intermittent failure to initialize boot.

August 25, 2018 at 08:24:11
Specs: Windows 10, intel core i7-6500 @2.5GHZ 8GB dram
Laptop fails to boot intermittently.The failure code is indicating memory 3 blinking light on cap lock. Three repairers have said I need a new motherboard, the hp trouble shooting code of three blinks on cap lock key indicates a memory failure. Have removed and replaced memory modules with no luck. A new replacement laptop will cost $1000 but I cannot find anyone willing to work on it and just tell me to replace the pc. The laptop is 2 1/2 years old and out of warranty. Tapping it will often allow it to start.

Any suggestions?

See More: intermittent failure to initialize boot.

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August 25, 2018 at 09:45:34
Hang about here a wee while; there are a couple the regular who may resolve it all for you. They being well versed in the problems that many systems appear to have when win-10 is involved...; not the least boot issues.

I'm not current with win-10 nor current PC kit, so prefer not to get too involved lest I mislead you. I'm more a Mac user these days.

One thing... When you replaced the RAM sticks... It is not uncommon for RAM connectors (on the sticks and the board) to oxidise a little. Usual process to eliminate that is to power down, remove the battery too. Remove all RAM sticks. Clean the edge connectors with a soft pencil style eraser; then wipe the edges with a soft lintless cloth (even a soft kleenex tissue). This having done, re-insert one stick firmly. Then remove and re-insert again - firmly. Repeat a third time leave the stick in place. Power up and see how things go.

Do likewise for the second stick, with the first stick removed - putting the second stick in the first slot... Having tested the second stick this way, (and then having removed all power/battery again) re-insert the original stick in slot two and check the system boot again.

Never go inside any computer with any power source applied; desktops simply remove the power cord but for laptops remove the battery too.

Memory test software has, for me at least, seldom been of any use. I have invariably resolved, and/or isolated RAM issues as above.

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August 25, 2018 at 10:44:03
thank you, you have provided some things I can try I will let you know when I can get to the computer memory. I assume by sticks you mean the memory chips. I have to tear this laptop completely apart to get to the memory, or hard drive for that matter. Miss the doors which opened to the inside for replacing memory and HDD.


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August 25, 2018 at 11:43:02
There are programs that can test your memory (RAM). try a few of the ideas presented in the link below before dis-assembling the laptop. As was stated above it could be a Windows 10 issue. Do you have copies of your personal files saved off the laptop?

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August 25, 2018 at 12:17:16
OtheHill, I'm not aware of any Win10 issue that'll impact a machine's POST. I'd assume you'd need to at least get to the boot loader before any OS could theoretically do any damage. Do you have an example of Win10 causing a machine to fail its POST?

rsvat, tells me that a simple 3-blink is a memory error, so I agree with trvlr. Ideally you should try with a known good and known compatible DIMM, but so long as at least one DIMM is good, trvlr's method will at least get the laptop to boot.

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way

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August 25, 2018 at 14:01:56
Incidentally, which model is this hp laptop?

Useful to know so we can all be discussng the same device.

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August 25, 2018 at 16:49:04
rsvat > Tapping it will often allow it to start.

That's a fun clue. That sort of thing usually requires a lot of
perseverence to solve remotely, though.

How hard do you have to tap? Where? And exactly when?
What do you hear? A fan? Anything else?

Has tapping ever caused the boot to resume after the caps lock
key light begins blinking the failure code? Or has it only worked
if you tap before it starts blinking?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

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August 25, 2018 at 21:12:57
Tapping to start could be consistent with memory card contacts being tarnished. By moving them even a fraction of a mm they could be getting better contact so cleaning them is indicated and it would also be my first step. It is a shame that on many thinner laptops they no longer have the access doors for RAM & HD.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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August 25, 2018 at 23:02:06
As a very general mechanical rule of thumb, when bumping the
equipment lightly makes a difference, it is either because the
parts are very loosely connected, or the loose part itself is being
bumped. Anything jammed together tightly like a RAM card in
its socket is not likely to move at all if the outside of the case is
merely tapped. If the card itself were tapped, it would be much
more likely to move.

As a totally wild guess, I'd look for a short or bad connection
between the mainboard, power supply, or other component
and some metal part that serves as ground.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

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August 26, 2018 at 00:30:50
Another possibility is a dry joint in the soldering of the RAM socket to the motherboard. The "tapping" clue definitely indicates a probable mechanical problem.

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