You go to power up and you discover your HP laptop won’t boot. Now what? As it turns out, this is an extremely common problem. Here’s how to fix it.
HP Laptop Won’t Turn On
If your HP laptop won’t turn on, it is likely due to static build up. To fix it, perform a power drain. Turn off and unplug it. Open the back case and remove the battery. Press and hold the power button for 60 seconds. Lastly, reassemble and reboot the laptop.
There are 7 common troubleshooting steps you should try.
I strongly recommend you follow these steps in order.
We will start with the most common fixes and then work our way towards less common, more involved troubleshooting steps.
Regardless of your specific laptop model (HP Pavilion, HP Envy, etc) the same basic procedure outlined here will apply for all models.
Step 1: Power Drain The Laptop
If your model has an external battery, you’re in luck!
You do not need to open the laptop case. With the laptop turned off and unplugged, simply unclip and remove the battery. Then press and hold the power button for 60 seconds. Finally, reinsert the battery, plug the laptop back in and turn the power on.
On the other hand, if your laptop has an internal battery, you’ll need to follow the detailed steps below.
Properly Ground Yourself
Prior to starting, you will need to learn how to properly ground yourself to avoid destroying your laptop with an electrostatic charge.
Remove The Bottom Base Of The Laptop Case
Ok, we are ready to open up your HP laptop. Be sure that your laptop is unplugged and turned off.
Flip your laptop over and remove all of the screws.
The number of screws and their location will vary depending on your laptop model. Some screws may even be hidden behind stickers!
If you are having trouble finding them all, you can use the HP manual lookup for guidance.
Once all the screws are removed, carefully separate the top and bottom parts of the case.
The easiest way to do this is to wedge a credit card or a guitar pick in between the top and bottom base. Run it along all four sides until it pops open.
DO NOT use a metal object as your wedge. Use something thin and plastic.
Once the case is loose, do not immediately pull it off!
Depending on your specific model, either the bottom case or the palmrest will come off.
If it is the palmrest that comes off, you will see several ribbon cables connecting the palmrest to the motherboard.
If you just rip the case off, you risk damaging these ribbon cables.
It is therefore important to first use your plastic pry tool to lift up the ribbon cable port clips and remove them prior to removing the case.
Tilt And Lift The Battery To Remove It
With the case now open, it is time to remove the laptop battery.
For most HP models, the battery just sits on the motherboard port and can be removed by simply lifting it up.
On the other hand, the battery in some HP laptops is secured by a screw or a wire that connects directly to the motherboard.
If this is the case, unscrew the battery and carefully detach the wire before removing attempting to remove the battery.
Flush Excess Power From The Laptop
Finally, with the battery removed, turn the laptop over and open up the screen.
If the laptop palmrest came off when opening the case, you’ll need to first reattach your power button by connecting the ribbon cable from the keyboard case to the motherboard.
In the event that it was the bottom case of the laptop that came off, you can skip this step (as your power button remains intact).
With the laptop still turned off and unplugged, press and hold the power button for 60 seconds.
Nothing is going to happen during these 60 seconds. We are simply flushing out any excess power from the laptop.
Reassemble The Laptop And Reboot
That’s it! Perform all of the above steps in reverse order to put your laptop back together. Plug it in and turn it on – your laptop should be back up and running!
Notably, there are many different reasons why static can build up in your laptop.
If you find that this is a recurring issue, you likely need to replace your power adapter, battery, or surge protector.
Step 2: Troubleshoot The Charger
If still, your laptop is not turning on, the culprit is likely your battery or your charger.
Once again, turn off the laptop, unplug the power adapter and remove the battery.
Hold the power button down for 60 seconds and then reinsert the battery.
Now try turning on your laptop with JUST the battery.
If your laptop turns on, it means that both the laptop and battery are in working condition.
That’s the good news!
The bad news is your charger is probably going bad.
Amazingly, the laptop can sense a bad battery. It will automatically prevent itself from turning on as to not let the bad battery permanently damage motherboard.
Try using a different charger if you happen to have an extra one lying around. Otherwise, you will need to purchase one.
Step 3: Troubleshoot The Battery
Remove the battery again, and hold the power button down for 60 seconds.
This time, without reinserting the battery, plug the charger back in.
Try turning the laptop on.
If the laptop works, it is a bad battery that is causing the problem!
You’ll need to purchase a new battery to get your laptop back up and running.
Step 4: Inspect RAM Sticks
Computer random access memory (RAM) plays a significant role in your PC’s overall performance and speed.
Actively used information is stored on RAM on a short-term basis for quick access. In essence, RAM is what allows your PC to perform its every day tasks.
