Is there any other way to turn on a laptop other than using it's power button?

Posted on 2013-01-29
Last Modified: 2013-02-24
Hello experts,

I have an older Alienware laptop that has a broken power button.  It has been like this for a long time and I haven't been able to turn it on because of this for at least 3 years, probably longer than that.  I even brought it to a repair shop (before I knew as much as I do now about computers) and they verified that it is a broken power button and gave me no options on how to turn it on so I threw it in my closet until just now.  Is there any possible way to turn a laptop on without using the power button?  I'll go to any length to turn it on, I don't care what it takes.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Question by:Brent Johnson
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LVL 23

Assisted Solution

tailoreddigital earned 125 total points
ID: 38833901

Author Comment

by:Brent Johnson
ID: 38833912
That link just sent me to google search...
LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 38833938
Yes, i was thinking that maybe we could find the replacement button for your system.    When i click on the link it takes me to an assortment of replacement button boards for Alienware laptops.  Some of those boards are $15.   You said "I'll go to any length to turn it on",    so i'm scrapping for an idea.

Author Comment

by:Brent Johnson
ID: 38833971
Yes, I will go to any length.  But, I don't think its the button itself, I think it might be the connection to the motherboard that is broken.  But what I meant was, the link just sends me to a google search as if just typing
LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 38833981
hmmm,   well do what i did,

Go to Google's Shopping search,

And search for

"laptop power button electronic circuit board connections Alienware"

I don't know why the link in my first post didn't work.   The buttons in the images of the shopping search show small circuit boards for replacing the button.  

What model of Alienware do you have?   I'd like to find the specific button you need.
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LVL 14

Assisted Solution

JohnnyCanuck earned 125 total points
ID: 38834232
These buttons are usually just momentary switches (they briefly short the circuit then open it again).  You could probably take the cover off and examine the switch location to see if you can spot the connections where the switch attaches to the motherboard.  You can then short these connections to see if the laptop starts.  If it does, then desolder the switch and replace it with another as close to identical as you can find.
LVL 91

Expert Comment

ID: 38834965
what model is it? maybe we cand find something more specific
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Expert Comment

ID: 38836293
It has also occurred to me that maybe the case part of the switch is broken and that the motherboard switch itself is ok.  Usually the button on the case has a little nub on the underside that, when pressed, depresses the momentary switch on the motherboard.  In your case maybe the little nub is broken off and thus, not making contact with the motherboard switch.  You would still have to partially disassemble the laptop and locate the switch and press it.
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Assisted Solution

Merete earned 125 total points
ID: 38850795
If it's been off for some 3 plus years the cmos battery might have died as well.
So it's dead.
Some laptops have a connection to the screen for power.
Either way it will be on the motherboard
You could take the drive out and slave it, like stick it in a USB external case.
The HDD would be more important than the laptop right?
Laptop power problems are also caused by a faulty power sections on the motherboard, which can stop your laptop from recharging or powering up
Laptop Power Jack Repair
LVL 91

Accepted Solution

nobus earned 125 total points
ID: 38851490
here my laptop troubleshooting guide, i hope it helps you :
- remove all external devices
- if no display - test with an external monitor
- test if it runs from battery alone, or from AC alone
- test also with a known good battery !
***some laptops have a reset button - if you have one use it!
- remove battery and AC adaptor, hold power button for 20 sec, connect AC and reboot --> any display ? if NO -->
- disconnect all disk and cd drives, battery , and other cards and peripherals, leave only 1 ram stick
- boot -->any display ?
-if you can access the bios battery, remove the battery, AC, and bios battery for a minute to reset the bios
or test it, it should read 3 V
*** you can test the disk on another pc, if you like !

===>>you can test if the mobo works outside the casing, connected to power and external video  !

you can also remove and reseat the video plug - it sometimes comes loose

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