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Dead laptop

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by i_got_a_mohawk, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. Hi guys,

    I've got a dead laptop here (HP G61). It had been on, left for a few minutes and on return the screen was blank but the backlight was still on. Non-responsive but turned off after holding the power button.

    Now it won't turn on. Have attempted a hard reset (holding power button for 30 seconds while the laptop is unplugged and the battery is removed). The only light which comes on is one on the side which shows the mains is connected, when the mains cable is connected (but it goes out after 4-5 seconds).

    The only prior warning of issue there had been was a warning about the battery life being poor, though that had been coming up for quite a while.

    I've picked up a replacement battery and charger. I've currently got the hard drive out to backup the data from it.

    Going to post up on a few IT forums too, but the best advice always seems to come from TB. Any help would be much appreciated, it's my parent's laptop and I'd like to get it working again!

    Cheers folks!

    PS - No, I didn't break it, it was just dropped off with me this morning to try and fix!
  2. Garyth

    Garyth Now What ..?

    Sep 9, 2013
    Punta Gorda Florida
    Your answers will abound. simply too many things can do this.
    Any beeps when first powered on?

    * Did you try without putting the battery back in? dead/shorted batteries can load down the circuit.
    * burned out charge circuit - the dead/bad battery overloaded the circuit and overheated it = new mainboard. You can sometimes find a good deal on repair, a few people still do board level.
    * general overheat, not related to battery. Usually laptops power down from heat, sometimes they get 'stuck'. Leave off and unplugged for a while, make sure nothing clogged in fan area.
    * video overheat, typical of some series of laptops, more so of nvidia but affects some ati as well. You have to reflow == get a mainboard. If, by chance, that laptop uses a discrete video board reseating it sometime helps.
    * related to general overheat, bad contact on cpu - remove and reseat - use fresh paste on fan assembly.

    Almost forgot one of the simple fixes I have encountered, pull the memory and put back in. If two modules, do one at a time. A bad module can also do this. sometimes it's the socket so be sure to try both sockets independently.
  3. No BIOS beeps or sounds at all, it seems totally bricked (which I fear may be the case!) the only thing that happens is a light on the side comes on for a few seconds when you plug in the mains, other than that, nothing.

    Yeah, I tried it without the battery and also with the new one, no luck.

    I'm thinking something being burned out is probably the issue, don't think I've ever had something as dead as this before.

    It's been off for weeks, it hasn't just happened (my folks were passing by and dropped it in for me to look at, it hasn't turned on at all since I've had it), the description of it's last sign of life are from what my mum told me.

    No discrete video card, but something having overheated is a possibility, as before.

    If the CPU was bad/poor connection, would there not still be some signs of life (BIOS beeps?).

    Didn't think about the RAM, will pull those and try them one at a time and see if it works, however, when I've had bad RAM in the past, there has at least been some life?
  4. Garyth

    Garyth Now What ..?

    Sep 9, 2013
    Punta Gorda Florida
    too bad

    typical, if video chip issue it means a mainboard, but not if it's only heating too fast - clean/fresh paste after you try the memory

    Nope, bad seated cpu will stall the system before it can do anything. Will do the same thing if it is heating up too fast (also with video) which is why re-seat, fresh paste, clean fan/fins is important.

    Not always, I've spent over 25 yrs in repair. power with no other sign of life due to memory and/or memory socket (with and without beeps) is very common.

    Rarely: the CPU goes bad from it. Only way to test this is to have a matching CPU to drop into it.

    I stopped doing board level repair due to 1) economics, it's just not cost effective. The odds are too high of other issues cropping up after you repair one area and 2) resources, I no longer have a stash of parts to test with.
  5. Surely it would need to power up to have a chance of overheating? Other than the brief light by the cable, nothing happens! Shall check the CPU seating after having tried the RAM tho!

    Cheers for the help thus far!
  6. Garyth

    Garyth Now What ..?

    Sep 9, 2013
    Punta Gorda Florida
    Nope, there is a sensor internal of the cpu, it doesn't have to be hot to the touch. If the sensor detects the temp rising faster the it is coded for, it shuts the cpu off. You end up with your exact symptoms : power and nothing else.

    so, it's not a matter of "it's already hot" it's a matter of "I am gaining in temp too fast, something is wrong".
    All happens before the system has time to post - thus, no bios at all.
  7. Ah, I see. I'd have at least expected a flicker from the monitor, a whir of a fan or the disc platter?

    Incase I was confusing matters earlier, I'm not getting the "On" power led coming on (it's an led my the mains cable that turns on when it's connected to mains, only stays on briefly, goes away after a few seconds, without even pressing the on switch).

    Need to hold off til during the week, need to go and pickup some smaller screwdrivers from work!
  8. Garyth

    Garyth Now What ..?

    Sep 9, 2013
    Punta Gorda Florida
    yep. misread. It's not even trying to turn on. Some of what I said still applies but odds go down. Likely the charge circuit not sending the power good signal anymore or the regulator fried. Still cannot hurt to try the other things unless you deem your time worth more then you willing spend on it or you deem the laptop value too low.
  9. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Connect an external monitor to it? Perhaps the on board display had been disabled?

  10. Buy a Chromebook and move on.

  11. I'll give it a bash and see what happens!

    I haven't tried that, though the deadness of the laptop makes me think nothing will happen (there is no indication that it actually does anything when hitting the power button!).

    It's my parents' laptop, not mine. I'd like to try and save them some money (and not teach a couple over 60's how to use newer tech :bag: )
  12. I had a friend who's laptop acted in a same manner. First, the battery was always low, then, the battery never charged. Finally, the laptop wouldn't power up. We eventually solved the problem by getting a new power supply that matches the power output of the original. The laptop booted up fine like new.

    Even if you pull out all the memory sticks and hard drives, the laptop should power up and leave a message on the screen like "unable to boot" or "boot failed".
  13. I had hoped it would be something as simple as that, as noted, I have a replacement battery and charger, I fear that, as Garyth says, it could be a part of the power circuit within the laptop/on the motherboard.
  14. Garyth

    Garyth Now What ..?

    Sep 9, 2013
    Punta Gorda Florida
    nope, with no memory you will get power and nothing else or, on some models you will get beeps, the screen will show nothing.

    It's Monday freshness - make sure you pulled the dvd/cd drive. If they fail they can also kill the system. They don't typically cause power loss, but it's only one screw to find out :)
  15. That's an odd one I would have never thought of. Will try that when I get back from work!

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