I have an ASUS laptop (model u56e, windows 7 64-bit) that is baffling me right now.
Hoping someone here can tell me what I'm missing....
I was recently on a trip, laptop working fine. On way home, closed laptop, put it in bag & didn't open it for 2 days. When I did, it was dead - POST sound audible, but stuck in loop on ASUS mobo splash screen. Could not enter BIOS.
What I have tried so far:
1. Removed HDD (Hitachi Travelstar 5K750). Booted into BIOS fine.
2. Booted into Ubuntu using LiveCD. Connected HDD with SATA/USB cable. Drive recognized. Backed up important files. Could not mount OS partition, just data partition. Gave me "Windows is hibernated, refused to mount" error.
3. Successfully mounted OS partition (via USB) using remove_hiberfile command.
4. Reinstalled HDD. Still stuck on splash screen. Could not enter BIOS. Unable to see if HDD is recognized in BIOS & obviously unable to change boot order. BIOS did recognize USB if I plugged in flash drive.
5. Removed/reset CMOS battery. No change.
6. Disassembled laptop & examined motherboard. Board & all connectors appear visually fine.
7. Checked memory with memtest86. All good.
8. Confirmed I have latest BIOS version. Reset BIOS defaults. No change.
9. Repaired MBR using Ubuntu boot-repair. No change.
10. Installed into desktop. HDD recognized in BIOS. Ran chkdsk. Some errors repaired. No bad sectors. Booted into Windows. A few updates. Rebooted. A few more Windows updates. Rebooted. HDD boots flalwlessly into Win7 in desktop (yay progress!!!)
11. Reinstalled into laptop. Stuck on ASUS splash screen again. Could not enter BIOS.
12. Removed & attached HDD via USB. No change. If I connect HDD via USB while inside BIOS, laptop freezes. Still able to enter BIOS & boot from LiveCD with HDD removed.
13. Attached another SATA drive to laptop via USB. Booted into BIOS fine & recognized drive (had to connect via USB vs. mobo because it was a 3.5" instead of 2.5").
14. Inserted substitute HDD (Toshiba) internally. Booted flawlessly into Win7.
15. Ran Hitachi disk check WINDFT - no errors on short or extended test, SMART info check out fine.
16. Formatted & reinstalled Windows 7 64-bit. No change.
17. Rebuilt MBR again using MBR Regeberator. No change.
18. Re-flashed original (latest) BIOS. No change.
19. Ran system test via Ubuntu. Tested keyboard, audio, video, USB, wi-fi, card reader, suspend process, etc. All good.
Still hangs on ASUS splash screen after POST sound.
HDD appears healthy. Spins up, no strange noises, able to access/transfer files, etc. Chkdsk & WinDFT revealed no bad sectors.
Drive connectors appear healthy. Connects fine in desktop & via USB from within Ubuntu for file transfer.
MBR & Windows installation appear healthy. Boots into Windows perfectly while in desktop.
RAM checks out as healthy.
Motherboard and connections appear visually ok.
I'm at a loss for what to do next. My questions are:
If the motherboard itself is bad, why does a replacement drive boot up?
If the HDD is bad, why does it work perfectly installed in a desktop?
If the motherboard connector is bad, why would same problem occur when the HDD is connected via USB?
Obviously there is some problem with this specific HDD interacting with this specific ASUS motherboard.
Is it possible that the drive is just not getting enough power to spin up when installed internally? If so, what would cause this & how to fix?
Anything else I'm missing???
Thanks so much for any advice. This is driving me crazy!!!