Student-Contributed Wiki

Student-Contributed Wiki

An awesome student from our education program made this wiki. It is not managed by iFixit staff.

Oh no! You try to press the power button but nothing happens!

The battery may have died. Connect the charger to an AC outlet and wait for about 10 minutes, then try to power up the laptop again.

It is also possible that the battery is loose and therefore not making electric contact with the system. You should ensure this is not the case by removing the battery and reseating it.

The guide to remove the battery can be found here.

If charging the battery does not work, it is possible the battery may simply be broken. Since the battery is heavily used, it is typical for it to break, especially after the laptop surpasses 2 to 3 years in age.

Obtain a new battery and replace the defective one.

The guide to remove the battery can be found here.

You plug your computer in and . . . nothing.

Check the outlet. Use a multimeter or a known working device to test that the outlet has power.

Test the charger. You can request a tech store employee to test your charger, or you can test it yourself if you are comfortable using a multimeter. Set the multimeter to read 20V DC and test the laptop end of the charger. If you are reading anything less than 19V then your power adapter on the cord is the problem and must be replaced.

Check the cord. Inspect the entire length of the cord for any worn insulation, cuts, or dents. If it has any of these, the wire may have been separated in the cord and it must be replaced.

If the outlet is powered, you may have a loose connection. If the connection to the laptop feels loose or wobbly, look into the port with a flashlight to inspect for any debris that may be blocking the connection. If something is found, you may gently use a wooden toothpick or compressed air to clear the debris.

A bad connection may also be a symptom of excessive dust. If you believe your laptop may be dusty, use compressed air to clean out the charging port.

Check battery. Test the battery by shutting down the computer, unplug the charger cable, and while the computer is completely shut down, remove the battery from underneath using the sliding switches. Leave the battery disconnected for ten seconds, then reinstall it and power on the laptop without the charger. Once the computer has restarted, plug the charger back in and allow approximately two minutes for the laptop to begin charging. If the computer now charges, the battery must be replaced.

Other battery test. Shut down the computer. Remove the battery and attempt to power on the laptop using only the charger. If the computer starts, the problem is the battery and it must be replaced.

If none of the above have solved the problem, maybe you need to adjust the power level settings. Go to “Control Panel” and click on “Device Manager”. Check to see if there is a low battery level setting that is set too high. This may cause the laptop to not charge, but instead to shut down. If this does not fix the problem, then continue below.

Update or install battery driver. Once again find “Device Manager”. Open the battery tab, right click "Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery," then select "Update Driver Software." Follow the instructions that appear. Restart the computer for the update to take place. If the problem persists, update every setting under the battery tab and restart again.

The keyboard or certain keys appear to not be working

When this happens, the most likely cause is something stuck under it like debris. To fix this, remove the keyboard using this guide. Once you have it removed, use compressed air or tweezers to remove anything that may be stuck under the key that is preventing it from pressed. If they keys are still not working, keep following the guide to replace it.

If the entire keyboard is not working, follow this guide to replace it.

Oh no! You accidently spilled your coffee or water on your laptop!

The first thing you need to do when there is a liquid spill is turn off the computer, disconnect from any power source, and remove the battery to guarantee that there is no power going through the computer. This is so that there is no current going through the computer to prevent further damage to internal hardware.

The second thing you need to do is disassemble it as much as possible using the replacement guides to allow liquid to drain and so that you can wipe down the internal hardware.

The replacement guides can be found here:

  1. RAM
  2. CPU
  3. Hard Drive
  4. Battery
  5. Keyboard

When you have it disassembled, wipe down all hardware with isopropyl alcohol of 90% or higher concentration using q-tips. After you wiped down all components let it air dry in a warm area for a couple days. After a couple days, turn it on to see if there was any damage done. Below are the most common cases of damage after a liquid spill.

If the computer is not turning on then the problem is most likely the battery. Use this guide to replace the battery.

If the computer is turning on and running smoothly but certain keys or the entire keyboard is not working, replace the keyboard using this guide.

You want to listen to/record something but the sound quality is subpar!

If the audio sound is distorted when listening through the laptop’s speakers, the audio driver may be corrupt. Try switching to the Windows native audio driver: first open the Device Manager (type devmgmt.msc in the search box), then expand the "Sound, video & game controllers" and right click on "Realtek High Definition Audio" (or whatever driver is currently installed), select "Update Driver Software", click on "Browse my computer for driver software", click "Let me pick from a list of drivers on my computer", then put a check in the box "Show compatible hardware" if not already checked, then, in the list of devices, click "High Definition Audio" (the native driver), then click "Next" and, on the Update Driver Warning box, click "Yes" (install the driver), and finally, restart the laptop if prompted. If not prompted, then there is no need to restart.

You may have a loose headphone jack. Test audio through the computer speakers, then test it using headphones. If the audio is only distorted while listening via headphones, the audio jack or the headphones themselves may be faulty. Audio that cuts in and out is often a sign of a loose audio jack, so make sure the audio jack is fully inserted in the computer.

Additionally, the physical connections between the microphone/speakers and computer may be faulty. Check to see if the microphone/speakers is fully plugged in, if not, insert it all the way into its port.

If the issue persists try testing the microphone/speakers/headphones in another device.

If your microphone is not producing sound try changing recording settings: first double-click the speaker icon in the System Tray, then click Options in the menu at the top of the window, click Properties, choose Recording in the Adjust Volume For section (do not choose Playback in the Adjust Volume for section, choosing Playback in conjunction with unmuting the mic may cause loud feedback during recordings), then ensure that Mic/Microphone has a checkmark next to it, and finally, click OK.

Your laptop seems to lag and/or often freezes!

The hard drive may be at capacity and is too full to perform optimally. Remove unneeded files and unused applications by moving them to the trash, and emptying the trash. This can include uninstalling, reinstalling, or updating software.

If it is believed that the hard drive is causing slow performance the guide to remove the hard drive can be found here.

It is possible that external hardware is slowing down the system. You should ensure this is not the case by unplugging any external devices including printers, scanners, media card readers, small media cradles (iPod, PDA, MP3 player, etc.), digital cameras and video recorders, USB storage devices, and CDs or DVDs from all optical drives.

Air flow may be blocked, check the vents on the computer to see if they are covered with dust and not allowing heat and air to pass through. If so, turn off your computer, unplug it from power, and use a compressed air can to blow the dust out of the vents.

If overheating persists, and causes your computer to slow down or freeze, the fan may need replacement; the guide can be found here.

If your laptop crashes often, especially during memory intensive operations, it can be a sign of either having too little RAM, or bad RAM. To check whether the RAM is bad remove it and check for cracks or breaks, and if no physical malfunction can b found the RAM is likely not enough.

Thusly, if no other cause for the crashes can be identified, the RAM should be replaced if bad or upgraded if not enough.

The guide to remove and replace the RAM can be found here.

It is possible that the laptop may only appear to be unresponsive due to a broken or malfunctioning screen. To check whether the screen is the culprit turn off your computer and then reboot it (preferably in safe mode). If the screen is still unresponsive or appears incorrect in any way it may be malfunctioning and need replacement.

Thusly, if no other cause for the frozen screen can be identified, the screen should be removed and checked to ensure all wires are connected, and there are no cracks or breaks.


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