I have a Voodoo M515 laptop, about 1 year old. Just recently, it stopped booting up all together. I turn the power on, the fans engage and a few indicator lights come on. It is not even attempting to boot up. I have tried an external monitor. I called their tech support and they suggested it may have been the motherboard going bad. I replaced the motherboard and nothing was resolved, so I sent that board back. What is strange is that even when the power is ‘on,’ I am unable to even open the DVD/CD drive. I tried taking out one of the RAM bars because I was told that it would beep if that was the problem. It is apparently not, because nothing different happened. Could it be the processor or the video card? Maybe a power issue? I know that my battery isn’t holding a charge, it must be plugged in to function. The cost for me to send it back to Voodoo far supersedes the value of the laptop at this point. My only hope is to pinpoint the problem and do it myself, which would require a hearty nudge in the right direction. Any guidance is greatly appreciated.
Here’s what you can try.
Make sure that the AC adapter outputs correct voltage. It’s possible that the adapter is bad and doesn’t provide enough power to boot up the laptop. Find a multimeter and test it. Try starting the laptop from the AC power without the battery installed. On most laptops the battery connects directly to the motherboard and if the battery fails badly, it might cause the entire system to stop booting.
Also it could be just a failed memory module. Who said that the laptop will beep if there is no memory? I’ve seen hundreds laptop and only few of them give you a beep error if the memory is missing. In most cases the laptop without memory module just will not boot up. I would recommend testing the laptop with a known good memory module. It can fix the problem. If you have two memory slots, move the memory module from the slot A into the slot B and test again.
Could it be the processor? Yes, it could be but from my experience laptop processors fail very rarely. I’ve been working with laptops for almost two years and repaired hundreds on them, but so far I’ve seen not more then 7-8 failed CPUs. May be I’m just lucky.
Could it be the video card? I don’t think so. You still should see some signs of life even with a failed video card. Not sure 100%.
When I have a laptop with a problem like yours and nothing help I usually take it apart completely and assemble it outside the laptop base. For this test I minimize the system as much as possible. Only three major parts are needed: the system board, the CPU (with cooling module) and the memory. After everything is connected, I hook up an external monitor, plug the AC adapter and turn it on. If I can boot the system with video output on the external screen then nothing is wrong with my major parts and I assemble the laptop back, testing after each step. If I cannot get any video and the system is still “dead”, then one of three major parts is damaged and here you just have to use test parts to find with one is failing. If you don’t have any spare parts, you’ll have to guess.