Questions

HELP!...My Laptop DIED! What do I do?

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1 Votes
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HELP!...My Laptop DIED! What do I do?

IT2MD
OK...so here is the deal...I purchased a Gateway Tablet Laptop a little over 5 years ago...and it has been a pretty good experience for the most part...until last night!!!

I am currently a pre-professional student taking Calculus, Physics, and Chemistry. I was getting ready to study for a calculus exam and turned on my laptop. As it booted up normally, I was unwinding the power cord. It was on the Win.XP Prof Log-in Page when I plugged it in. I turned to enter my password and the laptop had gone totally BLACK!...no screen, no charging light, no power, NOTHING!

I swear I almost cried in desperation! My entire life is on that laptop! I have intentionally been extremely careful with this laptop. To have this occur NOW, is really frustrating to me.

Anyway, I tried everything I know, and even googled it, with no success. I left it plugged in all night, and still nothing. It appears to literally have died!

So, my question now is what do I do? Is it possible to resolve this? And if so, HOW?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for that help.
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    0 Votes
    TheChas

    If you are lucky, the battery choose that exact moment to fail. It is not uncommon for a bad battery to make a laptop appear dead.

    Or, it could be the power supply inside the laptop.

    If this is a power supply or battery failure, the good news is that all your files should be recoverable.

    I would determine what type of hard drive you have (IDE or SATA) and use a USB drive adapter to recover your data and files. Either copy them onto a desktop hard drive, or a USB backup hard drive.

    Now, you need to decide if you want to have the Gateway repaired or buy a new computer.

    If going the repair route, check for either a local warranty center, or get recommendations on reliable repair shops.

    Chas

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    IT2MD

    Thank you. I was/am actually planning on updating my desktop and laptop this year. But being a student I am waiting for Black Friday, due to financial reasons. The only reason I was or sounded so desperate was because I am in the middle of the fall semester and everything related to my classes is on my Gateway. Thanks to your reply and others, I am calm now, and know that everything will be ok. Thanks again.

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    1 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Prior to buying a USB Adapter you can get a USB to HDD Adapter that will fit most of the common drives it's called a USB 2 to SATA/IDE Cable.

    http://www.dealextreme.com/p/usb-2-0-to-sata-ide-cable-with-power-adapter-21571

    You'll still need to pull the HDD out of the unit to recover your files though.

    Though have you tried pulling the Mains Adapter out of the NB? It's possible that isn't working properly and simply by plugging it in it's overridden the battery.

    Col

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    IT2MD

    Col,

    Thank you very much for this link. I will be ordering this cable this weekend and try very hard to recover my necessary files for this semester.

    Thanks again.

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    2 Votes
    oldbaritone

    In the world of technology, 5 years old is a dinosaur. You may get lucky and a replacement power supply will get everything working again, but your laptop has given you good and faithful service for a long time. It's probably time for something newer.

    That said, and as Col mentioned, IDE/SATA cables are readily available so you can pull the drive out of your system and recover your data. When you described your laptop as "Totally black, no screen, no charging light, no power, no nothing" that usually means that the failure is totally unrelated to the HDD, so I would be optimistic that you would be able to recover everything.

    And the million-dollar question: Since the data is so important to you, when is the last time you backed it up? "My entire life is on that laptop!" If so, isn't it worth protecting it? Whether on optical media, or subscribing to one of the cloud-based backup services, regular data backup is always a good idea. You just found out why.

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    0 Votes
    34R7HQU4K3

    Dude, it's simple. My old laptop does that quite a lot. Just unplug it, then plug it back in. Leaving it powered is the WORST thing you can do. Trust me, it probably shorted out, thats the cause of mine all the time. Just unplug, then plug back in. Simple.

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    seanferd

    Yep. "Extremely careful" would certainly include "backed up".

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    IT2MD

    You are right, and as stated in my reply to the first post, I am upgrading my technology later this year. But not until around Thanksgiving. Therefore, I will be recovering my data for now until after this semester ends. As for the backup, yes I do back it up. But since I'm the only one who uses it and i had never had any problems, it is only necessary for me to back it up/archive it once a year. Therefore, all the data from this year is not backed up, BUT that is actually the data I need the most. And really, it's only almost 3-months of data; because this computer's annual backup is in July. But those three months of data are very, very important to ME, right now!

