Question How to debug pre-BIOS delay during boot?

Feb 17, 2019
2
0
10
0
Hi,

after reading this forum for many years, this is now my first thread as an attempt to save a good old laptop from being replaced.

My laptop has a low power iGPU (CPU Intel core i7 4700MQ with Intel HD graphics) and more performant dGPU (nVidia GTX 765M).

It has a button to switch between GPUs, and 2 led lights showing which GPU is currently being used. This button only works in Windows and since I have been using linux for years, I do the switch manually when needed.

When the system is up and running, everything runs fine. Stress tested CPU, memory, iGPU, dGPU, all with good results.

Now, lately, during power up, the boot process started taking more time than usually. Before the BIOS POST screen shows up, with the monitor still blank as it was switched off, the 2 GPUs and 1 HDD leds on the case blink alternating for a while, after that, the boot process continues without any problems/errors.

When this started, about a month ago, the leds would blink for about 10 seconds, but now the laptop can take up to 2 hours to start! Strangely, at some point, the boot process continues and the system can be up for days without any problems.

So far I have tried to remove the hard drives and all cables before boot up, but same symptom persists. I have also tested without the battery, connected to power supply. Again, same.

Next step I was thinking is to remove the dGPU to see what happens. Just ordered some thermal paste before I can do that.

It would be a pitty to retire this laptop since it performs quite well even if it is about 5 years old, and when it is up, it works nicely.

Any suggestion of what can be going on and how to tackle it?

Thanks!
 
Feb 17, 2019
2
0
10
0
With thermal paste today, I've opened the laptop and removed the cooler that covers the CPU and GPU. As it turns out, the nvidia chip cannot be removed :/

So I've re-applied the paste and re-assembled everything back. Of course, nothing changed. Still taking ages to boot. (This morning took 5 hours, and then it was up without problems the entire day).

Anyone?
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY