Repairing Your Own Laptop

How important is your laptop to you? When your trusted computing companion suddenly develops problems, you may begin to realize how important your laptop truly is.

Before you call a laptop computer technician, it is a good idea to first take a good look at the problem and figure out if you can solve it by yourself. Most laptop problems are surprisingly simple to fix, without a need for a computer professional. Here are some common laptop problems wherein you can perform a do-it-yourself fix:

Laptop does not turn on

This can be a very alarming problem, but before you panic and call every techie person that you know, make sure that you do some simple checks on the laptop. Is the power cord plugged in? A laptop has batteries and can run even when unplugged from the outlet, but sometimes the batteries may be discharged or may have become defective. When this happens, you will need to plug in your laptop to the power outlet every time you use it. If it turns on when plugged in, it is almost certain that the battery is the problem.

No display on the laptop screen

When there is no display on the laptop LCD but all the indicator lights are on, the laptop is probably set to projector or external monitor mode. This means that the laptop is set to use an outside monitor. This can easily be fixed by pressing a keyboard shortcut – usually the FN key plus the key with the monitor icon. Keep pressing the key combination until you see a display on your laptop screen. If this doesn’t work, hold the power button down for about 10 seconds until the laptop shuts down (all the indicator lights are off). Then power on the laptop again. This should re-initialize the laptop along with the display.

No internet connection

This problem may have many causes. The first thing to do is to check with your internet service provider (ISP) if they are having problems in your area. If you have another computer that is connected to the same ISP and can connect to the internet, then the ISP is not the problem. If your laptop is connected through a network cable, make sure that the cable is secure on both ends and that the hub, switch or router on the other end is powered on. If the laptop is connected through a wireless network, check if the wireless router is powered on. Restart all devices to re-initialize them.

Laptop touchpad not working

On most laptops, there is a switch to turn on and off the built-in touchpad. It is usually located on top or beside the touchpad. It can also have controls on the software. Make sure to check the settings on your laptop’s touchpad software.

Laptop takes a very long time to start-up

A common reason why laptops are slow in booting up is the number of programs that it runs upon startup. On a laptop with Microsoft Windows, You can check the startup programs at Start – Programs – Startup. If you see many programs listed, try to remove those that you do not recognize. Most programs do not need to run at startup anyway – like messaging software, printer monitors, manufacturer’s health check software, etc. You can run those software manually should you need to use them. Be careful though; do not remove those that are really needed by your laptop upon startup.

Most laptop software problems are fixed by doing a simple shutdown and restart. This may sound weird for non – technical people, but it is very true. You may notice that almost all technicians will ask you if you did a restart when you report a software problem. The reason why shutting down and restarting helps is because when a system starts up, it automatically cleans up and re-initializes itself. This may cause software errors to go away upon next restart. It is also a good practice to shutdown your laptop at the end of each working day. Do not always leave it on standby mode.

Lastly, use common sense in figuring out solutions to computer problems. You may be surprised how much money you will save by taking time to research about your laptop problem and applying simple solutions.