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All posts tagged Laptop

When Your Laptop Will Not Boot. What Do You Do?

For starters …

laptop won't boot what do you do?

Now we have that out of the way, take a deep breath and read on for how to get back to work with your laptop, painlessly.

Steps

Before we get to the several steps to cure this I’m sure you are thinking,

“I’m so glad I keep all my data in a backup on an external hard drive and in the cloud”

Right? No, well you might want to consider it for those situations where the hardware has actually suffered damage.

In this case, you shut down your PC before as usual and now inexplicably your laptop will not boot. There were no power surges or faulty batteries, nothing that might cause actual damage.

Here’s what you should try: –

  1. Unplug the power supply from both the wall socket and from the laptop.
  2. Unplug any peripherals, flash drives or other connected to the laptop.
  3. Detach the battery from the back of the laptop.
  4. Now the laptop has no available power press your finger (or thumb) onto the power on button and hold down for about 1 minute.
  5. Take your finger off the power on button.
  6. Replace the battery and the power supply.
  7. To be safe plug into a different wall socket.
  8. Now press the power on button to boot as normal.

Your laptop should boot as normal.

This process is a kind of reset and should work for most laptops.

The Warptest POV

This is one of those mysterious PC techie bits of voodoo that wows or befuddles most users. As I said, the important things to take away from this kind of experience are: –

laptop won't boot - steps

Hopefully this solved your “laptop will not boot” woes. If you have any other tips like this I’d love to hear them.

Buying A New Windows Laptop Is An Investment…

…the idea is this will be your engine of mobile productivity for the next 3 plus years. So you want to make all the right decisions and invest wisely.

This is one of the big three questions that techies continually get asked: –

Windows Laptop - Techie Questions

Buying A New Laptop

Let’s start by asking ourselves, do we need a laptop?

This really feeds into rule 1: what are you going to use your computer to do?

  • Your use cases will define the form factor of the computer you choose. Filter from here.
  • If the answer is work from home only then why not look at a desktop. These are still more robust and allow for hardware upgrades easier than a laptop.
  • If you are only interested in email, some documentation, web surfing, video conferencing on the go then a tablet or tablet / laptop hybrid night be for you.
  • If you are mobile then screen-size, weight and battery life are all issues for you.
  • If you work with graphics intensive applications e.g. video post processing then you will probably want a computer with GPU (graphics card).
  • If you are mobile but perform keyboard intensive work then you need to find a laptop with a keyboard that works for you.

These feed into rule 2: try to go hands on with whatever you want to buy.

  • UX and how the keyboard feels or the screen looks is subjective.
  • Go to a store that allows you to try different models without too much of a hard sell.
  • Keep in mind what your uses cases are for the computer and if need be ask a salesperson to let you see a movie or go to your most used web app.

Rule 3: Only consider Windows 8.1 not Windows 8.

  • Windows 8 is great but why force yourself to do more Windows Updates than you have to?
  • Windows 8.1 was the last major update for Windows (akin to a Service Pack) and it carried with it vast improvements.
  • When you buy a Windows 8.1 computer you are insuring that not only is the OS in a newer state but also the hardware is at least as new as the OS.
  • There will still be Updates but these will be hotfixes and security patches and it should be a relatively speedy process (when I unboxed my new Windows 8 laptop, it took over 200 updates to get me to Windows 8.1 and the process was not seamless).

Rule 4: Touch.

  • The touch vs non-touch debate deserves a post all of its own (a work in progress, stay tuned) but suffice it to say that touch enabled Windows 8.1 will rock your world.
  • If you don’t go for touch then this is the next best reason to opt for Windows 8.1 as the improvements for mouse / keyboard oriented work are seriously good.
  • Since getting my touch enabled laptop, I have not needed to use a mouse once.
    I let my fingers do the working…
Windows 8.1 Touch: Let your fingers do the working

Windows 8.1 Touch: Let your fingers do the wOrking (thanks to Yellow Pages)

The Warptest POV

At the end of the day the rules above are a tried and tested guide for making objective choices. Choices that don’t factor in brand loyalty or prejudice, online reviews or the experience of your friends. All of these are valid factors but involve subjective evaluation.

The bottom line is actually the bottom line, start with a budget and work from there and keep in mind you are investing in your productivity.

If you have anything to add or a question then hit the comments and I’ll be certain to reply.

How can eSATA Help You?

Suddenly you are looking at your laptop and recalling the time you wouldn’t run out of USB ports. Most laptops today have two, if you are lucky three USB ports and between wireless mouse dongles and external hard drives suddenly you can find yourself wanting to sync / charge your Smartphone but having to safely remove a device first.

What Do You Do? What Do You Do, Hotshot?

I was putting my laptop away and resigning myself to buying a USB Hub when I noticed something called an eSATA port. At first I didn’t pay attention to the USB symbol adjacent to the port.

The hard drive in your computer is likely connected via SATA. eSATA is the external version.

eSATA laptop port

I decided to see if I could find an eSATA adaptor for my external Hard Drive. My local computer store confirmed that eSATA will take a USB plug and should work in most cases but an adaptor doesn’t exist.

To date my external Hard Drive worked, my Disk on Key did not (Windows informed me that the file system was not recognized but that I could format it) and my Windows Phone both charged and sync’d seamlessly. The thing to keep in mind is to be careful when plugging and unplugging the USB devices, it’s a snug fit.

The Warptest POV

Using eSATA as an additional USB port is a really useful hack and this is something 99% of people may not know. Props to Computer Online of Country Center, Modiin, Israel for confirming this.

Hopefully this may help some of you.