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dropped HP laptop; looks like it's turning on fine but then won't start up

HP ProBook 4540 S
Microsoft Windows 7 (64-bit)

My HP4540S dropped off my kitchen table onto the floor.  It was closed at the time.  When I try to restart, I get the windows logo, the HP logo, and then it doesn't ever boot.  It goes to WINDOWS ERROR RECOVERY page where I can choose to launch Start Up Repair and Start Windows Normally.  I have tried both and neither work.


I can get to the BIOS options page and have done the diagnostics for Memory and Hard Drive, and both say that there is no problem there.


I have taken off the battery and bottom case of the computer and nothing looked loose, so I unscrewed and reseated everything (memory, fan, and the thing, I assume the hard drive that is wrapped in a soft-plastic envelope-thing)  but the main board that is under that copper arm.  Nothing seemed loose or out of place.


Any ideas?

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dropped HP laptop; looks like it's turning on fine but then won't start up


The most common failure with dropped laptops is hard drive damage -- which you can't see but presents when you go to reboot the PC and it won't start, or it shows the HP logo and gets no further.  If the laptop is not running, this is a lot less likely because the damage is usually from a head crash.


The drive cable can be shaken loose, but if you have opened the case and confirmed the cable is snug, that rules that out.


Additionally, the HP Logo is displayed using firmware resident in a chip on the motherboard, so if the PC does not get beyond that, it usually indicates drive damage that prevents it from booting into Windows., but since hardware diagnostics claim that the memory and drive are OK, your only real option to get the PC working again would be to reinstall Windows -- and to do that you should first see if a System Reset will work.


To do that, press the ESC key repeatedly while rebooting and when the HP Startup Menu appears, choose the option to do a Reset.  It should take a couple of hours, but if it works, when you finally reboot, you will be in setup again.

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