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Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Any thoughts on why my laptop won't power up?

Asked by Adirondackwannabe (36625points) September 21st, 2015

It’s three years old and I used it last night and it shut down normally. This morning I hit the power button and nothing happens. The disk player opens and if I insert a disc it clicks a few times, but doesn’t play. Or if I hold the power button down for longer than five seconds and the hit again the lights flash, but it still doesn’t start. It’s got power, but it won’t start up with anything I’ve tried. Any thoughts?

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24 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

Your battery may be toast. Take the battery out and try to start up with your power supply.

majorrich's avatar

In some computers that would indicate a failure of the BIOS. Often this requires simply replacing a battery on the mother board as it is supposed to be isolated from the primary power bus to keep it protected from power fluctuations. Did the main battery go completely flat recently? That used to be a precursor to these kinds of problems.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Even removing the battery for a minute and putting it back in might solve the problem. Let us know if you made any progress!

elbanditoroso's avatar

It could be anything from the power adapter (plug) dying, to the battery being worn out, to the prong in the laptop that connects to the power adapter being bent or broken, to the BIOS.

Some batteries have small LED lights on the bottom – yours might, too. See if it does then press the little button and see if you have a charge.

Here’s what I would do:

0) is the power supply plugged into the wall? Is the light on the power supply lit?

1) replace battery (ebay, $20.00) – most likely on a 3 year old machine

2) replace power supply – second most likely – ebay – $15

3) If both of those fail, it gets into real money.

rojo's avatar

My initial response was shouldn’t this be a (NSFW) type question

but then I opened it and thougth Hey wait??? How are you posting to your computer if it is down???

SmashTheState's avatar

Do you get any kind of POST from your system?

longgone's avatar

Has it been running hot? My laptop did the same thing last year. The solution, in my case, was to not use it sitting on my lap anymore. It needs a hard surface to sit on so the ventilation works properly.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@rojo he’s using his desktop.

@Adirondackwannabe lots of good possibility above. Or maybe the laptop is so old that everything inside can no longer work and you need a new one?

jerv's avatar

Lithium batteries degrade over time; how much depends on what temperatures it’s faced. In normal use, 2–3 years of just being exposed to oxygen will take away nearly half the capacity. And hot-running electronics like laptops and smartphones that put the battery right near a heat source tend to degrade considerably faster. It’s possible that the battery is just shot. For some reason, some laptops won’t start even when hooked to a wall outlet unless the battery is present and has at least a small charge.

Of course, it’s possible that you just aren’t charging. Power plugs are delicate things, some more than others, and I’ve seen more than a few (mostly on older laptops) knocked loose. I don’t know about your particular laptop, but whenever mine is plugged in, it lights up two LEDs on the front even when it’s not running. Most laptops I’ve seen are similar; one LED will light up green to indicate power from an adapter and another will be yellow or green to indicate whether the battery is fully charged or not.

While it is possible that the power adapter is toast, I have to say that I personally have never seen that. My experience is that it’s usually either the battery or the power plug getting ripped off the motherboard.

@longgone Heat kills lithium-based batteries like the ones in most electronics these days, and also softens solder enough to possibly de-mount some components from a circuit board. You’d be better off cleaning it out so that the heatsinks can do their job. Running a computer with lint in the heatsinks isn’t much better than running a car with no coolant in the radiator. A can of compressed air would do you a lot of good.

jca's avatar

I had one with a charger issue once. I replaced the battery, it didn’t charge up, which was baffling. I was telling a techno-savvy coworker about how I couldn’t understand because the brand new battery had been charging for 48 hours and was still not charged. He suggested I replace the charger, as batteries usually outlive the computer but not necessarily will the charger last. I got a new charger and voila! Battery charged like a charm.

rojo's avatar

@Mimishu1995 Sexually suggestive answer. I kinda figured he had another source of input.

longgone's avatar

@jerv Thanks for the warning. I did clean it out at the time, but should probably do so more often.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Hey pervs, quit playing around with my laptop and my hard drive.

rojo's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe If your going to have your hard drive is hanging out of your laptop then you are going to have problems to deal with, especially if your equipment is of an age where the quality of the battery is questionable. You might want to try a drive assistant or, at the very least, get a head replacement kit.

majorrich's avatar

It wouldn’t happen to be a Dell would it?

rojo's avatar

^^ probably and old Fujitsu Siemens ^^

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

It’s an Atari. ~ No it’s a Sony and I just noticed a small red light next to what appears to be a battery symbol. I think we’re getting somewhere. Thanks for all your help.

majorrich's avatar

I had an Amiga way back in the day. But in college I had a KayPro II Sporting a mighty 64k of memory and DUAL Single sided Single density 5” drives. A beast it was.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe – so now the truth emerges. The dude with the big hard drive hangs out in red light districts….

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Yup, I’m busted. I thought she was a lady of the evening. How was I supposed to know she was a cop?

jerv's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe You know how the internet is; the men are men, the women are men, and the children are FBI.

jca's avatar

I’m a woman.

Where I live, the men are men and the sheep are nervous. LOL

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Follow up: The computer guy suspects it’s the video card. Evidently a Sony thing. For $200 to $250 he might be able to fix it. Yeah fat chance. I picked up a new HP for $279. Now I just have to figure out Windows 10.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I may be of some help with Windows 10 if you need :) I’m using it too.

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