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John, Computer Support Specialist
Category: Computer
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Experience:  MCP, RHCE
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My 3 year old laptop won't power on, even after being

Customer Question

My 3 year old laptop won't power on, even after being connected to AC charger for hours. I thought it might just be a shot battery. Unintentially, I've operated incorrectly for an extended period, leaving the laptop plugged in for hours while I worked online -- which I just learned from speaking with the Tech "expert" at my local Office Depot, can ruin the battery. Proper procedure (as they now advise) is to fully charge battery, then operate on battery power until it fully drains...then recharge back to full charge. Didn't know that / didn't do that for 3 years, leaving unit plugged in for hours while unit was on while I worked. So now that the laptop won't power on at all, I thought the problem might be a shot battery. But the Tech "experts" at Office Depot advise that the problem is not likely a shot battery but rather a shot or corrupted mother board which would need to be replaced to bring the laptop back to full working order -- an investment not worth it given that I could purchase a new computer for same price if not less. Question: Is the Tech "expert's" advice accurate? When a laptop won't power on, even after being plugged in to AC charger for hours, is the mother board really shot such that it is more economical to just buy a new laptop? Or is the Tech "expert" at Office Depot feeding me a line just so I will buy a new laptop from them? (Note: I already did buy a new laptop from them a paid for a data transfer from the broken laptop to the new laptop. But I also asked them if there was any way to salvage the broken laptop as a back-up computer. But then they said that replacing the mother board would be more expensive than buying a new computer -- in my case, now a second new computer purchased ostensibly, from them (although they made no direct pitch to sell me a second new computer.) Hmmmmm......Might the problem with the laptop that won't power on be just a loose connection between the AC charging port and the battery versus a completely shot mother board? The laptop operated just fine until it was last shut off -- and then would not power on again after being connected to the AC charger for hours.) The Operating System on the laptop that won't power on is Windows 8.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Computer
Expert:  John replied 10 months ago.

Hello and welcome to justanswer. My name is***** will be assisting you today. I am sorry to hear that you are having such trouble. I will try my best to help you.

Regarding your question of replacing motherboard Yes replacing motherboard is expensive and it will cost almost the same price of new laptop but there are some chip level repair techs who may be able to fix it without replacing the motherboard fully but before going to all of that i need to know whether you have tried a battery reset to see it can be fixed.

What is the make and model of the laptop?

Thank you

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Customer: replied 10 months ago.
It is a Hewlett Packard Pavillion but I do not at this moment have possession of it. It is held by the Tech department at my local Office Depot, awaiting my further instructions as to what to do with it. They have removed the hard drive for purposes of performing the Data Transfer which is now complete. I am typing from the new computer I purchased, now loaded with the data from the HP Pavillion that would not power on. I was going to direct Office Depot to wipe the hard drive on the HP Pavillion and then sell the unit for scrap parts. But then it occurred to me that I may have a perfectly good computer save some minor repair that would bring the unit to power on. Why erase all that expensive programming and data if the HP Pavillion can be brought back to operational status with a minor repair? So that is what I am exploring here -- i.e. might the repair need be minor? Or does the mother board need replacing? Note that the Tech "Expert" did not do a direct test of the mother board. They just tried powering on in various ways and when they could not, surmised that it was a shot mother board. But again, it was a guess and not a direct test of the mother board. Beyond "HP Pavillion", I don't have further details on the Model number at this writing but can obtain so in a few hours if that information is critical to your answer. I am happy to leave this question open if giving you the Model Number is ***** to your response. Please advise.
Expert:  John replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for the details.

Well do you know whether the battery on the bottom of the laptop can be removed or not,if it can be removed you can try a battery reset.To do that please follow the instruction.

Make sure the the laptop completely off and disconnect the power adapter/charger. Remove the battery and press and hold the power button for about 60 seconds. Releases the button do not insert the battery back now plug the adapter back and turn on the computer. See if the problem persists.

Some of the models doesn't have user removable battery in that case look for a battery reset pin hole which usually on the bottom of the laptop or in the left or right side of the laptop.If you see one do the following

Make sure the the laptop completely off and disconnect the power adapter/charger.Then use a paper clip to press into the reset hole gently for 30 seconds then release and try to power up it.

In some models neither of these options are there,in such case simply remove the power adapter/charger then press and hold the power button for 60 seconds and release the power button and check it.

If none of the above works then it needed to be checked by a chip level technicians who can check the motherboard section by section so that he can identify the problem,in some cases simple servicing or replacing of minor components can fix it which wont cost much.The problem is finding a chip level technicians which most of the retailers don't have such technicians but you can ask any of your friends who are in IT or computer field they may be able to find one for you.If that tech also says to replace the motherboard then scrap it.

I hope you are clear now,if you have any doubts please let me know.

If you do not have any further questions please rate me using the rating options (stars) on the top of this page, select the rating and click on submit. If you need any help in the future please use this link to ask for me



Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The battery is detachable....but again, the laptop is not in my hands at this time. I can attempt a battery reset later today when I anticipate that I will have possession of it again after retrieval from the Office Depot "repair center".Resetting the battery may solve the problem of the laptop not powering on.If it does not, what are the chances that there is a disconnect between the AC charging port and the battery? I don't want to purchase a new battery (not cheap) only to find out that the battery was not the problem. What are the most common causes of a laptop not powering on?
Expert:  John replied 10 months ago.

I apologize for the delay in getting back to you.

You do not need to buy a battery or anything if the reset didn't fix.

If battery reset isn't working then 2 things you can check,see if there is any light indicator on the power adapter (some models have it) if so it will lit up when you plug in the power adapter.

If there is no light indicator on the adapter then there is definitely a power/charging light on the laptop see if it lit up when the adapter is connected and on.In that way you can make sure the power adapter is working and sending power to the laptop also you do not need a battery to power up laptop which means only by connecting the power adapter you can power up the laptop.

Chances of disconnect between power adapter and battery are slim but again without opening the laptop we cannot know that too. When it comes to opening and checking the port and board It is better to check it by a chip level tech.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I live in a mid-to-small size town of 80k people in a remote area of deep South Texas. This is not a major metropolitan area. As a result, we do not have many computer "tech specialists" in the area at all. You refer to a "Chip Level" tech specialist I might avail. I've Googled "Chip Level" tech specialists, and even therein, are few references. You throw around this term....:"Chip Level Tech Specialist" if it were common jargon. Hello? Earth to John? The world -- not even internet -- uses this term with such casual familiarity that it throws down as if one is an IDIOT for not knowing what it means. You operate in your world of specialty with your own jargon, expecting the rest of the world knows exactly every --- ACRONYM -- that you throw out. Let's go to my world, John. What is your EBITDA? Do you have any idea what your EBITDA is? Without that number, I can't help you.Speak PLAINLY, Sir. I don't know what a "Chip Level" Tech Specialist is...and have next to NIL confidence that any such advanced individual could be found in my region for at least 150 miles around.Hablas Espanol?
Expert:  John replied 10 months ago.

Sorry if i confused you, when i say chip level technician it only means a person who have advanced knowledge in electronic components especially computer electronic components in a motherboard,power supply board etc.Not sure why you couldn't find it when you googled it also you could simply ask me what it meant i could have explained it.If you are remote area then i am not sure whether there is any techs with such knowledge but you can ask Office Depot people but again they may not give you the contact details if they are interested in getting that laptop for a scrap price so trying the reset method might be the only option sorry about that.

Once again i apologize for using technical term.