Subscriber Ken Gibson wrote recently asking for my thoughts to help him diagnose power problems with his laptop:
I have a question. I have an hp laptop about 5 years old. The labtop will not power up. Occasionally it will come on and work well, but then when you try to shut it down it will not do so.
In order to shut it down you have to take the battery out. I am wondering if this is a major problem or something that could easily be fixed. I do not want to purchase a new laptop, unless I am sure this one cannot be fixed.
Thanks for any advice you may supply.
I wrote back to Ken to tell him that I thought the power-up problem could be the notebook’s power switch. Or, it could be the motherboard.
The failure to shut down is more questionable, since I’m not sure what he tried before jumping to pulling the battery.
If he tried to use the Windows Shutdown and that didn’t work, that could be a Windows issue, or a motherboard issue.
If he tried to hold the power button down 10 seconds to trigger the shutdown, and if that didn’t work, that would be a hardware issue — but could be something as simple as the power button, or could be something more significant.
I couldn’t give Ken a definitive answer, but perhaps these ideas will help.
Ken wrote back to say:
Thanks you did help. I really believe it is a motherboard issue.
I really do not think I want to be out the expense of fixing this. That would go a long way on a new one.
I think Ken is on the right trail.
Upgrading from a 5-year-old notebook to any current notebook will make a huge difference in his computer power, especially after he removes all the junk that the manufacturers typically load on the system.
By the way, with a new computer, keep in mind that the "free trial" software that the manufacturer kindly provided is actually another income stream to them. If you decide to by the software, the manufacturer usually gets a commission on the sale to you.