1 Can Help, PC Problem Solving & Training Services

This page is intended to help if your laptop will not start.


Laptop Failed?

Regarding laptops that do not start….. there are several possibilities:

1. The motherboard could be stuck in some “hardware needs its’ capacitors cleared mode” the way to attempt to fix this is as follows: Unplug the laptop turn it over and remove the battery (usually there are catches retaining the battery underneath the laptop and the battery will generally either slide or lift out from the underside or edges).

Having removed the mains cable and the battery you then open the laptop and hold down the on / off switch for 30 seconds, release and repeat 4 times.

Then re-insert the battery, re-connect the mains and try to switch the machine on, if you get messages about wanting to check the hard drive for errors then please accept them and let them be carried out, this might take some time, possibly up to an hour, very occasionally however this will take much more time, in which case please call a hardware support company (I use Uniserve in Sussex, UK who are contactable on 01825 873008), these are important checks made to test the system for fitness after problems and hopefully the laptop will then start.

At this point I always offer the following for consideration:

How good is your backup? and how old is you PC? and when (not if) is your hard drive going to fail? These questions allow for consideration of decisions to be made about your next IT moves.

If the machine is still dead after the foregoing then the possibilities include:

2. Power supply fused, failure or cable damage.

3. Power supply socket damage; either at the connection end or where soldered to the motherboard.

4. Battery failure.

5. Loose RAM module or other plug-in component problems.

6. Hard drive failure (note: usually you can switch the machine on even though the drive is failing or has failed) the only solution to this is to buy a new drive and hope to be able to salvage some data from the old drive by data recovery specialists (please talk to Uniserve 01825 873008). Please see details about hard drives on my hints page here.

7. Motherboard failure; solution, buy a new laptop (probably a good idea to talk to Uniserve on 01825 873008 as they supply hardware). Sadly the solution to buy a new one is a no brainer because motherboard replacements are very expensive and components for anything but recent machinery might be difficult to source. Your data should still be on the hard drive but the motherboard is preventing access to it, once the hard drive is extracted and attached to a new machine the data should be transferrable to that. (If things get to this point this is a service I can provide).

8. If you have a current warranty then call the manufacturer. If you took out extended warranty and it is still current then call whoever provides that.


9. If machine starts but will not load Windows the problem could be virus or spyware related, please see details on my hints page here.


The information on this page is believed to be accurate at the time of writing, but is subject to change without notice.

Whilst I have mentioned a number of companies products on this page please note that any warranty and performance issues rest with the producers of these products and not with me. I hereby acknowledge all copyright rests with the respective owners and cannot be held  responsible for the performance (or not) of any of these products nor can I guarantee that services available from external websites will continue to be available or will continue to operate as described above.  You should always maintain an up to date backup of essential data and never install new software without disabling all running programmes and ensuring that your backup is readable.


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