Why won’t my laptop turn on even when plugged in?

If your laptop was working normally by the time you switched off but will not power on even if it is plugged in, you don’t have to throw it through the window. There are several ways you can troubleshoot the problem and have it fixed.

To troubleshoot your laptop, you have got to begin with the basics, heading on to the more complex methods; and if it fails, please find remedy in consulting a qualified repair technician.

So why won’t your laptop turn on even when plugged in?

There are several reasons a laptop will turn on even if it is plugged in. They range from simple issues to very complex one that may require you to consult a specialized technician.

  1. Cross check battery status

  2. Possibilities of overheating

  3. Malfunctioning peripherals

  4. Residual power in circuits

  5. Broken power chord

  6. Failed internal hardware

  7. Drained CMOS battery

Here are the issues that may cause your laptop fail to switch on

1. Failed battery 

If at the moment your sole source of power is the battery, you should endeavor to check if it is functioning properly. Laptop batteries have a tendency of slowly but surely degrading and they will reach a point when they can’t handle it anymore.

The first step in troubleshooting a battery is to remove the battery and ascertain that its terminals are functioning properly. Dirty or rusted battery power terminals will have issues with conducting a required amount of electricity to power your laptop.

If the terminals are dirty, ensure to clean them up by blowing compressed air or scrap off rusted particles on the terminals.

Plug in your battery, then insert the charging cord and switch on. If the laptop powers on, you will have solved the problem; however if there is more to the problem than just a simple cleaning of terminals, you have got to troubleshoot further.

2. Possibilities of overheating

Source: reliancedigital.in

Naturally, overheating causes lots of havoc in laptops; among which is failing of laptop motherboard, RAM, Hard drive or even the batteries.

Usually laptops have a standard temperature above which they should not function normally. Manufacturers like Apple have gone on to include a safe temperature at which the laptop will shut down without warning.

In most cases when your machine shuts down due to overheating, hardly will it switch on before cooling off the heat that caused it to shutdown.

Also during overheating, the laptop battery will tend to malfunction. This is as a result of the increased reaction of the ions that make up the lithium batteries.

Heat usually interferes with these ions making them run faster than usual and therefore the battery will have very limited power to support the laptop.

3. Malfunctioning peripherals

Peripherals are external hardware components that connect to the laptop through ports, infra-red or Bluetooth.

..In some not so common instances, a laptop may fail to power on even when plugged in due to a malfunctioning external device…

In some not so common instances, a laptop may fail to power on even when plugged in due to a malfunctioning external device. This may probably be due to outdated drivers, physical damage to the device or short circuits in its system.

To fix this kind of issue, you will have to unplug all these hardware ports, then try to power on. If your laptop powers on, congratulations; but you need to deal with the problem whole and square.

To fix the problem permanently, you will have to switch on and off your laptop several times; plugging a single peripheral before you switch on so that you are able to know the actual device causing havoc.

Once you have known the device, you will have to update your device drivers if the drivers are outdated. If the problem is physical damage, you may consider opening up the device if possible and fix whatever went loose.

Overall it is advisable to take your damaged peripheral to a qualified technician for repair if you are not confident enough to do the required repair.

4. Residual power in laptop motherboard circuits

You might probably be wondering what residual power is? Residual power is any kind of current that remains in the circuit of the motherboard when you have powered off.

Sometimes, though not so often; this kind of power may cause the laptop to fail powering on even if you plug into the mains because it is low and yet preventing current from circulating through the board.

To ensure that your laptop motherboard is not holding any residual power:

Step 1: Unplug the power cable from the mains and from the power port of the laptop. Remove the battery, press down and hold the power button for about 60 seconds.

Step 2: Next is to plug in your battery firmly and then connect the power cable. Switch on your laptop from the power button.

Note: For unibody models of MAC and other manufacturers, this kind of method may not work for you. This is due to the inbuilt nature of your laptop battery; therefore it may be only possible to take your laptop to a technician for available repair options.

5. Broken power chord

Source: thespruce.com

Did you know that the power chord of your laptop may be damaged without your knowledge?

In most cases this happens as a result of placing a sharp heavy object on top of it, in that the inside electrical wire breaks without the insulation giving any signs of breakage.

So once you power on a laptop with a battery is totally drained, it will not power on.

To fix this issue, you will have to check the whole length of the power chord and determine if it is still in proper shape. However if this is not the case, you may have to plug off the length that is damaged and replace it with a usable piece.

There may be instances of a burnt fuse; if such is the case you may remove the burnt fuse from the plug head and replace it with a functioning one.

6. Failed internal hardware

If the above options haven’t helped you; the other alternative will be to check and ascertain the health status of internal hardware parts of your laptop such as the RAM, hard disk, connecting cables and Bios chip.

…When RAM chips fail or get damaged or move out of position, your laptop will not start because it has no memory…

When RAM chips fail or get damaged or move out of position, your laptop will not start because it has no memory; just imagine cutting your head off, how will you live?

You may need to open up the laptop and then have them replaced if damaged or plug them in firmly if they moved out of position.

On the other hand a damaged hard disk will not let your laptop power on either; because it actually holds your operating system.

If your hard disk has shown signs of failure before, you may consider opening up your laptop and then try to install a new hard disk.

For any damaged cables, you can easily solder them using a soldering gun and then attach insulating cello tape at the joint.

7. Drained CMOS battery 

You may be wondering what a CMOS battery is or what it does.

CMOS battery is the battery, (in the shape of a watch battery, though larger) that powers your BIOS chip. It is available on all computer motherboards.

Since this battery powers the Bios chip which stores, the date, time and boot settings. So even if you completely power off, your computer; these settings are always stored; thanks to this battery.

Once this battery is drained, probably your laptop may fail to power on even if it is plugged in.

6 Signs that show your CMOS battery has failed?

1. Loss of current date, time, NUMS etc

2. Your laptop will prompt a Boot error while trying to switch on

3. Your mouse may begin failing to function properly

4. Device drivers may malfunction even if you appropriately update them

5. Your laptop may produce a constant sharp piercing sound.

6. Sometimes your laptop may abruptly shut down and eventually fail to power on even if you plug in the main.

How do you deal with a failed CMOS battery?

The quickest and only solution to a failed CMOS battery is replacing it.

These batteries usually have a lifespan of 5 years if the laptop is usually kept charging; for laptop that rarely get plugged into the mains will have their CMOS  battery at least take you 3 years.

Grace yourself with a screwdriver to open up your laptop. Find the CMOS battery, record its specifications and contact the manufacturer for the replacement.

Once delivered, pluck out the old one and replace it with a new one. This should get your problem of the laptop failing to power on even if plugged into a power source.

Conclusion

Has your laptop ever failed to power on even when you plug in? You have probably fidgeted trying to fix it quickly so that you can get rolling with your work.

With the tips to diagnose and fix these kinds of problems above, you won’t have to panic any more.

Grace yourself with one of the tips above and you will be good to go.

Happy computing!

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