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Troubleshooting Guide

Laptop Troubleshooting Guide

Whether you are buying a new or used computer, it is important to know how to properly maintain and troubleshoot common issues, so if a problem was to arise you can deal with the it quickly and efficiently. The following guide covers the most common problems reported, and the steps explained to resolve the issues are the same followed by our Technicians.

Power On and Boot Up issues

A laptop can fail to boot up for a number of reasons, sometimes it either won't turn on at all, when at other times you can only get as far as the POST screen.

·       Stone Dead/No Lights; If the AC Adapter is connected to the mains and to the laptop, the laptop should show a 'charging' light to indicate that a power source has been detected. If the laptop does not boot up, try removing the battery from the laptop and turning on the laptop when only using the AC Adapter. If the laptop boots up okay, try re-connecting the battery.

·         No Boot Device; If after the POST screen you receive a 'No Boot Device Found' it may be due to an incorrect BIOS setting. You'll need to enter the BIOS(Setup Utility) by pressing F2 or Del key at start-up. Then navigate to Boot Devices and ensure that the HDD is both enabled and set as first boot device. Then Save & Exit the BIOS.

·       Blue-screen; If your laptop fails to boot into the Operating System(OS) you may encounter a Stop Error(Blue Screen). This can happen due to corrupt updates or incorrect device settings in the BIOS. First try changing the Hard Drive(HDD) configuration in the BIOS, the options are SATA/AHCI/IRRT and ATA/SATA is usually the default. You may need to try AHCI/IRRT depending upon the machine. If the BIOS settings are correct but you still experience boot issues, try booting into the OS in Safe Mode(F8 during boot up) and doing a System Restore.

  •   Apple MacBook/iMac Boot issue; if you encounter a blue or grey screen issue during boot up, or the boot-up 'hangs' at the Apple Logo screen try the following; Turn off the machine > Press the On-button and immediately hold down the 'Command+P' and 'Option+R' on the keyboard, do not let go until the Mac has rebooted and the start up chime has sounded. This is called a PRAM reset. If you experience a flashing folder issue, it means no boot device can be found and you may have either a faulty hard drive or a corrupt OS, this may require an RMA. 

Wireless Troubleshooting

Understanding how to configure a wireless device is becoming an important everyday skill for a lot of people as Smart Phones, Tablets and Laptops become essential lifestyle devices. If you experience difficulties connecting to a Wireless Router, you need to check three things;

1.      Does the device you are using have a working Wireless Receiver?

2.      Can you detect your desired Wireless Router/Access Point?

3.      Do you have a valid IP address to connect to the Internet?

Windows Zero is the in-built wireless utility for Windows Operating Systems XP/Vista/7/8, this guide focuses on the XP environment;

Checking for a Wireless Device(internal)

·         From the Desktop go to Start > Control Panel > Network Connections.

·         If a Wireless Network Connection is not present, ensure that the laptops wireless switch has been turned on. To locate your laptops wireless switch please consult the manufacturers website.

·         You can also check in the BIOS to see if the Wireless has been disabled/enabled.

·         The Device Manager be used to help verify internal wifi; Start > right-click Computer > Manage > Device Manger is on the left hand side > locate Network Adapters and expand the list by clicking the '+' sign. A wireless device will look like; 802.11b/g/n

Detecting & Connecting to a Wireless Router

·         If your internal wifi receiver is 'On', wireless networks should be detected and available to connect to, using the Windows Zero wifi utility in the taskbar.

·         To ensure Windows Zero is configured properly please do the following;

1.      Start > Control Panel > Network & Internet > Network Connections

2.      Right-click Wireless Network Connection > Properties > Locate the Wireless Network Tab.

3.      Ensure the box is ticked for 'Use Windows to configure my wireless network settings'.

4.      Remove any unused 'Preferred Networks' from the list in the box.

5.      Now try searching for Wireless Networks again from the system tray in the bottom right.

·         If no wifi networks are detected, then you need to make sure you are close enough to your wireless router and that both the laptop and router are using the same protocol; 802.11b/g or 802.11n.

·         If you have an old laptop(802.11b) and a new router(802.11n) they may not be compatible, so you will need to purchase a new 802.11n wireless USB dongle for your laptop.

Valid IP Address

If you've tried connecting to a wireless router but cannot access the Internet you need to ensure that;

1.      You have a Valid IP address

2.      The security settings on the Laptop match those of the Router

If you cannot get an valid IP you may experience the 'Requiring Authentication' issue, which is usually due to incorrect encryption and/or password, and can sometimes occur due to an IP Address Conflict.

