PC Laptop sometimes does not boot

Acer Aspire 5100-3959 notebook
September 25, 2009 at 15:58:08
Specs: Windows XP
Okay, about a week or so ago, I was getting
the following error message when booting my
laptop (Acer Aspire 5100 not sure which one):
PXE-E61: Media test failure, Check cable.
PXE-M0F: Exiting PXE-ROM

After a little searching, I found out that it was
trying to boot from the network, which is down
there somewhere in the boot order. I removed
and reseated the hard drive, then since that
didn't help, I proceeded to remove and reseat
the RAM.

Afterwards, I decided to disable network boot.
Now I don't get the error screen, but just a
black screen with a flickering line

What really gets me is that about half the time
it boots normally, without any problems.
Somewhat infrequently, after I get Windows
running, (usually after tilting the laptop in some
direction), it will immediately BSoD on me and
reboot. Other times, I turn and rotate the
laptop all over the place, and it runs fine
through all of that (and for hours afterwards).

I did a disk check on my hard drive using the
chkdsk and also some third party program
called HD Tune. My drive passes the checks
with no errors whatsoever. AVG and
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware check out fine
(and I'm pretty sure it's not a virus anyway).

So... I'm at a loss as to what's exactly wrong
with my laptop. Your help would be much

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September 25, 2009 at 17:03:21
From your description, I would say that the hard drive is not being detected intermittently. If it only occurs when the box has been off for a while and is cool, that's a pretty good indication of a flaky connection. If you haven't done it yet, I would suggest removing the hard drive and reinserting it a couple of times. If there is any corrosion on the connectors, that might scrape it off.

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September 25, 2009 at 19:38:08
Thanks for the suggestion, I'll try that as soon as I get home.

I never really thought of it like that... once it starts running for a while I find it harder to make it crash (although it has happened). Most of the errors/crashes occur at boot up... and I guess at shut down/hibernate/standby comes in second.

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October 6, 2009 at 21:21:32
Okay, I've tried the above, and the problem persists.

Also, I took apart my laptop and noticed that the plastic housing
for some of the screws were broken apart near the hinge for the
monitor. I got a new enclosure, fixed that, and problem is still

Should a I get a new hard drive after all?

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Related Solutions

October 16, 2009 at 18:45:49
Okay, I went ahead and got a new Seagate hard drive to see if it
was the problem. I cloned my old drive onto it. It ran all right at
first, but as with the last drive, it did crash and reboot when I
took it off the flat surface I had it on.

As this is a completely new drive, I assume that the hard drive is
not the culprit here.

Any other suggestions? CPU maybe?

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