Most common hardware problems in Laptop

In this post, I will go over most common laptop hardware associated problems and give some suggestions how to troubleshoot or repair them. Most common hardware problems in Laptop.

Problem 1: Laptop doesn’t turn on at all. Most common hardware problems in Laptop


When you plug the AC adapter into the laptop. There are no lights turning on at all. When you push on the power button, nothing happens. The laptop appears to be completely dead, makes no sounds, no indications of life.

Possible problem:
– The AC adapter failed and the battery has no charge left. In this case test the AC adapter with a voltmeter. If it’s dead, replace it.
– DC jack failed and the motherboard doesn’t receive any power from the adapter. In this case the DC jack has to be replaced.
– Motherboard failed. The motherboard has to be replaced, if it’s not too expensive. Otherwise get ready to buy a new computer.

Problem 2: Screen is blank. Most common hardware problems in Laptop

The laptop turns on, power LED lights up, cooling fan works but nothing appears on the screen. The screen is totally black and blank. There is no icon on the screen at all.

Possible problem:
– This can be due to memory failure. It’s possible one of the memory modules failed. In this case you can try reseating memory modules to make sure they are making good contact with the slots. You can attempt removing memory modules one by one and test the laptop with only one module installed. You can attempt replacing memory modules.
– If reseating/replacing memory doesn’t help, try removing the hard drive, DVD drive, modem, wireless card, keyboard, etc… In other words, disassemble the laptop to bare minimum and test again. If the laptop still doesn’t turn on, most likely you have failed motherboard or processor.

Problem 3: Laptop turns on and off repeatedly. Most common hardware problems in Laptop

The laptop turns on without showing any image on the screen. After a few seconds it turns off by itself. Then it turns on and off again.

Possible problem:
Most likely this is motherboard failure. You can try reseating/replacing memory as we described in the Problem 2. If it doesn’t help, most likely the motherboard failed.

Problem 4: Laptop makes noise while running. Most common hardware problems in Laptop

The laptop turns on and everything works fine, but it makes some regular weird grinding or rattling noise.

Possible problem:
In most cases, this noise is coming from the cooling fan or hard drive. Take a faster look at the cooling fan. If the fan doesn’t rotate but the laptop makes noise, probably it’s coming from the hard drive. Backup all personal data as soon as possible and replace the hard drive. Also, you can remove the hard drive and sat the laptop. If the laptop still makes noise, most likely its bad fan.

Problem 5: Laptop shuts down or freezes. Most common hardware problems in Laptop


The laptop runs accurately but after a while, it freezes or shuts down without any notice. When it happens, the bottom feels hot. Also, the cooling fan runs louder than usual.

Possible problem:
Most likely this is the heat related issue. It happens because the fan heatsink is clogged with dust and the processor not cooling down properly. Cleaning the fan and heatsink from dust should fix it.

Problem 6: Battery not charging properly. Most common hardware problems in Laptop

The battery stopped charging properly. It doesn’t charge at all or charges only after you adjust the position of AC adapter plug inside the power connector.

Possible problem:
– Failed battery.  If it doesn’t charge totally try reconnecting the battery first. Also, try running the laptop just from AC adapter with battery removed. If it runs fine from AC adapter, most likely it’s either bad battery or failed motherboard. Try replacing the battery first.

– Failed DC power connector. If the battery charges only after you adjust the position of AC adapter tip inside the connector, most likely this the DC jack failed.

Here are some tips for charging problems.

Problem 7: Screen light fails. Most common hardware problems in Laptop

The laptop starts properly but after a while, the screen light turns off. The image still appears on the screen but it’s very dark. In some cases, the screen light never starts and all you can see is a very faint image.

Possible problem:
Most likely it’s either failed screen inverter or backlight lamp (CCFL) failure.  When any one fails, the backlight stops working. In order to troubleshoot this, you’ll need some spare parts: either the new working inverter or known good backlight lamp.

Problem 8: Strange or garbled image on the screen. Most common hardware problems in Laptop

The laptop turns on properly but has an unclear or distorted image on the screen.

Possible problem:
– The graphics card failed. First of all, test your laptop with an external monitor or TV. If you see the same garbled image on the external screen, most likely the graphics card failed.
– If the problem appears only on the laptop screen. This can be related to one of the following: the poor connection between the video cable and motherboard or screen. Also, can be failed video cable or screen.

Problem 9: Some keyboard keys stopped working. Most common hardware problems in Laptop


Some keyboard keys do not work at all or type wrong characters.

Possible problem:
Most likely the keyboard failed and they are not repairable. You can only replace the keyboard.

Problem 10: Keyboard has missing or broken keys. Most common hardware problems in Laptop

A key got separated from the laptop keyboard.

Problem solution:
If a key separated from the keyboard, it’s still possible to fix it.
If you have many keys missing, probably it makes sense to replace the whole keyboard.

Problem 11: Repetitive beep sound on startup. Most common hardware problems in Laptop

You turn on the laptop but there is no video on the screen. Instead, it starts making a repetitive beeping sound. In some cases, you can “fix” the problem temporarily if you press on the keyboard keys.

Problem solution:
Most likely you have stuck keys. In this case, you’ll have to replace the keyboard.

Problem 12: Liquid spill. Most common hardware problems in Laptop

You spilled something on the laptop and it’s stopped working.

Problem solution:
Liquid spills are very dangerous and unpredictable. If it happened, turn off the laptop ASAP, remove the battery and do not use it until all internal parts are inspected for liquid damage.
It’s still possible to make it work again.