Troubleshooting Procedures

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The built-in self test program and the disk resident diagnostics program (PC-Doctor) are useful tools in computer troubleshooting. However, if the computer has a power, keyboard or display problem, you first solve this problem before running diagnostics. If the computer powers up and displays messages on the LCD or emits a series of beeps, skip to Paragraph 5.4.3 for further instructions.

5.3.1 Troubleshooting a Power Supply Problem

If the computer does not power up when the Power Switch is set to the ON position, you most likely have a malfunction in the power subsystem (loss of power at the AC Outlet, faulty AC Adapter, discharged Battery Packs, or faulty Power Supply Board). With a power problem, all LEDs are extinguished, the LCD screen is blank, the system does not respond when the standby switch several times consecutively and no drive activity can be heard. The computer is unable to load software and displays no visible signs of activity.

To fault isolate a power problem, check the following:

• AC Adapter and Battery- Plug in the AC adapter and double check all connections on the Adapter and computer. Ensure that the Notebook Power switch is set to the On position and that the system is not in Standby or sleep mode.

Measure the voltage at the AC Outlet or plug in a known good appliance (EG. a lamp) to verify that voltage is present. If the voltage is O.K., try replacing the AC Adapter

Check to see that the battery pack is installed correctly (try using a recharged battery pack if batteryis discharged).


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PCMCIA Option Slot(s)

PCMCIA Adapter PD6722

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Expansion Bus Connector

RS232 Serial Port

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Keyboard/PS2 Mouse Logic (4066/8051/8042)

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Internal Keyboard

Internal Keyboard


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Internal LCD Display 640 X 480 VGA LCD

Figure5-2 Troubleshooting Block Diagram

• If the AC outlet voltage, AC Adapter, and battery packs test normal but the computer will not power up, replace the Power Supply Board and/or Battery Board as described in Section 6.

5.3.2 Troubleshooting a Display Problem

If the LCD remains blank when you turn on the computer, and the status indicators light, check the following controls on the display (See Figure 3-1):

  • LCD standby mode - If the LCD backlight remains off, even with the Contrast Control set to its highest position, the LCD may be in Standby Mode. Press the Standby or Power button to power up the system.
  • Notebook Set for External Monitor- use CMOS Setup to reset notebook.
  • LCD - Replace the cover-display assembly as described in Section 6 of this manual.
  • Low battery - Use a fully charged battery.

5.3.3 Fault Isolation Using Selftest

When the computer is first powered up, it automatically performs a self-test of its central hardware and memory functions. During self-test (which lasts for a few seconds), the display shows copyright and version number information.

Note: Some procedures in this paragraph require you to use keystroke sequences, such as Ctrl-Alt-Del. To execute a keystroke sequence such as this, you must press all three keys simultaneously. Self Test Error Messages

Upon successful completion of the self-test, the computer automatically loads its operating system and other built-in utilities. If the self-test fails to complete successfully, the display shows one of the error messages described in Appendix A.

5.3.4 PCMCIA Modem Problems

If an optional PCMCIA modem does not work properly, check the following items:

  • Proper installation of any PCMCIA options (check Modem settings under Control Panel).
  • Dialing problem or wrong number - Try dialing a number that you have previously dialed successfully.
  • Faulty phone line - Connect a telephone to the line and listen for a dial tone.
  • Software program - Check to ensure that you have installed the software correctly.

5.3.5 Fault Isolation Using Diagnostics

PC-Doctor supplied with the Extensa 450 Series Notebooks is a powerful diagnostics tool that can help you scan an internal RAM system for viruses, determine the hardware configuration of a local or remote system, benchmark its performance, analyze the performance of all subsystems, and perform a suite of interactive and non-interactive tests on attached devices. The test results are stored in a log which can be printed out (by pressing F2) or saved in a disk file (by pressing F3).

Features of the diagnostic program are accessed through a series of pull-down menus and basic keyboard keys (cursor keys to move highlighted pointer, Enter key to select a highlighted feature, ESC key to cancel a function and move back one level.

PC-Doctor is typically user friendly but if you don't understand a feature, context-sensitive "help" information is available at any time by pressing the F1 function key; pressing the F1 function key twice accesses the online Technical Reference Manual for PC-Doctor.

A powerful set of utilities within PC-Doctor (that can be run locally or remotely) simplify the task of determining system configuration data, allocating and using system memory, IRQ and DMA use, what device drivers are installed, what COM and LPT ports are assigned and what ports are available, identifying partitioning data for fixed disk drive(s), determining the VGA setup information, reading the software interrupts/interrupt vectors, etc.

