Laptop powers up, but nothing else

By dirv9 ·
Hi! A friend asked me to look at her Acer Aspire 3641WXMi laptop. You plug it in, and a dim power light comes on, and the battery light next to it comes on brighter. Both lights are amber in color. Nothing else happens. I took the battery out, and plugged in the adaptor, and no lights come on. Is it a power supply? How would I check for this? If it is the power supply, how would I replace It? Would it be worth it to replace it? Or, what else could it be? Any and all responses will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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All Answers

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Have you tried turning it on?

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Laptop powers up, but not ...
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Of course

by dirv9 In reply to Have you tried turning it ...

Thanks for the response. Of course. There is no power going to the cd-rom drive either. At least, when you press the button to open it nothing happens, and there is no light there.

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It might depend on where this laptop has been ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Of course

Before it was given to you to check (and before the owner realised there might be something wrong with it) do you know how long it was lying?

If a laptop is left switched off, doing nothing - like sitting on a desk, in a drawer, in a cupboard, whatever - if the battery is attached, even when the laptop is turned off the battery power seeps out slowly. This is due to many laptops not having a small button-battery on the motherboard, for the Real Time Clock anymore. They just draw infinitessimal current from the main laptop battery.

If the laptop has been sitting unused for a period of time, the battery pack will contain ZERO charge-state, absolutely nothing at all in terms of voltage or amperage.

In this case, it should be attached to the AC power cable, left TURNED OFF, and allowed to charge up the laptop battery for AT LEAST 14 HOURS.

This is necessary because to connect the battery to the AC mains cord, and immediately turn it on, there is STILL no charge-state within the battery pack and you can do it serious damage if you attempt to force voltage through a dead battery.

Therefore, plug it in until it displays the 2 little lights that you previously described, then leave it alone for at least 14 hours. DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO TURN IT ON 'Just To Check' otherwise you'll have to leave it for a further 14 hours all over again.

After the charging period, then try it. It should work without complaint. :)

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by dirv9 In reply to It might depend on where ...

Thanks for the response. I'll try it. I had another friend bring me an HP laptop over a year ago for a similar problem, and I removed the battery, and it worked through the adaptor. That battery was worn out. I tried that, but to no avail, so I'll see if the battery will charge your way. I'm guessing it's turned off---nothing happens to the lights when I push the on/off button. Thanks.

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by dirv9 In reply to Battery

After 6 hours, I have a green light. Will I ruin the battery charging it for the full 14 hours? Thanks.

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by ThumbsUp2 In reply to Addendum

You will not ruin the battery leaving it charging for the full 14 hours. The green lights simply indicate there's enough of a charge to power up the machine. It doesn't necessarily mean it's fully charged.

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by dirv9 In reply to No....

I appreciate the help Mycroft and Thumbs. Thanks again.

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Green light is good, but let it charge some more ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Addendum

As ThumbsUp2 has confirmed for me while I was in the Land of Nod.

You might be on a winner here. :)

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Still no go

by dirv9 In reply to Green light is good, but ...

Thanks for the response. The battery light is bright green, but the power light is a dim green. It still won't do anything. I held the on button down for up to 20 seconds, after a few other tries, but nothing. Is the hard drive or processor cooked? If so, wouldn't the bios at least power on? Or what else can I try? Thanks.

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Clean the battery contacts ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Laptop powers up, but not ...

By using an eraser, rubbing the gold contacts lightly to clean any dirt off them.

Try cleaning the contacts that the battery marries up against, on the actual laptop chassis.

I'd also be tempted to ask just how long this laptop has been left unused, and perhaps more importantly, where it was left and why. It may not have worked for months/years.

If you have the opportunity, you could connect the laptop to an external monitor and try it that way.

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