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Dead Laptop, Can I salvage it?

By AudioVayne
Aug 7, 2009
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  1. I have recently picked up a Compaq M2000 Laptop. If you plug it in and press power nothing happens, no lights, sounds or anything. My boss also has the exact same model with the exact same issue. So I basically have 2 of the same laptop with the same issues.

    I have stripped my one down, (RAM and HDD tested OK on another machine, but irrelevant at this stage). I have it down to bare boards on the base with the CPU pulled out.

    I'm wondering what would you test on the board to find a fault? Or what are common faults to check? I have a Digital Multimeter and an Analogue Multimeter on hand...Usually I would check for blown transistors etc and test the power adapters.

    There isn't anything obviously fried, and I need to find a needle to test the power adapters.

    Any constructive / helpful help would be appreciated...
  2. strategic

    strategic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,274

    Being a Compaq, when you plug in the power adapter into the back of the computer, does it charge?
    The DC jacks loosening from the motherboard are very popular with these. Have the problems happened at the same time? How old are they?
  3. Kcircyrd

    Kcircyrd TS Rookie Posts: 316

    Any laptop can be rescued, but at what cost?
    If it has been under water, or had a severe spill of water into the keyboard while or, or turned on while still wet.
    Look for the rainbow color of an overheated board.
    Look for a defective ribbon cable that runs from the keyboard to the screen harness.
    Check the power adapter and the cables to it. They are commonly damaged on that series. You should get someone who knows their business to test with a volt-ohm meter or other test device.
    Look very carefully with bright lighting for a possible defective socket or plug. If they break loose, soldering work must be performed by an expert.
    Look for discolored components on your system board... anywhere... and use white light, not incandescent light.
    If it is not one of those, replacing the power supply, also requiring soldering work, will be the next.
  4. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    just start replacing components one at a time,. Start with the power end. See if you can get it to boot.
  5. AudioVayne

    AudioVayne TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 142

    I have no idea if it charges. At this stage I don't have anything to indicate if the battery / monitor / board works...

    Also this is a project for me to develop experience with laptops, so trialling new methods is exactly what this machine is for. The age and history of this machine is unknown.
    I have been told that the screen 'went all funny' last time it was active then simply never worked again so I would like to know how to test the graphics chip.

    I'll have to get a decent light and magnifying glass, but cheers for the input guys
  6. strategic

    strategic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,274

    There should be lights on your PC to indicate HDD operation, charging (and others).
    When you plug in your adapter, one of those lights should come on. If not, your DC jack or adapter may be faulty.
  7. Kcircyrd

    Kcircyrd TS Rookie Posts: 316

    Usually you test by exchange of components.
    You need a laboratory to test the chips
    and a chip or hardware manual to test the output.
    Get the laptop down to the most fundamental unit.. keyboard, hard drive, and screen... and most laptops have a socket to plug in an external monitor... almost any working monitor will do.
    If the external monitor works, then you can assume that either the inverter behind the screen is bad, or that the ribbon cable that connects the screen to the laptop is loose or broken.
    Usually with Compaqs, the inverter burns out. They only cost about $6.or $7 US to buy, but required the removal of screw covers and 22 to 26 screws before you are done. That consumes a lot of time, thus the cost.
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