Faulty RAM can prevent the motherboard from properly communicating with the RAM. This in turn prevents your laptop from turning on.
There are a number of common reasons RAM fails:
- Thermal damage/overheating
- Faulty connection
- Voltage too high or too low
- Damage due to improper handling
Fortunately, there are two reliable ways to fix and test your RAM sticks.
Remove, Reorder and Reinsert RAM Sticks
It is also possible your RAM (Random Access Memory) sticks are not making a proper connection.
To fix this, first make sure your computer is powered OFF and the power cord is removed from the outlet.
For many models you will also need to remove your battery to access the RAM compartment.
Remove the screws from the back of the laptop and remove the case to expose the RAM compartment. Then fully remove the RAM stick.
Finally, reinsert the RAM firmly into the RAM seat to ensure a proper connection.
Resemble your laptop and try starting it up. You should be back up and running!
If your laptop has multiple RAM sticks be sure to also reorder them. You should also try rebooting your laptop after reinserting one RAM stick at a time.
Run A Windows Memory Diagnostic Test
Despite the issue seeming to be resolved, it is always a good idea to check the RAM itself for any faults.
In order to check the health of your newly reseated RAM sticks we will run a Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool.
To run the test, type Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool into your search bar and click on it. Next, select Restart now and check for problems.
Once your laptop has restarted, a RAM diagnostic report will appear.
If no issues are uncovered then you are all set and no further action is needed.
If however, there are faults discovered you may need to purchase a new RAM stick.
Step 5: Remove And Reinsert The CMOS Battery
A system board failure is another possible reason that your HP laptop won’t turn.
The issue here is specifically with your Embedded Controller, which may be timing out waiting for the BIOS to return from system board initialization (“end of POST”).
To fix this, try removing the CMOS battery from the motherboard.
CMOS stands for Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor. The CMOS battery in your laptop or computer powers the BIOS firmware.
BIOS stands for “Basic Input/Output System” and it manages the essential functions of your computer.
Resetting your BIOS sets it back to its previous configurations and can often fix a lot of different issues.
Once again make sure your HP laptop is powered OFF, the power cord is removed, and you are properly grounded.
Next, disassemble the back casing of your laptop and remove the CMOS battery from the motherboard. Hold down the power button to drain all excess remaining power.
After about 15 to 20 minutes, reinsert the CMOS battery back into your laptop. Finally, reboot your computer and check to see if your problem has been resolved.
In some cases, it may be best to head over to your local PC repair shop for support.
Step 6: Clean Or Replace Cooling Fan
There may also be an issue with your CPU or GPU due to overheating.
If you have historically heard your fan consistently running at maximum speed than you know your laptop has been running too hot.
This could single handedly be why your HP laptop won’t turn on.
In most cases it is your central processing unit (CPU) or the graphics processing unit (GPU) that will overheat the MOST. This will cause your laptop to not turn on properly.
To fix an overheating issue, you need to fix your laptop’s internal cooling.
The very first step is too clean the internal fan. Overtime a significant amount of dust can accumulate onto your laptop fan, causing it to underperform.
To fix this you will need to once again remove the case from the bottom of the laptop.
As previously mentioned, first, turn off the laptop, unplug it and remove the battery. Make sure to ground yourself and then unscrew the bottom case and remove it to expose the fan.
With a cotton swab and some isopropyl alcohol, carefully clean the cooling fan. Be sure to also clean the exhaust port on the case that allows air to flow in and out of the laptop.
Wait approximately 30 minutes to allow the isoporpyl alcohol to fully dry.
Once dry, resemble the laptop and attempt to turn your laptop on.
If the issue persists, you may need to replace the cooling fan or purchase an external cooling unit for your laptop.
Step 7: Perform BIOS Recovery
Lastly, if all else fails, you are likely dealing with a BIOS chip or BIOS firmware corruption issue.
You may also hear a beeping sound that will occur. Additionally, depending on your HP laptop model, certain keys may light up unexpectedly.
As previously noted, BIOS, or “Basic Input/Output System”, is a type of firmware that is located on your PC’s motherboard.
At startup, the very first thing your computer does is boot the BIOS. The BIOS firmware then configures your hardware at which point your hard drive takes over.
At least that’s what’s supposed to happen.
Sometimes your BIOS firmware can become corrupted. There are various reasons for why this can happen.
Leading causes of BIOS firmware corruption:
- Your PC’s flash memory is failing
- Interruption of a BIOS update
- A computer virus
In other cases, your BIOS chip itself can fail.
Leading causes of BIOS chip failure include:
- Over heating
- Over voltage
- Random cosmic rays interactions (sounds cool huh?)
