How to power reset your laptop computer

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Did you turn off your laptop and now it will not start up again? Maybe you closed the lid and now it will not come out of sleep mode? If so, you may need to power reset your laptop computer.

How to power reset your laptop computer

This has to be one of the most frustrating problems with laptops, you press the start button and nothing happens. No lights, no sounds, no display. It seems like it is completely dead. And in a way, it is. Now if your laptop computer shut off while you were using it, a power reset will not help. That would be a completely different problem.

The problem is that the system has built-up residual electrical charge in the capacitors. And the only way to get it to run again is to discharge the electrical charge. The majority of the time it is a quick fix. But there are times when it is not a quick fix. Let me explain. This procedure requires that you completely disconnect all power sources, ac adapter and battery.

If your laptop has a battery that can be removed from the bottom, then it will be pretty quick. If the battery is inside the laptop case, then it can be tricky, as you will have to disassemble the laptop to get to the internal battery. If you feel uncomfortable about taking your laptop apart, please contact a local computer repair specialist like Geeks in Phoenix.

  1. Disconnect all devices from your laptop. This includes docking stations, USB devices, external displays, etc..
  2. Disconnect the ac adapter.
  3. Remove / disconnect the battery. The following steps requires access to the battery.
    A laptop computer with a battery that is accessible from the bottom
    If the battery for your laptop is accessible from the bottom, remove it and proceed to the next step.
    A laptop computer with a battery that is accessible by removing the base
    If the battery is not accessible from the bottom, you would need to disassemble your laptop to gain access to it. Before you or a technician takes the laptop apart, try step #4 first. If after trying step #4 your laptop still does not start up, then you may need to disassemble it to get to the battery.
    A typical internal battery connection inside of a laptop computer
    Remember that you do not need to completely remove the battery, just disconnect it from the motherboard.
  4. Hold down the Power button for 15 – 30 seconds. By holding down the Power button, you release all of the residual power that is left in the laptop. If you had to remove the base to get to the battery connection, just place the base back on the laptop and put it back in the standard operating position. Do not worry about screwing the base back on yet. Once you have discharged the laptop, you will reassemble it.
  5. Connect the ac adapter and plug it into an ac jack. Most instructions for releasing the residual electrical charge will have you reinstall / reconnect the battery first, then connect the ac adapter. I’ve found that if you leave the battery removed / disconnected, you avoid any issue that the battery might have, like low output.
  6. Press the power button. If the problem was a built-up residual electrical charge, your laptop should start up. The only error you might encounter is a warning about the battery missing.
  7. Shut down the laptop. If all went well, your laptop started up and booted up the operating system. Just turn it off as you normally would.
  8. Disconnect the ac adapter.
  9. Reinstall / reconnect the battery. If you had to remove the base to get to the battery connection, you can go ahead and reconnect it and screw the base back on to the laptop.
  10. Reconnect the ac adapter and start the laptop up again.


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