TIPS & SUGGESTIONS FOR LAPTOPS AND PORTABLE DEVICES
1. Laptop-specific power problems involve rechargeable batteries and the external AC power adapters that put the portability into laptops
2. AC adapter problems fall into two categories: damage or failure of the original AC adapter, and damage to the computer due to using the wrong AC adapter.
3. The AC adapter voltage, amperage, and polarity must match those required by the laptop.
4. A battery that is not properly inserted or charged, an old battery that can no longer hold a charge, or defective new batteries can cause battery problems.
5. If a laptop fails to power up when connected to an AC power source, suspect the AC adapter.
6. If a PDA won’t power on, make sure that the battery is charged (most don’t come with AC adapters).
7. If your PDA or tablet PC is no longer recognizing handwriting, you probably need to calibrate the digitizer.
8. Before troubleshooting for an AC adapter problem, remove any hardware devices that were installed since the laptop last powered up normally.
9. Eliminate other usual suspects, such as an external monitor that is in sleep mode or not powered up.
10. If using the laptop’s integrated display, eliminate it as the source of the problem.
11. If your laptop battery discharges very quickly or will not charge all the way, replace it.
12. If you are having problems with a Wi-Fi connection on a laptop, make sure that the physical switch on the back or side of the laptop is on. Not all laptops have these switches to turn on Wi-Fi, but many do. If your laptop has a Fn key combination for enabling wireless networking, check to make sure it is enabled.
13. If the touch pad on a laptop isn’t working, make sure it hasn’t been disabled via a Fn key combination, or utility provided by the manufacturer.
14. If you are getting strange output when typing on your laptop, check to make sure that you haven’t accidentally enabled an overlay via the Fn key. Some laptops come with overlays that fit on top of the keyboard and are activated using a Fn key combination. As an example, my Toshiba laptop has a 10-key overlay that is activated by pressing Fn + F9.
15. If the keyboard isn’t working at all, the keypad connector may have been disconnected.
16. If you aren’t getting any sound on a PDA or laptop, make sure the sound is not only turned up in the operating system, but on the device as well.
17. Once you eliminate other simple causes, proceed to troubleshoot the AC adapter
18. If a laptop fails, and you have eliminated power as the source of the problem remove all peripherals and add them back one at a time until you have isolated the cause to one device.
19. Check with the manufacturer if you are unable to solve the problem. It may be covered by warranty, or may be part of a recall that will resolve the problem.
20. Like a desktop PC, if a laptop fails at POST, you may have to enter the Setup mode to discover the cause and possibly apply a solution.
21. Hardware can cause some instability problems. For instance, if a system hangs when attempting to use an optical disc, remove the disc and wait a few minutes to see if the system recovers. Then clean the disc and reinsert it.
22. If system instability keeps you from closing applications and Windows itself, try opening Task Manager and closing the program listed as “not responding.”
23. A laptop display may appear to have failed because the display mode function key has switched it to external monitor only. Try pressing the display mode key combination to change the mode.
24. The wires for a laptop LCD panel must pass through the hinge of the lid, and therefore the wiring can come loose at this point. Contact the manufacturer or authorized repair center for help with this problem.
25. The LCD panel in a laptop and other portable devices is vulnerable to temperature extremes, in which case it may go blank. Remove it from exposure.
26. When running a video, if the sound works, but the window in which the video is to run is blank, reduce the screen resolution and run the video again.
27. The fluorescent tubes that backlight the LCD screen in a laptop are fragile and can break the laptop have rough handling. This will cause the display to dim or go totally dark.
28. Most LCD panels (laptop or external) have a few dead or lit pixels. Large numbers of these can distort areas of the screen. If you find this is the case contact the manufacturer for a replacement LCD panel.
29. To isolate a display problem to the video adapter, attach an external display and see if there is still a failure to display. Display adapters are built into laptops, and if one have failed, and then you must contact the manufacturer or an authorized dealer.