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Student-Contributed Wiki

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My laptop isn't charging even though I have it plugged in.

If your battery is plugged in, but your battery isn’t charging, it may be because you left your computer plugged in for an extended period of time or because the battery is over a year old. In order to get your battery to charge again you will want to make sure the desktop mode is disabled, run an ePSA test on the battery or an Online Diagnostic, or make sure via the BIOS (Basic Input Output System) that the AC Adapter is properly detected.

Another possibility is that the charger’s power brick has overheated. Check that the brick is not being covered by any objects such that it doesn’t receive proper ventilation. If you notice that it is indeed very hot, unplug the charger and wait for it to cool down before plugging it back in. If the charger still does not work, you may need to buy a replacement charger.

The battery may have reached its maximum life (about 3 years), or have one or more dead cells. If none of the solutions above worked, you may need to replace your battery. Here is a guide on how to remove/replace your laptop's battery: Battery Removal Guide

My laptop is taking longer than usual to perform tasks or load pages.

Too many programs running in the background while using your laptop will hog up the processing power of your computer’s CPU. This can depend on your system’s Memory. Close any running background programs which are not in current use in order to free up more processing use for the ones you are currently using.

Slow running/loading speeds can be a result of your laptop’s storage being filled up. To check how much storage space you have left on your laptop, go to your computer’s File Explorer, click “This PC”, and you should see a bar under the C: drive. If you are almost out of storage, try deleting some files you don’t need, or transfer them onto a removable hard drive. If you don’t want to do that, you can install additional RAM, which we have a guide for here.

Your laptop may be slowed as a result of accumulating viruses, spyware and malware. Malware can use up the CPU resources of the computer, slowing the processing speed. Update or download a trusted virus scanning software and scan your computer to identify any potential malware that may be slowing your computer down.

The BSOD can appear when there is a problem with the memory of the laptop. If one or more sticks of RAM (Random Access Memory) is faulty, they can affect how your computer performs and a blue screen may appear. In order to check if faulty memory is causing your problem, search on your Control Panel for “memory”, and then find “Administrative Tools”. Click the option that allows you to diagnose your computer’s memory problems, which will restart your computer and scan for any problems with the memory.

An overheated laptop can cause internal components to stop working, leading to a blue screen of death. If your laptop is unusually hot, the fans are abnormally loud, and/or the ventilation is blocked or full of dust, then you may be experiencing overheating. It is important to reverse the overheating and allow your laptop to cool down in order to avoid any irreversible problems. Keeping the vent clean and free of dust will prevent and stop overheating, so you should clean the ventilation consistently. In addition, keep the laptop on a hard, smooth surface, avoiding surfaces that absorb heat and heat up, therefore heating up your laptop as well. Should you find that one of your laptop's internal fans is defective, here is a guide for replacing it.

My computer randomly shuts down when I don't want it to.

Overheating of the internal components of a computer can lead to crashing. If your laptop feels warm, it may be experiencing overheating. To prevent overheating: use the laptop on a surface which can absorb the heat from your laptop, such as a wooden desk or a textbook, rather than surfaces such as pillows or bedsheets. Ensure that the vents on the side of the base have clear space in front of them. If needed, put off any use of the laptop until its temperature has decreased to a usable level.

Hard drives deteriorate over time, and it can result in loss of data and/or crashing of your computer. If you hear a loud noise coming from your computer before your computer crashes, then you should contact the closest Dell store and check the hard drive. If you are able, backup your files from your hard drive onto another storage device, and diagnose the hard drive to see what can be done to repair it.

Your laptop may be crashing because of a computer virus or malware that has made its way onto your system. Update or download a trusted virus scanning software and scan your computer to identify any potential malware that may be slowing your computer down.

During ordinary use, the laptop will stop responding to any form of input, and will appear ‘frozen’ on the screen.

If your laptop is running too many programs, this may cause the computer to lag. An unresponsive program could cause the entire laptop to freeze, disabling any usage of the mouse or keyboard. If you are able to move your mouse, close any slow running or unresponsive programs. If you have no control over the mouse or keyboard, press and hold the laptop power button until the the laptop is completely powered down. Wait a minute for the computer to rest. Press the power button again to turn the laptop back on and allow it to run normally. Should the laptop ask you to adjust startup settings, refer to previous or default settings.

Note: During a reboot, unsaved information may be lost. Check to see if your program has an autosave setting to prevent lost information in the future.


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