My laptop fell over and will not boot now

posted in: Computer Dropped | 29

My daughter has an Acer Aspire 3100 which fell over a couple of weeks ago. It sounded just like an HDD failure to me so I bought a replacement drive and fitted it. I then tried to restore the system using the restore disk that I had created when originally setting it up for her. Everything seemed to go fine until it got to a point where the message at the bottom of the screen said it was loading Windows – when it hung – no activity at all. I immediately assumed it was a problem with the boot disk and tried a Window upgrade disc – similar result, I scrounged a Dell XP system disc from work – no go. Then I popped the old HDD into a remote enclosure to see if it worked – and it did, nothing wrong with it – so it wasn’t the HDD… My local laptop shop had a look and said – it’s the motherboard or the video card (but the Acer splash screen appears when you try to boot it). So, as a last thing to try I set the BIOS to boot from a USB HDD and connected the original hard drive, in its new remote housing, and the thing immediately booted not to Windows but to DOS! It says Windows 98 but it comes up with the C prompt. It says there is only one file on the disc… So I am utterly confused! Can I save this machine?

Here something you can try in order to narrow down the problem.

1. Try reconnecting the memory module. If you have two modules, reseat both of them. This problem may occur because of loose connection between RAM module and motherboard.
Download Memtest86+ and burn it on a CD. Run this utility to test laptop RAM. Make sure it passes test. If you have two modules installed in your laptop, remove them one by one and test the laptop with each module separately. It’s possible that one of the memory slots on the motherboards was damaged when she dropped the laptop. In that is the case, you still can use the laptop with one good memory slot.

2. Download Knoppix (live Linux) and burn it on a CD. Try booting the laptop from this Knoppix CD while the hard drive is removed from the laptop. If you still cannot boot to the desktop (similar to Windows desktop) even with the hard drive removed, most likely this problem is not related to the hard drive and something else is going on.

3. I don’t know if you feel comfortable opening up the laptop. If you do, you can try reseating internal components (wireless card, DVD drive, video card, CPU, cable connections, etc…) just to make sure it’s not connection related issue.

4. If the video card in your laptop is a separate module, try reseating the video card. Make sure it’s making good connection with the motherboard.

29 Responses

  1. Roger Stone

    Many thanks for the help – interesting results after trying as much as I dared! Reseating the memory chips and what I assume to be the video card – the only card I could see – made no difference. Memtest86 wouldn’t run, I put it on a usb stick and told the Bios to boot first from that but no joy – I just got a message saying failed and check cable – but I got that if I left the USB stick out too (no HDD fitted at all). When I try to boot the Acer splash comes up, followed by the Windows splash and the animated blue bar plus evidence of HDD activity and then it just stops….

  2. Had EXACLY the same problem on a Tosh Sat Pro. Boots from a boot floppy ok but the Restore disk loads the files for W98 ok then halts on the W98 splash when it retarts. Checked with MS MemTest on CDROM and it fails every test. Have only got onboard memory so it looks like its bricked.

  3. my laptop fell over its still has power but the screen is black and you can bearly is the picture

  4. Laptop Freak


    my laptop fell over its still has power but the screen is black and you can bearly is the picture

    If you still can see the picture on the screen then your problem could be related to:
    1. Loose connection between the video cable and the inverter board. In this situation reseating connectors on both end of the inverter board can fix the problem.
    2. Bad inverter board. It’s unlikely bad possible. I doubt that you can damage the inverter board if you drop the laptop, but I had to mention that. In this situation you’ll have to replace the inverter board.
    3. The backlight lamp has been damaged. In this situation you’ll have to replace the whole LCD screen because the backlight is located inside the screen. It is possible to disassemble the LCD and replace just the backlight lamp but it’s not easy.

  5. Ryan Kalle

    Our Dell Inspiron 1720 was dropped about 2 feet onto a tile floor and now it will boot up but once comes to the desktop we cannot open any programs. I’m reluctant to crack it open without knowing what exactly what I am doing since I am not familiar with laptops

  6. My Sony VAIO which was working fine has stopped working after my young nephew shook the laptop violently.

    The laptop starts normally — shows the VAIO spalsh screen — then displays several modes for restarting (Safe Mode, Safe Mode with DOS, Safe Mode with Networking, Last Known Configuration, and Normal) — clicking on any of these modes will then show the Windows splash screen — then the laptop will restart again! It’s a continuous cycle. I hope this is not a hard disk issue as I have very important documents saved in my hard disk! Please advise!!!

  7. Laptop Freak

    Try reconnecting the hard drive, maybe it’s not making good connection with the motherboard. Disconnect the hard drive and then connect it back in place. Test the laptop again.
    If the hard drive is OK you can recover your files using an external USB enclosure.

  8. I have a Toshiba Satellite. I fell on the laptop while it was closed, and now it won’t even come back on. Can I get a little help as to what might be the problem?