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    1 Votes
    _Papa_

    This Lenovo R61i I'm using to write this died a year or so ago, just out of warranty. Same Symptom: just no power at all - no boot, no power light, no charge light, no drive noise, nothing. Charger checked good even under load. Twelve volt charger, also good, wouldn't run it either. Battery showed rated voltage. Continuity test at input connector showed reasonable resistance.
    Fortunately, most of the files I really needed were backed up, but I desperately wanted a working laptop right away, so I sucked up my wallet an bough new. I set this one aside.

    Some weeks later, I pulled this one out again to do some internal troubleshooting. First thing I did was to hook it up again. You're probably ahead of me, now...Yes, you're right, it booted. It has not failed since. Same hardware, charger, battery, everything.

    So if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just scratch a bald spot into your head and move on.

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    0 Votes
    keywest784

    I am not sure if this helps, but I bought a nre HP laptop right when Vista was released. A day after the one year warranty expired it would not power up. Doing the same thing as described problem. I was lucky to have my old Dell with XP. Put the HP in the closet and after six months I pulled it out and turned it on just to see what happened. Poof, it powered up and worked fine for another 8 months before it just "died" agian. Then I get an email telling my that the NVIDA chipset is defective and that's what caused my laptop to die out. Luckily I got that email just in time to get a replacement laptop from HP. I due know that there were more than just HP laptops affected by NVIDA defects in the chipset. I hope this helps.

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    IT2MD

    Thanks for your very interesting reply. I will take that into consideration. As it stands right now, I am going to go the $15 route, get the cable, and recover the necessary data, until this semester ends. Then I'll decide what to do about it.

    Thanks again for all the replys.

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    0 Votes
    IT2MD

    Once again, I just want to thank everyone for the replies to my question.

    I've calmed down a little since and see two resolution to my dead laptop

    As stated above, I going the cheap $15 route, and getting the cable to recover the necessary data for now. Then when this semester ends, I will decide what to really do about this laptop, since it is a dinosaur (although, I had a network analyst friend who had a 10-15 year old laptop that he used by repairing or upgrading it as necessary, never spending more than the original price he paid for it in the beginning; and it worked just fine for him)

    I'll update this as I go along. But thanks again for the replies.

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    0 Votes
    Rich.ritter

    You really have been quite fortunate.

    Most road warriors (people or students that use thier notebook as a mobile workstation) are hard pressed for any laptop PC to last that long. I tell people often that a notebook/laptop has a functional life of 3-4 years, unless it is sitting on a desk over 75% of the time (life expectancy can increase to about 5 years in that case!)

    Unfortunately, your OLD notbook likely had Windows XP loaded. Windows XP really DID NOT have a useable backup program as part of the operating system. Windows 7 has fixed that. You can now plug in a USB jump drive/flash drive or external hard drive and back up as often as you like (I back up my data this way on a monthly schedule).

    A new computer will have Windows7 (and will include a one-year warranty). You will need to develop the HABIT of backing up your data regularly -- or ... you may choose to use an online backup service that backs up every time you connect to the web (this is usually the BEST solution). Online backups will allow you to ALWAYS have access to your data as long as you continue to pay for the service. If a computer dies -- you can log into your backup "file account' and restore to almost ANY computer (usually you would restore to your NEW computer then continue using the service for your new computer).

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    1 Votes
    mongocrush

    Unplug the laptop power cord, remove the battery, then press and hold the power button for 25 seconds. Plug the laptop power cord and press the power button. If it powers up great turn it off and insert the battery and try again.
    If none of this works you could always make friends with the local campus IT department and sometimes they will have someone that does work offline for a few bucks.
    Hope this helps.

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    IT2MD

    OMG...I hadn't even thought of this. I work in the campus IT dept! You are absolutely right, I'm sure someone in the dept could take a look at it. Thanks!

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    bluntpencil

    fed up with trying to place an answer.

