How to Troubleshoot an HP Laptop

By Lynda Altman

Troubleshooting HP laptops is not difficult. The most common problems can be identified quickly and easily. Stay calm and try to determine the cause of the problem in a logical manner. What seems to be a major issue, might be something very simple.

Things You'll Need

  • Power cord
  • Battery
  • Bootable rescue, recovery or backup disk
  • Internet cable
  • Owner's manual

Troubleshooting HP Laptops

Step 1

Locate the model number and the serial number. This information is on the bottom of the laptop. You will need this information if a call to support is required, or if you have to order parts.

Step 2

Remove the power cord to see if the laptop can be powered on using only the battery. If the laptop does not power on, the battery may be dead.

Step 3

Plug the power cord into the computer and into an electrical outlet. Be sure that there is power to the outlet. Attempt to turn on the computer.

Step 4

Check to see if the computer turns on and the desktop appears on the screen. If there is no power to the computer, the power supply may need to be replaced. If there is power, the power light will go on and your desktop should appear on the screen. If the screen does not turn on, but there is power to the computer, the issue is with the screen, the operating system, or the hard drive.

Step 5

Check for issues with the hard drive (or fixed disk). To do this, insert a bootable recovery disk into the CD drive. Restart the computer. If the computer boots and the screen appears to work, then the hard drive is corrupted or there is a problem with the operating system. Reinstall the operating system from a backup copy. If this cannot be done, replace the hard drive.

Step 6

Determine if the computer can connect to the Internet. Try to connect to the Internet. If this is unsuccessful, be sure that there are no outages with your Internet service provider. Then, check to see if the modem or router (if on a network) is working properly. Finally, see if your computer can connect using a wired connection. If a wired connection works, then the wireless card in the laptop needs replacing.

Step 7

Attempt to put a disk into the disk drive. If the drive will not work, try reinstalling the drivers. After reinstalling the drivers, if the drive will not operate, replace it.

Step 8

For more complex issues, or for issues pertaining to a specific HP laptop make and model, consult your manual or HP support. Manuals are available through the HP website. In addition, you can chat with live support, email support or check the message boards for technical issues.

Tips & Warnings

  • If a peripheral is not working, always check for a driver update or reinstall the drivers.

References & Resources