5 Common Laptop Problems and Solutions - dummies

5 Common Laptop Problems and Solutions

By Dan Gookin

It would be nearly impossible to mention every dang doodle problem your laptop can experience. So, rather than list every dang doodle one of them, or 1,000 or even 100, here are five that come up frequently.

“The keyboard is wacky!”

Keyboard problems happen more often than you would imagine. The solution is generally simple: You accidentally press the Num Lock key on the laptop’s keyboard, and half the alphabet keys on your keyboard start acting like numbers.

The solution is to press the Num Lock key and restore your keyboard to full alphabetic operation.

Touch pad touchiness

Some laptop touch pads seem to operate merely by looking at them. Rather than be frustrated by these touchy touch pads, simply adjust the touch pad’s sensitivity. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Control Panel.

    Press Win+X to bring up the supersecret menu. Choose Control Panel.

  2. Beneath the Hardware and Sound heading, click the View Devices and Printers link.

  3. Right-click your laptop’s icon.

    A shortcut menu appears, listing hardware items associated with your laptop.

  4. Choose Mouse Settings.

    The Mouse Properties dialog box appears.

Use the Mouse Properties dialog box to review touch pad settings. You should find a Touchpad tab: Click that tab. If a Settings button is available, click it. You should arrive at a window where you can adjust the touch pad’s sensitivity.

Lamentably, not every laptop’s touch pad features a specialized dialog box.

Mouse features can also be adjusted in the Settings app: Click Devices, and then choose Mouse & Touchpad on the left side of the window.

“My laptop won’t wake up”

A snoozing laptop can mean that the battery is dead. Consider plugging in the laptop and trying again.

When the laptop has trouble waking from Sleep mode — and you have to turn it off and then turn it on again to regain control — you have a problem with the power management system in your laptop.

Power management woes

When your laptop suddenly loses its ability to sleep or to enter Hibernate mode, it means that you might have a problem with its power management hardware or software.

First, check your computer manufacturer’s web page to see whether you can find additional information or software updates.

Second, ensure that power management is properly enabled.

Finally, confirm that other hardware or software isn’t interfering with the power management software. If so, remove the interfering software or hardware or check for updates that don’t mess with your laptop’s power management system. A good trick to try is System Restore, just in case a recent update messed with the laptop’s power management software.

“The battery won’t charge”

Batteries die. Even the modern smart batteries are good for only so long. When your battery goes, replace it with a new one — if you can. Most modern laptops, especially the 2-in-1 tablet PCs, do not sport removable batteries. In that case, you must replace the laptop.

Rules and laws govern the disposal of batteries. Be sure to follow the proper procedure for your community to safely dispose of or recycle batteries.