Each of these articles is inspired by phone calls that I have had. While I always offer to come to the client’s home to check their computer, I try to give some suggestions first to make sure they haven’t missed something simple.
Warning: As in all repairs, you should only attempt those things that are in your comfort zone. For example, in the article below, I suggest you check the output of your laptop power supply (aka: the brick). If you don’t have a voltmeter or don’t know how to use one, check with one of your handy neighbors for help. If you can’t get help or don’t understand or think it is beyond you, then it is time to get professional help. I can think of two local computer repair stores in my neighborhood that would check out a power supply or fix your dead laptop. The purpose of this series of articles is to give you some basic skills to check up and repair some simple problems.
Let’s focus on Issue #1 today: My laptop does not seem to start. The first thing I want to know is if the computer is getting power. Check to see if there are any lights on at the front of the computer. Check to see if the power supply (the black brick that plugs in), is warm. Plug a lamp into the circuit and see if the light goes on. It could be a blown fuse. Make sure that the plug is pushed in the socket on the brick. Try plugging the brick and computer into a circuit in another part of your house or apartment. If you have a voltmeter check to see that the plug that goes into the computer is putting out from 14 to 19.5 volts. This should be the same number as on the writing on the brick.
So, you’ve established that your power supply is working. Plug it into the computer. Next, turn on the computer. Put your ear on the computer keyboard. Do you hear any sounds like a motor starting up? If you do hear it starting up, it could mean that your display is bad. Try shinning a flashlight at the screen. If you see a faint image, you might need to replace the circuit board (inverter) that supplies power to the backlight. Time to take it to a professional or if you have mad computer skills you can research how to take your model apart and replace the inverter.
Last Trick: Let’s say the computer does not start, no lights or a few lights come on but you do not hear any sound. Disconnect the power supply, with the computer closed, turn the computer over on a towel or placemat. Remove the battery. Return the computer to its normal position and open. With no power connected, hold the power button in for 20 seconds. This discharges some of the components that might keep your computer from starting. When done, replace the battery and plug the computer back in. Turn it on. It worked on my son’s laptop. Good luck.
In summary, I have given you three tips to help check a computer that will not come on.
1) Verify the power supply is working or replace
2) Use a flashlight to check the screen- if you see a faint image it may be the inverter
3) Discharge the computer to restore normal starting.