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Zapped! February 26, 2007

Posted by Mitchell in Science & Technology.

I wish it was just a lame Scott Baio movie.  Unfortunately, it’s also the state of my home computer.  Me+static electricity(Pow!) = Fried Laptop.  It’s not going to recover by itself this time either.  All I can get now is a black screen with a blinking cursor.  Crap.

Anybody out there have any idea of what’s likely to be damaged?  Did I kill the CPU or the motherboard or both?  Can it be fixed, and how much $$ if it can?


I hit the power button when I came home just on the off chance and a few minutes later…


I was in another room.  I dared to hope.  I came back to the computer – text on a black screen!  An error message about boot problems.  Yah, no shit:  a big chunk of the weekend with of periodic start ups and shut downs with nothing but a black screen and a little blinking line.  Hit F-something or another to quit and F-something else to resume.  Resume! 

It took an hour to boot up – but it was useless when it did.  I powered it down and up and now, once again, it acts like nothing had happened. The Lifebook is:  Hard To Kill.

Obviously, I’ve been waaaayyyy misunderestimating this thing.  I’ll see it in the grave with a stake through its CPU before I’ll announce it’s death again, that’s for sure. 



1. HayZeus - February 27, 2007

The most common cause of the black screen/blinking cursor that won’t do anything is screwed-up power management. Basically, the machine gets stuck trying to power itself back up fully for one reason or another. Unfortunately, while the problem is simple the solution often isn’t, hence your gripes. You’d have though that with over a decade worth of work that they’d have gotten power management right by now but of course you’d be wrong. 😉

In other news, you might want to pay attention to those boot message problems in the future. It might be telling you something simple, like that USB key drive that it saw last time you powered on is no longer attached to the system so it’s removed it as a possible boot device but it might also be telling you something important.

2. Enas Yorl - February 27, 2007

Hmm. So the static electricity zap messed with the power system. Makes sense. It was a hell of zap too, even I said “Ow!” I need to get a grounding strip or something. I have the same problem at work. As for the boot message, it was some inscrutable dialect of computerese. I was so danged happy to see something other than a blinking line, I didn’t think to write it down for further investigation.

3. Retired Geezer - February 27, 2007

I have heard that if you spray that Static Guard on your carpet it helps the situation.

When we lived in Vegas, I had one of those grounding mats under my keyboard that was wired into part of the conduit.

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