The other night my wife was working late. It was budget time at her office and the deadlines were rapidly approaching.
I called it an early night and went to bed, leaving her undisturbed to focus on work, or so I thought.
A little after midnight I was woken to her apologetically asking for help with her laptop because it was freezing up, and when she tried to reboot it all she got was a black screen.
I closed the lid, removed the battery, opened the lid and pressed the power button (To drain any lingering power in a stray capacitor), then replaced the battery and powered it on.
Everything began working as it should, and I got a few seconds of praise for being so technically gifted.
The following evening she suggested I blog about what happened. I said that I thought pretty much everyone knew to pull the battery when their laptop wasn't cooperating.
She reminded me that most people actually don't know to do things like that, even though they seem self-evident to me. (A side effect of working in technology so long.)
If your laptop is acting up and becoming unresponsive you should try rebooting it. If that doesn't work and your laptop has a removable battery, remove it, wait a few seconds, replace it and boot up.
If your laptop doesn't have a removable battery (Macbook, Microsoft Surfacebook, etc) disconnect the power cord and try holding down the power button for 15 seconds. All the lights and fans should turn off. Leave it in that state for a few seconds, then try booting it up.
Most times pulling the battery or holding down the power button will fix the problem. If you are still experiencing issues after that it's time for more drastic measures, such as booting from a USB drive and running diagnostics, or taking it in for service.
-The Home Geek