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Notebook Will No Longer Boot After Opening It

Posted on 2011-10-21
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hello Experts,

Last night a close friend of mine said that someone had just replaced the fan on his laptop, and that since then his webcam microphone stopped working.

After looking on the OS and not finding the MIC anywhere, I offered to look inside and check that the MIC was properly connected. So I did.

Everything was properly connected. Then I proceeded to re-assemble the notebook. I pressed the start button, but the laptop would not start. No light, nothing. I disassemble the notebook again, checked the power connector on the motherboard. Unplugged, re-pluggled. I pushed that power button again and it booted fine. I was even able to go online. I try testig the MIC listed using Skype. But Skype said that the MIC was missing. Not a big surprise. Checked all OS settings, nothing.

After that, I powered off the laptop. Tried to turn it on again, but everytime I was unsuccessful. The notebook will no longer boot after I opened it. I was very careful to not pull or break something. I have done this approximately 25 times and this is the first time that I have this problem.

This is a Compaq Presario CQ50-103LA Notebook . Running Windows 7 (64-bit).

Any ideas? Hints? Past experiences? They are all welcome. Thanks!
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Question by:CompuHero
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16 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:vaderj
ID: 37007460
Things to do:
Reseat the RAM
Reseat the CPU
Reseat any other componants that you had to remove (modem, HD, DVD,etc)
Ensure that all fans (especially the CPU fan) are operating correctly! sometimes with newer machines, if they BIOS cant tell if the CPU fans is connected, it wont allow boot or fail POST.
Are there any diagnostic beeps?
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Author Comment

by:CompuHero
ID: 37007493
No beeps. It's like if there was no power coming in. No lights, no fans, no sounds at all. Dead completely dead.
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Expert Comment

by:vaderj
ID: 37007523
If you feel the power connected at the laptop chassis, does it feel loose at all?
Sometimes a weak solder join can break and prevent power from the external power supply from reaching the MoBo.
I really would reseat CPU/RAM/components though, this really sounds like its just a loose connection somewhere in the mix.  Laptops can be a pain to work on because they pack all that crap into a tiny space and its easy to miss or not fully seat a connection with out ever realizing it
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Author Comment

by:CompuHero
ID: 37007609
What is interesting to me is that the laptop booted fine the second time. After I re-opened it to check the connection between the power button and the motherboard. The power jack feels sturdy no wobble. Also I wasn't able to turn the laptop on with a charged battery either. I don't think it is the power jack.
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Expert Comment

by:vaderj
ID: 37007649
Not sure what to tell you.  The fact that you get no response from hitting the power button indicates its a hardware issue.  I dont doubt at all that it fired up the first time, but it could have been that you moved the laptop in just the right direction that knocked a connection loose that was barely established.  Its also possible that there may have been a static discharge to the MoBo, CPU or RAM.
Another thing you could try is to open it backup, pull the mother board battery (completely separate from the big Li-Ion battery) and let it sit for a few minutes (10 just to be sure) so that BIOS will reset - it may be stuck in an ACPI sleep/hibernate state
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Author Comment

by:CompuHero
ID: 37007729
I agree, I believe it's a hardware issue. Lets assume there was a static discharge. What should one do after a electro static discharge? I have always wondered about that. I will try re-opening the laptop, taking the battery out (the Li-Mn not the Li-ion), and reseat the memory. I didn't touch the CPU. Should I reseat it too?
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Expert Comment

by:vaderj
ID: 37007778
Unfortunately static discharge is pretty permanent - and without extra hardware its very tough to diagnose what might have been killed. Lets assume its not static at the moment though.
In terms of reseating components, personally I would reseat everything that I can see/touch (safely) just to be throughout.  Because with the ribbon cables, those can be a b**ch to put back - maybe just push in each of those to make sure they are solid in stead of pulling out.
While doing all of that, wouldnt be a bad idea to have the MoBo battery out, it will probably take a few minutes to reseat everything.
Again, make sure you use caution - it may not fire up right now but it doesnt really sound like its dead dead - one little mistake with any of those tiny little fragile components can turn an ok day into a bad day very quickly
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 37008266
It could be a malfunctioning power button that works only some of the time - try bypassing it by momentarily shorting the wires and see if it responds.  If that works consistently, you just have to replace the button.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 37010650
try this  : remove battery and AC
hold power button for 20 sec
reconnect and test
post results
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Author Comment

by:CompuHero
ID: 37011568
Nobus,
I have already tried what you posted. The result was the same. Nothing.
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Accepted Solution

by:
nobus earned 750 total points
ID: 37011595
the only thing i can suggest is you somehow shorted, or disconnected something(power -on cable to switch?)
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Author Comment

by:CompuHero
ID: 37035501
Ok here is the latest news. I tried everythings suggested with no positive results. But I now know how to replicate the problem. The notebook turns on every single time as long as I don't screw the 3 screws that attach the keyboard and the 4 screws that attach the plastic cover where the power button is. If I screw in even just one of these 7 screws, the laptop will not turn on.

Any ideas of what in the world is happening here?
Thanks.
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Assisted Solution

by:Callandor
Callandor earned 750 total points
ID: 37035825
You've got a short from the contact of the keyboard or power button screws, or you are crimping a cable that prevents it from passing electricity.  Since this seems to revolve around power, I would check that the power button works as it should.  Is it a matter of how tight the the plastic cover is attached; ie, is there some point where it is working and further tightening stops it from working?
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 37036354
or maybe a standoff, or hook was broken off, so you screw it too far in?
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Author Closing Comment

by:CompuHero
ID: 37039358
The problem was found but no steps as to how to find the problem were giving.
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Author Comment

by:CompuHero
ID: 37039410
It was a difficult and hard problem. Thanks for all your help. The computer now turns on all the time but without a few screws. I gave the points to Nobus and Callandor because they were the only ones to mention short circuit and that's were the problem was.
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