In either case, a failure of the BIOS chip or firmware means that this “handover” to your hard drive cannot take place. Hence the reason you are staring at a black screen!
Fortunately, there are two reliable ways to fix HP BIOS issues.
Built In BIOS Recovery Function
First, let’s determine whether or not your specific HP laptop model has a built in function for BIOS recovery.
To test this, start by plugging in your laptop and turning OFF your computer by holding the power button for about 10 seconds. You will know your laptop is off when the lights stop blinking and your laptop fan comes to a stop.
Now press and hold the Windows and “B” keys at the same time while the computer is still powered off (but plugged in).
While still press the Windows and “B” keys, press and hold the power button for one to three seconds.
Next, release the power button BUT continue holding the Windows and “B” keys until you hear beeping sounds or the HP BIOS update screen opens.
Notably, the screen may remain black for up to 30 to 60 seconds so hang in there!
If the BIOS update screen does not open on the first attempt, try this process again.
Is your HP laptop still not turning on? Don’t worry – there is another way!
BIOS Recovery Reinstall With USB
This process may sound scary and difficult but I assure you it is not.
HP laptops without the built in BIOS recovery function preinstalled require using a recovery USB with a different computer.
To start, grab an old thumb drive laying around and insert it into a different computer you are borrowing.
Next, with your USB flash drive is plugged in, you need to reformat it to “FAT32“.
IMPORTANT NOTICE. When you reformat your USB you will lose all of the information and files contained on it. Select your USB with this in mind.
To do this, open up your Folders file, navigate to and right click on USB Drive (D:) and select Format.
Under the File system section, select FAT32 from the drop down menu. Finally, select Start, OK and Yes to finalize the formatting process.
Nicely done. Your flash drive is now reformatted!
The next step requires you to head over to HP Customer Support – Software and Driver Downloads.
Locate your HP laptop’s serial number. You can find the serial number on a sticker located on the backside of the laptop.
For some models, the serial number may be located in the empty space behind the battery. Remove your battery to check if you are having trouble locating it.
Enter your serial number and click Submit.
Once you have entered your laptop serial number, on the next screen select BIOS. Then, from the drop down, Download the MOST CURRENT BIOS update based on the listed release date.
Be sure to specifically select No thanks, I will download and install manually at the bottom of the download window.
Once the file is downloaded, go to the downloads folder and open it. The file will ask you to make changes to your device. Select Yes. Then follow the steps by continuing to select Next and accepting the licensee agreement terms when prompted.
At the HP BIOS Update and Recovery window select Create Recovery USB flash drive and select Next.
On the next screen your newly formatted USB drive should pop up. Select it from the options and click Next. The BIOS recovery files you need will now be copied onto your USB drive.
When it is down loading the files, select Finish and then Cancel.
You can check to make sure the process worked by going back to your Files folder and checking the USB Drive (D:). You should see the newly downloaded files on there.
Now go ahead and eject the USB drive.
Turn OFF the HP laptop you are attempting to fix and insert the flash drive.
While holding the Windows key and the “B” key simultaneously, turn the computer back on. Continue holding the Windows and B key during startup for at least 10 seconds.
The HP BIOS Update window will appear and the BIOS recovery will be initiated.
Once BIOS has been recovered, your laptop will restart. DO NOT INTERRUPT THE LAPTOP AT THIS TIME.
A screen will appear that states “A System BIOS Recovery has occurred. Press Enter to continue.” Go ahead and hit Enter.
That’s it! Your computer should be fixed!
HP Laptop Warranty
Ok. For some folks, these fixes simply won’t work. Time for a HP laptop warranty policy check.
If you’ve tried all of these fixes, and you’re still having issues you can also contact HP customer support at 800-727-2472.
So you went to power up and your HP laptop won’t turn on? Here’s how to fix it:
- Power drain the laptop
- Troubleshoot the charger
- Troubleshoot the battery
- Inspect the RAM sticks
- Remove and reinsert the CMOS battery
- Clean or replace the cooling fan
- Perform BIOS recovery
Hopefully this was helpful! If this post helped you solve your laptop issue, or if you solved your issue some other way, be sure to leave me a comment below so that we can include it!
Additional HP laptop troubleshooting support brought to you by The Flexible Worker Team:
Chelsea Ashbrook is a Senior Manager of Corporate Digital Experience at Genentech. Chelsea received her B.A. from the University of Connecticut and has spent the last 10 years working in the technology field.
Her professional experience spans information technology services, web content management, and platform development.
For the past decade, long before the work from home revolution truly began, Chelsea has been working in the technology field remotely.
This blog is her outlet to share her findings with you.