Troubleshooting Laptop or Notebook Processor Issues

Last Reviewed: 15-Mar-2017
Article ID: 000007075

This troubleshooting document is intended only as a guide to resolve various issues with laptops and/or notebooks with mobile Intel® Processors. Ultimately, your laptop/notebook system manufacturer or mobile motherboard manufacturer may have the very latest information to help resolve your issues.

Note Disassembling, assembling, upgrading and troubleshooting computers should be performed only by a computer professional since the electronic devices may cause serious damage to the installer, the system and its components if it is done improperly. Before attempt to disassemble or assemble notebook computers, carefully review the documentation specific for the laptop computer and its related components. Make sure that you will not be voiding the warranty of the system by opening the laptop computer or replacing any of the components in the notebook computer. Lastly, make sure to follow Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) procedures.
  • Determine if the system worked before. (Has it ever worked? Did it work and then quit working?)
  • Determine if there have been any recent changes. Often, recent changes are the cause of the problem. If recent changes have been done, verify the configuration of those changes. If you installed a new device, suspect that the new device is causing the problem. This can be done by replacing the suspect device with a known working device and trying that device in a known working machine. A software change is more likely than a hardware change. If your system has recently completed a software or driver update or you have installed a new software program, roll back the updates or uninstall the software to return to a known good configuration.
  • If there is an external monitor or display connected, check the connection. Does the laptop screen work but not the external display? Check the brightness and contrast settings on the external display.
  • If the system is in a docking station, make sure laptop / notebook is seated or docked properly.
  • If there is not external display attached, check the laptop screen / panel brightness controls.
  • If you are trying to run the laptop from battery, try running the laptop from the AC adapter. If it works with the AC adapter, you have a problem with your battery or charging system. Contact your laptop manufacturer or vendor.
  • Use a voltmeter or an AC tester to confirm that there is adequate AC voltage at the wall outlet.
  • An AC adapter can be tested with a voltmeter (measuring DC voltage) whereas the output should be +/-.3 volts.
  • Make sure that the laptop computer supports the processor that you are installing including type of processor, speed and voltage.
    Note Not all mobile processors are interchangeable. While many mobile processor sockets and package types may look alike, and the CPU itself may seat properly, the power pins differ between different generations of chipsets and sockets.
    - Socket P vs. Socket M
    - Package types for mobile Intel® Processors
  • If you just installed a processor, make sure that you have inserted the processor completely in the socket and that the processor is oriented correctly. In addition, make sure that the screw that locks the processor in place is adjusted correctly. Check the laptop service manual for the correct orientation.
  • Swap any detachable random access memory (RAM) and the processor with known good replacements one at a time. If suspect one of these components, try it in another laptop computer. In addition, if you installed RAM into the notebook computer, make sure that the RAM is on the tested memory list for the laptop computer.
  • If the problem still exists, you need to contact your notebook vendor or manufacturer.

For more information mobile Intel® processors, refer to the explanations provided in each processor's datasheet:

Intel customer support
If you have an issue specific to Intel® software or hardware which cannot be addressed by your notebook manufacturer or service provider, Intel offers technical support via the web, email, and telephone. The System Information Utility discovers components inside your PC and provides relevant Intel support links.

This article applies to: