I have at least two phone calls a week with laptop not turning on issues. Usually a client tries to power on the laptop, but the screen is blank and won't respond. Thankfully this is one of those fairly simple problems to fix and I'll give you the solution a little further on.
So what causes the system to hang? 9 out of 10 times it's one of the power saving modes that the laptop has gone into. Most common scenario involves an unplugged laptop being left on and the battery drained. Most of the time the system will automatically enter a sleep state which can be awoken by simply touching a key on the keyboard. If the battery is close to empty charge, the system may try to enter a hibernation state which is a longer process involving writing the contents of your laptop memory to the hard drive and shutting the laptop down before the battery is totally depleted. When the computer is next powered on by mains power or recharged battery, the hibernated state written to the hard drive is read into memory and you should be able to continue working in the same environment prior to the hibernation. All good in theory, but...
The system isn't perfect and often will hang in limbo, not quite shutdown, not quite awake and this is where people get stuck thinking the laptop is broken. If this were a desktop system, you can just switch off the power and the computer will start the boot process with blank memory and the only sign of an abnormal system shutdown is the Windows warning along the lines of Your system did not shutdown properly, do you want to start normally or enter safe mode?
However laptops have a battery and this battery keeps memory refreshed and powered, so you cannot completely switch the power off even if you pull the plug from the power adapter or wall. Laptop manufacturers recognise the impracticality of removing the laptop battery to perform a hard reset and have catered for this very scenario.
By simply holding down the power button on your laptop for between 5 and 10 seconds (model dependant) you can perform a hard reset of your laptop. The hard reset should allow your system to boot normally when you next press the power button. Of course you should expect Windows to let you know about the abnormal shutdown when loading, but again selecting boot normally should see you working normally again.
If this is something that is occuring frequently, take a look at the power saving options in control panel and make sure your laptop is capable of entering the sleep states that windows is asking it to, or have a technician take a quick look at your settings to confirm they are set correctly.
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