Laptop Hardware Problems
Below are a list of common hardware problems associated with Laptops.
Sick Laptop Computer:
Laptop A.C. Adaptor problems:
A laptop is powered by its internal battery or via the A.C. mains adaptor which also charges the battery. A common problem is that the cable which is attached to the mains adaptor becomes frayed and the wires become exposed. This can easily be fixed with a bit of insulation tape. Over a long period of time the mains adaptor may fail but it is easy and quite inexpensive to replace with a compatible mains adaptor.
The components inside a Laptop produce heat and are mainly cooled by a fan which sucks cool air into the vents of the Laptop. It is important not to cover these vents otherwise the Laptop will overheat and the computer will automatically turn itself off. Always put the Laptop on a hard flat surface so that the air can get into the vents and not on your lap or on any surface that will obscure the vents. You can buy Laptop cooling stands which help to keep your Laptop cool.
Over time the air vent and fan can get clogged up with dust which will make it harder for your Laptop to keep cool and more likely to overheat. To fix this problem you will need a can of compressed air and possibly some cotton buds. Unplug the mains lead and remove the battery then hold the compressed air can upright and try blowing out the dust from the air vent. If the dust is hard to get at then you will need to open the Laptop case using precision screwdrivers so that you can gain access to the fan, air vents and any heatsinks. Wnen working inside the Laptop then remove the mains lead and battery and follow anti-static procedures.
Be careful when using the compressed air as it can spin the fan causing it to be damaged. Any crud on the fan blades can be removed with cotton buds.
Power connection damaged:
The D.C. power connector (where your mains lead fits into the laptop) can become damaged if the lead is yanked out of the computer. This can be fixed but will require you to strip the laptop down so that you can get at the connector, unsolder it, and solder a replacement part in its place. You should remove the mains lead and battery before opening the case which will require precision screwdrivers.
Over time the hinges on your laptop may become worn and damaged after repeatedly opening and closing the lid. They may just work themselves loose and you need to tighten the screws to secure the hinges. If the hinges break then you will need to replace them with the correct hinges for your model of Laptop which you may find on Ebay.
Laptop is dead:
If the laptop appears to be dead with no lights on when you try to switch it on then first check that your mains wall outlet is working okay then plug in your Laptop mains adaptor and test it with a multimeter to determine that it is working and there is a voltage. If the Laptop mains adaptor appears to be working then first unplug the mains adaptor and remove the battery, wait for a couple of minutes, you can try pressing and holding the on button to drain any power from the computer for several seconds, and then reconnect the Laptop mains connector and switch on. You could also have a damaged power connector on the Laptop, see above (Power Connection damaged).
Laptop appears to boot up but there is nothing on the screen:
Look closely at the screen to see if there is a faint image which would indicate that the backlight in the screen has failed. If the screen shows no image at all then connect the Laptop to an external monitor. Your Laptop manual should tell you how to toggle the video output to an external monitor usually using a function key. If the external monitor works okay then you either have a problem with the video cable leading from the motherboard to the Laptop screen or the screen has failed. A failed motherboard could also be the problem. If the external monitor shows no image then it could be the RAM or motherboard that has failed. Also try Reseating the RAM (memory modules), if you have two modules then remove one at a time and retest or replace them with known good memory modules.
Time and Date have reset and having problems booting Laptop:
When the time & date reset this usually indicates that the CMOS battery is dead and needs to be replaced. Different Laptop manufacturers use different types of CMOS batteries so you will have to find out what type of battery it uses and where it is located on your Laptop.
The laptop makes unusual grinding noises:
This could either be a faulty cooling fan or a Hard Disk Drive that is about to fail. You should first backup all your important files. You will then need to open the Laptop case so that you can see the Hard Disk Drive and the cooling fan(s) and can determine where the sound is coming from. If it is the Hard Disk Drive then you can replace it with a standard 2.5 inch drive. Make sure that the fan(s) and vents are clean and free of dust.
I dropped a drink all over my Laptop:
Immediately switch off your Laptop and remove the mains adaptor and the battery to prevent a short circuit and damage to the electronics. If it is a bad spillage then tip the Laptop upside down to prevent the liquid from getting into the main body of the computer and let any liquid drain out of the computer. Dry the outside of the computer with a lint-free cloth or tissue as best as you can then leave the Laptop to dry overnight or longer if required before switching it back on. Depending on the liquid that has been spilt you may have to remove the keyboard and open the case to remove any dried liquid residue using distilled water and cotton buds.
If your Laptop is still under warranty then it is recommended to have them fix any problems rather than doing it yourself which will most likely cause your warranty to be made void.
When working inside your Laptop you should follow anti-static procedures.