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Laptop constantly crashes or freezes
Computer constantly shuts down or becomes unresponsive.
Faulty hard drive
If your computer also has data that becomes scrambled (ex: file/folder names become garbled or folders disappear entirely), your computer takes a very long time to open files or folders, and clicking/grinding noises are coming from inside the case, you may have a faulty hard drive.
If this is the case, you need to copy the information from your current hard drive to another location as soon as possible, and DO NOT restart your system or turn off your computer. A hard drive exhibiting minor problems may stop working at any time, and once turned off, may never turn on again. Once you have the information copied from our current hard drive to CD, thumb drive, or other external memory source, follow our hard drive replacement guide here.
Improperly connected hard drive
If your computer is not displaying the extra symptoms listed above, you may have an improperly connected hard drive, or some other component in your system may have failed. You can fully troubleshoot these problems on iFixit’s Hard Drive Troubleshooting page. In the case of an improperly connected hard drive, view our hard drive replacement guide to see how to reconnect it.
Your computer might have a virus if the crashing/freezing issues are coupled with unwanted pop-up messages, programs randomly starting themselves, or the computer is constantly running. This may be caused by the user visiting a seedy website (with pop-up ads, auto-play ads, unwanted downloads, etc.) or downloading questionable content.
To fix this problem, you’ll need to download antivirus software if you don’t already have any installed. There are plenty of basic antivirus packages available for free, but you may want to pay an extra $25 to $70 to get software with more features.
Once you’ve installed the antivirus software, you’ll need to run a virus scan and remove any suspicious files or programs from your computer. Afterwards, set the software to continuously scan your system for additional threats and periodically run a heavy-duty virus check to clean out your system. Always make sure your virus software is up-to-date by installing new updates as they become available, and avoid going to websites which contain pop-up ads or big, green “Download” buttons.
Short battery life
Battery takes too long to charge and/or doesn’t hold a charge for long.
First, make sure the battery is the problem, and not the charging cable or your outlet. If you plug your computer into a different outlet and it works, you likely have a tripped breaker. Your computer is fine!
If the outlet wasn’t the problem, try wiggling the charging cable around and contorting it into different positions. If your computer suddenly starts charging when the cable is in a certain position, and stops when the cable is moved again, you have a faulty charging cord, which needs to be replaced.
If none of the solutions above work, plug your computer in and turn it on, make sure it's functioning, then unplug it. If your computer turns off immediately once unplugged, you have a dead battery. To fix this, replace the battery using our guide here.
Programs running in the background are draining the battery
If your computer passes the plug/unplug test, consider the software on your system. Computers often come with “bloatware,” pre-installed programs that you didn’t want or need in the first place. These programs run services in the background without your permission, eating up battery life and memory on your system. This article from PCWorld explains more about bloatware and how to remove it from your system.
If you need a quick or temporary fix, you can use the Windows 10 power usage analyzer to determine which programs are draining the most battery life and close or disable them for an instant speed boost.
The visuals on the display are all black or blurred.
Restart system and reset the visuals
If the screen is showing blurred or distorted visuals, turn off the computer by pressing and holding the power button for at least 30 seconds. If there are still unclear graphics on the display monitor, remove the battery and reinstall it. If the problem persists, press the F2, F9, and F10 keys in succession and press enter. Reboot the system after hitting the enter key and the system should have clear visuals. If display errors are still occuring, follow our screen replacement guide here.
First, turn on laptop with power LED lights on. Test the laptop by connecting an external monitor to the to make sure that the screen is the problem. If the display shows that it is working correctly on the external monitor, the built-in screen may be faulty or there may be a problem with the video cable connection. Replace your screen by using our guide here.
Computer shuts off suddenly or becomes very hot while in use. Your computer fan may be making a persistent loud noise, and it may display a blue error screen.
Dust in vents
Clean the device thoroughly including the air vents being sure to get any dust or hair out. This buildup can be the cause of the system overheating and may also result in the fan running loudly.
Running too many programs at once
Reduce the number of programs running on your device as too many programs or high intensive programs (i.e. computer aided design programs, 3D digital modeling, etc.) can cause the computer to be more active causing it to heat up more and faster. Overworking the CPU usually generates much more heat.
The fan stops functioning properly where the fan cools the system but the exhausted hot air gets trapped inside the case heating up the CPU and the other components which might then lead to further complications.
Replace your fan by following our guide here.
Entire system is dead or only peripherals are functioning (fans spin, LED lights come on) but the screen won't come on.
Replace your motherboard
Test other components in your computer (i.e. the hard drive, display, battery, cord) using the guides above. In none of the above solutions work, follow iFixit's motherboard troubleshooting guide. If you determine that your motherboard needs replacing, follow our motherboard replacement guide here.