In this article, I will briefly cover the most common laptop hardware problems and give you some tips on how to find and fix them.
Fault 1 – The laptop does not turn on at all
When you connect the power supply to the laptop, the power indicator does not light up at all. When you press the power button, nothing happens. The laptop seems to be completely dead, does not make any sounds, does not show any signs of life.
- The power supply failed and the battery was completely discharged. In this case, check the power supply with a voltmeter. If it’s dead, replace it with a new one
- The DC connector is defective and the motherboard is not receiving power from the power supply. In this case, you need to replace the DC socket
- The motherboard is defective. The motherboard should be replaced if it is not too expensive and can be found commercially. Otherwise, be prepared to buy a new computer.
Fault 2 – Nothing appears on the display
The laptop turns on, the power LED lights up, the cooling fan runs, but nothing appears on the screen. The screen is completely black and blank. There is no image on the screen at all.
- It could be a memory failure. One of the memory modules may have failed. In this case, you can try reinstalling the memory modules to make sure the memory connector is making good contact. You can try removing the memory modules one by one and test the laptop with only one module installed. You can try replacing the memory modules.
- If reinstalling/replacing the memory doesn’t help, try removing the hard drive, DVD drive, modem, wireless card, keyboard, and so on. In other words, disassemble the laptop as much as possible and retest. If the laptop still won’t turn on, it’s likely that your motherboard or processor has failed.
Fault 3 – Laptop keeps turning on and off
The laptop turns on but nothing appears on the display. After a few seconds, it turns itself off. Then it turns on and off again.
Most likely, this is a malfunction of the motherboard. You can try reinstalling/replacing the memory as I described in Fault 2. If that doesn’t help, the motherboard is most likely defective.
Fault 4 – The laptop makes noise during operation
The laptop turns on and everything works fine, except that it constantly makes strange rustling or rattling noises.
In most cases, this noise comes from the cooling fan or the hard drive. The first thing to look at is the cooling fan.
If the fan is not spinning and the laptop is making noise, the sound may be coming from the hard drive. Back up all personal data as soon as possible and replace the hard drive.
You can also remove the hard drive and turn on the laptop. If the laptop is still noisy, it’s most likely a fan problem.
Fault 5 – Laptop shuts down or slows down a lot
The laptop works fine, but after a while, it turns off without warning or starts to slow down a lot. When this happens, if you feel its underside, you can see that it has warmed up. Also, the cooling fan is louder than usual.
This is most likely a temperature-related issue. This is because the fan heatsink is clogged with dust and the processor is not cooling properly. Cleaning the fan and heatsink from dust should fix this problem.
Fault 6 – Battery does not charge properly
The battery has stopped charging properly. It does not charge at all or only charges after you change the position of the power supply plug in the power connector.
- Battery failure. If it doesn’t charge fully, try reconnecting the battery first. Also try to start the laptop only from the power supply with the battery removed. If it works fine from the power supply, the cause of the malfunction is most likely a bad battery or a faulty motherboard. First try changing the battery to a new one.
- Faulty DC power connector. If the battery only charges after you turn or tilt the power supply plug inside the laptop connector by hand, then the socket is most likely defective.
Fault 7 – Display backlight does not work
The laptop starts normally, but after a while, the screen turns off. The image is still visible on the screen, but it is very dark.
In some cases, the screen backlight never turns on and all you can see is a barely visible image.
This is most likely either a screen inverter failure or a backlight lamp (CCFL) failure. If one of these devices fails, the backlight stops working.
To solve this problem, you will need replacement parts: either a new working inverter or a known good backlight.
Fault 8 – Strange or distorted image on the display
The laptop turns on, but the display is damaged or distorted.
- Graphics card failure. First of all, connect an external monitor or TV to your laptop. If you see the same distorted image on an external display, the graphics card is most likely bad.
- If the problem only appears on the laptop screen, it may be due to one of the following reasons: poor contact between the video cable and the motherboard or display. The video cable or screen may also be defective.
Fault 9 – Some keys on the keyboard do not work
Most likely, the laptop keyboard is out of order, and it will not be possible to fix it. Get ready to replace your laptop keyboard.
Fault 10 – Keyboard missing or broken keys
The key fell off the laptop keyboard.
The solution to the problem:
If a key has fallen off the keyboard, it can still be repaired.
If several keys on your keyboard are missing at once, it may make sense to replace the entire keyboard.
Fault 11 – Repeating beep when turning on the laptop
After turning on the laptop, there is no image on the screen. Instead, it starts emitting a repeating beep. In some cases, you can temporarily “fix” the problem by pressing keyboard keys.
The solution to the problem:
Most likely, you have sunk some keys. In this case, you will have to replace the keyboard.
Fault 12 – Liquid was spilled on the laptop
You spilled something on your laptop and it stopped working.
The solution to the problem:
Liquid spills are very dangerous and unpredictable. If this happens, turn off the laptop as soon as possible, remove the battery, and do not turn on the laptop until all internal parts have been inspected for liquid damage. Perhaps the laptop can be made to work again.