  9. Laptop Computers specs |

    My Thinkpad laptop suddenly had an error saying “NTLDR is missing” , it’s been a couple of months now that i wasnt able to use my laptop, im just using my one super slow laptop, maybe you can help me fix the problem?

  10. shweta

    My Compaq 8510w laptop fell down. It was on at that time. Now its not working. The power LED keeps blinking. What is wrong? Please replyyyyy… 🙁

  11. Laptop Freak


    My Compaq 8510w laptop fell down. It was on at that time. Now its not working. The power LED keeps blinking. What is wrong?

    It’s hard to tell. Try reconnecting memory modules.
    Will it blink if you start the laptop without hard drive, DVD drive, memory modules installed?

  12. Our Dell Inspiron 1526 was dropped on a hardwood floor and then wouldn’t pass the startup repair boot on the next boot up. I’ve tried restoring it to factory settings and reinstalled Vista and it works fine at that time, but after powering down it goes back to startup repair boot and says there is an error (code = 0x17) in the OS loader, but it could not be repaired. The computer then just turns itself off. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

  13. Laptop Freak


    Our Dell Inspiron 1526 was dropped on a hardwood floor and then wouldn’t pass the startup repair boot on the next boot up. I’ve tried restoring it to factory settings and reinstalled Vista and it works fine at that time, but after powering down it goes back to startup repair boot and says there is an error (code = 0×17) in the OS loader, but it could not be repaired. The computer then just turns itself off. Any suggestions?

    First of all, try reconnecting memory modules and hard drive. Maybe memory or hard drive not making good connecting with the motherboard. After you reconnect the hard drive try running the restore again.

  14. Well i have a dell precision m60 laptop, and unfortunately i dropped it. However that was almost a month ago, and a few days ago i realized that the battery lights, the external sound controls (to adjust the volume up and down and mute it with buttons), and even the power button don’t work. All of these buttons and indicator lights are in the same general area, so i’m wondering if the motherboard was damaged or if a connection may have been shaken loose. I am an IT student studing studying cisco and A+ certifications, however obviously im not that far along. I just need some input on where i should start to solve this problem, and maybe i can take care of it myself. I am writing this post on said computer. I guess my main concern is, if i shut this computer down to open it up, will i be able to restart it if the power button doesn’t currently work? Thanxs in advance for any help

  15. My dog nocked my Dell Latitude D600 off the table
    when it was on now I can not get any power to start
    it how can I get it to work. Thanks for you time.

  16. Laptop Freak


    My dog nocked my Dell Latitude D600 off the table
    when it was on now I can not get any power to start
    it how can I get it to work.

    Is it completely dead or the laptop starts but nothing appears on the screen?
    Check memory modules. It’s possible that one (or both) memory modules got dislocated. Try reconnecting memory.

  17. frankie68

    my d600 dell gives 4 seconds power and then shuts off . no screen at all..

    i took the whole lap apart and i have three part on my table
    motherboard + mem + cpu

    i turn it on , nothing ,the cpu or the videochip doesn’t get warm and the green light remain appr. 4 seconds..
    then he shuts down..

    what can i do , where do i have to look?
    cause i reheated a lot of pins by now on the board
    maybe a power issue?

    can somebody give a tip ?
    like the c640 u45 chip?
    thanx thanx thanx

  18. laptopuser

    Dear Laptopfreak:
    Hi. I tried looking this up in the various categories you have but could not find the exact same problem. If you have answered this before please let me know where I could look it up.
    I have an hp pavilion dv2000. It was on sleep mode and fell to the ground (concrete). At first we thought nothing had happened but when I tried to use it later at night it wouldn’t come off of sleep mode, so we removed the battery and then put it back on and connected it to the AC. I noticed that none of the 3 lights would come on (the power indicator, the battery or the one with the litlle 3 discs). Since nothing could get the computer to turn on we opened it. We realized that there was a gap in the upper left panel that maintained the silver panel opened away from the black botom where they should be sealed tight. We thought this was the problem, fixed it, checked for any loose or broken pieces (which were none) and closed it. We tried to start it and nothing would happen. We read in a website to remove the battery and the AC power and press the power button holding it for 30 sec. We did that and it finally turned on (now that is the only way we can turn it on). The black screen saying that there was an error came on and asked us to decide one of the safe modes or start it normally and after choosing one mode and hiting enter nothing would happen as if the keyboard was not working. However, the arrow keys seemto be working fine because it let me go up and down when choosing one of the modes. We also noticed that the indicator light for the mouse keeps flashing blue/orange as does the indicator for AC power, and that the scroll indicator light is on. I read somewhere else and tried one of the suggestions of pressing f8 when turning it on, the screen came on asking me to choose a mode, but had to wait the 20-something seconds for it to do it automatically b/c hitting enter wouldn’t do it; afterwards, the other sreen saying microsoft corporation with the green status bar came on and stayed that way forever, so i turned it off again.