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    ARandomPenguin

    pull the drive and back it onto a friends computer then send your to XXXXX for a check up.

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    bluntpencil

    simple question.

    When you plug power adapter to it does the recharge light come on at all?
    Secondly, when it did, was it a unusual purple color?
    If either of these are true then there is nothing wrong with your laptop.
    I tried to answer this 2 days ago but couldnt get the answer to show.
    Please reply if the machine is still playing up.

  • +
    0 Votes
    TheChas

    If you are lucky, the battery choose that exact moment to fail. It is not uncommon for a bad battery to make a laptop appear dead.

    Or, it could be the power supply inside the laptop.

    If this is a power supply or battery failure, the good news is that all your files should be recoverable.

    I would determine what type of hard drive you have (IDE or SATA) and use a USB drive adapter to recover your data and files. Either copy them onto a desktop hard drive, or a USB backup hard drive.

    Now, you need to decide if you want to have the Gateway repaired or buy a new computer.

    If going the repair route, check for either a local warranty center, or get recommendations on reliable repair shops.

    Chas

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    0 Votes
    IT2MD

    Thank you. I was/am actually planning on updating my desktop and laptop this year. But being a student I am waiting for Black Friday, due to financial reasons. The only reason I was or sounded so desperate was because I am in the middle of the fall semester and everything related to my classes is on my Gateway. Thanks to your reply and others, I am calm now, and know that everything will be ok. Thanks again.

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    1 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Prior to buying a USB Adapter you can get a USB to HDD Adapter that will fit most of the common drives it's called a USB 2 to SATA/IDE Cable.

    http://www.dealextreme.com/p/usb-2-0-to-sata-ide-cable-with-power-adapter-21571

    You'll still need to pull the HDD out of the unit to recover your files though.

    Though have you tried pulling the Mains Adapter out of the NB? It's possible that isn't working properly and simply by plugging it in it's overridden the battery.

    Col

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    0 Votes
    IT2MD

    Col,

    Thank you very much for this link. I will be ordering this cable this weekend and try very hard to recover my necessary files for this semester.

    Thanks again.

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    2 Votes
    oldbaritone

    In the world of technology, 5 years old is a dinosaur. You may get lucky and a replacement power supply will get everything working again, but your laptop has given you good and faithful service for a long time. It's probably time for something newer.

    That said, and as Col mentioned, IDE/SATA cables are readily available so you can pull the drive out of your system and recover your data. When you described your laptop as "Totally black, no screen, no charging light, no power, no nothing" that usually means that the failure is totally unrelated to the HDD, so I would be optimistic that you would be able to recover everything.

    And the million-dollar question: Since the data is so important to you, when is the last time you backed it up? "My entire life is on that laptop!" If so, isn't it worth protecting it? Whether on optical media, or subscribing to one of the cloud-based backup services, regular data backup is always a good idea. You just found out why.

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    0 Votes
    34R7HQU4K3

    Dude, it's simple. My old laptop does that quite a lot. Just unplug it, then plug it back in. Leaving it powered is the WORST thing you can do. Trust me, it probably shorted out, thats the cause of mine all the time. Just unplug, then plug back in. Simple.

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    0 Votes
    seanferd

    Yep. "Extremely careful" would certainly include "backed up".

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    0 Votes
    IT2MD

    You are right, and as stated in my reply to the first post, I am upgrading my technology later this year. But not until around Thanksgiving. Therefore, I will be recovering my data for now until after this semester ends. As for the backup, yes I do back it up. But since I'm the only one who uses it and i had never had any problems, it is only necessary for me to back it up/archive it once a year. Therefore, all the data from this year is not backed up, BUT that is actually the data I need the most. And really, it's only almost 3-months of data; because this computer's annual backup is in July. But those three months of data are very, very important to ME, right now!

    +
    1 Votes
    _Papa_

    This Lenovo R61i I'm using to write this died a year or so ago, just out of warranty. Same Symptom: just no power at all - no boot, no power light, no charge light, no drive noise, nothing. Charger checked good even under load. Twelve volt charger, also good, wouldn't run it either. Battery showed rated voltage. Continuity test at input connector showed reasonable resistance.
    Fortunately, most of the files I really needed were backed up, but I desperately wanted a working laptop right away, so I sucked up my wallet an bough new. I set this one aside.

