In this post I explain how to reinstall factory operating system on different laptops. This should work for most laptops running Windows Vista or Windows 7 operating systems.
This could be useful if your operating system stopped working properly, got corrupted or infected with a virus.
WARNING! Running system restore utility will erase all personal data on the hard drive and re-image it back to factory defaults. Make sure all personal data is backed up before reinstalling the operating system. Also, make sure the laptop is running on AC adapter power during the recovery process.
These days most laptops are sold without recovery discs. Instead they have a hidden (or visible) recovery partition with the factory image. In order to re-image the hard drive back to factory defaults it’s necessary to initiate the recovery wizard and it’s very similar for many different laptop brands.
As an example I’ll show step-by-step operating system re-installation process on HP laptops.
Again, it will be the same or very similar for other laptop brands.
How to start Recovery Manager on HP laptops.
Turn on the laptop and press the F8 key when HP (or any other brand) logo appears on the screen.
In this post I explain how to repair broken touchpad cable connector on laptop motherboard.
Let’s say you were fixing a laptop yourself and accidentally damaged the touchpad connector or any other similar connector. The problem is the touchpad connector soldered to the motherboard and it’s impossible to replace it with regular soldering tools. Also, these connectors are not sold separately which makes the replacement even more impossible.
Well, the connector is broken and cannot be replaced. Let’s try to repair it. We’ll do it using the same technique as for fixing the broken keyboard connector.
On the following picture you see a typical laptop touchpad connector. The connector has а white base (permanently attached to the motherboard) and locking tab (moving part).
In order to unlock the connector you lift up the left side of the locking tab. The locking tap opens up at a 90 degree angle and releases the touchpad cable. After that you pull the cable from the connector.
In this post I will summarize most common laptop hardware related problems ever mentioned on this site.
I will not be digging into the operating system related problems, only laptop hardware issues.
I’ll provide most common laptop failure descriptions and give some suggestions how to troubleshoot or repair the problem.
Laptop doesn’t turn on at all.
Problem description: 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.
In this post I provide a few tips on fixing a laptop after liquid spill.
IMPORTANT: If you spilled something on your laptop you should stop using it right away, even if the laptop appears to be running good. Right after the spill you should turn it off, unplug the power adapter and remove the battery. The laptop should be disassembled as soon as possible and all internal parts should be inspected for liquid damage.
Liquid spills are very unpredictable and even a small amount of liquid spilled on the laptop can cause a serious damage.
IF YOU SPILLED A SMALL AMOUNT OF LIQUID ON THE KEYBOARD
Let’s say you spilled less than a teaspoon of liquid on the keyboard and the keyboard stopped working properly, but anything else works fine.
It that’s the case, it could be enough to remove just the keyboard for the liquid damage inspection. Turn off the laptop, unplug the AC adapter and remove the battery. Now remove the keyboard and take a closer look underneath.
In this guide I explain how to recover files from a laptop (or desktop PC) with crashed, failed, damaged operating system.
WHEN CAN YOU USE THIS RECOVERY GUIDE?
1. The guide will work if your operating system damaged but the laptop (or desktop PC) hardware still works fine.
2. The guide might work if the hard drive has some minor damage, like a few bad sectors.
PREPARING FOR RECOVERY
For this recovery I’ll be using a Ubuntu CD (Linux OS). Also, you can create a bootable Ubuntu USB stick and use that instead of the CD. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a Linux guru for that. The interface will be very similar to Windows OS.
You’ll need another working computer to download and create a bootable Ubundu CD or USB stick.
1. Download the latest version of Ubuntu OS here. When you click on the download button you’ll start downloading an ISO image.
2. Burn this ISO image on a CD or create a bootable USB stick. It’s explained on the same Ubuntu download page, just scroll a little bit down.
3. Find the target drive where you going to save recovered files. You can use an external USB hard drive or USB memory stick. The target drive can be formatted with any common Windows file system: FAT, FAT32, NTFS.
In this post I explain how you can fix a laptop motherboard with failed NVIDIA graphics chip. This repair might apply to some HP/Compaq laptops and probably some other laptop brands. If this repair works for your laptop, please mention the brand and model number in comments after the post. This will help other readers with similar laptops.
This method should work for the following models: HP Pavilion dv2000, Pavilion dv6000, Pavilion dv9000, Compaq Presario v3000, Presario v6000, HP Pavilion tx1000, Pavilion tx2000.
By the way, I just fixed my son’s Xbox 360 with red ring of death (error 74) using exactly same technique.
MOST COMMON PROBLEM SYMPTOMS
1. Laptop turns on with garbled video on the internal laptop screen and external monitor.
2. Laptop turns on as normal but there is no video on the internal laptop screen or external monitor.
MY UNDERSTANDING OF THE PROBLEM
The NVIDIA graphics chip soldered to the motherboard. When the laptop gets very hot, the NVIDIA chip separates from the motherboard and laptop video fails.
HOW TO FIX FAILED NVIDIA CHIP
I have previous posts explaining how I fixed same problem by baking the motherboard in an oven or bubble-wrapping the laptop. But today I’m going to fix the motherboard using a heat gun. Basically, I’m going to heat up the NVIDIA chip with a heat gun to solder it back to the motherboard (reflow). I think this method is more reliable and the repair should last for a while.
My laptop runs very hot and eventually turns off or freezes – this is one of the most common complaints I have been receiving from my customer for many years. Why it’s happening? Is there an easy fix for that?
Most likely this problem is heat related. Take a look at the following picture.
Laptop screen started showing strange or wrong colors. What could be wrong? I’ve been asked this question many times and today I’m addressing the issue.
In this post I explain some basic troubleshooting techniques in case if your laptop screen started showing strange or incorrect colors.
You have to know how to disassemble the laptop in order to use following troubleshooting techniques.
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In this post I explain how you can fix a known video problem on some HP laptops without actually taking it apart. Most likely the fix is not permanent but this will buy you some time, enough to backup personal files or even use the laptop until you get a new one. There is no guaranty this fix work 100%.
Here are some HP models affected by this known video failure problem: HP Pavilion dv2000, dv6000, dv9000, tx1000 tablet PC, Compaq 700, v3000, v6000 and probably some others.
If you know more models, please mention them in comments after this post.
CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM:
As I know, the video problem somehow related to NVIDIA chip located on the motherboard. Overtime the NVIDIA chip separates from the motherboard and the laptop video fails.
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In this post I explain how to troubleshoot laptop battery charging problems. I will list most common battery failure examples and suggest some troubleshooting steps.
Laptop detects the battery but shuts off when AC adapter unplugged.
When you move the cursor arrow over the battery icon while the laptop is connected to AC adapter, it show the remaining battery charge and says “charging”.