Saturday, March 10, 2018

Computer Issues.... again.

I have fiddled with my laptop to the point where, with a generous helping of electrical tape and the occasional tap on the screen, I'm able to usually not have monitor problems, huzzah. I ended up having to take off the screen itself, which I was loathe to do. I managed, but it was annoying and I broke a few more little pieces of plastic and basically I just need a new computer.

Which isn't going to happen soon.

Still, my computer was working and the monitor is now mostly behaving. Then yesterday morning, after a three-hour power outage in the middle of the night, I noticed that the computer wasn't charging. I got the message "Plugged in, not charging" when I looked at the battery icon. Um. Ok.

I generally use the computer plugged in, although I frequently take it downstairs unplugged... so it's not a thing that would completely break the computer for me. But it's worrying. What if the battery has gone bad, or I somehow damaged it during my efforts to fix the screen? A visit to Google and I learned that Windows 10 laptops have this problem A LOT. Not just a little, but so frequently that there is a lot of information and misinformation out there about it.

I found the solution that finally worked for me on HP's website, after trying a number of different things and having every one of them fail. I had been using the HP diagnostic tools to see if the battery itself was failing, but got lots of green lights as far as it was concerned. It even started charging for a brief moment during the testing! To fix it "completely" (as far as I can tell), I ended up following these directions:

Perform the following steps to isolate the issue and arrive at a fix:
  • Power off the laptop.
  • Disconnect AC adapter from the laptop.
  • Press and hold the power button for 15 seconds.
  • Plug the AC adapter back in.
  • Power on the laptop.

    Uninstall the battery drivers and then reinstall them:
  • Open the device manager.
  • Expand "Batteries". Right click on the ACPI drivers and select uninstall.
  • Close the device manager.
  • Restart the laptop. While restarting, Windows will reinstall the battery drivers.
  • Thank goodness, removing the ACPI drivers fixed it. I have no idea what ACPI drivers are or any interest in learning, but they apparently have something to do with battery charging. I was ready to do the next step, a BIOS flash, but was not looking forward to it since there are so many things that can go wrong when you get down to the firmware level.

    As I was working through these steps, hubby-Eric told me about a lovely video promo for a Supernatural/Scooby-Doo crossover, so I of course had to watch it... and there was no sound. In fact, every single attempt I made to turn up the volume, it reset itself down to "2" and didn't move. Guess who had to reinstall sound drivers right after reinstalling battery drivers?

    Doing all this with a nasty cold and barely any brain power was difficult as well. I suppose I thrive on it, though. I love troubleshooting. I just wish I didn't have to do it quite so often. And I wish I could run more things on my computer (like Fallout 4, which I could eventually get through Steam via Swagbucks). I want to buy myself a Dell gaming laptop, but the cheapest ones that will run what I want are $800 or more. First-world problems, I know. At least with my repairs I'm still able to play DC Universe Online, which I now have ALL the downloadable content from, thanks to Swagbucks, and enough left over to buy the Aquaman DLC when it comes out later this month.