Why does my laptop refuse to shutdown, and sometimes will not start?

October 21, 2013
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I have an old hp-compaq nx8820 computer and it cannot be shut down by software command, neither in windows or linux (I use dual boot). It usually gets stuck during the final stages of the shut down process. So that I have to shut it down manually by pressign the power button.

When trying to start up the coputer, very often it – on a very dim screen – gives the message ‘Cannot find smart card’ and cannot boot. This happens mostly when trying to start at short period of time after shut down. After 10-20 minutes it will usually start. It’s like it needed to cool or something, but on the other hand it can run for days without any problem, without heating.

This starting and shutting down problem is the only one I can see.

A few times it wouldn’t start at all (even after a full night rest) – until I opened the laptop to look for something obviosly wrong. Could not find anything but after that the computer started. Pure luck maybe, but the same happened a second time.

I wander what the cause may be.

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  1. George C
    October 30, 2013 at 10:09 am

    In fact after a while disconnecting and reconnecting that small internal battery had no effect and the computer would not start with the same mesasge: which is in fact "Connect smart card to reader".

    I read on hp forums that this is caused by the motherboard and that a solution is to exercise pressure on the left bottom side of the laptop or close to the touchpad during startup.

    I have verified this and it works indeed if pressure is put on the left bottom side. This makes the computer both start and shut down proprly.

    Some people say that a connector of the wifi card (under the touchpad) may be loose. That was not true in my case.

  2. George C
    October 21, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Aa indicated in the answer received from Hovsep A, the solution would be to reset cmos battery and flush BIOS.

    I read that this can be done by disconecting briefly the battery. So, I did that.

    Now the computer shuts dows when ordered and also starts/boots without the previous problems.

    (For some reason restart does not work.)

    • Hovsep A
      October 21, 2013 at 12:49 pm

      1.Click Start, and then click Log Off.
      2.Click Switch User.
      3.Click Turn off computername.
      4.Click Turn Off or click Restart.
      5.At the prompt that warns that other people are logged on to this computer, click Yes.
      You cannot log off, restart, or shut down your Windows XP-based computer
      http://support.microsoft.com/kb/831431

    • George C
      October 21, 2013 at 4:34 pm

      the fact is i barely use windows - the printing was one of the last incentives - Linux- Ubuntu - elementaryOS

    • George C
      October 21, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      It is ridiculous this site doesn't allow editing / correcting posts - it is the first time I post here (usual stackexchange user) I I already made a fool of myself !

    • Kannon Y
      October 21, 2013 at 7:35 pm

      I apologize for the inability to edit posts. I'm told that we will eventually introduce this feature, although at present, it is unavailable.

    • Hovsep A
      October 22, 2013 at 8:01 am

      correct, few years ago we could use disqus to add comment so editing was possible now we have this interface, things can change later, if you send email to makeuseof team then perhaps they can change things faster.

    • George C
      October 30, 2013 at 10:10 am

      that stopped working - see new answer

  3. Hovsep A
    October 21, 2013 at 8:26 am

    reset cmos battery, flush BIOS
    perhaps motherboard problem

    1) open Device manager
    2) Find smart card
    3) Open properties
    4) Click disable hardware
    5) Restart computer.

    • George C
      October 21, 2013 at 8:37 am

      Is this to be done under Windows (or Linux) - or maybe in bios, before reboot?

    • Hovsep A
      October 21, 2013 at 9:44 am

      on Windows you can also do it in BIOS if the command Disable hardware smart card is available

    • George C
      October 21, 2013 at 12:14 pm

      Thank you. I have reset as indicated in my answer.

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