Functionally, PC-Doctor includes the following:

  • Group of nine non-Interactive diagnostic tests that perform a non-destructive test of the major hardware functions in the notebook (Processor, Memory, System board, video section, serial and parallel ports (when loopback adapters are installed), hard disk and floppy disk.
  • Group of seven Interactive tests (require operator input) for testing the keyboard, video sections, sound subsystem, mouse, joystick, diskette drive, printer subsystem and SCSI/CD-ROM Drive subsystems.
  • Utility that provides detailed system information such as configuration data, allocation and use of system memory, IRQ and DMA use, what device drivers are installed, what COM and LPT ports are assigned and what ports are available, partitioning data for fixed disk drive(s), VGA setup information, software interrupts and interrupt vectors.
  • Group of special purpose utilities to run other tests from PC-Doctor, perform a virus scan of the internal RAM system, edit configuration files, surface scan hard drives, measure system performance, open a DOS prompt, provides terminal access to devices connected to serial ports, supports memory debug operations, enables remote operations, permits deep discharge of notebook batteries and provides an extensive test reporting function.

The PC-Doctor diagnostic program contains a group of nine non-Interactive diagnostics, available from the Diagnostics heading in the main menu, that permits testing various hardware sections without operator input. You can select one, several, or all tests from the Diagnostics menu. These tests are non-destructive; the serial and parallel port tests require disconnecting external devices from your notebook and installing loopback plugs. The Non-Interactive test categories include:

  • CPU and Co-Processor Tests
  • Base RAM memory test
  • System Board test
  • Video Test
  • Com1 and LPT1 serial port tests
  • Parallel Port Test
  • Fixed Disk test
  • Diskette Drive tests
  • Other devices (Sound card, PCMCIA options, etc.) Interactive Tests

The PC-Doctor diagnostic test includes a suite of seven Interactive tests that require operator input during the course of the test. The Interactive Tests category includes:

  • Keyboard- tests the keyboard keys, LEDs and repeat function
  • Video-tests the LCD and external VGA character sets, and colors.
  • Speaker-tests the volume response at different frequencies.
  • Mouse-tests the mouse driver, buttons and functionality
  • Joystick- calibrates the external joystick connected to the system and tests the joystick buttons
  • Diskette Drive- checks diskette drive functionality
  • Maximum System Load- thoroughly exercises system to the maximum extent possible for performing system "burn-in and test
  • Printer Test- tests the operation of a connected printer
  • SCSI Test- sends test codes to attached SCSI devices (requires use of a Docking System with SCSI)
  • CD-ROM Test- checks out any attached CD-ROM Drive (requires attachment of a Docking System with CD-ROM capability)

Supporting Online documentation

The PC-Doctor Diagnostic contains the following online information sources:

  • Online Technical Manual- selected at any time by pressing F1 key twice or by clicking on the Question Mark in the upper left hand corner of any PC-Doctor Menu
  • On-line Help system that provides context sensitive information from every PC-Doctor screen- accessed by pressing F1 key once (pressing F1 twice gets you into the online manual) User Interface to PC-Doctor

PC-Doctor is structured as a text-mode, windowed user interface with pull-down menus. Program operation requires the use of the following keys:

  • Cursor Keys- move the highlighted pointer
  • ENTER Key- Selects the highlighted option
  • ESC Key- Cancels current function and goes back one step
  • F1 Key- Activates the context-sensitive help feature (pressing F1 twice in a row calls up the online Technical Reference Manual for PC-Doctor)

Scrolling windows, which show the results of various operations, use the following keys:

  • Page Up/Page Down- moves the screen one page at a time
  • F2- Prints the log to PRN
  • F3- saves the log to a file

You can also use the mouse or Point to interact with PC-Doctor. The leftmost Select key is used to choose objects (menu entries and action codes typically enclosed in brackets). The rightmost Select key is equivalent to the ESC key which takes you back to your previous step. Creating a Bootable Floppy Diskette

Prior to using PC-Doctor, create a bootable floppy diskette using the following procedure:

  1. Power up the unit; when unit displays message, "Starting Windows 95", press F8. Choose Command Prompt Only from menu.
  2. Using DOS, format a floppy diskette.
  3. From the A: prompt, copy the basic MS-DOS files to the diskette using the following command:

Where the value 1440 is the capacity of the diskette (1.44 MB in this example).

  1. Get into the PC-Doctor directory ( type CD C:\PCDR and press Enter)
  2. Copy the PC-Doctor files to the bootable diskette using the following command:

After completion of this procedure, you should have a bootable diskette containing PC-Doctor. Running PC-Doctor

PC-Doctor is a DOS-resident program that can be run from either hard disk or from the bootable diskette you previously created.

  1. From the C:\ prompt change directory (type CD C:\PCDR) and press Enter
  2. The Diagnostics Program loads into system memory, and the LCD displays the diagnostics Header.

Note: There are a number of command-line switches that can be entered when starting up PC-Doctor to enable automatic virus scanning, enable loopback testing of serial/parallel ports, work from the remote menu if performing remote operations, etc. To get a listing of the available command-line switches, startup PC-Doctor with the following command:

PCDR /? and press Enter.

Note: If PC-Doctor detects a virus, it will stop with an error message. You must then use one of the standard virus detection and removal programs to remove the virus. Quitting PC-Doctor

To exit PC-Doctor, Select the Quit pull down menu and then select the Quit to DOS option.

Note: For additional information, press F1 twice to access the online Reference manual for PC-Doctor.

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