Try the following;

1.    Start > Control Panel > Network & Internet > Network Connections

2.    Right-click Wireless Network Connection > Properties > Locate the Wireless Network Tab.

3.    Select your router from the 'Preferred Networks' from the list in the box and click Properties.

4.    Then confirm that the Authentication(WPA/WPA2), Encryption(AES/TKIP) and Password are all correct.

5.    Press Okay and try re-connecting to your router.


If that fails, then try disabling and re-enabling the Wireless Receiver on the laptop;

·      Go to the Control Panel > Network & Internet > Network Connections

·      Right-click the Wireless Network Connection and select Disable. Once the icon has greyed out, then re-enable by right-clicking again and selecting Enable.


The steps above should solve all the problems you have with an in-built wireless card, as you have now confirmed the authentication and renewed your IP address.

To confirm that you have a valid IP address;

1.    Right-click the Wireless Network Connection and select Status.

2.    In the Support Tab click Details.

3.    Your IP Address must contain the same first 3 blocks of numbers as your Router(Default Gateway), the last number being your PC's specific network address.

e.g. IP Address =, Default Gateway =

Further Wireless Troubleshooting

Here is a link to Microsoft's wireless troubleshooting page;


Windows Activation

To activate Windows you need to ensure that the Date & Time and set correctly on the laptop, and that you are connected to the Internet. Your Windows COA licence will be on the underside of the laptop or underneath the battery.


DVD Playback

If you experience trouble watching DVDs you need to ensure that;

1.      You're Optical Drive(DVD/Blu-ray) supports the media you want to play

2.      You have a DVD Decoder, such as VideoLAN installed

The truest test of any product is time and in today's fast developing world of hardware you can find yourself being caught up in the consumer driven hysteria. But is newer always better? The question isn't ambiguous and the answer is straight-forward – No.

New products have their problems too, but what you want to be re-assured of is that if you encounter a problem can it be resolved and if so to who's satisfaction? We strive to keep up the highest possible standards when it comes to refurbishment, we do this by only selling the most reliable of business model laptops and providing a standard warranty of as much as 6 months – with selected models able to upgrade to a full year's warranty.

A full year warranty is the same as most new laptops are provided with, yet our laptops come with superior pound for pound performance; see how the Dell Latitude E6410 compares against a new Celeron CPU and Intel Core M processor.

With so many products to choose from on the open market, we look to provide a streamlined selection of the best performing laptops for any budget, with upgrades available for every laptop. If you need help optimising your laptop with upgrades or want help choosing the right laptop for you, contact us via phone or email for impartial friendly advice.


Apple Products

Since 2012 we have been working closely with Apple's Reuse and Recycling Program partner Dataserv GmbH, to provide second-hand Apple products for retail. All Apple products we sell come exclusively from this program, some of which are VAT exempt as they are eligible for VAT margin scheme.

Apple's brand of products have dominated the consumer market and continue to be the most sought after brand for mobile and desktop devices. We have a constantly rotating stock of Apple iMac's, iPads and MacBook Pro's, so if you miss out on a specific product you were after, check back with us soon or contact us with your requirements.

Recycling old IT equipment

We are keen to provide an environmentally friendly approach to IT equipment and in the cases that we cannot re-sell a system, we comply with the WEEE directive to ensure any hazardous materials are responsibility dealt with by registered recyclers. If you're purchasing a laptop from us, why not take advantage of our free recycling programme, contact us after purchase for details.

shipping Costs for UK Orders

All UK orders are sent through Parcelforce.

  • Order under £100 are charged at £7.95, or £4.95 for small items.
  • Orders over £100 are charged at £9.95

Shipping Costs for EU Orders

EU Orders are shipped via DHL's courier service, but cannot be tracked once they have left the UK.

  • Orders under £150 are charged at £35
  • Orders over £150 are charged at £49

Delivery Details

We aim to achieve the highest customer service levels we can and have been working hard to offer a next-day delivery service for selected products. All deliveries for orders are sent via Interlink who will provide a 1 hour delivery window on the morning of delivery, so you don't need to wait in all day. We provide both email and text message tracking for deliveries, but if you experience any problems taking receipt of your purchase please contact us. Saturday and Sunday delivery can be arranged for an additional fee, please contact us prior to purchase for a quote.