How to Maintain and Troubleshoot Laptops and Portable Computing Devices

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Troubleshoot Portable System Problems:

To troubleshoot common problems with portable systems:

1.      If a laptop will not respond, determine whether the current power supply is from an AC adapter or the battery.

  • If power is supplied via an AC adapter, verify that the adapter is plugged in to a power source and to the laptop.           Visually inspect the unit to see if any LEDs are lit. Replace the AC adapter with a known good power adapter.
  • If power is supplied via battery, plug in an AC adapter to see if the battery is dead. Try recharging the battery. If a compatible replacement battery is available, replace the battery with a known good battery.

2.     If a user is experiencing problems with peripherals, remove the attached peripherals and reinstall them one at a time to determine which peripheral is causing the problem.

3.    If the integrated display device is not functioning properly, try plugging in an external monitor so that you can try reconfiguring display settings. Also, verify that the LCD cutoff switch is functioning properly, and check for backlighting and pixelation issues. Verify that the video card is functioning properly. If the video card is not integrated into the mobile system board, then you may want to upgrade the video card.

4.    When a user switches from the docked state to the undocked state, sometimes the user needs to press a key combination to indicate to the computer that the integrated peripherals are to be used rather than external peripherals. The exact key combination can be found in the documentation for the system. It usually is a key marked Fn and another key such as a Function key. If this does not work, try the following:

a.   If the problem is with the onboard monitor, re-seat the monitor by pressing the intersection between the bottom of the screen and the case.

b.   Reconnect the computer to the docking station so that you can use the external components, and try the key combination again.

5.  If a user’s computer enters Hibernation mode even when the user is still typing on it, check for the following:

  • Overheating.
  • That there is sufficient power.
  • That the power saving settings are set to reasonable lengths for the user’s workflow.

6.  If the battery will not hold a charge, verify that the user is properly charging it. Eventually, you will need to replace the battery, because old batteries may not hold a charge. You will likely need to purchase one from the manufacturer of the portable system as they are uniquely shaped to fit around other portable system components.

7.      When you install memory in a portable system, you need to verify that it is fully seated. Also, you should check that no other components were disconnected and that the system has power before giving it back to the user.

8.      If there are any problems you cannot resolve, obtain service from a manufacturer authorized service center or service technician.

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