As stated in the title, this thread will keep answers to frequently asked questions regarding laptops. Anyone is welcome to chime in with their question/answer. I will add that to the main post.
@mods: Is it possible for me to reserve 2-3 posts at the beginning of the thread for future questions? That would come really in handy. If not, we should transfer all the information in this thread to the new wiki. That is, if someone is actually working on the wiki.
Q: My laptop is running really slow, what can I do to upgrade it?
A: As you can see, this is a very general question, so I will give a very general answer which can be specified depending on the situation. To make sure your laptop is running at it's maximum performance, try to keep it free of viruses, spyware, and junk programs. The less "crapware" on it the better. Secondly, if you're running Vista, consider upgrading to Windows 7. Windows 7 uses a significant less amount of resources and should free up some of those for other uses. A common misconception is that adding RAM will fix your problems. For some of the cases, this is true, but for most this is false. If you're running Vista you want at least 3GB of RAM, for any other OS 2GB should be enough. If all you do is browse the web and check e-mail, you can get away with 2GB in Vista, and 1GB in other OS's. Unlike desktops, you don't have the freedom to add certain components to your laptop, so don't try to buy one if all you're going to down is play games. With laptops, you're not able to upgrade processors, video cards, motherboards, or PSUs. So if your laptop is really outdated, the best solution is to save up for a new one.
Q: My battery life seems to be exhausting really quickly. What do I do?
A: When using a laptop, it's very important to know how to properly charge the batteries. This is something most people are not aware of. If you charge it for longer than what the manufacturer recommends, you can actually ruin your battery. I will not go into details why, but if enough of will want to know, I will write an explanation. Also, try not to use your laptop when plugged into the outlet for long periods of time. This will also decrease battery life. Lastly, try to completely drain your battery once every 2-3 weeks. If you do all these, your battery should last significantly longer than others.
Q: My screen has gone dark. I get no picture. What do I do?
A: Before panicking, check to see that someone didn't change your brightness. It sounds stupid, but I've heard of it done. Some of the times, this problem will occur because of a broken LED. A few laptop screens are lit by an LED, and this source of light will burn out with extended use. The only way to fix it is to send it in for professional repair. This also could be due to a loose cable connection inside (if you have concrete graphics), or it may be even software related. For the latter two, we will need further description of the problem.
Information added by 01001010: Most notebooks are lit by Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamps (CCFL). These may also burn out and require professional repair.
Q: My wireless is not working/My wireless is slow. What happened?
A: Check to see that your router is on, and it is broadcasting a signal. If you still have the problem, then try reinstalling your wireless drivers. The files for that can be usually found at the manufacturer's website. If you bought a dedicated NIC (wireless card) and your speed/connection has decreased in performance, take into account that certain cards won't work as well with certain routers. Wireless is very inconsistent and will never be as good as a hardwire connection. Also, don't rule out a faulty component.
Q: I reformatted my laptop and my radio buttons aren't working. How do I fix this?
A: If you don't reinstall Windows using some sort of recovery disk provided by the manufacturer, then you have to go to the manufacturer's website and download all of the drivers (including chipset). This can be a hassle, so make sure to save a copy of these files to a flash drive once done.
Q: My laptop is running really hot. What can I do to cool it down?
A: Clean out all the dust with canned air. If this doesn't help, check to see where you put your laptop. When you're not using it on a flat surface, be careful of where you put it. People will often block air vents and prevent good airflow from cooling components. If you're to the point where it will overheat really quickly, consider buying a cooling stand such as this
Please post any questions. Remember: there is no such thing as a dumb question.