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My Toshiba Laptop (around 5 years old...) no longer powers on. When I hit the power button it lights up for several seconds and then turns off. There is no other sign of life, such as the fan starting up or anything else. I get the same behaviour whether the AC is plugged in or not.

This just happened one day, there was no particular event that seemed to trigger it. I don't want to pay a shop to have a look because it's not worth spending much money on such an old computer. If however there are some easy things I can do myself to try and fix (or at least diagnose) this I'm all ears.

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Have you tried to take the battery out? If it does not turn on you are most likely talking about failed BIOS battery. There is no guarantee. The battery itself is dead and likely cannot be recovered. – Ramhound Jun 14 '12 at 11:09
Go to the technician its a circuit problem I'm 99.9% sure about this. Only technician can fix it by checking its every part. The 0.1% chance of what first comment said. :) – avirk Jun 14 '12 at 11:18
When Toshiba laptops die, this seems to be the way they go in my experience. – Paul Jun 14 '12 at 13:52
I have to agree with Ramhound. Pull the battery and try AC only. This can also help you verify if the power supply is good or not. – jmreicha Jun 14 '12 at 14:50
Thanks for the comments. I have tried removing the battery and also the RAM cleaning suggested by tiki an answer. Neither made any difference unfortunately. – Bogdanovist Jun 17 '12 at 22:50

you can try one more option: if you can remove the RAM of the laptop then just clean the points that connects the Laptop with a Eraser and carefully place it back. I faced this problem in a DELL laptop of my client. Try it once. Do it if you have technical & little hardware knowledge.

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