We press the “On” switch, wait and… the laptop doesn’t turn on. That’s how it usually starts – the device doesn’t respond to our actions, even if we try again and again. Rest assured, instead of falling into frustration, it’s better to check why the laptop won’t turn on. We’ll take a look at the most common problems affecting hardware booting and how to identify them step by step.
Discharged laptop battery
First of all, you need to start by ruling out the obvious causes. A black screen on your laptop can simply be caused by a completely drained battery. If the battery is damaged, it won’t charge. If the computer still doesn’t boot, it’s worth running a test. So, we take out the batteries and plug in the AC adapter. When the equipment starts up without any problems, we need to look for a new battery.
Defective power supply in laptop
If your computer still doesn’t start after plugging in, we may have a problem with the device’s power supply. A non-functioning device will not only fail to charge the battery but will also prevent the computer from booting up. It’s not uncommon for power adapters to get damaged because we often handle them in a rather rough way during transport or everyday use. Before we start looking for a new model, however, there is still hope, as the cause of the lack of voltage may be more mundane.
So the solution to the problem starts with the replacement of the power cord connected to the electrical outlet. It is also worth checking whether the socket itself is working or replacing the extension cord. We should also inspect the cable connecting the power supply to the computer. Check whether it is not damaged, or worn out and whether the plug is stable in the power socket of the computer.
If you have the possibility, try to run your notebook on a different battery or power adapter. Using non-original, and for that matter cheap, power supplies can sometimes end up with a melted power supply socket as a result of a short circuit and high temperature. Of course, this is not always the case, but notebook service centres confirm many such failures.
If all methods have failed there is a good chance that a faulty power supply is behind the faulty laptop.
Broken switch in laptop
However, if the laptop still won’t turn on, you need to look for causes other than power. You should press the switch of the computer again but this time listen to how the laptop reacts to it. Sometimes it can be simply a non-functional button which can be caused by many reasons such as flooding with water or mechanical damage (e.g. after dropping the computer on the ground). Repairing the switch for a service technician will often be a small matter that takes several minutes.
Computer component failure
The reason why a laptop refuses to work may be deeper, in its components. In order to find out about it, you should first check if you can hear the hard drive or the fans starting up after turning on the equipment. It’s also worth seeing whether the LEDs confirming that the computer has been started are on. It can happen that everything starts normally for a short while and then there is silence. Sometimes everything seems to work normally but all you see is a black screen.
When a laptop doesn’t start at all or starts only for a moment, it can be a sign that there is a serious malfunction in it, which sometimes results in the need to replace the motherboard. Why is it damaged?
There may be various reasons for this. Most often the inverter and bridge break down due to overheating of the motherboard (for example, too much load of graphics programs or a too thick a layer of dust). Mainboard malfunctions can also be caused by power surges, short circuits in the power supply socket, etc.
If our computer is not under warranty the cost of replacing or repairing the motherboard will be quite high, and if you have a laptop that is a few years old it may not be possible to bring your computer back to life.
Defective hard drive or RAM
Sometimes your computer won’t turn on because of damaged RAM bones or a hard drive where the system partition can’t boot properly. Replacing these components can be done yourself, without visiting a specialist. Apart from a screwdriver, you don’t need any additional tools here.
In the case of the drive, a loose connection cable can often be the culprit, which can happen when the computer is unfortunate enough to fall or be exposed to a large shock. A similar accident can happen to the RAM. So it is worth checking their condition.
Defective screen or graphics chip
If no image appears on the screen after turning on the computer, it may be a sign that the computer is damaged or the graphics chip has failed.
What are the common reasons for a non-functioning display panel? First of all, it could have happened that the laptop’s screen was turned off, while the connection to an external monitor was activated. The contacts in the laptop’s casing which connect the screen with the rest of the computer might have been damaged. It is a good idea to move the lid of the computer – sometimes you can get a signal on the screen for a while this way.
We can test the condition of the display by connecting an additional screen with an HDMI cable, it can be either a TV or a regular monitor. If only it is damaged, we should get the picture. But what if it does not appear on an external monitor connected to the laptop? There are many indications that the graphics card malfunctioned. What to do in such a situation?
The failure of a graphics card in a notebook computer can be a serious problem. In such a situation it seems to us that the computer does not work, but in fact, the device works, but it is not able to send a graphic signal.
The thought of replacing the old card with a new one immediately comes to mind. The problem is that in most laptops replacing the graphics card on your own is impossible. In many models of laptops, especially the cheaper ones, graphics cards are integrated with motherboards in a form of a BGA chip. In order to replace it you need not only a lot of knowledge but also the right equipment.
The better laptops have dedicated graphics cards, but even in this case, the replacement of this module will not be easy. Usually, graphics card is located in a computer in such a way that its disassembly, without specialized tools, borders on miraculous. Then the only solution is to use the services of a professional, proven laptop repair shop.
Of course, there are manufacturers who make their notebooks in such a way that you can be tempted to replace the graphics card in them yourself, but here you also need knowledge and manual skills. For example, there are Dell laptops.
Replacing the graphics card is complicated in that you have to remove the hard drive, Wi-Fi module and matrix, keyboard and GPU cooling first. As you can see, to get to the graphics card, it is necessary to disassemble most of the laptop. Then you still have to put it all together. We strongly advise against such home DIY on a valuable laptop. Usually, in such a situation the only sensible idea really is to take the equipment to a service centre. Especially since the reasons for failure can be much more…
Repair and service
If the basic tests described above do not yield any results and you are not sure what the problem is, you should of course go with the device to the nearest service or repair centre. Remember that any attempts to repair the device on your own, apart from basic activities such as replacing the RAM bones or HDD, will void the warranty.