Laptop Troubleshooting - Memory, and Memory Slots

Kristen Hewes - Hardware Technician

This week, I had a laptop that would not boot.  I could see that it was getting power, because the lights were coming on when it was plugged in.  I tried booting it and I could hear the fan running.  I also saw a brief flash of lights like it was going to boot, but then nothing!

I first removed the battery, because sometimes a bad battery can cause issues.  Still nothing when I tried to power it up.  Normally, you get beep codes that will give you an idea of what is wrong. In this case, it was silent.

So, I then took out the keyboard and palm rest to get a look at the system board.  There did not seem to be any liquid damage (a big cause for this sort of thing with laptops).  I checked the hard drive with an IDE reader and it was working fine.  After, it dawned on me to check the memory!

Bad memory can cause a lot of different issues - from crashes to no boots, like this. I took out a stick of memory from the computer and boom, first time boot.  I swap memory for the other stick and once again, it boots!

It turns out that the memory was fine, but one of the slots that held it had gone bad. Time to order a new motherboard!!

Have a great weekend!