Laptop won't start ...

  Heefie 08:15 01 Mar 2011
Locked

My wife was using the laptop in the front room yesterday, no problem with it at all. My daughter then took it into the kitchen and loaded a kids program via YouTube to watch, but paused it as she needed to do something else. I decided to use it to look something up, unplugged it from the mains charger & brought it into the front room, sat down only to finds it was frozen, the mouse wouldn’t move, Ctrl-Alt-Delete didn’t do anything, it was totally frozen (which it does from time to time, usually when YouTube is running, so I didn’t worry too much).

I turned it off using the power switch, held it down for about 6 seconds or so & it powered down, again, no problem, nothing out of the ordinary. However, it now won’t start up again, pushing the power switch does nothing, there’s not even a flicker of life. This is identical whether or not I have the mains charger in or out and whether I have the battery in or out, BUT, the mains charger light is on and the Orange light indicating that it is receiving power comes on and goes off with the plugging in & out of the power lead !!!

My question is how on earth do I find out what has failed ?!?!? I would think the power switch would be the easiest and cheapest to replace, but as it turned the machine off OK, I suspect it’s not that … which frightens me into all kinds of expensive and/or unfixable errors !!!

The laptop is an Acer Aspire 5100 and is about 6 or 7 years old. I am capable of opening it up and replacing things if need be, I mostly know what I am doing with computers, but unfortunately I have no money to just try one thing after another !!!

  Taff™ 08:35 01 Mar 2011

Remove the battery and the charger lead. Hold the power button down for 30-45 seconds and then plug just the charger lead in. Reboot. Repeat a couple of times if it doesn`t work at first. Let us know.

  Heefie 13:34 01 Mar 2011

I actually tried this last night, Taff, and it made no difference. What I have done this morning, though, is turn it on and there is power ... the light is coming on, the option to boot into SETUP appears, then I get the flashing cursor & nothing else, it's like it's getting power now, but not enough !!!

I then rebooted and went into SETUP, and now this is quite bizarre ... my Arrow keys are not doing as you'd expect !!! If I press the Right arrow key, my cursor goes Left, as it does if I press the Left key. If I press the Up Arrow key, sometimes it goes Left, sometimes it does nothing, and if I press the Down Arrow key, it just Beeps at me !!!! Rebooting does NOT resolve this ...

I have just returned from a trip shopping & have booted it up successfully using a WinXP Ultimate boot CD, in which all the keys seem to be doing as you'd expect them to do, so I guess my next test is just a normal reboot ... I shall report back, but if you have any ideas I'd be interested to hear them, this is so strange !!!

  T0SH 16:20 01 Mar 2011

Laptops and kitchens (with wet areas) never bode well in my experience

Try booting up to the XP cd and choosing the the press "R" option to get to the recovery console

It should prompt you to choose a windows install to boot to (mostly there will be only one choice choose by typing in the number 1,2 etc and when prompted for a password just hit the enter key) if you get this far then it is detecting the hard drive with a windows install

This will get you to a command prompt where you could try typing chkdsk /r to scan the disk for errors and fix any it finds

There are a number of other commands you can also use like fixboot fixmbr etc

Goggle for "recovery console commands" will get you the how to use these commands

If all else fails Acer have a destructive restore to factory condition option the how to is explained here

click here


Cheers HC

  Bris 16:43 01 Mar 2011

My guess is that your HDD has failed or become disconnected.

  Heefie 17:22 01 Mar 2011

Thanks to you all ... at the moment everything is OK. On the reboot it told me that Windows hadn't shut down properly, so I let it restart normally and so far everything is going great. I will, however, reseat the HD & check it for errors overnight ... and it has now been banned from the kitchen ... just in case !!!

  robin_x 17:46 01 Mar 2011

Tell your daughter she is "faulty" and will have to go away to the dark TechGuys warehouse. ;-)

  woodchip 18:24 01 Mar 2011

And my Guess is it all started by loading game from utube. Start in Safe Mode and remove the Game and run System Restore If its XP

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