Posted by Steve from College DownTime
To think it only took a half hour to fix, and caused hours of discomfort. Yes, the only thing bugging my laptop and preventing it from starting was a cable short, specifically the touchpad cable. Somehow the wires had separated from the plastic casing and were burning a few wires they shouldn't have been.
Knowing is half the battle, be prepared and remember cable shorts are irritating as all hell.