    Some weeks later, I pulled this one out again to do some internal troubleshooting. First thing I did was to hook it up again. You're probably ahead of me, now...Yes, you're right, it booted. It has not failed since. Same hardware, charger, battery, everything.

    So if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Just scratch a bald spot into your head and move on.

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    0 Votes
    keywest784

    I am not sure if this helps, but I bought a nre HP laptop right when Vista was released. A day after the one year warranty expired it would not power up. Doing the same thing as described problem. I was lucky to have my old Dell with XP. Put the HP in the closet and after six months I pulled it out and turned it on just to see what happened. Poof, it powered up and worked fine for another 8 months before it just "died" agian. Then I get an email telling my that the NVIDA chipset is defective and that's what caused my laptop to die out. Luckily I got that email just in time to get a replacement laptop from HP. I due know that there were more than just HP laptops affected by NVIDA defects in the chipset. I hope this helps.

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    0 Votes
    IT2MD

    Thanks for your very interesting reply. I will take that into consideration. As it stands right now, I am going to go the $15 route, get the cable, and recover the necessary data, until this semester ends. Then I'll decide what to do about it.

    Thanks again for all the replys.

    +
    0 Votes
    IT2MD

    Once again, I just want to thank everyone for the replies to my question.

    I've calmed down a little since and see two resolution to my dead laptop

    As stated above, I going the cheap $15 route, and getting the cable to recover the necessary data for now. Then when this semester ends, I will decide what to really do about this laptop, since it is a dinosaur (although, I had a network analyst friend who had a 10-15 year old laptop that he used by repairing or upgrading it as necessary, never spending more than the original price he paid for it in the beginning; and it worked just fine for him)

    I'll update this as I go along. But thanks again for the replies.

    +
    0 Votes
    Rich.ritter

    You really have been quite fortunate.

    Most road warriors (people or students that use thier notebook as a mobile workstation) are hard pressed for any laptop PC to last that long. I tell people often that a notebook/laptop has a functional life of 3-4 years, unless it is sitting on a desk over 75% of the time (life expectancy can increase to about 5 years in that case!)

    Unfortunately, your OLD notbook likely had Windows XP loaded. Windows XP really DID NOT have a useable backup program as part of the operating system. Windows 7 has fixed that. You can now plug in a USB jump drive/flash drive or external hard drive and back up as often as you like (I back up my data this way on a monthly schedule).

    A new computer will have Windows7 (and will include a one-year warranty). You will need to develop the HABIT of backing up your data regularly -- or ... you may choose to use an online backup service that backs up every time you connect to the web (this is usually the BEST solution). Online backups will allow you to ALWAYS have access to your data as long as you continue to pay for the service. If a computer dies -- you can log into your backup "file account' and restore to almost ANY computer (usually you would restore to your NEW computer then continue using the service for your new computer).

    +
    1 Votes
    mongocrush

    Unplug the laptop power cord, remove the battery, then press and hold the power button for 25 seconds. Plug the laptop power cord and press the power button. If it powers up great turn it off and insert the battery and try again.
    If none of this works you could always make friends with the local campus IT department and sometimes they will have someone that does work offline for a few bucks.
    Hope this helps.

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    0 Votes
    IT2MD

    OMG...I hadn't even thought of this. I work in the campus IT dept! You are absolutely right, I'm sure someone in the dept could take a look at it. Thanks!

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    0 Votes
    bluntpencil

    fed up with trying to place an answer.

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    0 Votes
    ARandomPenguin

    pull the drive and back it onto a friends computer then send your to XXXXX for a check up.

    +
    0 Votes
    bluntpencil

    simple question.

    When you plug power adapter to it does the recharge light come on at all?
    Secondly, when it did, was it a unusual purple color?
    If either of these are true then there is nothing wrong with your laptop.
    I tried to answer this 2 days ago but couldnt get the answer to show.
    Please reply if the machine is still playing up.