    Today we opened it up again. Nothing seems loose nor are there any broken pieces. Tried the 30sec trick again (b/c it is the only way to start it now). The black screen came on saying that some hardware/ software was changed or something (don’t remember what it said exactly) and asked me what mode to turn it on. I just left the one that was preselected (“safe and repair”). It had been more than 40 min and the black screen with the green status bar and underneath “Microsoft Corporation” was still on, and it wouldn’t go any further than that. The fan was on, the lights were on (except for the indicator where he 3 little discs are), the indicator light for the AC power was flashing as is the one for the mouse. In this site we read to check the memory cards. We unplugged both of them and plugged them back on. Since my husband has the same exact laptop model, we put my hardrive on his laptop and started it. We selected the safe mode repair, then a blue page with a window saying: “start up repair” came on. After awhile, it said “Windows cannot repair this comp automatically” It had 2 choices: finish or cancel, we hit cancel and then windows started normally, everything was fine and working and thus decided it to try the hardrive back on my laptop to see what happened. The same story: wouldn’t go past the black screen with the green progress bar, same lights on, same lights flashing, fan on. I don’t know what else to do, we so much need your help and suggestions please, since we cannot afford a new computer right now and I inmensely need my old computer to work (we’re both online students) Should we start it in a particular mode? Should i try again the f8?

    Sorry for the very long description but I wanted to explain everything we did just in case it could help.

    Thank you so very much for your help, I deeply appreciate it.

  19. Laptop Freak

    Try reseating the hard drive. Disconnect the hard drive from the motherboard and install back in.
    When you get a message about running Windows repair, cancel it.

  20. Victoria

    Hey there..

    MY Sony VAIO Laptop was on my bed and had been accidentally pushed off the bed. It was Open and fell straight down in the same position it was sitting on the bed in. open. And fell on the tile floor.

    It turns on but i wont see the beginning screen till like 20 minutes pass.. then it starts up, goes to desktop.. but if i right click or try to open up a folder, it will.. but after 20 minutes.. that’s all it does, everything after like 20 minutes. anything i open up or try to access.. It is ridiculous.

    May you tell me what I can do? It was a gift and i do not want them to know..

    I dont have money to fix if, but would like to know possible options.

  21. Hello
    My Medeon laptop fall off a coffee table and when i started it the screen only shows colored lines from the top of the screen down to the end.It worked twice after the “accident” but then it went back.

  22. firstcompsvc

    hdd regenerator is needed after a drop as the hard drive may need sectors repaired/recovered.

  23. firstcompsvc

    the lines on the screen would either be memory damaged or the video cable came loose in the drop or the video inverter took a dump.

  24. firstcompsvc

    hdd regenerator requires slaving the hard drive to another computer and running the repair. running a chkdsk in error checking or a chkdsk in recovery console may also fix the slow hard drive.

  25. Dear Laptop Freak,

    I dropped our Toshiba Satellite A215 with Vista Home Premium and cracked the screen. You can still read enough to try and use it but it will not boot up. Start up repair opens and says that it can not repair the system. The “diagnosis and repair details” show that all it passed all tests and under “root cause found” it says “Startup Repair has tried several times but still cannot determine the cause of the failure.

    If I go to the command prompt, it shows X:\sources\recovery\Tools and I can not change to the c: drive. Do you have any suggestions?

  26. suzanne

    I have a Dell XPS 15 that is only a few months old. It slipped out of my hand as i went to place it on my laminate floor and the corner underside of the laptop case broke. I tried to switch it on and got a blue screen with lots of writing on it and at the end stated it needed restarting. Which i did. Now i start it up and get the XPS logo on the screen but the bar underneath only loads just over half way with a beeping noise. There is 1 beep followed by 11 or 12 subsequent beeps. This sequence then just repeats itself. It won’t go into F2 or F12 either from that screen. I am worried how much damage i have done. It is supposed to have the Dell Shock Free Fall protection built in as well.

    I am an Open University student with an Assignment due in a matter of days and my work for this current one is ONLY on that laptop and no where else.

    Please any help would be great.

  27. Phylicia

    While my compaq laptop was booting, it fell on its side from my bed(a distance of abt 1.5 feet) to the hard ground then it went blank. I then put if off and tried to put it on again. It came on and i chose the safe mode then it got to a blue screen and stopped there. I tried to restart it 2 more times but it still stops on the blue page. What can i do????

  28. Wilson

    Someone bumped into me while im holding my laptop and it fell violently to the floor. now it would take longer to boot. It still ask me for login and still shows welcome screen, but after my desktop background appear, its stuck there – no icons, nothing comes out when clicked.
    caps and nums LED still working, wifi switch LED not working. when i tried to run on safe mode its stuck in one line in command prompt. what do you think broke?
    i would reckon either motherboard cracked or HDD cracked or both.

  29. Lappyaaliyah

    my sony vaio fell was dropped down by my sister and it does not boot.. it says n input output error…way cud be wrong?