm not familiar with how a second 16GB SSD might be used.
06-04-2017 06:29 PM
Thanks for the thoughts. Since the laptop runs fine in BIOS and diagnostics it doesn't make much sense to me that it would be hardware related.
The only difference I've found between when it is in BIOS and diagnostics vs when it is trying to boot is that the heatsink fan stops spinning immediately after the system self-diagnositcs are displayed when it tries to boot, although it spins continuously while in BIOS/Diagnostics.
I've tried booting to 3 different win10 boot devices (2 DVDs, 1 usb) as well as a linux bootable usb. During these attempts the computer crashes with or without the HDD installed. The 16gb flash is a cache drive, and pulling that too doesn't make any difference.
So even if I "barebone" it down to no HDD or flash drive installed and just 1 4gb stick of ram it still crashes during booting whether it is attempting to boot to the windows install disks for repair, or with the linux boot usb.
The harddrive itself doesn't have any issues and I can boot to windows fine when I use a usb 3.0 to eSATA cable and use the laptop HDD as the boot drive for my computer.
I tried replacing the thermal paste just to see if that would make a difference and found no improvement. Since the only noticeable difference seems to be the fan spinning I'm wondering: a) why there is the difference between it spinning between the different modes, and b) if there is even any way to fix that since it seems like it would be a driver issue and if I can't get to windows/an OS environment, how I would fix that.
06-05-2017 04:09 AM
I wonder if there is a problem with the system retaining its settings for what drives are installed or the boot order? That often happens when the internal backup CMOS/RTC battery needs to be replaced, although usually you see an error message on the screen about it first.
Given that the system is five years old, perhaps it is the backup CMOS/RTC battery inside the unit which needs to be replaced? On many systems it is a CR-2032 +3VDC lithium coin cell with a wiring harness on it that plugs ib somewhere on the systemboard.
06-05-2017 02:38 PM
I was kicking that idea around last night but got home too late to go to the store to get a new one, so thanks for re-affirming that it at least seems reasonable.
I'll try that and report back.
06-07-2017 02:01 AM
Yep, definitely an issue with the CMOS. Pulled it out and tried booting and it booted fine into windows. Shut the computer down, put the CMOS back in and it failed to boot again. Pulled the leads off of the old CMOS, attached them to a new one and it boots fine.
Well that was a fun week of trying everything except for the $4 battery first...