For the hundreds of thousands of people who depend on their laptops for anything and everything, finding out that their laptop won't boot is one of the most frightening things imaginable. Not only is it impossible to access that invaluable data stored on an inoperable laptop, but fixing the problem can sometimes cost a large fee at the local computer repair shop. The one silver lining to a computer that won't turn on is that it can sometimes be fixed on the spot without needing to take it to a computer repair specialist.
The first step in troubleshooting a malfunctioning laptop is to make sure that it is getting power when plugged into a wall socket. The best way to do this is to plug it in, then look for a light somewhere on the laptop that signifies the laptop is charging or powered.
If that light isn't working as it should, then check to see that the charging unit is in good condition. Ensure that there are no exposed wires. Once that's done, make sure that everything fits together snugly. In many charging units, there will be one particular wire that connects to the laptop itself with a DC-to-AC transformer connected to it and a cord that plugs into the transformer part and the wall. If the charging light does not come on, then try wiggling the connections.
If the laptop has been charged properly, make note of what happens when it is powered on. If there are any blinking lights that normally aren't blinking, then consult the owner's manual. A blinking light usually denotes that there is a problem with some part of the laptop's hardware. The number of blinks and the rapidity of the blinks should be enough to find out what's wrong. This will also make it much easier to determine if the laptop actually needs to be sent in for some repair.
If the laptop doesn't have an issue turning on, then determine what part of the start up process it's getting stuck on. If the laptop reaches the operating system's loading screen but proceeds to hang, then there is likely an issue with the operating system itself. Usually such problems are caused by drivers that were recently installed or malicious software that has damaged some of the computer's software.
There are a few ways that this can be fixed without losing everything on the laptop's hard drive. Determine whether or not it can be started in safe mode. If safe mode does work, then try performing a roll back to an earlier date. If that doesn't work, then try uninstalling the most recently installed programs and drivers.
If safe mode cannot be launched, then try using a repair utility to fix any corrupt system files. If that doesn't work, try reinstalling the operating system itself again. When reinstalling the operating system, make sure to avoid reformatting the hard drive. Reformatting will delete all the data stored on the hard drive, which means that all programs and documents will be deleted.
If the laptop still won't boot, then it's time to take it into a specialist. If a specialist needs to be hired, a good idea of what may be wrong with the laptop will help prevent unnecessary work and minimize the repair bill.
These tips should allow a laptop that won't turn on to start when there's no major malfunction in the laptop hardware. Just be sure to remember that a laptop doesn't always need to be sent off to a specialist to be repaired. If it doesn't boot up, then a specialist should at least give an idea about the cost involved in repairing the computer.