Pressing a laptop’s power button, and nothing happens? How frustrating. But, before we go and look for things like Walmart coupons that might help us save money on a new machine, we should not assume ours has encountered an untimely death. There are a few ways we can troubleshoot and fix the problem.
Sometimes our personal computers don’t work simply because we haven’t turned them on. As obvious as it may sound, we have to press the power button before troubleshooting further. This button may be located on the side of the computer’s case. A disconnected or wiggling power cable can also prevent the laptop from powering up. Often, we work with a gadget plugged in all the time. But when the charging system becomes loose somewhere, the battery runs empty. Even though laptops run on batteries, we must always ensure that their AC adapters are plugged in when troubleshooting.
The power supply might go wrong and shut down the laptop. Using the wrong voltage can blow a fuse in the laptop charger. As such, the adapter must be appropriate for the model as directed by the manufacturer. The instructions are normally indicated on stickers or markings at the power supply port. If we must buy third-party chargers, we should ensure their power output speed matches what’s needed to run our devices. Older laptops tend to lose a lot of power even in sleep mode. They might not power up if we use third-party chargers.
Most laptops from the same brand require plugs of a similar size. The correct charger offers enough current, as shown on the fuse. Removing a fuse and swapping it for a better one is recommended. We also need a spare cable to plug into the power supply to test if the fuse is at fault. Power supplies wear down quickly when we carry them just anywhere. The wire might grind away, leaving weak points at the point of connecting to a laptop. The black outer protector starts exposing the colored wire. We need a new power supply unit at this point.
Here are a few steps to diagnose laptop battery and power issues:
- Remove the battery and plug the laptop into a functioning power outlet
- If the laptop switches on without the battery, the problem is the battery, not the power supply. It is okay to use AC power only, but the machine has to be plugged in all the time
- Replace CMOS battery that keeps BIOS in the motherboard
- Connect the cables properly
So, the laptop battery and power supply are working, and the laptop still won’t turn on? The issue could be on the screen. In this case, the power button lights up, and the fans produce sound, but the screen displays nothing. The screen inverter could be damaged if the images are very faint. Here is how to diagnose laptop screen problems:
- Disconnect peripherals, e.g., printers and projectors.
- Check the screen brightness button.
- The LCD panel might be broken: It is time to replace the entire laptop.
- Remove any DVD, memory card, or USB drive and boot up the notebook: These devices can be stuck, and the BIOS may be struggling to boot from the storage device.
- Using a rescue disk to boot and fix Windows OS: A virus or malware can hinder the operation of a laptop. A rescue disk scans to remove the virus
- Booting HP laptop in safe mode: Safe mode allows us to uninstall drivers and new programs that may be corrupting our PCs. Still in safe mode, we can create a new user account to replace the lost one.
- Checking the hardware: A newly installed RAM kit can cause boot issues. Removing the new hardware helps to boot again.
There’s no quick fix for defective hardware. One of the telltale signs that a hard drive has failed is a clicking noise or a spinning sound before the laptop shuts down. This calls for the immediate replacement of the hard drive. It is good to have a backup plan with an external drive to save important files in such cases. You may also want to look into companies like DriveSavers that can help with hard drive recovery of important files so you are not at a loss.
If a laptop doesn’t power up, failed hardware, faulty power supply, or a malfunctioning screen could be the culprit. Most of the time, we can resolve issues by adjusting a few configurations or replacing defective parts. If the model is older and expensive hardware is needed, we would better off get a new laptop or desktop computer.