Question Weird behavior - Laptop powering off whenever it accesses hard drive to boot Windows

Apr 5, 2021
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Hi,

long story short: I finally bought an AC adapter for a 2010 Samsung netbook I'd had laying around inactive for years. I installed Windows 7 on it and everything appeared to be working fine for one day.

Now the problem: I was playing around with some rather inconsequential options in the BIOS when it happened. I saved the changes and attempted to restart the machine. The BIOS screen started up, transitioned into the black screen with a flashing white dash, and then right about the moment when the machine was supposed to boot Windows from the HDD, it powered off. I tried again a couple more times, the exact same phenomenon kept occuring. I thought the old HDD might be at fault here, so I opened the machine up, took off the HDD with Win 7 installed and put in my other HDD for backup (without any OS). The machine still powered off in the exact same fashion. I figured the problem must have had something to do with the HDD, since the machine always powered off when it tries to do something with the HDD, but not with the content on the HDD itself, since even if I change the HDD the same occurrence persisted.

But here's the funny thing: if I try to get into Recovery Mode right away (by hitting F4 on boot, hitting F2 on the other hand brings me to the BIOS menu), I will get into the Windows Boot Manager screen, on which currently only one option stands (the Windows 7 I got installed, understandably). If I proceeds to choose that option, Windows 7 will boot fine. This has been my workaround in the last couple of hours to get the machine working.

I'm a total noob, so this thing puzzles me even more than it should. I can't use my usual reasoning to locate the exact problem. Neither my Windows 7 install, nor the HDD that install is currently on could be at fault here, since swapping another HDD in without any OS still triggers the same problem. Then the problem must have something to do with the connection between the motherboard and the HDD, but what connection exactly since I can still boot the machine up perfectly fine using the F4 Recovery Mode workaround. Or is this just a classic case of a very old laptop lying inactive for so long having failing parts?

Any help is much appreciated!
 
Apr 5, 2021
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On another unrelated note: this Netbook currently has another peculiar quirk: I can't seem to use Fn + the keys for adjusting brightness (up and down arrow keys specifically) to adjust brightness. Doing it manually through the Power Option app works. The funny thing is: outside of Windows, the combination still works! For example, I can adjust the brightness perfectly fine while on the BIOS screen using Fn + up and down.

I know the machine is old and unreliable and painfully slow. But seeing weird stuff like this just makes me strangely curious and want to troubleshoot.

P/S: I have also tried to get all the drivers updated through Driver Booster. Both problems persist.
 

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