After fifteen years in the IT industry I find I’m always learning. A year ago I was asked by a friend to look at his laptop as it would no longer power on. Our course I accepted and I started to investigate. The laptop was only three weeks out of warranty and as described did not work. On powering the unit on the power LED lit, an internal fan spun and then nothing! No beeps, nothing on the screen, and no clue to what could be the cause of the problem. Screw driver at the ready I swung into action. I removed the memory, wireless card, DVD-drive, battery and anything else that moved. The laptop still would not function. Thus, I assume the problem must be with the motherboard. So, I told my friend the bad news and reassembled the laptop and place it in a draw.
Last week, I opened the draw for the first time in ages and spotted the laptop. The demon’s in me could not resist giving it another go. To my surprise the the laptop booted! A week or two before this, I had fixed a PC with a similar problem by popping the CMOS battery. And, before that I’d had to re-flash the BIOS on my own PC after it became corrupted. Therefore, I can only assume the gremlins in my friends laptop were related to the BIOS, as when I powered it on I received a message from the BIOS that the factory defaults would be loaded and the time needed setting. I can only conclude the problem was BIOS related.
Whenever I attempt to diagnose a computer fault in the future I’m always going to remove the BIOS battery: you never know it might just work!