How To Fix A Laptop That Doesn’t Start


Laptops play a major part in our daily lives be it in the house as a home office machine or at the office when we’re on the move from one location to another. Like all electronic devices, laptops have their fair share of succumbing to failure or death. There are a number of us who have had to deal with a laptop or two or more where it just refused to power up under conventional methods. This tutorial should show you how to try and revive a laptop that refuses to start up.

1. Remove any peripherals connected to the laptop. Disconnecting USB hubs, external storage drives connected via USB/Thunderbolt and USB devices(such as a mouse and a keyboard or the likes) as well as external display connections to rule out if any of your add-on componentry might be the trigger to the laptop not powering up. If your laptop is on a cooling pad, you should unplug it and try to power up the laptop as you would after first unboxing it. If it’s been on a docking station from day one, remove it from that position and try powering it.

2. Try to power the laptop while the battery is plugged in. You can try and remove the battery and then replace the battery after a short while. See if that allows you to power up the laptop.

3. If that fails, connect the laptop’s AC power adapter to the wall socket, with your battery installed and see if you can power up the laptop.

4. If that fails, remove the AC power adapter’s connection, remove the battery and hold down the power button for 30 seconds to discharge any residual power on the laptop. Try and reconnect the AC power adapter as well as the battery and try powering it up.

5. If that option fails, you may want to disassemble the underside of the laptop and try and get to your storage and memory slots. Remove them, now would be a good time to perform minimal maintenance on the innards with a 1” wide bristle painters brush. Additionally you can run an eraser along the gold contact area of the sticks of memory to remove (visible signs of) corrosion (if any). Reconnect the memory and storage and try powering up while only connected to the AC adapter, leaving the battery disconnected. If successful, you can later connect the battery and see if the laptop powers up without trouble.

6. You can additionally try powering up with the AC power adapter while having only your ram populating the slots and no boot device (SSD or HDD). You should encounter beeps or a flashing LED on your Caps Lock/Power button to indicate an error. Now add the storage and see if you can power up while on AC power.

7. If you get beep errors or flashing LEDs after replacing the rams, with your boot device intact, the issue can be compounded to a failing stick of ram (if in a kit or individual/standalone stick) or the motherboard being faulty. Replacing the faulty stick of ram (or kit of ram) should bring back functionality to your laptop.

8. If you’ve ruled out that the ram is A-OK but adding your storage back into the mix causes inoperability, it’s highly possible that the SSD/HDD has seen the end of its useful journey. Replacing your boot/storage drive should bring it back to life.

9. If your laptop has the battery internally placed, i.e. it’s not a removable part of the laptop without removing the underside/back cover then you will not be able to power up the laptop without the internally mounted battery.

10. If you’ve ruled out that the ram and boot drive are intact and in operable conditions, then the issue can be compounded to a faulty/failing motherboard. Replacing it should bring you back up to speed.

These steps can help you try and start up the laptop. If it doesn’t power up after the above steps, it’s possible that the laptop has given up the ghost. If you’re within warranty period for your laptop, it’s highly suggestive to proceed with sending an email to the manufacturer and contacting the seller to initiate an RMA.
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