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Domain 2.0: Laptops and Portable Devices - Troubleshooting Portable Devices

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This section will provide a list of some troubleshooting tips that are specific to portable devices.

If a laptop or tablet PC does not power on, first make sure you have it plugged into a wall outlet. If it still won't power on and none of the LEDs on it light up, try plugging another device into the outlet to make sure the outlet is good. If that works, then try removing any peripheral devices such as USB, FireWire, smart cards, ExpressCards, PC Cards, etc. If it still won't boot, try replacing the AC adapter. Make sure that you get one that meets the specs of your laptop or you could damage it.

If your laptop battery discharges very quickly or will not charge all the way, replace it.

If a PDA won't power on, make sure that the battery is charged (most don't come with AC adapters).

If you are having problems with a WiFi connection on a laptop, make sure that the physical switch on the back or side of the laptop is on. Not all laptops have these switches to turn on WiFi, but many do. If your laptop has a Fn key combination for enabling wireless networking, check to make sure it is enabled.

If your PDA or tablet PC is no longer recognizing handwriting, you probably need to calibrate the digitizer.

If the touch pad on a laptop isn't working, make sure it hasn't been disabled via a Fn key combination, or utility provided by the manufacturer.

If you are getting strange output when typing on your laptop, check to make sure that you haven't accidentally enabled an overlay via the Fn key. Some laptops come with overlays that fit on top of the keyboard and are activated using a Fn key combination. As an example, my Toshiba laptop has a 10-key overlay that is activated by pressing Fn + F9.

If the keyboard isn't working at all, the keypad connector may have been disconnected.

If you aren't getting any sound on a PDA or laptop, make sure the sound is not only turned up in the operating system, but on the device as well.